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Wednesday, October 31, 2007

POSTAL ACT

POSTAL ACT
 
CABINET GETS POSTAL DEPT NOTE FOR 49% FDI CAP IN

                                                  COURIERS

 

NEW DELHI: This is one mail courier companies would be praying is returned to the

sender. A Cabinet note circulated by the department of posts has mooted 49% cap on

FDI in courier business.  

 

If the proposal goes through, multinationals like Fedex, DHL, UPS and TNT who

hold more than 49% in Indian ventures will have to pare stake. The draft of the Indian

Post Office (Amendment) Bill has another whammy in store for the private sector.  

 

It proposes to make letters, parcels and packets weighing up to 150 gm the exclusive

preserve of India Post. Private players will have to charge 2.5 times the tariff specified

by Speed Post to operate in this segment. 

 

The proposal to amend the Indian Post Office (Amendment) Act has been revived

despite opposition from other government departments and the courier industry. A

source said posts secretary I M G Khan has sent a communication on the proposed

changes to department of industrial policy & promotion (Dipp) secretary Ajay

Shankar. 

 

The proposals specify that a person eligible to seek registration for operating in the

mail sector has to be a company in which not less than 51% of the paid-up share

capital is held by the citizens of India. 

 

"Any dilution in FDI would be a retrograde step. Express industry is a leading driver

of logistics industry the world over and India needs large investments in this sector. It

would impact the India plans of major global service providers like Fedex, UPS, TNT

and DHL, and other international companies like Aramex and OCS," said Express

Industry Council of India's (EICI) Vijay Kumar. EICI represents over 80% of the

private courier players. 

 

The draft Bill has been sent to the Cabinet and, once approved, the government can

introduce the Bill in Parliament, source added. 

 

"The proposal to charge 2.5 times the Speed Post rates is not only unfair competitive

advantage being provided to a competitor (India Post), it would also be a unique case

not prevalent anywhere in the world. The global practice is to charge a price multiple

on the lowest weight slab of the basic postal service offering. In India, it should be on

the 20-gm weight of an envelope and not on corresponding weights and on a premium

business segment like Speed Post," Mr Kumar added. 

 

The private courier companies had vehemently opposed the amendments earlier too.

"In an era of free economy, if the country is embracing any legislation of such nature,

it would send a wrong image internationally and it would also wipe out a vibrant part

of our economy," EICI had said in a communication to telecom minister A Raja.  

 

EICI had also said that the proposed amendment, if approved, could maim the Rs

3,500-crore domestic industry, especially the small players, and limit choice for

consumers. Dipp had opposed the earlier draft of the proposed Bill and is likely to do

so again. Officials feel the final decision, however, rests with the Cabinet.

 

Economic Times. 31.10.2007

 

 

Note: -

 

1.       According to cabinet note of Postal Dept, the letter & Packers upto 150 gram may be made part & parcel of India Post Portfolio.

 

2.       Private players will have to charge 2.5times of speed post tariff.

 

3.       International couriers now operating in India should be brought under the FDI cap for 49%

 

4.       If it is approved in the cabinet, Government can introduce the Bill in Parliament.

 

 
(K V Sridharan)
General Secretary
 
Dated- 31.10.2007

14 DAYS STRIKE

INTERESTS OF POSTAL EMPLOYEES WILL BE PROTECTED: MINISTER

 

All efforts will be made to protect the interests of postal employees. The strike period will be treated as holiday, said A. Raja, Union Minister for Communications and Information Technology.

 

Addressing a State-level conference of postal employees association held here on Sunday evening he said that steps would be taken to convene a tri-partite meeting between employees and the Government to settle the disputes and demands of the employees.

 

"I am supporting your demands. I fully believe the genuineness in your demands. At the same time, you should realise my position. What I can assure you is that I can take all your demands for an amicable solution. First, a meeting will be convened to sort out your problems," the minister said.

 

"At the same time postal employees must understand the changes taking place in service sector and its present scenario," he added.

 

Advance technology have changed the face of service sector and weeded out letter services. Technology development has not only brought convenience to people, but also paralysed the lives of thousands of postal employees, he added.

 

       Hindu (Chennai) 22.10.07

 

" The Minister while delivering his speech has mentioned that the strike period will be treated as leave and the Postal Employees will get fourteen days wages."          

 

Let us wait for the result.

 

 

(K V Sridharan)

General Secretary

GLORIOUS STRIKE ON 30th OCTOBER

GLORIOUS STRIKE BY
POSTAL AND RMS EMPLOYEES

 

AIPEU GROUP 'C' CHQ CONGRATULATES  RANK AND FILE

 

At the call of the Postal JCA of NFPE and FNPO, the Postal and RMS workers all over the country have magnificently responded to make the One Day Token Strike call of the Confederation of CG Employees and State Government Employees and Teachers on 30.10.2007 a total success.

 

The response to strike is stupendous in many circles. It was a total strike in Assam, Chhatisgarh and West Bengal Circles.Many other Circles surpassed 90% mark. For the first time in the history of the postal employees of Delhi Circle, more than 70% of employees went on strike. New Delhi GPO, Delhi GPO and Indraprasth HPO went on a total strike. More than 75% of delivery post offices in Delhi Circle were totally paralyzed.

 

The reports pouring in from various parts of the country show that the participation of postal employees in this strike is better than the previous strikes. The following is the percentage of strike in various circles as available at present and the same will be updated as and when the CHQ receives more information:

 

  1. Assam, Chhatisgarh and West Bengal – 100%
  2. Andhra – 95%
  3. Kerala  - 90%
  4. North East – 90%
  5. Karnataka – 85%
  6. Maharashtra – 85%
  7. Tamilnadu – 85%
  8. Punjab – 80%
  9. Uttaranchal – 80%
  10. Orissa – 75%
  11. Delhi – 70%
  12. Madhyapradesh – 70%
  13. Bihar – 65%
  14. Uttarpradesh – 65%
  15. Gujarat – 60%
  16. J&K – 60%
  17. Rajasthan – 35%
  18. Jharkhand – 30%
  19. Himachal – 20%
  20. Haryana – 15%

 

This is a warning to the UPA Government. This is a caution to the 6th Pay Commission. This is a clear signal that the Central and State Government Employees and Teachers would fight with all their might if the Government wants to deny our rightful demands and to snatch away our social security and pension. Congratulations once again Comrades. Maintain this struggle unity at all levels.
 
K.V.SRIDHARAN
GENERAL SECRETARY

 

 

Monday, October 29, 2007

PAY PANEL: HIRE ON CONTRACT

PAY PANEL : HIRE ON CONTRACT
New Delhi, Oct.12: The Sixth Pay Commission headed by Justice B.N.Srikrishna (Retd) plans to recommend to the government that it hire bureaucrats in future on a contract basis in order to increase the efficiency of the administration.

 

The commission, whose recommendations are, however, not binding on the government, is expected to submit them formally by March or April next year.

 

Justice Srikrishna, when asked if he was advocating a "hire-and-fire" policy for senior government officials, said: "Why not? If you want to end the security of tenure, then such an alternative (contractual approach) needs to be examined.    It is a logical corollary that needs to be looked at."

 

Justice Srikrishna said there was a "dire need" to develop "a sprit of competitiveness in governance in order to end the prevailing 'mai baap' attitude." In a no-holds-barred interview to this newspaper, he added: "We believe a bureaucrat's salary must be related to his performance. If he performs well, he must be rewarded; if not, he should be taken to task.    As the Indian Navy says, 'Shape Up or Ship Out'. We are at present working out the parameters of how such a policy can be implemented."     

 

The Pay Commission chairman said there was need for a complete overhaul of the entire administrative system. "We are studying the whole issue of the extent to which excessive security of tenure has affected government servants at all levels.    The Administrative Reforms Commission has also looked into this at considerable length. When departmental action has to be taken against a bureaucrat, the matter will drag on interminably for years and years."

 

"The question to be asked is: why does a private company provide results, whereas this is not the case with the government? We keep talking about making India a superpower with growth rates exceeding nine percent. To bring this about, every aspect of the nation needs to gear up to achieve these results. We cannot have a BMW engine attached to a khattara gadi. I am an optimist. Yeh kyoon nahi ho sakta hai?" He said he was not suggesting that all government employees be hired on a contract basis: this was only for officials at a senior level. "I am not suggesting that all government jobs be made contractual. All I am emphasising is that jobs up to a certain level must remain contractual," Justice Srikrishna said. "This will help translate into more discipline, more conscientiousness and extreme accountability from government employees. The employee must be able to account for every rupee that the government spends. The public is fed up of government servants being paid more and more for non-performance," he said. Justice Srikrishna denied that government pay scales were going to be put at par with private sector salaries. He said: "Boys coming out of school are getting salaries of over Rs 1 lakh per month and more. We have to look into this whole issue to see how much parity we can achieve." He also denied that there were plans to give government secretaries annual pay packages of over Rs 1 crore and more. "I don't think too much credence should be given to rumours. All sections are demanding substantial increases in salaries." He said: "We have to keep in mind the financial implications of our recommendations. There is no point in our recommending an increase of Rs 50 when all that the finance ministry can afford is Rs 10."

 

 Justice Srikrishna agreed that an increase in salaries at the Centre was bound to have a ripple effect on state governments as well. "The exact proportion (of the increase) would vary from state to state. But it must be remembered that our recommendations are not binding on the states, in fact they are not binding on the Central Government-it is within their discretion to accept or reject" he said.

 

If government employees have contract jobs, how will they be entitled to pension benefits? Justice Srikrishna said: "Persons on contract would be entitled to a higher compensation package and not pension for the contractual period.    Those employes prior to 1.1.2004 would continue to get pensions, while those employes prior to 1.1.2004 would continue to get pensions, while those employes on or after 1.1.2004 would be governed by the New Pension Scheme".

 

Justice Srikrishna said he did not want the Sixth Pay Commission to become one more ritualistic exercise to dole out more money to government employees, particularly since a huge chunk of government revenues were being spent on salaries.

 

"It is regrettable that what is being spent is being inefficiently utilized. Leakages must be stopped at all cost. If the citizen gets every rupee's worth, then we are working towards having an ideal government," he said.

 

The above item was approved in 'Asian Age' News Paper dt. 13.10.07. You can imagine now what the Sixth CPC will provide justice to C,G. employees. We are amidst of lot of expectation ?????

 

 

(K V Sridharan)

General Secretary

Friday, October 26, 2007

RAISE BONUS CEILING

CONFEDERATION APPROACHING MOF
FOR RAISING BONUS CEILING
Dear Comrades!
 
We have information that the Railway Board has issued orders for payment of BONUS to railway staff @ 3500/- pending declaration of Ordnance by the Government of India for enhancing the ceiling from 2500/- to 3500/-. The Confederation of CG Employees is approaching the Ministry of Finance for immediate release of similar orders for payment of Bonus @ 3500/- to all CG Employees as in the case of Railway Employees.
 
KVS
General Secretary

Saturday, October 13, 2007

BONUS

Bonus announced for 60 Days
 
 
(K.V. Sridharan)
General Secretary

Friday, October 5, 2007

POSTAL JCA MEETS THE SECRETARY [P]

Dear Comrades,

 

POSTAL JCA MEETS SECRETARY (P) ON RRR CANDIDATES ISSUE

 

Leaders of the Postal JCA of NFPE & FNPO, Viz, Com. C.C. Pillai (Wkg. Chairman, Confederation & Ex- SG NFPE), Com. K.V. Sridharan (GS-P3), Com. D Theagarajan (SG-FNPO), and Com. K. Ragavendran (Wkg. President - P3 CHQ) met the Secretary (P) on 4.10.2007 and urged him to withdraw the 'SLP' filed in the Supreme Court on the issue of absorption of 'RRR Candidates' from Tamilnadu.

 

Hundreds of 'RRR Candidates' have already commenced an 'Indefinite Fast' in front of the office of the Chief PMG, TN Circle, demanding implementation of Honourable Madras High Court Judgment to regularize all RRR Candidates. The fast began at 09.00 Hrs on 3.10.2007 and more than 200 comrades are on the fast. The Circle Unions of NFPE & FNPO are extending all support to the struggle.

 

The efforts of the Postal JCA leaders on 3.10.2007 to settle the issue continued on 4.10.2007 also. We placed all the points effectively and sought from the Secretary (P) to withdraw the SLP and implement strike agreement.

 

The Secretary (P) has finally consented to have a relook in the matter and will cause to obtain another legal opinion on the matter. He also assured to help in this matter and withdraw the SLP after seeking the second legal opinion. He also requested the Member (P) to look into the matter.

 

We also met the Member (P) and requested for earlier and favourable action in this matter, which she agreed.

 

UNITED EFFORT

 

The efforts are all united and the NFPE & FNPO federations and Unions will strive every nerve to settle this issue to prevent the Department from pursuing its legal battle to cause agony to our hundreds of RRR candidates and their families.

 

WITHDRAWAL OF FAST

 

The Postal JCA thereupon advised the 'RRR' Candidates to temporarily postpone their hunger fast until the next meeting of the JCA with the Secretary (P) on 11 th & 12th of Oct 2007.

 

KEEP THE GUN POWDER DRY

 

Postal JCA will continue its all out efforts for amicable settlement on this issue. While the rank & file is requested to carry on the postal JCA Programme on 5.10.2007 effectively, the Postal JCA requests the RRR Candidates and all members to keep the gun powder dry for higher form of action if need be.

 

 

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Confederation on Mathruboomi News

Dear Comrades! Please find hereunder the Confederation Secretary General's comments on the news item published by "Mathruboomi" a malayalam news daily on the interim report of sixth pay commission submitted to the Government.
 

CONFEDERATION OF CENTRAL GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES AND WORKERS

31 Feroze Shah Road

New Delhi,. 110 001.

Phone: 65903935

 

President:                     Com.S.K. Vyas:           9868244035

Working President.       Com.C.C. Pillai:           9811213808

Secretary General:        Com.K.K.N.Kutty       9811048303

Dated: 29.09.2007.

 

 

PRESS RELEASE.

 

   

One of the leading vernacular dailies of the country, "Mathubhumi", has today brought out a sensational news on the probable recommendations of the Sixth Central Pay Commission purported to have come from a reliable source.   As per the report, the Commission has submitted an interim recommendation to the Govt. on a specific request made by the Finance Ministry.  In the absence of any provisions in the terms of reference for an interim report except on the question of   "interim relief", which the commission has flatly refused to  give, both the requisition made by the Ministry of Finance and the obedience thereof by the Pay Commission are startling. The report if it is true (we have no reason to disbelieve it, given to the respectability and reliability Muthurbhumi   commands amongst its readership), will trigger off serious industrial action, as the demand for minimum wage on the basis of the  need based minimum wage formula which works out to Rs 9730 as on 01.01.2006 stands rejected for no valid or tenable reason , especially in the present  socio-economic condition in the country and the financial resource of the Govt. of India.

 

 

K.K.N.Kutty ,

Secretary General.

 

DECCAN HERALD NEWS ON PAY COMMISSION

Dear Comrades! The news item as printed in the Deccan Herald dated 3.10.2007 on the Sixth Pay Commission is reproduced below. This is only the version of the above news paper reproduced without our comments:

35 pc raise likely in Central wages

SERVICE DELHI:
 
Revised payscales for Central government and Central PSU employees may be announcedearlier than expected as theManmohan Singh government, faced with the possibility of snap polls to theLok Sabha, is understood tohave sounded the Sixth PayCommission for early submission of its recommendaBut the employees areunlikely to get as attractiveapackage as they have demanded in the presentations they have alreadymade before the Pay Commission through theirunions and associations.Expected salary increasesfor an estimated 55 lakhCentral employees could be in the range of 30 to 35 percent of the existing salariesand new scales will be operative from January 1,2006. The Pay Commissionheaded by Justice B N Srikrishna is understood to havebeen asked by the Union Finance Ministry to submit asummary of its recommendations on the new payscales along with its financial implications for thetreasury so as to help itwhile preparing the nextbudget. As such, the Pay Commission, which started itswork in October 2006, hastime till April next to finalise its recommendations since it was given 18 months'time. Obviously,the possibilityof a mid-term poll has introduced an element of urgency about announcing revised pay scales. The various unions and associations have sought, on an average, a 50 per cent hike in salaries,with a basic salary of Rs one lakh and above at the top executive level. However, the Pay Commission is not likely toendorse this view of the various unions. How much for whom As per a draft recommendation prepared by the Pay Commission, gross salary increases which would beimplemented with retrospective effect from January 1, 2006, would be in the range of 30 to 35 per cent of the existing salaries. According to sources familiar with the draft recommendations already prepared by the Pay Commission, the basic salary of the Cabinet Secretary — the topmost civil servant of the Government of India — is proposed to be Rs 80,000 as against the existing basic pay of Rs 30,000.

At present, the basic payof a Secretary to the government of India is fixed at Rs26,000. According to thedraft,the revised fixed basicpay would be Rs 75,000. The draft recommendation is understood to havefavoured fixed basic pay forspecial secretaries,additional secretaries and joint secretaries at the rate of Rs70,000, Rs 65,000 and Rs60,000. The draft has proposed to slash the number ofpay scales from existing 38 tojust 16.At the lowest end,theexisting basic pay scale thatstarts from Rs 2,550 is proposed to be revised to Rs 6,500 (Group D). For GroupC, the lowest existing basicpay scale starting with Rs4,500 is proposed to begin atRs 10,000. For Group B (nongazetted) staff, two payscales are proposed, onestarting with Rs 12,500 andthe another at Rs 15,000. ForGroup B the starting basic isproposed at Rs 17,500,juniorscale could be revised fromthe existing starting basic ofRs 8,000 to Rs 20,000 and senior scale is proposed to start with a basic pay of Rs 25,000. The proposed basic pay scale for deputy secretary level officers starts with Rs 30,000 as against the existing Rs 12,300 and for director level officers it is proposedto be revised from the existing Rs 16,400 to Rs 42, 000.Forunder secretary, deputy secretary and director level officers,there would be only one scale each. All employeesare proposed to get their annual increment every year on January 1. The existing HRA rates are proposed to be retained, though there would be upper ceilings of Rs 12,000, Rs 6,000, Rs 3,000 and Rs 2,000 depending on the city. The CCA is proposed at 4,3, 2 and 1 per cent, depending on the city classification.Transport allowance is proposed at 6 per cent in A-1 and A class cities and 3 per cent in other cities.
 
FRESH PROPOSALS:
 
* New Scale will be operative from Jan 1, 2006.
* Number of pay scales to be slashed from 38 to 16.
* All employees to get their annual increment Jan 1 each year and all retirements to take place  on the last day of December.
* For the top most Civil Servant of Government of India, the Cabinet Secretary, the basic is proposed to go up from Rs.30,000 to Rs.80,000.
* At the lowest end, the existing basic pay scale that starts from Rs.2550 is proposed to be revised to Rs.6,500 [Group D employees].
* Existing HRA rates to be retained with an upper ceilings of Rs.12000, Rs.6000, Rs.3000 and Rs.2000 depending on the City classification.
* CCA is proposed at 4,3,2,and 1 percent, depending on the city classification.
* Transport Allowance is proposed at 6% in A1 and A Class cities and 3% in other cities.
 
 
Comrades are once again informed that the above is only the news item from the Deccan Herald without our comments. We could not get any confirmation on this from the Governement side.
 
 
 
 
  
 


 

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

General Secretary's Desk

Date-2.10.2007

MEETING AT PLI DIRECTORATE ON 1.10.07

A Special Meeting with Ms. Suneeta Trivedi, Chief General Manager
(PLI) was held at PLI Directorate on 1.10.07 to sort out the issues
pertaining to Decentralisation of PLI and other connected issues. Sri
Gautam Bhattacharya, Addl General Manager (PLI), Sri Rajagopalan,
Chief Accounts officer & others present. On behalf of our Union Com.
K. V. Sridharan, General Secretary and Com. Balwinder Singh, Asstt.
Treasurer attended the meeting. The following are the outcome.

Decentralisation of PLI/RPLI work of Divisional level

The Directorate has issued orders to grant honorarium to divisional
office staff for processing of PLI/RPLI proposals vide its letter No.
29-12/2001-LI dt. 3.7.07. We suggested that the rate of honorarium
should be uniform at all circles and the cap of Rs. 4000/- should be
removed. The copy of the Directorate orders is enclosed.

Posting of PLI Data through HPO TPS.

We pointed out the contents of our letter dt. 15.5.07 about the
disadvantage of HPO TPS software and also the advantage of Meghdoot
Millennium Software in posting of PLI. The CGM informed that a bridge
software is being ready for use to sort out the Problems in TPS
software. It was assured to send detailed reply after sorting out this
issue.

Grant of honorarium/ incentive to Accounts Branch staff for
preparation of RPLI schedules

We discussed in details about the need & importance of the schedule
works, we are performing at Accounts branch. The CGM agreed to
consider and grant incentive for the schedule work performing at
Accounts branches in Head Post offices.

Grant on incentive for accounting & processing RPLI Proposals at
Accounts office

After elaborated discussions, it is agreed to consider to fix
incentive for the work performed by the SPMs of the Accounts office.

Spot Payment of incentive amount due to BPM/SPMS for Securing RPLI business

We discussed about the proposal of delinking the payment of incentive
from allotment of funds to BPMs/SPMs for procuring RPLI business.

The present method of verifying the bills at HOS with schedules which
is laborious has been explained and the need for incentive for such
extraordinary work has been detailed.

After discussion, it was agreed to consider our suggestion to effect
payment of incentive directly from C.O/R.O based on the ledger entries
every month so that it will reduce the unwarrented paper work being
executed for this work.

Utilising the services of PRI (P)s & SPMs for procurement of PLI business.

We discussed that all Group C official should be authorised for
procurement of PLI/RPLI business and the restriction of only two
officials per division should be removed forthwith.
Based on earlier representation & letters, the Directorate has already
caused order vide its No. 28-05/201-LI dt. 18.5.07 intimating that the
total strength of PAs selected for procurement of PLI/RPLI business
will be decided by the Heads of Circle depending on the local
compulsions.

Cash award for procuring PLI/RPLI Policies

We mentioned that the Postman staff who procured more business while
comparing other D.Os has not been brought under the Cash Award at
Chennai which will demotivate the staff who work hard for the
business. We stressed that this provision should be reviewed and
modified.

Calculation of Service Tax and Education cess in respect of PLI/RPLI business.

We made a reference that the Service Tax & Education cess should be
inbuilt in the premium and explained the practical problems being
faced at BOs/AOs.

The CGM stated that from 1.11.07, it will be in built and there is no
need to collect Service Tax & Education cess while collecting premium.
We record our thanks for this good decision.

Fixing Time Factor for RPLI work.

The PLI Directorate has sent proposal to fix Time factor for the RPLI
work at BOS which can be equated with S.B. transactions. The grant of
incentive to BPMS is nothing but similar to the incentive granted to
D.O. (PLI). The need for fixing Time Factors for work calculation
(point) and for taking into account for 'value return' has been
focussed by the PLI Directorate to the Establishment branch of the
Directorate. This is certainly a good news for the GDS Comrades.

We recorded our thanks to the CGM & AGM, & other officers have having
invited us and offered chance to discuss the problems we are facing as
grass not level. We have been assured to include our name in the
mailing list. Some important orders we collected from the PLI
Directorate are appended herewith.

With fraternal greetings,

Comradely yours,


(K.V.Sridharan)
General Secretary

Monday, October 1, 2007

Debate on Pay

CONFEDERATION OF CENTRAL GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES AND WORKERS:

Manishinath Bhawan,

A-2/95 Rajouri Garden,

New Delhi. 110 027.

Dated: 1st October, 2007


Dear Comrade,

We place hereunder the two articles that appeared in the
Financial Express today. The subject matter of discussion was :should
the Government salary be at par with the private sector: We were
asked to respond to this question. Our article has come in its full
form.

The Government has today announced the raising ceiling
limit for calculation purpose of Bonus from Rs. 2500 to Rs. 3500 a
month. The UNI news in this regard is published hereunder. It
requires another order from the Ministry of Finance for those who are
in receipt of adhoc bonus and from the concerned Ministries in the
case of PLB. In the case of Govt. has already issued the bonus order
without raising the ceiling limit. This order will require to be
revised. In the light of the decision of the Govt. we hope that the
bonus in the case of Postal, Defence and railway employees and others
in whose case, the bonus order is yet to be issued, will get the
benefit of increased bonus this year itself. The Confederation will
take steps to get the "adhoc bonus" order revised on seeing the order
in the case of PLB.

UNI News:

New Delhi. Oct. 1. (UNI) The Centre today brought the employees in the
construction sector under the Bonus Act and raised the eligibility
limit for payment of Bonus from Rs. 3500 to Rs. 10000 a month and the
ceiling for calculation purpose from Rs. 2500 to Rs. 3500 a month. The
decisions were taken at a meeting of the Cabinet chaired by the Prime
Minister Manmohan Singh, Labour Minister Oscar Fernandes and
information and Broadcasting Minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi told
reporters.

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Print Story

Growth has made pay parity possible
KKN Kutty
Posted online: Monday , October 01, 2007 at 0024 hrs

A wage is considered the product of collective bargaining reckoned
with reference to the productivity and profits of an enterprise. Trade
unions play a vital role in making the bargain effective from the
workers' standpoint. In the case of government employees, though the
right to form associations is afforded, the right to strike is denied.

Having thus shut out collective bargaining, the periodical wage
revision for government employees had been—and continues to be—through
the Pay Commission. Even before the Royal Commission (presided over by
Raymond Priestly) on UK's civil services propounded the theory of
"fair comparison" as the primary principle of wage determination, the
First Pay Commission set up by the colonial rulers in the wake of the
phenomenal price rise in the post-war economy of our country, had
advocated that a fair relativity should be maintained between the
rates of pay of civil servants and outside rates, with a caveat that
in no case should pay be less than a living wage.

The Second Pay Commission, which came into existence in 1957-59,
asserted further that comparison should be with the rates of
remuneration in enterprises in which personnel problems, viz,
recruitment, condition of service etc, are dealt with in a systematic
manner. The commission went on to suggest that while at the lowest
level, the socio-economic necessity of providing a fair wage or a
living wage is to be adhered to, with regard to the highest salaries,
retaining persons with requisite talent and qualifications must be an
important criterion. The commission approvingly quoted the dictum
incorporated in the First Five-Year Plan report that the "wages in
public undertakings should not be less favourable than those
prevailing in the neighbouring private enterprise".

It is also pertinent to note that the Royal Commission was of the view
that "fair comparison" as the primary principle of wage determination
is not only fair to employees but also to the community at large. For,
if the government, which represents the interest of taxpayers, pay
what responsible employers pay for comparable work, citizens cannot
reasonably complain that they are being exploited.

Having stated this laudable principle of wage determination, none of
the pay commissions translated it into reality. The 15th Indian Labour
Conference (ILC) resolution on "need-based minimum wage", basing upon
the Dr Aykroyd formula of a net intake of food which provides 2,700
calories for an average Indian adult of moderate activity, was
deliberated at length by the Third Pay Commission and discarded.

It is the bounden duty of the government to provide the "need-based
minimum wage" computed on the basis of the 15th ILC norms at the
lowest level of the government hierarchy, given the fact that the
country's economy has registered a growth rate of 8-9% in recent years
and its revenue has gone up considerably, whereby the wage bill as a
percentage of tax revenue has come down to 9% today from 21% in
1997-98.

In the matter of salaries at the highest level, the government has to
be guided by the requirement of retaining persons with talent, ability
and qualifications needed for a highly complex job. Some of the large
corporate houses in the country pay exorbitant salaries to their
executives. This has led to personnel at various levels in government
service migrating in search of the fabulous monetary benefits offered
by private entrepreneurs. While it would be inadvisable to disregard
this fact, the government's decision in the matter will have to be
tempered with the equally important requirement of maintaining a
reasonable ratio between the minimum and maximum salary. The principle
of wage determination for government employees has undoubtedly to be
the basis of a fair comparison of wages obtaining in private and
public sector undertakings.

—The writer is secretary-general of the Confederation of Central
Government Employees & Workers


Print Story

Consider the perks & job security, too
Alakh N Sharma
Posted online: Monday , October 01, 2007 at 0026 hrs

Globalisation and the consequent stiff competition in the labour and
product market has led to a demand from several quarters for the need
to have parity in pay and allowances between government/ public sector
jobs and those in the private sector. It is argued that in the absence
of such parity, there will be a flight of talented and competent
manpower from government to private sector, seriously eroding the
efficiency of the former. Such a trend is already visible to some
extent.

Although it should be admitted in general that such a challenge might
exist in a few sectors, such an argument has serious limitations, and
is in fact dangerous at this stage of our development. First, the
nature of a government job is overwhelmingly that of public utility
and non-commercial. That is why such jobs are mostly treated as
services and hence the nomenclature 'Indian Administrative Service',
'Indian Foreign Service', etc. Most public utilities are heavily
subsidized by the government (and, hence, taxpayers' money).

In such a situation, it would be erroneous to treat these jobs in the
same category in those in the profit-making private sector. This also
suggests that while selecting people for government and public sector
jobs, the spirit of service should be kept in mind. However, a
distinction may be made between public sector commercial undertakings
and public utilities. While some parity in crucial jobs (not CEO)
between public sector commercial undertakings and private sector may
be considered, the social responsibility of the former (eg, lending by
commercial banks to the priority sector, etc) should also be kept in
mind.

Second, most government jobs have many other hidden benefits such as
housing, shorter working hours and a higher welfare component
(pension, etc). Around 90% of employees in the private sector do not
get pension, whereas it is almost universal in the case of government
jobs, notwithstanding recent reforms in the pension system. A
secretary to the government of India living in a posh Delhi colony
with several other perks cannot be compared only in terms of so-called
monthly salary with private sector professionals. That is why the real
difference between the two groups may not be as high as is generally
thought to be. Further, it should be kept in mind that an overwhelming
large percentage are disadvantaged as their counterparts in
government.

Thirdly, there is almost universal security of job in the government
sector, against high risks in private sector. The psychological and
mental stress through which professionals in the private sector go
through is enormous. Even lower middle and lower level employees in a
vast majority of the private sector face extreme uncertainty.

Lastly, the very high salary and perks for a small percentage of
people is also unethical as well as has the potential of leading to
social unrest in a country like India with widespread poverty and
where more than half of rural labourers do not get a minimum wage
(which is just a subsistence wage).

And, ironically, there has been a significant growth in consumption by
middle and higher income groups. Such a widening social divide is very
unhealthy for Indian society and its polity. The incidence of Naxalism
and violence in a vast tract of rural India is a manifestation of such
acute social and economic deprivation.

Therefore, one should not loose sight of these aspects while
considering an income and pay policy. There is need for a delicate
balance between equity and social stability on one hand, and meeting
the challenge of globalisation on the other. Hopefully, the Sixth Pay
Commission will not be blindly dictated by market considerations.

—The writer is director, Institute for Human Development, New Delhi

BONUS

FLASH NEWS

The cabinet has today raised the Bonus Payment Ceiling from Rs. 2500/-
to Rs. 3500/-. Similarly the eligibility ceiling has also been revised
as Rs.10000/-

See Tomorrow WebSite about dismissions we had today at PLI Directorate.

(K.V. Sridharan)
General Secretary