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It is our bad luck that the DPC for regular promotion to CAO for the years 2010-11, 2011-12 & 2012-13 has not taken place before this Diwali. It is learnt that the Chairman UPSC has already nominated the Chairman for this DPC. However, the date of the DPC is yet to be finalized. We expect that it will be held very shortly. Meanwhile the Board has taken initiative to update the All India Seniority List of Administrative Officers for the period 01.01.2009 to 30.06.2014. Letter has been issued by ADG (HRM) in this regard vide letter no.8/B/187/HRD (HRM)/2014 dated 21.10.2014. I request leaders and members of all the zones to send the reply at the earliest. The DPC for various other grades are taking place in different zones. Although DPC for promotion to Inspector against the additional posts sanctioned through Cadre Restructuring during this year, are getting held up in many of the zones. Association wishes to take stalk of the situation, prevailing in various zones and I request the zonal leaders to apprise me about the difficulties and development at various zones, consequent upon the Cadre Restructuring. They may send their factual reports at my e-mail id (pramanik.ashim4@gmail.com) so that a comprehensive stand may be taken by this Association at all India level. I also wish to involve new leaders to the Association activities and also desire a convention at the earliest possible opportunity.:

Monday, October 4, 2010

REPRESENTATION TO THE DEPARTMENTAL ANOMALY COMMITTEE

ALL INDIA CENTRAL EXCISE AND SERVICE TAX MINISTERIAL OFFICERS’ ASSOCIATION

Pune, the 04th October, 2010

The Departmental Anomaly Committee constituted by the Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance, has not provided an opportunity to the Association to represent its Grievances directly. Instead, it has been informed to submit the Grievances and Agenda points to the Leader of the Staff Side who has been nominated to take up the matter before the Committee on our behalf. Accordingly a Memorandum has been submitted to the Chairman of the Departmental Anomaly Committee and also the Leader of the Staff Side Shri. K.K.N. Kutty, Secretary General of the Confederation of the Central Government Employees, New Delhi regarding the Anomaly in respect of our cadre. A copy of the said Memorandum is placed hereunder for information of the Members.
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SUBMISSION OF AGENDA POINTS FOR CONSIDERATION IN THE DEPARTMENTAL ANOMALY COMMITTEE



        Most respectfully, the following submissions are being made to bring to light the anomaly that has arisen in the Grade Pay of Administrative Officers and the Deputy Office Superintendents in CBEC.  In this regard, the factual position and cause of the anomaly, alongwith detailed justification for upgradation of Grade Pay in respect of these two Grades is narrated hereunder:-

Factual Position:-

2. The Administrative Hierarchy of the Ministerial cadre in the field formations under CBEC begins with Tax Assistant (Gr. ‘C’ with GP-2400) at the entry level, whose first promotional opportunity is to the grade of Senior Tax Assistants – (Gr. ‘C’ with GP – 4200). Thereafter there are two promotional avenues available to the Senior Tax Assistants; i.e., (a) Deputy Office Superintendent (Gr. ‘B’ Non Gazetted – with GP – 4200) (DOS) and further as Administrative Officer (Gr. ‘B’ Gazetted with GP – 4600) (AO) in the Ministerial cadre; and (b) Inspectors (Gr. ‘B’ Non-Gazetted with GP – 4600) and further as Superintendents (Gr. ‘B’ Gazetted with GP – 4800) in the Executive cadre.

3. The Administrative Officer (Group 'B' Gazetted) post under CBEC was created in 1959. Ever since the creation of the post, parity existed between the grade of Administrative Officer/ Examiner of Accounts/ Assistant Chief Accounts Officer and Superintendents/ Appraisers, as both the posts were placed in the same scale of pay upto 21.04.04. The Examiners of Accounts were performing the same function as like that of a superintendent in an Audit party and DOS were performing the duties of an Inspector in these audit parties. This fact is well documented in the Audit Manual of 1990, issued by the CBEC. The pay scale of Administrative Officer (Group 'B' Gazetted) under CBEC was equal to the pay scale of Appraiser/ Superintendent of Central Excise/Customs (Group 'B' Gazetted), under CBEC while the Pay scale of DOS was equal to that of an Inspector.

4. While the nature and duties of all the respective grades i.e., AO, DOS, Superintendent and Inspectors continued to remain the same, during the Year 2004 (21.04.2004), Ministry awarded up gradation of pay scale to the grade of Appraiser/ Superintendent of Customs (Preventive) and Inspectors/ Preventive Officers on par with Officers of CBI, leaving aside the pay scale of Administrative Officer and DOS, thereby creating an artificial imbalance in pay scales of Officers under CBEC. The Ministerial Officers had raised their concern and sought parity with similarly placed cadres before the Ministry. This particular issue was also raised in the Rajya Sabha vide an Unstarred question No.518, Shri. Vidya Sagar Nishad, Honourable Member of Parliament. In response, the Honourable Minister of State for Revenue Shri. S.S. Palanimanickam in his reply dated 07.12.04, while admitting the fact that the pay scales of Group ‘B’ & ‘C’ Executive grades have been revised, had stated that “As regards the revision of the pay scales of various ministerial grades including the grades of Deputy Office Superintendent Level-I and Level-II, the matter is under examination by the Government.” Considering the validity of the demand of the staff side, the matter was referred to the 6th CPC, vide letter F.No.A-26017/168/2007-Ad.IIA dated 30.11.2007. On consideration of the issue, the Commission has in para 7.15.13 and 7.15.14 of its report observed as under:-

7.15.13:- The posts of Inspector and equivalent exist in CBDT as well as CBEC. The Fifth CPC had recommended the scale of Rs.5500- 9000 for these posts. The pay scale of these posts was, however, upgraded to Rs.6500-10500. Demands have been received from other posts existing in the scale of Rs.5500-9000 in these two Boards seeking similar dispensation. The Commission has recommended merger of the pay scales of Rs.5000-8000, Rs.5500-9000 and Rs.6500- 10500 which will automatically meet this demand. Hence, no specific recommendation on demands seeking such upgradations is being made.

7.15.14:- Fifth Central Pay Commission had recommended the pay scale of Rs.6500-10500 for the posts of Appraiser/Superintendent (Preventive)/equivalent in CBEC and the post of Income Tax Officer/equivalent in CBDT. The Government, in 2004, upgraded the pay scales of these posts to Rs.7500-12000. Various posts in ministerial cadres that earlier were in the pay scale of Rs.6500-10500 have demanded an identical dispensation in order to maintain their relativity. The Commission would like to clarify that posts in ministerial cadres cannot claim any relativity with those in the executive cadre as the functions are different. Mere fact of two posts being in the same pay scale cannot be a ground for establishing relativity. However, the ministerial posts will get a separate dispensation because the Commission has recommended parity between headquarters organizations and the field offices in chapter 3.1 of the report. The recommendations made therein shall apply to the ministerial cadre in CBDT and CBEC as well without any relativity being established vis-à-vis the posts belonging to the executive cadre.

In this regard, it is also relevant to refer para 3.1.3 (Disparity between Secretariat and field offices) of the report wherein it is observed as under:-

“The field offices are at the cutting edge of administration and may, in most cases, determine whether a particular policy turns out to be a success or a failure in terms of actual benefit to the consumer. Accordingly, the time has come to grant parity between similarly placed personnel employed in field offices and in the Secretariat. This parity will need to be absolute till the grade of Assistant.”

5. Further, the qualifying service required for promotion to the grade of Inspector is two Years, whereas the qualifying service required for promotion to that of DOS is three years. However, the grade pay of DOS is Rs.4200, similar to that of the STA, whereas in the case of Inspectors it is Rs.4600, promotion to which requires a lesser qualifying Service than that of DOS. It is a paradox that a STA, whose ACR is being initiated by the said DOS as a supervisory Officer, will be drawing a higher Grade pay than this superior Officer, on his/her next promotion to the grade of Inspector. Therefore it is clearly evident that there is an anomaly in these cadres. This has been acknowledged by the Pay Commission at Para 7.15.15, where it has been categorically recorded as under:-

“An anomaly has been reported in case of Senior Tax Assistants who are presently eligible for promotion as Inspector as well as Deputy Office Superintendent. It is stated that Senior Tax Assistants, if they are promoted as Deputy Office Superintendent, reach the scale of Rs.5500-9000. However, in case of promotion as Inspector, they are placed in the scale of Rs.6500-10500 which is anomalous especially because they function under Deputy Office Superintendent before promotion as Inspector. The Commission has recommended merger of the pre-revised scales of Rs.5000-8000, Rs.5500-9000 and Rs.6500-10500 which will place the posts of Inspector and Deputy Office Superintendent in an identical pay scale. No specific recommendation is, therefore, necessary in this case.”

6. After careful consideration of all the facts, the Pay Commission had recommended merger of the three scales in order to retain the parity between Inspectors and DOS, which existed prior to 21.04.2004. However this parity has again been altered, after the revision of Grade pay in respect of Inspectors and Assistants to Rs.4600/- vide OM dated 13.11.09, leaving aside the Grade pay of Deputy Office Superintendent. Under these circumstances, this Association has sought upgradation of Pay of DOS & AO to restore parity on the following grounds.

JUSTIFICATIONS FOR UPGRADATION OF PAY:-

(i) DEPUTY OFFICE SUPERINTENDENT:-

7. As per the Recruitment Rules of Assistant in CSS, an UDC (in the pay scale of Rs.4000-100-6000 – pre-revised = Rs.5200-20200 in PB-1 & GP of Rs.2400 -revised) with 5 years of the qualifying service is eligible for promotion to the grade of Assistants. However, in the offices under CBEC a Tax Assistant (equivalent to the UDC in CSS) is eligible for promotion as STA after completion of 3 years of qualifying service. This STA is eligible for further promotion as DOS after completing 3 years of qualifying service in that grade. Thus a TA (UDC) in the field Offices is eligible for promotion to the level of DOS (equivalent to Assistant) after 6 years of qualifying service, one Year more than the requirement for promotion as Assistant in CSS. Even after ignoring the requirement of higher qualifying service for promotion, a DOS is comparable to the grade of Assistants in the Headquarters organization, which has now been granted grade pay of Rs.4600 corresponding to the pre-revised scale of Rs.7450-11000. Further, both DOS and Assisants are Non-Gazetted Group ‘B’ Posts, whose next promotional post is a Gazetted Group ‘B’ post i.e., Administrative Officer and Section Officer respectively. The nature of duties and responsibilities are similar between these two cadres and it is apparent that the post of DOS is on par with that of Assistants. Since parity has been established between the Ministerial cadres of Headquarters Organisation and Field Offices, it is justifiable to grant higher Grade Pay to DOS, equivalent to the pay of Assistants, as recommended by the Pay Commission in terms of para 3.1.3.

(ii) ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICER:-

8. The Administrative Officers in this department when posted in the Headquarters Offices of the Commissionerates, function as Heads of one of these three sections viz., Administration, Establishment or Accounts section. They are required to perform a combination of all these three roles in the Divisional Offices, When ever they are posted to Accounts Sections to assist a CAO in Commissionerate Headquarters, they have to look after the work related to Reconciliation of Revenue Receipts. While doing so, there have been many instances, where discrepancies noticed have led to detection of Tax Evasion on further investigation, which have led to recovery of Revenue to the Department. This Reconciliation work is unique to this department alone, which requires experience in the field level. While there has been a constant increase in workload on a whole, unlike on the executive side, there has not been any corresponding increase in the staff position nor is there any increase in the pay scales of these experienced Officers. Not only that, most of the Administrative Officers of this department have reached this level after putting in a minimum of 15 to 20 Years of service depending upon the vacancies available in the respective Zones, which need to be recognized and adequately compensated.

9. Further, even if the role of DDOs are common to all the departments, it is humbly submitted that some of the duties performed by them can be compared to that of an Income Tax Officer of CBDT, in as much as they have to mandatorily calculate and recover the Income Tax at appropriate rates, in respect of those Officers, whose salary are being drawn and paid by them. In addition to the above, they recover TDS in respect of all payments to contractors/service providers, and through this they are contributing to the exchequer. Apart from this, they have the additional responsibility of filing a quarterly and annual return to the Income Tax Department, in respect of the Taxes that have been deducted at Source. Therefore they play a significant role in nation building as well while performing these functions.

10. In the Headquarters Organisations (CSS), the Section Officers who perform the role of DDOs and perform similar nature of work, have been granted the grade pay of Rs.4800 in PB-2 corresponding to the pre-revised scale of Rs.7500-12000, who are entitled to Grade pay of Rs.5400 on completion of 4 years of service in the grade. As stated above, the AOs are comparable to the Section Officers, and they are no way inferior to them on any count. Their nature of duties and responsibilities are similar to that of Section Officers in handling of Administrative and Establishment matters as well. As per the recommendations of the Commission, the Ministerial cadre shall be granted parity of pay with that of the Headquarters Organisation. Considering a similar plea in the case of the Administrative Officers in the Department of Telecommunication in the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology the Ministry was pleased to allow them a grade pay of Rs. 4800 (copy of the order dated 23.03.09 is enclosed). Hence, the grade of AOs of CBEC are eligible for grade pay of Rs.4800 in PB-2 on par with that of Section Officers, and they should also be granted the non-functional upgradation to the grade pay of Rs.5400, on completion of four years of Service.

Promotional avenues:-

11. As explained hereinabove, the entry level in this Department by way of Direct Recruitment is to the grade of Tax Assistants, who are appointed through the Graduate Level Examinations conducted by SSC, which can be considered just one level lower than the examination held for appointment to the post of Inspectors. In absence of adequate monetary compensation and promotional avenues, when compared to executive grades, these computer literate and highly qualified Officers more often than not, opt for promotion as Inspectors in the Executive side, because of higher Grade Pay. This anomaly if not rectified will lead to a situation, where only those officers who do not qualify for promotion as Inspectors alone, will choose the line of DOS and AO in absence of other option/alternative. Such a turn of events will lead to utter chaos and confusion, and one day the Administration in the field formations of CBEC will come to a standstill, because most of these posts (DOS/AO) will remain unfilled after the promotion/retirement of the existing officers. A trend has already emerged whereby large numbers of post are lying vacant in the grade of DOS for the past two years in many zones. Therefore, on this count also the demand of higher Grade Pay for DOS and AO merits consideration, in order to attract proper talent for the Ministerial cadre which alone can meet the Administrative requirements of the Department.

Name of the Post Grade Pay Promotional Post Grade Pay of Promoted post Min. Qual. Service

Tax Assistant 2400 (PB-1) Sr.Tax Assistant 4200 (PB-2) 3 Years

Sr. Tax Assistant 4200 (PB-2) DOS 4200 (PB-2) 3 Years

DOS 4200 (PB-2) Admin. Officer 4600 (PB-2) 2 years

Admin. Officer 4600 (PB-2) Chief Accts Officer 5400 (PB-2) 7 Years

(No monetary benefit is available on promotion from STA to DOS and that promotion is to be ignored)

12. From the above table, it may be seen that a Ministerial Officer will be able to get only two promotions in his entire service i.e., upto the level of Administrative Officer. Very few Officers reach the level of CAO, as these posts are very far and few, and are not filled up regularly on occurrence of vacancies. Though the Government has allowed three Financial upgradations for all Government Servants, the spirit of the recommendations imply that there shall be equal promotional avenues also, in order to satisfy the career aspirations and monetary benefits. Further, it can be seen that there is no post available with Grade Pay of Rs.4800, and at present an AO is being promoted to the Group ‘A’ post of CAO directly from the Grade Pay of Rs.4600, which is inconsistent. The line of promotion would become more appropriate and consistent only if upgradation of the pay is granted to the grade of DOS at Rs.4600 and AO at Rs.4800.

13. In view of the above, it is submitted that the post of DOS should be granted Grade Pay of Rs.4600/- and that of the Administrative Officer be granted Grade Pay of Rs.4800/-. Such an upgradation alone can restore the imbalance that has crept in pay scales of the Officers in CBEC, and further bring the much needed relief to those who have suffered the embarrassment and humiliation in this Department for the past so many Years.
  
Yours faithfully,
Sd/-
(THOMAS MONY)
SECRETARY GENERAL

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