While grant of grade pay of Rs.5400 to Inspectors of Customs and Central Excise who have completed 4 years after receiving ACP is impeded by misinterpretation, another issue has come to lime light now in which even the very basic aspect of pay fixation in the event of ACP after 1.1.2006 has been done wrongly by Pay and Accounts authorities by misquoting the Resolution dated 29.08.08 of Ministry of Finance (Department of Expenditure) .
The condition No: 7 of Annexure-I to Original ACP order dated 9.8.99, which is in force, clearly says, “Financial upgradation as per ACP scheme shall be granted to the next higher grade in accordance with the existing hierarchy in a cadre/category of posts without creating new posts for the purpose”. So, the Inspectors who were in the pre-revised pay scale of Rs. 6500-200-10500 (S-12) are to be financially upgraded to pre-revised scale applicable to Superintendents of Central Excise and Customs viz., Rs. 7500-250-12000 (S14) and be granted the grade pay of Rs.4800, as the next higher grade to the post of “Inspector” in the existing hierarchy in the department is “Superintendent”. This practice which is in accordance with the law was followed without any confusion till the implementation of Sixth Pay Commission recommendations.
However, after issue of orders relating to 6CPC implementation, officers who have been accorded ACP after 01.01.06, have been denied the financial upgradation from pay scale S12 (Rs.6500-10500) to S14 (Rs.7500-12000) by the pay and accounts authorities in certain Commissionerates. Those officers have now been fixed with the grade pay of Rs.4600 meant for pre-revised scale S13. As such, there is no cadre exists in the department with the pay scale S13 (Rs.7450-11500).
Ironically, orders have been issued to those officers by the concerned heads of the department (after following all the procedures such as DPC etc meant for a promotion) for the financial upgradation from Inspectors with a pay scale of S12 (Rs.6500-10500) to Superintendents with the pay scale of S14 (Rs.7500-12000) only.
It was ascertained that financial upgradation from S12 to S14 was denied by pay and accounts authorities by taking refuge under Para 4 (iii) to Part-A of Resolution dated 29.08.08. However, Resolution dated 29.08.08 is misquoted for this interpretation. Resolution is only a para wise reply of the Ministry of Finance (Department of Expenditure) whether the recommendations of pay commission on a particular aspect is accepted or not. It is published in the Gazette of India, only for the purpose of transparency. In other words it is only policy frame work that has got no legal sanctity, and the statute known as CCS (Revised) Pay Rules 2008 which was notified by the Government for the implementation for the 6CPC would govern the pay and related matters of a Government Servant and would prevail over the resolution.
As per Clarification: 2 of Office Memorandum dated 13.9.08 issued by DOPT with reference to CCS (Revised Pay Rules 2008) it has been categorically stated that “Grade pay of higher Post” shall be granted in the event of ACP. The original ACP Scheme order dated 9.8.99 itself unambiguously defines this aspect and this is an additional clarification. As per ACP Scheme an officer who was granted the financial upgradation at the time of ACP, will not be eligible for any financial benefits at the time of his regular promotion. If the interpretation of Pay and Accounts authorities are accepted for argument sake, the ACP inspectors will have to be fixed in S13 (7450-11500) even after their regular promotion to the grade of Superintendents and granted the grade pay of only Rs.4600, while their peers receive the grade pay of Rs.4800/-.
This aspect has also been clarified by DOPT now while giving reply to the query under RTI Act by Shri.M.S.Venkataraman of Trichy as follows.
“The method of fixation of pay on promotion from one grade to another / financial upgradation under ACP has been clarified under clarification 2 of of the clarifications issued by this department vide O.M.No: 1/1/2008-IC dated 13.09.08”
Check RTI Query of Shri.M.S.Venkatraman of Trichy here
Check RTI reply here
Reply of DOPT is a fitting one and to the point. After all, one has to interpret law correctly and in the spirit of the law while implementing the same. Law making authorities can not spoon feed everything.