Mahadeep Singh Jamwal
The pay commissions are set up by Government of India, to give its recommendations regarding changes in salary structure/pension of its in/retired employees, owing to the reasons of cost escalation which means changes in the cost or price of specific goods or services in a given economy over a period and these recommendations are mandatory to be implemented by all other states. Seventh Pay Commission announced by GoI although not acceptable to some extent and attracting a protest by many unions, approximately 33 lakh employees, on 11th July, 2016, is a cat out of bag now. Some discrepancies can be sorted out by mutual understanding and through table talks, but the Central Government has come out with some relief to the employees and has tried to console them and to minimise some gap in between simple living and price hikes in all the fields what so ever may it be. The pay commission is to be implemented by every state of the union now or later but they cannot escape it.
When we speak of Jammu and Kashmir, it is a hard reality that J and K government has never given due share to its employees that may be, salary, half yearly DA installments, others perks announced by GoI or the pay commission recommendations, personal GPF, other benefits at the time of retirement etc, at its due time and that too after prolonged protests, Bandh calls and boycotting the Govt. work in the offices as pen down strikes. The government too has accepted these measures as required treatment to it before releasing the measures. Being a shrewd politician, the Chief Minister has come up with an appeal to employees to defer their demand for implementing the recommendations of Seventh Pay Commission and the reason for it has been given as State’s very bad financial position. At the same time CM has tried to create a wedge between the permanent employees and the casual labourers by playing the card of government intentions to make these casual labourers a permanent one by stating that “If we have to give employment, then I request the employees to defer their demand for implementing the Seventh Pay Commission recommendations for at least two years”. This is not a fair play to make mockery of the due share of the permanent employees as well as the matter of considering the cases of casual labourer by mixing two different issues, so it is just to befool both the public servants as well as casual workers. This statement of CM has given an understanding to the un-employed also that permanent employees are going to become a hurdle in getting them job, if they demand their due implementation of Seventh Pay Commission. What a sorry state of affairs? Here I want to remind the CM that how fast the Assembly and Council was to pass the Bill for hiking the salary of CM, ministers, MLAs and MLCs. Where were these casual labourers and un-employed issue, which appears to CM now, when the employees are to be given some relief from escalating prices? The government is keen to double the development funds for its MLAs and MLCs to push their greed but appealing to its employees to shut their mouth. The big wasteful wagon of these politicians are creating more burden on the exchequer than the employees who are running the show, where as these politicians are white elephants only. Some considerations are suggested such as;
o Abolition of Legislative Council: As of 2014, seven states (out of twenty nine) have a Legislative Council.
* Cutting down the size of Cabinet which will reduce the burden automatically in the shape of accommodation, travelling allowance, security expenses and what not. ( In Governor Rule only two advisors were running the show)
* Doing away with the annual Darbar move which is a big blow on the State exchequer as well as on the working period of the secretariat.
* The lust rides of ministers and politicians in flying machines without any delivery be curbed.
* Review the burden of security cover, luxurious bungalows, flying squads, TA, medical expenses, of ministers, politicians and ‘Chamchas’ of politicians.
* Restricting to accompany by district officers with these politicians, who are always bent upon to muster their vote bank.
* Total withdrawal of development funds from MLAs/MLCs as it is largely mis-used to appease the party workers rather than for productive development.
A fine government was run in Governor’s rule with just two advisors and everyone was happy and appreciative and this popular government is so un-popular that it has brought only miseries, sufferings and what not. If the government has no resources to implement the Seventh Pay Commission recommendations, providing jobs to the un-employed and to consider casual labour as permanent, it has no moral ground to function; it should immediately resign paving the way for Governor’s rule most acceptable to one and all. The huge amount usurped by these politicians will become sufficient to implement the recommendations of Seventh Pay Commission.
But tge govt didnt take this much tim to increase the pay of mps & MLA’s to 200% and more..oops double standards…
Hey educated indian youth cant b fooled anymore..keep in mind
All govt employees are very fool. It’s only time taken up to next year .will govt paid our all allowances Arier?
Committee banaya hai review karane ke LIYE or employee khush are ye to DEKHO KITANA loss ho raha hai
STRIKE IS DEFERRED, BUT THE STRUGGLE SHALL CONTINUE
Finally, the united struggles of Central Government Employees, Officers & Pensioners have compelled the totally negative and unwilling Government to negotiate with the staff side leaders. Hon’ble Prime Minister has intervened and directed three Cabinet Minsters viz. Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh, Finance Minister Shri ArunJaitly and Railway Minister Shri Suresh Prabhu to hold discussion with the NJCA Leaders on 30th June 2016. After discussing the demands raised in the Charter of demands, the Ministers assured that a high level committee will be constituted to consider the demands raised by NJCA especially the demand for improving the minimum wage and fitment formula.
As no written communication or minutes regarding the assurances given by adamant Group of Ministers is forthcoming, the NJCA met again and decided to go ahead with the strike decision. Again Home Minister ShriRajnath Singh called the NJCA leaders for discussion on 6thJuly and reiterated the assurances already given on 30th June and stated that the Finance Minister will issue a press statement on 6th July itself confirming the assurances given by the Group of Ministers. It was further assured by the Minister that the proposed High level committee will submit its recommendations to Government within a time frame.Accordingly, the Government issued the press statement and after detailed deliberations the NJCA unanimously decided to defer the indefinite strike till the committee finalizes its report.
The Union Cabinet announced its decision to implement the recommendations of VII CPC on 29th June 2016. Through the press release circulated to media and the statement of Finance Minister, the Government made a calculated move to create an impression among the public that the Government is magnanimous enough to extend big bonanza to the Central Government employees. Even though, immediately after submission of the 7th CPC report, the National Joint Council of Action (NJCA) of Central Government Employees,Confederation of Central Government Gazetted Officers’ Organisations (CCGGOO) representing Railways, Defence, Postal,Income Tax, C.P.W.D, Central Excise, Audit & Accounts, Atomic Energy, Space, Civil
Accounts, Ground Water, S.O.I, G.S.I, Z.S.I and other Central Government Officers& National Co-ordination Committee of Pensioners Associations(NCCPA)have submitted memoranda to Government demanding modifications of the retrograde recommendations of the 7thCPC, the Government while announcing its decision, rejected all the demands raised by the staff side.By deferring the allowances hike proposed by the seventh pay commission, by an estimate, the burden to the exchequer is reduced by 17 per cent at Rs 84,933 crores.
The 7th CPC recommended only Rs.18000/- as minimum pay by arbitrarily modifying and manipulating Dr.Aykroyd’s Need based minimum wage formula on untenable premises and incorrect data. The main demand of the NJCA & CCGGOO is to re-compute the minimum wage on the basis of actual commodity prices as on 01.07.2015 and factor Dr.Aykroyd’s formula stipulated percentage for housing, social obligations and children’s education etc. and to revise the fitment formula and all pay scales on the basis of the so determined minimum wage. The methodology adopted by 7th CPC is irrational, imaginary and even absurd.
The Government’s claim that big increase is given to the employees is totally false. In para 4.2.9 of the report, the 7th CPC has given a table depicting the percentage of increase provided by the successive pay commissions appointed after independence. According to the table, the 2nd CPC has made a paltry increase of 14.2% (1960), the 3rd CPC gave a rise of 20.6% (1973), the 4th CPC 27.6% (1986), the 5th CPC 31% (1996) and 6thCPC 54% (2006) whereas the average increase granted by 7th CPC is only 14.27% (2016), while the percentage increase had been in ascending order all along, the 7th CPC has sought to reverse that trend. Though the Government echoed the claim of the Pay commission that the central Government employees are given a bonanza of 14.27% pay hike, the factual position is that pay hike is just above 4 to 8%. That too only because the Government decided to shelve the subscription hike for CGEGIS.The meagre increase recommended and accepted by the Government without any change is the worst ever any pay commission has recommended since 1960. The stand taken by the then Nehru Govt. that “Pay Commission report is an award and is not negotiable” has resulted in the five days historic indefinite strike of 1960, which commenced on July 11th midnight.
Another claim of the Government is that it has accepted the recommendations of the 7th CPC to increase the existing salary by 2.57 times!!! This is a totally misleading propaganda. The existing basic pay of a lowest level employee of the Central Government is 7000 plus 125% Dearness Allowance as on 01.01.2016. Thus the total salary as on 1st January 2016 is 7000 + 8750 DA = 15750.The Minimum pay recommended by 7th CPC is 18000 i.e, the actual increase in salary is Rs. 2250/- only at the lowest level whereas in the pre revised pay of Rs. 2550 – 3200, after the implementation of 6th CPC Report, got the hike of Rs. 2257. The fitment factor of 2.57 is worked out including the 125% DA an employee is getting at present. As the next wage revision takes place only after ten years in 2026, the above increase of 2250/- in the salary is very meagre. Even in this meager pay again there will be increased deductions like forceful contribution of 10% towards NPS,PF, CGHS, Income Tax, Edu.cess, P.Tax etc.
In the past, every time, either before or immediately after the appointment of pay commissions, the employees are granted DA merger. Last time, before appointment of 6th CPC,Government has granted merger of 50% DA in 2004 and the merged DA is treated as Pay for all purposes. This time no DA merger was granted. Suppose, as in the past, the Government has accepted the demand for merger of 50% DA as on 01.01.2011 when DA crossed 50%, the total salary of an employee at the lowest level as on 01.01.2016 will become Rs.18395/- (7000 + 50% DA 3500 = 10500 + remaining 75% DA as on 01.01.2016 Rs.7875 = 18395). Thus it can be seen that even if no pay commission is appointed by Government, simply by granting DA merger alone the lowest level salary will become more than 18000/- which is recommended by 7th CPC after 21 months study and spending crores of rupees for its functioning.
The Government’s press release further claim that the ratio between lowest and highest salary (compression ratio) is 1:3.12. The highest level employees are Cabinet Secretary and Secretaries of various departments. The recommended salary of the Cabinet Secretary is 2,50,000. Government deliberately avoided comparison between salary of lowest employee and highest level employee, instead compared with middle level Group ‘A’ officer only. Actual ratio between the lowest and highest salary come to 1:14 (18,000:2,50,000). No other pay commission has recommended such a huge margin.
Other retrograde recommendations of the 7th CPC are as follows:
1. House Rent Allowance (HRA) rate reduced from 30%, 20% and 10% to 24%, 16% and 8%.
2. 52 existing allowances are to be abolished.
3. All interest-free advances including Festival advance, are to be abolished. Only interest bearing advances to be retained.
4. Salary for the second year of Child care leave granted to women employees should be reduced to 80%.
5.For Three Time bound promotions (Assured Career Progression), passing examination and other conditions made mandatory.
6. New Pension Scheme (NPS) shall continue, recommended only some cosmetic changes.
7. Contractorisation and casual labour System shall be continued.
8. Outsourcing of Government functions to continue.
9. Filling up of vacancies – commission pointed out that there are six lakhs unfilled vacancies in Central Government services, but no recommendations for filling up the vacancies in a time bound manner by special recruitment.
10. Regularisation of Gramin Dak Sevaks of Postal department – rejected.
11. Increase in minimum pension percentage, Fixed medical Allowance to Pensioners and increment rate – rejected.
Inspite of several rounds of country wide agitational programmes conducted by NJCA, CCGGOO& NCCPA including massive March to Parliament, the Government refused to negotiate the demands with the staff side, but declared unilateral implementation of the recommendations without any modifications. The resentment, anger and protest of the entire Central Government employees increased day-by-day and the NJCA & CCGGOO decided to go ahead with indefinite strike from 11th July 2016 and preparations and campaigning for making the strike a thundering success went on in full swing. Government understood that if it still refuses to discuss with the NJCA then from 11th July 6 AM onwards the entire Central Government establishments including Railways, Defence, Postal and other departments will come to standstill marking the commencement of the biggest strike action of the Central Government employees.
It is in this background the Hon’ble Prime Minister directed three Cabinet Ministers including Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh, Finance Minister Shri Arun Jaitly and Railway Minister Shri. Suresh Prabhu to hold discussions with the NJCA leaders on 30th January 2016. Major demands in the Charter of demands were discussed with particular reference to improvement in Minimum wage and fitment formula. Issues relating to parity in pension were also discussed. Finally the Ministers assured that a high level committee will be appointed to consider the issues raised by the NJCA.
As no written minutes or communications is forthcoming from the Government regarding the 30th June discussions and assurances, the NJCA & CCGGOO decided to go ahead with the strike. Country wide demonstrations were held daily in front of all offices and at all important centres. On 6th July 2016 when the NJCA meeting was in progress, Hon’ble Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh again invited the NJCA Leaders for discussion. The Minister reiterated the earlier assurances and told that Finance Minister will issue a press statement making the Government stand clear on the demands. Accordingly, the Government issued a press statement on 6th July 2016 in which it is stated that – “The Ministers assured the Union leaders that the issues raised by them would be considered by a High Level Committee.”
Thus, the united struggle of the entire Central Government Employees and Officers compelled the unwilling Government to accept the reality that modification in the 7th CPC recommendations is a must and before arriving at a final conclusion the staff side should be given a fair chance to present and discuss the case with the Government. It was assured that the proposed High Level Committee to be appointed by the Government shall complete its task within a time frame.
Advancement in the wages and service conditions of Central Government Employees and Officers can be achieved only through the united struggle of all Central Government employees,Officers and Pensioners for which the unity built up under the banners of NJCA, CCGGOO & NCCPA is to be maintained and strengthened. Further the neo-liberal policy offensives of the Government in the Central Government Employees Sector including privatisation, outsourcing, downsizing, contractorisation, corporatization, winding up of departments, New Pension Scheme, misuse of FR 56-J etc. can only be resisted and reverted by building up united movement of the entire employees and Officers. Even though the strike is deferred, the Central Government employees and Officers shall continue its united struggle against the anti-people and anti-labour policies of the Government. We should self-critically analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the NJCA,CCGGOO & NCCPA and shall arrive at proper conclusion for taking corrective measures, if necessary, and also for further unity and advancement. The final outcome of the united struggle is, no doubt, one step forward.
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