Ex-servicemen have welcomed one rank one pension

Ex-servicemen have welcomed one rank one pension

Ex-servicemen have welcomed ‘one rank, one pension’ scheme announced in interim Union budget. However, they feel that the decision has been inspired by forthcoming general elections in country.
Air Marshal (retired) Harish Masand said it is a very good gesture from government. Finally, he said, the struggle in battle filed has borne fruits. Recalling the days of dharnas at Jantar Mantar and India Gate, Masand said, “More then 21,000 medals (gallantry) were returned by ex-servicemen to President as part of their protest.”
He added that jawans and junior commissioned officers of all three forces will be benefitted.
Brig (retired) Madan Mohan Bhanot said it is the best decision taken by government for the welfare of ex-servicemen but the time is not appropriate. He said the decision seems to have been inspired by the forthcoming elections. “The same provision was always there for officers of the rank of lt general and above in all three forces,” said Brig Bhanot adding that real beneficiaries would be those in other ranks especially the jawans, who would now be able to provide better education for their children and improve the quality of life.
Col (retired) Virendra Kumar Saini said, “Jawans retire after giving the prime of their youth for the cause of nation and get peanuts in return. He is also not trained to get suitable remunerations in corporate sector, therefore the chances of his respectable earnings are reduced. For such people, this decision will really mean a lot and they will be able to lead a quality life.”
source : The Times Of India

Acceptance of One rank One Pension is a victory for Defence Personnel

Acceptance of One rank One Pension is a victory for Defence Personnel

In his recent address to a delegation of ex-military, Rahul Gandhi talked of a certain ‘One Rank, One Pension’ (OROP) scheme. The eventual announcement of its acceptance in  interim budget was received with much enthusiasm by the service men who had been demanding this financial security for a very long time.
A Supreme Court ruling from 1983 stated, “Pension is not a bounty nor a matter of grace depending upon the sweet will of the employer. It is not an ex-gratia payment, but a payment for past services rendered.”
Keeping this in mind, it will help draw context in understanding the importance of the OROP.

So what does the OROP signify?

Basically, it demands for equal pensions for those of who’ve retired in a particular year, whilst holding the same position as those who’ve retired in another year. So for instance, a sepoy who retired in 1995 should be paid the same amount of pension as the one who retired later.
However, so far, that has not been the case. While every pay commission bumps the salaries of government servants, pensions of ex-servicemen remain unchanged
“Whenever successive pay commissions enhance the salaries and consequently the pensions, these are effected only prospectively. The gap between past pensioners and their younger equivalents keeps widening with every successive pay commission,” explains Lt Gen Raj Kadyan, chairman of Indian Ex Servicemen Movement.
“The disparity has become uncomfortably stark after the Sixth Pay Commission. For equal service, a Sepoy, who retired prior to 1996, gets 82% lower pension than a Sepoy who retires after 2006. Similarly, among officers, a pre 1996 Major gets 53% lower pension than his post 2006 counterpart,” he elaborates.

Civil v/s Defence

Also, as compared to the other civil employees, defence personnels do not get to serve as many years as required to procure optimum pension amount. This means, while a civil servant may put in as many as 33 years and secure a 50% pension, a defence personnel would probably be retired much before he completes that many years and so will not be eligible for the same amount of pension.
Considering the rising costs of living, such “standard amounts” of pension can prove to be a financial tragedy in the making.
So, it comes as no surprise Rahul Gandhi’s push for implementing OROP would be backed with much vigour by the the defence community.
source :www.dnaindia.com

Challenges before the Seventh Pay Commission

Challenges before the Seventh Pay Commission

Why does the government appoint a pay commission every decade?

A pay panel is appointed every decade to review and recommend the pay structure for central government employees taking into account various factors such as cost of living, inflation rate, revenue growth and fiscal deficit of the government, growth in workforce, private sector job scenario and wages, and economic growth. The government has so far appointed six pay commissions. The demand for a permanent pay commission set up through an Act of Parliament has been raised once but it was not accepted by the government.
Earlier this month, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh approved the constitution of the Seventh Pay Commission—to be headed by retired Supreme Court judge Ashok Kumar Mathur—to suggest the extent of hike in salaries of the 7-million-plus central government staff and pensioners with effect from 2016. Petroleum secretary Vivek Rae has been appointed as a full-time member, NIPFP director Rathin Roy will be part-time member and Meena Agarwal will be member-secretary of the new pay panel.

How did the process of pay hikes evolved?

The pay panel recommendations have evolved with time. The first central pay commission (CPC) adopted the concept of “living wage” to determine the pay structure of the government staff. The third CPC adopted the concept of “need-based wage”. The fourth CPC had recommended that the government constitute a permanent machinery to undertake periodical review of pay and allowances of its employees, but this was not accepted by the government. The sixth CPC suggested performance related incentive scheme (PRIS) to replace the ad hoc bonus and productivity-linked bonus schemes. The pay panel also suggested that the running pay band be extended to all grades of officers. Also, the sixth pay panel suggested slashing of the number of grades to 20 and one distinct pay scale for secretaries from the 35 existing earlier.

By how much have the public sector salaries increased every decade following the pay panels’ recommendations?

By and large, the salaries of central government staff have tripled every decade. The sixth CPC suggested 3 times increase in salaries from that of fifth CPC levels—it was 2.6 times for lower grade officials and slightly above 3 for higher grade staff. The increase in salary during fifth CPC was 3-3.5 times the fourth CPC levels.

What has been the fiscal implication of pay hikes?

Government finances have come under strain after implementations of each CPC. After the fourth CPC, the combined fiscal deficit of centre and states rose to 9.5% of GDP in FY87 from 7.7% in FY86. The impact was significantly harsh during the fifth CPC, especially for states—the combined fiscal deficit rose from 6.1% in FY97 to 7% in FY98 and then to 8.7% in FY99 with the aggregate deficit of states surging from 2.6% to over 4%.
In the case of the sixth CPC, the government expenditure increased by about Rs 22,000 crore during 2008-09—Rs 15,700 crore on the general budget and Rs 6,400 crore on the rail budget. The Rs 18,000 crore arrears were distributed in two years—40% in FY09 and 60% in FY10. The fiscal implication of sixth CPC coupled with fiscal stimulus in the form of higher spending and tax cuts after the Lehman crisis, increased Centre’s fiscal deficit to 6% in FY09 and 6.5% in FY10 from less than 3% in FY08.

What are the challenges before seventh CPC?

The new pay panel faces many challenges when it starts the process of reviewing the pay structures of babus. First, the economic growth has slowed sharply in the last 10 years—from over 9% between FY06 and FY08 to 4.5% in FY13. This means slower revenue growth and little room for scaling up expenditure on salaries.
Second, the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (FRBM) target has already been revised more than twice after the Lehman crisis and the new target for lowering the fiscal deficit target to 3% of GDP is FY17. This again binds the government to restrict spending on salaries and wages.
Third and the most important factor, inflation has stayed high in the past few years—the CPI inflation (CPI-Industrial Workers and the new CPI) has averaged over 9% in the past eight years, which means cost of living has gone up significantly and hence necessitates higher compensation for workers. The dearness allowance of government staff has already touched 100%, which along with the rise in other allowances have more than doubled salaries since 2006.
Analysts expect the seventh pay panel to suggest 3-3.5 times hike in salaries across various grades from sixth CPC levels apart from a further rationalisation of government staff. Already, direct or permanent jobs in public sector have been shrinking while engagement of contract labour and outsourcing is on the rise. This trend is likely to continue given the fiscal imperatives of the government.
There is a perception that government salaries should rise faster at the higher grades and slowly at the lower grades to keep pace with private sector. It needs to be seen whether the seventh CPC retains the minimum:maximum ratio at sixth CPC level of 1:12. A hike in the ratio should not impinge the fisc much as the top level officials—joint secretaries and above—comprise less than 5% of the overall public sector workforce. The performance related incentives could also be reviewed to retain talent within the public sector. More than the fiscal implication, what matters is the productivity of the public sector. For instance, sluggish clearances needed for large projects have ruined investment and halved the growth rate in last three years. The silver-lining of the next CPC could be that it may boost the services sector growth and help revive the faltering economy from 2016 as higher salaries boost spending on housing, automobiles and consumer electronics.
source : The Financial Express

Interim Relief recommended by previous Pay Commissions


BJP Vision Committee Might Propose “No Income Tax” On The Service Class

BJP Vision Committee Might Propose “No Income Tax” On The Service Class

Senior BJP leader Subramanian Swamy today said his party’s vision committee might propose either “no income tax” on the service class or give full tax exemption on their net savings.
“The party’s vision committee headed by Nitin Gadkari plans to propose either abolition of income tax on the service class or give full exemption of IT on their net savings,” Swamy told reporters after delivering a lecture on “Indian Economy: Present Crisis and Way Forward” here.
Due to IT people are stashing away black money abroad to evade tax, he said, adding that the committee would propose the party to put tax on people earning more than Rs 1 lakh per month, and those saving in shares, bank, stock debentures should be given full relief from IT.
If rate of saving increases, the country GDP’s will also increase, and it would help generate employment, Swamy said.
On the ruckus in Lok Sabha over Telangana, he said, “Six UPA ministers were sitting in the well and made announcements. But unfortunately the Congress party had ensured no action against them… It appears that Congress aimed to win some LS seats in Telangana by passing the bill.
source : Business Standard

Guidelines for providing certain facilities in respect of persons with disabilities for efficient performance of their duties

Guidelines for providing certain facilities in respect of persons with disabilities for efficient performance of their duties

No.36035/3/2013-Estt(Res)
Government of India
Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions
Department of Personnel and Training
Dated the 14th February, 2014.
North Block, New Delhi.
OFFICE MEMORANDUM
Subject: Guidelines for providing certain facilities in respect of persons with disabilities who are already employed in  Government for efficient performance of their duties.
The undersigned is directed to enclose a copy of draft guidelines for providing certain facilities in respect of persons with disabilities who are already employed in Government for efficient performance of their duties. It is requested that the draft guidelines may be examined and suggestions, if any, may be sent to this Department before 21 st February, 2014 as the guidelines will be issued very
shortly.
Enclo.: As above.
(G. Srinivasan)
Deputy Secretary to the Government of India
source : DOPT

Special concessions/facilities to Central Government Employees working in Kashmir Valley

Special concessions/facilities to Central Government Employees working in Kashmir Valley

No. 18016/3/2011-Estt.(L)
Government of India
Ministry of Personnel, P.G. & Pensions
(Department of Personnel & Training)
New Delhi, the 17th February, 2014.
OFFICE MEMORANDUM
Subject:- Special concessions/facilities to Central Government Employees working in Kashmir Valley in attached/subordinate offices or PSUs falling under the control of Central Government.
The undersigned is directed to refer to this Department’s O.M. No. 18016/3/2011- Estt.(L) dated 27th June, 2012 on the subject mentioned above and to state that it has been decided to extend the package of concessions/incentives to Central Government employees working in Kashmir Valley for a further period of one year w.e.f. 01.01.2013. The revised package of incentives is as per annexure.
2. The package of incentives is uniformly applicable to all Ministries/ Departments and PSUs under the Government of India and they should ensure strict adherence to the rates prescribed in the package. The concerned Ministry/Department may ensure implementation and monitoring of the package in conformity with the approved package, and therefore, all Court cases in which verdicts are given contrary to the package would have to be contested by the Ministries/Departments concerned.
Hindi version will follow
End: As above.
(Mukul Ratra)
Director
ANNEXURE to DOPT’ s O.M. No.18016/3/2011-Estt.(L) dt. 17th February, 2014
DETAILS OF PACKAGE OF CONCESSIONS/FACILITIES TO CENTRAL GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES WORKING IN KASHMIR VALLEY IN ATTACHED/SUBORDINATE OFFICES OR PSUs FALLING UNDER THE CONTROL OF CENTRAL GOVERNMENT.
[Kashmir Valley comprises of ten districts namely, Anantnag, Baramulla, Budgam, Kupwara, Pulwama, Srinagar, Kulgam, Shopian, Ganderbal and Bandipora]
I. ADDITIONAL H.R A. AND OTHER CONCESSIONS :
(A) Employees posted to Kashmir Valley:
(i) These employees have an option to move their families to a selected place of their choice in India at Government expense. T.A. for the families allowed as admissible in permanent transfer inclusive of transportation of personal effects, lump-sum payment for packing etc.
(ii) Departmental arrangements for stay, security and transportation to the place of work for employees.
(iii) HRA as for Class ‘Y’ city applicable for employees exercising option at (i). Such employees will be eligible for drawing the normal HRA as well at their place of posting provided Departmental arrangement is not made for his/her stay.
(iv) The period of temporary duty extended to six months. For period of temporary duty daily allowance at full rate is admissible, apart from departmental arrangements for stay, security and transportation.
(B) Employees posted to Kashmir Valley who do not wish to move their families to a selected place of residence :
A per diem allowance of Rs.10/- is paid for each day of attendance to compensate for any additional expense in transportation to and from office etc. This will be in addition to the transport allowance, which the employee is otherwise eligible for under Ministry of Finance order No. 21(2)/2008-E.II(B) dated 29.08.2008.
II. MESSING FACILITIES :
Messing Allowance to be paid to the employees at a uniform rate of Rs.15/- per day by all Departments, or in lieu messing arrangements to be made by the Departments themselves. This rate of allowance will have to be adhered to uniformly by all the Ministries/Departments with effect from 01.07.1999. The slightly higher rate of Rs.25.50/- adopted by the Department of Telecom and Posts and allowed to be continued as a special case by the Department of Personnel in consultation with the Ministry of Finance, would, however, continue to be paid at the said rate.
III. PAYMENT OF MONTHLY PENSION TO PENSIONERS OF KASHMIR VALLEY:
Pensioners of Kashmir Valley who are unable to draw their monthly pensions through either Public Sector Banks or PAO treasuries from which they were receiving their pensions, would be given pensions outside the Valley where they have settled, in relaxation of relevant provisions.
NOTE :- 1. The package of concession/facilities shall be admissible in Kashmir Valley comprising of ten districts namely, Anantnag, Baramulla, Budgam, Kupwara, Pulwama, Srinagar, Kulgam, Shopian, Ganderbal and Bandipora.
2. The package of concessions/facilities shall be admissible to Temporary Status Casual laborers working in Kashmir Valley in terms of Para 5(i) of the Causal Laborers (Grant of Temporary Status and Regularization) Scheme of Government of India, 1993.
3. The benefit of additional HRA admissible under the Kashmir Valley package shall be admissible to all Central Government employees posted to Kashmir Valley irrespective of whether they are natives of Kashmir Valley, if they choose to move their families anywhere in India subject to the conditions governing the grant of these allowances.
4. The facilities of Messing Allowance and Per Diem Allowance shall also be allowed to natives of Kashmir Valley in terms of the Kashmir Valley package.
(Mukul Ratra)
Director
Source: www.persmin.nic.in

Reservation for persons with disabilities- Computation of reservation- Implementation of the judgement of Hon’ble Supreme Court

Reservation for persons with disabilities- Computation of reservation- Implementation of the judgement of Hon’ble Supreme Court

No. 36012/24/2009-Estt.(Res)
Government of India
Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions
Department of Personnel & Training
North Block, New Delhi
dated the 14th February, 2014
OFFICE MEMORANDUM
Subject : Reservation for persons with disabilities- Computation of reservation- Implementation of the judgement of Hon’ble Supreme Court in the matter of Union of India & Ann Vs. National Federation of Blind & Ors.
The undersigned is directed to refer to this Department’s O.M. of even number dated the 3rd December, 2014 on the subject cited above conveying the judgement of the Hon’ble Supreme Court dated 8.10.2013 in the matter of Civil Appeal No.9096 of 2013 (arising out of SLP (Civil) No.7541 of 2009) titled Union of India & Anr. Vs. National Federation of Blind & Ors. and follow up action required to be taken thereon.
All the Ministries/Departments/Organizations were, inter alia, requested to compute the number of vacancies available in all the cadres under their control including attached offices, subordinate offices, public sector undertakings, Government Companies, Cantonment Board, etc. in accordance with the directions of the Hon’ble Supreme Court as per Para 5 of the aforementioned O.M. of this Department and further identify the posts for disabled persons within a period of three months from the date of the judgement of the Hon’ble Supreme Court (i.e. 8.10.2013) and implement the same without default. The National Federation of Blind has filed an application and the Hon’ble Court has directed to file a status report giving details of steps taken to implement the judgement of the Hon’ble Supreme Court including the appointments made, if any. The next date of hearing is 12th March, 2014. A copy of the correspondence received in this regard from the Central Government Standing Counsel is enclosed for reference.
This Department is required to file a status report on the action taken by the Ministries/Departments in connection with the next hearing to be held on 12th March, 2014 It is requested that status report on the action taken by the Ministries/Departments/Organizations may kindly be sent to this Department within a week’s time i.e. by 21 st February, 2014 so that a consolidated report could be filed before the next date of hearing.
Sd/-
(Debabrata Das)
Under Secretary to the Government of India
Source: www.persmin.nic.in

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