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Monday, June 28, 2010

Only 14 holidays for central govt staff in 2011

The government has announced 17 holidays for the central government staff for the year 2011, although three of these holiday -- Mahavir Jayanti (April 16), Mahatma Gandhi's birthday (October 2) and Christmas (December 25) -- fall on a Saturday or Sunday, thus effectively leaving only 14 holidays.

In case of the states, 14 compulsory holidays are declared, while the remaining three holidays are to be added from a list of 12 occasions listed in the notification by the central government employees' welfare coordination committee in the state capitals.

The compulsory holidays are Republic Day, Independence Day, Mahatma Gandhi's birthday, Buddha Purnima, Christmas, Dussehra (Vijaya Dashmi), Diwali (Deepavali), Good Friday, Guru Nanak's birthday, Id-ul-Fitr, Id-ul-Zuha, Mahavir Jayanti, Muharram and Prophet Mohammed's birthday (Id-e-Milad).

For the employees working in Delhi, three additional holidays added to the list are Maha Shiv Ratri, Ram Navmi and Janmashtmi. The coordination committees can pick up any other three days in their states, while including the remaining nine in the list, as restricted holidays.

The total restricted holidays for the government employees are 35, though 10 of them fall on Saturdays or Sundays when the offices are already closed in any case.

The notification also says that the number of holidays for banks is restricted to 15 days. Other central government organisations, like industrial, commercial and trading establishments, are permitted to declare a maximum of 16 days, but with the condition that they must include the national holidays of Republic Day, Independence Day and Mahatma Gandhi's birthday.

Here is the list of holidays:

Republic Day, January 26;
Prophet Mohammed's birthday, February 16;
Maha Shiv Ratri, March 2;
Ram Navmi, April 12;
Mahavir Jayanti, April 16;
Good Friday, April 22;
Buddha Purnima, May 17;
Independence Day, August 15;
Janmashtmi, August 22;
Id-ul-Fitr, August 31;
Mahatma Gandhi's birthday, October 2;
Dussehra, October 6;
Diwali, October 26;
Id-ul-Zuha (Bakr-Id), November 7;
Guru Nanak's birthday, November 10;
Muharram, December 6; and
Christmas, December 25.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

CVC for changes in law to nail corrupt babus

The Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) wants changes in Prevention of Corruption Act (PCA) for speedy investigation and trial of corrupt public servants.

Besides seeking more special trial courts, the apex anti-corruption watchdog has asked the government to relook the legal and statutory powers it has for initiating probe against corrupt officials that would help in the speedy disposal of corruption cases.

"There is a need to amend the Prevention of Corruption Act and Section 197 of CrPC to enable faster sanction from authorities concerned to speed up inquiry and the judicial process," Chief Vigilance Commissioner Pratyush Sinha told a news agency.

Sinha also said, "We have requested the government to increase the number of special courts to speed up the trials under the Prevention of Corruption (PC) Act." At present an estimated 40 special courts have been set up for the trial of cases under the PCA.

"There are certain types of cases where disciplinary authorities are reluctant to give accord in time to take necessary action against corrupt employees. There is a need of taking a fresh look into some legal and statutory powers given to us," he added.

As per the provision, the Central Vigilance Commission has to inform a panel led by the Cabinet Secretary before initiating inquiries against officers of the rank of joint secretary and above in the Central government.

The CVC said government departments must use information technology enabled services including floating tenders for procurement and in recruitment to keep at bay human interference.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Pay hike for defense skilled workers

Government today raised their Grade Pay by partially amending Sixth Pay Commission recommendations implemented in 2008 and restructured the cadre.

The new pay structure in both industrial and non- industrial trades, usually called defence artisans, would be implemented with retrospective effect from January 1, 2006 .

Under the new pay scales, Skilled Artisans would be in the Pay Band-I and their Grade Pay would be Rs 1,900.

Highly Skilled Grade-II Artisans would also be bracketed under Pay Band-I, but their Grade Pay would stand at Rs 2,400.

Highly Skilled Grade I Artisans, who too would be under Pay Band-I, would receive a Grade Pay of Rs 2,800.
Master Craftsman under Pay Band-II would be paid a Grade Pay of Rs 4,200.
Wherever the grade structure in the Industrial as well as Non-Industrial trades is already existing in the ratio of 45:55, the erstwhile Skilled and Highly Skilled, and 25% of Highly Skilled in the grade of Master Craftsman, the following will apply:
1) 45% of the posts may be granted the pay scale of Skilled Worker (Grade pay of Rs. 1900 in the Pay Band PB-1).
2) 25% of remaining 55% may be granted the pay scale of Master Craftsman (Grade Pay of Rs. 4200 in the pay band PB-2);
3) The remaining posts may be divided in a ratio of 50:50 and redesignated as Highly Skilled Worker Grade-II (Grade Pay of Rs. 2400 in pay band PB-1) and Highly Skilled Worker Grade-1 (Grade pay of Rs. 2800 in pay band PB-1).
The placement of the individuals in the posts resulting from the restructuring shall be made w.e.f. 1.1.2006, in relaxation of the conditions, if any, i.e trade test etc. as one time measure. Highly Skilled Grade I shall be en-bloc senior to Highly Skilled Grade II.
The Post of Master Craftsman shall be part of the hierarchy and the placement of Highly Skilled Grade I in the grade of Master Craftsman will be treated as promotion.
In the case of Defence Establishments where there is no category of Skilled Workers and direct recruitment is made 100% at the level of Highly Skilled, the posts of Master Craftsman existing as on 1.1.2006 will be placed in PB-2 + GP-4200 and the remaining posts of Highly Skilled Workers may be bifurcated in HS-I and HS-II in the ratio of 50:50.

Article Illegal occupant of govt premises not entitled to HRA: HC

The Delhi High Court has held that an employee in unauthorized occupation of the premises of the employer is not entitled to house rent allowance(HRA). "If the employees inspite of unauthorisedly occupying the accommodation of the employer are also held entitled to HRA, it would tantamount to allowing them to profiteer from the same which is not permissible," Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw said.
The Court passed the order on a petition filed by Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) challenging the order of the Industrial Tribunal directing it to pay arrears of HRA to the employees from the date of their employment even though they were living unauthorisedly within the premises owned by the civic body.
While declining the plea of the employees, the court said HRA is not a part of salary but is a compensatory allowance paid in lieu of accommodation and is not to be used as a source of profit.
Interpreting the law applicable to government servants with respect to HRA, the court said, "HRA is not payable...if the government servant shares government accommodation allotted rent-free to another government servant or if the government servant resides in accommodation allotted to his/her parents/son/daughter by the central government, state government or if the spouse has been allotted accommodation at the same station."
It also allowed the MCD to evict the erring employees from the premises or recover rent or damages for use of accommodation if found out to be in excess of the HRA entitlement under the law.

Monday, June 14, 2010

DEARNESS ALLOWANCE (D.A) FOR JULY 2010

All India Consumer Price Index Number for Industrial Workers (CPI-IW) on base 2001=100 for the past four month have been published in Labour Bureau website. According to these results we can expect that July 2010 will witness at least 9% increase in Dearness Allowance That is from the Existing 35% to 44%

            All India Consumer Price Index Number for Industrial Workers (CPI-IW) on base 2001=100 for the month of April, 2010 remained stationary at 170 (one hundred and seventy).For the past three months from February 2010 to April 2010, the All India Consumer Price Index Number for Industrial Workers (CPI-IW) remained stationary at 170.Theconsumer Price Index Number(CPI-IW) for the month of January 2010 was 172.and the CPI-IW for the month of May and June yet to be announced.

          Hence it is very much earlier to predict the D.A hike for the period of July 2010 to December 2010.But it is expected that for the remaining two months (May and June) the CPI-IW Number will be at 170 to 171.If the official CPI-IW index published by Labour Bureau, Department of Statistics, goes along with our expectation for the remaining two months, then we can say that there will be at least 9% hike in Dearness Allowance from July 2010.

Read Chances of 9% + DA hike during June 2010

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Retirement age for nursing teachers increased to 65

The union cabinet Thursday enhanced the retirement age of nursing teachers with postgraduate qualification to 65, in order to prevent an 'exodus' and help retain trained staff.

The decision was taken in a cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, said Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni.

Pointing out that the nursing teachers presently retire at 60, Soni said: 'The decision would help in prevention of exodus and retention of teachers in the central government's nursing institutions and help them provide quality healthcare facilities.'

'There is an acute shortage of nursing teachers with postgraduate degrees in nursing. A large number of posts of teachers with M.Sc. (Nursing) are lying vacant in the various central government nursing institutions,' said the minister.

'As an immediate step to check further depletion in the availability of faculty, the union cabinet decided to enhance the age of superannuation from existing 60 years to 65 years,' she added.

'The National Commission on Macroeconomics of Health has estimated a wide gap in demand and supply of nurses in near future,' said Soni adding that the commission has also recommended opening of new nursing colleges and upgrading existing schools and colleges.

To meet this growing demand of nurses, the 11th Five Year Plan envisages opening of new nursing colleges, she said.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Higher retirement age, variable pay for public sector bank employees on cards

Employees of public sector banks (PSBs) could soon get incentives like their private sector counterparts to perform better and acquire new skill sets. A government committee has recommended 15-20% variable component in their salary package, along with the removal of the existing upper limit for their remuneration. It has also pitched for a hike in retirement age to 62 years from the current 60, sources in the committee told FE. The committee, set up by the finance ministry, is expected to submit its report next week.

Significantly, if the committee’s recommendations are accepted, each bank would be free to fix its salary structure based on its financial strength and also reward the highly-skilled with out-of-turn promotions.

The proposals are aimed at infusing a greater degree of professionalism in India’s banking industry, which is on the cusp of a makeover with the slow and steady globalisation of the financial sector.

India’s 27 PSBs have a combined manpower strength of 7 lakh. But the industry — which accounts for 70% of the banking business in the country — is experiencing a shortage of talent in high-end areas like risk management and treasury operations. Over 58% of middle-level managers in PSBs will retire in a couple of years.

The panel, headed by Bank of Baroda’s former chairman AK Khandelwal, has recommended that each public sector banks be allowed to settle salaries for its employees in line with their specific skill sets and the bank’s overall performance.

This will be an added incentive for existing employees to constantly upgrade their knowledge levels and skill-sets.

Set up last year, other members of the panel are MV Nair, CMD of Union Bank of India, Deepak B Phatak of IIT-Mumbai and TV Rao of IIM-Ahmedabad . When contacted, Nair, who is also chairman of Indian Banks’ Association (IBA), told FE that “the report to be presented next week would have measures needed to revamp recruitment processes, career and succession planning and training.”

PSBs follow an industry-wide wage settlement brokered by IBA once in five years, which will be scrapped if the recommendations are accepted. It may be recalled that an earlier attempt by IDBI Bank to fix the wage structure of its own employees had to be shelved due to opposition from employee unions.

Following the Sixth Pay Commission award for central government employees, bank employees were given a 17.5% salary hike late last year, as per a deal struck.