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HPC Report -proposing to treat Examiners and Appraiser's Cadre specially hence continuing the disparity.
THURSDAY, 28 FEBRUARY 2013
HPC REPORT FOR CREATION OF SEPARATE SERVICE IN CBEC
(i) Central Board of Excise & Customs (hereinafter the Board) is an apex body of the Government of India, Ministry of Finance, deals with the tasks of formulation and execution of policy concerning levy and collection of Customs, Central Excise duties, Service Tax, prevention of smuggling and evasion of duties. The Board carries out the tasks assigned to it with the help of 72742 officers and staff. (Para 1.1).
(ii) Group B officers cadres are mainly divided into Executive and Ministerial cadres. Group B Executive cadres are further divided into two groups: Group B Executive Gazetted officers and Group B Executive Non-gazetted officers. The executive grades constitute 47.75% of the total sanctioned workforce of the Department. (Para 1.2).
(iii) The cadres of Group B executive officers of the Department, mainly those of Superintendent of Central Excise and Superintendent of Customs (P), have been facing acute stagnation, and, get only one functional promotion as Superintendent CE or Superintendent of Customs (P) (from Inspector Grade posts), during their average service span of 35 years. (Para 2.1).
(iv) Directorate of Organization & Personnel Management submitted a proposal to the Ministry to constitute an All India Customs, Central Excise & Service Tax Service, independent of IRS (C&CE). The Ministry constituted the High Powered Committee, under Chairpersonship of the Chief Commissioner of Central Excise, Delhi, to examine the proposal. (Para 2.4- 2.6).
(v) The HPC noted that there are disparities in promotion prospects within and across analogous Group B Executive Gazetted as well as Non-gazetted cadres. This has resulted in demoralization and disaffection in the adversely affected cadres. (Para 3.3).
(vi) Inter- cadre as well as intra cadre disparities in promotions in Inspector Grade officers discussed in the preceding sub-para are due to fragmentation of the grade in different zonal / Commissionerate-based localized cadres. (Para 3.4).
(vii) The High Powered Committee invited the representatives of the concerned recognized associations / federations. During the oral presentations before the HPC, all the associations / federations, while highlighting the acute stagnation being faced by their cadres, welcomed the proposal for creation of an All India Customs, Central Excise & Service Tax Service in line with the Central Secretariat Service. (Para 3.5).
(viii) The HPC noted that one of the main reasons of stagnation in the executive grades is the highly skewed ratio between extant sanctioned strengths of JTS of IRS (C&CE) and the Group B Executive Gazetted posts (1 : 15.37), as compared to other departments (Para 4.5).
(ix) The HPC also noted that the efforts of addressing the problem of stagnation in executive grades by filling all the Asst. Commissioner level posts by promotion from Group B feeder executive grades after cadre restructuring 2001-02 and by operating the STS level vacant posts at JTS level and filling them up by promotions from Group B feeder grades have not had much impact. (Para 4.7).
(x) The HPC also noted that under normal circumstances, the annual promotions to JTS level are only 0.847% of the total Group B Gazetted Executive staff strength, which is highly inadequate. (Para 4.8).
(xi) In the Income Tax Department, direct recruit general category Inspector grade officers (who are also recruited through the same examination by which Inspector grade officers of Customs & Central Excise Department are recruited) normally reach up to the level of Additional Commissioner. This is because the functional ratio amongst Inspectors, ITOs and Asst. Commissioner (Income Tax) is much better. (Para 4.15).
(xii) The Department needs a large number of JTS / STS level posts to strengthen its audit, adjudication and appellate set-up. (Para 4.19).
(xiii) The HPC further noted that under the extant DOP&T Guidelines, the sanctioned strength of any organized Group A Service including IRS (C&CE), can be enhanced only by 30% at a time. Thus, only 782 posts can be created within IRS (C&CE). This additional strength may not solve the problem of acute stagnation in Group B Gazetted executive grades. (Para 4.20). ( the in-situ promotion should not effect the above policy as people are already getting the grade pay of Group A)
(xiv) Government in other departments has addressed the need for removal of stagnation in staff cadres by creating dedicated separate services to provide dedicated promotional avenues to the Group B officers of these departments. (Para 4.25 & 4.26).
(xv) The Government vide Resolution dated 29th August, 2008, accepting the recommendations of the 6th Central Pay Commission, has decided to grant three assured financial up-gradations to the stagnated officers and staff during their entire service span, but the same cannot be equated with actual functional promotion. (Para 4.28).
(xvi) Since it is not possible to create sufficient number of posts at Group A JTS / STS level in IRS (C&CE), the only option that appears available is to create a separate service, in line with the Central Secretariat Service. (Para 5.2).
(xvii) Creation of a separate dedicated service for Group B Executive Officers would provide dedicated sanctioned strength at JTS / STS level (1400 posts) for promotion of executive officers. Since the problem of stagnation is more acute in the grades of Superintendent of Central Excise and Superintendent of Customs (Preventive), it is felt that the promotion to the said 1400 additional Group A posts needs to be restricted to these two categories only. On the same analogy, it is not proposed to integrate the existing Group B Executive grades of Examiner and Appraiser with the proposed Service. It is felt that it would also make available to the Department an experienced workforce at JTS/STS level, which would greatly enhance the departmental capabilities in core areas of Audit, Adjudication and Appeals related functions etc. (Para 5.3 & 5.6). The examiners and appraisers have been treated as BLUE EYED BOYS since beginning for reasons better known to the CBEC. There has been no reason to treat them special. By treating examiners and appraisers cadre special they have been giving special consideration and given promotion in preference to the cadre of Central Excise and Customs. By this wrong /incorrect/irrational/unreasonable approach/policy of the Board they have been eating the share of cadre of Central Excise and Customs. This resulted into their becoming superior officers to the juniors who are otherwise very senior to them in service. Finally bossing on the staff much senior to them in service. In the HPC same approach is pursued by the Board. The Board had failed to realise and rectify its mistake of treating examiners and appraisers cadre special. THE AICEIA SHOULD OPPOSE THIS MOVE AND IMPRESS UPON THE BOARD THAT CADRE THE EXAMINERS AND APPRAISERS SHOULD ALSO BE PART OF THE PROPOSED NEW SERVICE AT PAR WITH THEIR COUNTER PART IN THE CADRE OF CENTRAL EXCISE AND CUSTOMS.
(xviii) The said separate service can be named as All India Central Indirect Taxation Service. The proposed service can have hierarchical Structure as under (Para 5.8):
Sl. No. Levels Grade Proposed Designation Pay scales Pay Band and Grade Pay
1 Level I (Group B NG) Inspector CE/ Inspector (P.O.) Central Indirect Taxes Officer Rs. 7450-11000 Pay Band- 2 (Rs. 4600)
2 Level II (Group B Gazetted) Superintendent CE/ Superintendent Customs (P) Senior Central Indirect Taxes Officer Rs. 7500-12000
(After 4 years of Regular Service in the post)
Rs. 8000-13500 Pay Band -2 (Rs. 4800)
(After 4 years of Regular Service in the post)
Pay Band 3 (Rs. 5400)
3 Level III (Group A Gazetted) Junior Time Scale / Senior Time Scale Senior Superintendent (Central Indirect Taxes) Rs. 8000-13500 (after 4 years of Regular Service in the post)
Rs. 10000-15200 Pay Band 3 (Rs. 5400/ Rs. 6600). The inspector of 1982 are at disadvantage as the authorities are considering grant of Grade Pay 5400 on completion of 4years of service as 2nd ACP and 2nd ACP granted in terms of provisions of 5th CPC recommendations on after completion of 24 of service as 3rd ACP and thereby not granting 3rd MACP in the Grade Pay of Rs. 6600/- after completion to 30 years of service. Whereas the direct inspector of earlier years has been granted the Grade Pay of Rs. 6600/-.Perhaps treating Grade Pay of Rs. 5400/- in PB2 and PB3 simultaneously has caused the confusion. THE MATTER BE TAKEN UP BEFORE THE APPROPRIATE FORUM.
(xix) Those officers who are promoted as Senior Superintendent Group A will continue to retain their place in the combined Seniority List at Group B level and would continue to be considered for promotion into IRS from the Group B feeder grade (Superintendent/ Superintendent Customs (Preventive) as at present. (Para 5.12).
(xx) Those officers who have spent 4 years in the grade of Senior Superintendent and have attained Senior Time Scale will not suffer in loss of Pay by virtue of accepting promotion into IRS even though they have already been promoted as Senior Superintendent (JTS) / Senior Superintendent (STS) earlier. (Para 5.12).
(xxi) Group B non-gazetted grades, viz. Inspector CE/ Inspector (P.O.), can be merged with prospective effect into one unified cadre and re-designated as Central Indirect Taxes Officer. Upon merger of these analogous posts, the inter-se seniority should be fixed on the basis of DOP&Ts O.M. No. 22011/7/86-Estt.(D) dated 3.7.1986. (para 5.13).
(xxii) The transfer liability (outside the Zone of allocation at the time of initial recruitment/ promotion) of Inspector level officers (Central Indirect Taxation Officers) after unification shall be restricted to transfer on promotion to the grade of Superintendent level post (Senior Central Indirect Taxation Officer). In such eventuality the Officers promoted and transferred should be allowed the option of being transferred back to parent Zone on first out first in basis. (Para 5.14).
(xxiii) Quota for promotion to the Inspector level posts (Central Indirect Taxation Officer) from ministerial grades should be increased to 50% from existing 33.33%, so as to enhance the promotional avenues of ministerial staff.
(xxiv) The proposed service is cost neutral. The officers who are likely to be designated as Senior Superintendent are already drawing the Junior Time Scale by virtue of ACP Scheme / Non-functional grade. Additional 1400 Group A posts of Senior Superintendent (JTS & STS) are proposed to be created by upgrading 1400 posts of Superintendent CE and Superintendent Customs (P). Further, the Stagnating officers would automatically get the Senior Time Scale, even if they are not promoted to Group A, by virtue of Modified ACP Scheme, to be introduced consequent upon implementation of the recommendations of 6th CPC. Thus, the creation of service is not going to incur any additional financial burden. (Para 7.0)
Para xiii, xvii and xviii be considerred specially.