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This is an analytical study of Cadre restructure proposal of CBEC related to Ministerial cadre and the Extract of suggestions to modify the CR proposal submitted by AICCEMOF (Ministerial Federation). This content is shared with GConnect by Shri.J.Lakshmi Narayanan, Deputy Office Superintendent, Salem.
While going through the proposal of the cadre restructuring which had been provided to all the associations and surprisingly, it is seen that, the proposal has totally overlooked the requirements and necessity to strengthen the functioning of an efficient and responsive administration, the backbone of which has always been the Ministerial cadre, and which would continue to remain so in the future as well and none of the legitimate demands of Ministeraial Faction have been considered positively.
Still the Rules framed under Fundamental Rules, Supplementary Rules, General Financial Rules, Financial Powers Rules, Leave rules, GPF Rules, Condut Rules etc etc , are in practice and entrusted to the Ministerial faction only to govern the basic ongoing management, house keeping functions, office procedures to look after personnel matters of an office.
In the backdrop, With the increased working strength of all other cadres because of CR vis a vis the increased workload of all the above basic functions, is it not prudent to increase proportionately the numerical strength as well the morale of the Ministerial cadre with staggered promotional Avenues ?
Whereas the proposed staffing norms of Ministerial faculty are arbitrary in the sense that the reduction of staff strength has been proposed against the FACTS
The cadre review proposal has proposed a negative growth in the grade of DOS/STA, and has surrendered 750 posts in the same grade, while increasing the number of posts and hierarchy levels among all other cadres. Please see the proposal submitted by the DG, HRD and finalized by the Board, as regards the Ministerial cadre is as under:-
Analysis and adverse impact of the proposal:-
The entire Ministerial cadre stands demoralized by this proposal, which has caused a lot of anguish, and feeling a sense of betrayal. The morale of the entire Ministerial cadre is at its lowest ever, as the entire proposal is completely Revenue oriented and no thought whatsoever has been given to look into the increase in the workload of the Administrative and non-technical sections, which is purely manned by the Ministerial Officers.
- This proposal attempts to almost wipe out the entire cadre of DOS, by abolishing the posts under the garb of showing it in combination with the post of STA which has a same Grade Pay.
- From the table placed above, it may also be seen that there is a net increase of only 1720 posts for the entire Ministerial cadre out of which the majority of posts comprise of LDC (1009 posts) and TA (1000 posts), while there is a staggering growth of the other cadres leading to creation of 28360 new posts (after the proposed surrender of 6906 posts).
- The total strength in CBEC as on date is 66808 posts comprising of all cadres, out of which the total number of Ministerial Officers stands at 12676, while the remaining 54132 constitute all other cadres.
- After the proposed cadre restructuring the total number of posts would rise to 95168 out of which Ministerial cadre would be 14396 and the remaining 80772 form the other cadres.
- Due to such an uneven increase the ratio of Ministerial cadre vis-à-vis the rest would change from the existing 1: 4 to 1: 6. This reduction in the Ministerial cadre has taken place against the backdrop of a huge demand for increase in the Ministerial staff strength to cater to the ever increasing workload, post cadre restructuring of 2001 and the present one
- The request for removal of the stagnation/degradation in the grade of DOS and AO, which have been dealt a severe blow by the Pay Commission and further worsened by the Department of Expenditure which implemented the recommendations by adopting selective discrimination.
- Further there appears to be no rationale for creating such a huge number of posts at the lower end i.e., in the grade of LDC and TA, when the Department seeks to move towards a more compact and Officer oriented cadre.
- The ratio of promotion of various grades has not been taken into account in the restructuring process owing to which the posts in the level of DOS/STA are being curtailed. As per the current proposal the ratio of promotion from AO to CAO would be 1564 : 221 which is 7:1, whereas the ideal ratio of promotion is always 2:1 or at least 3:1 in the senior level of analogous cadres.
- As on date, 78 posts out of the existing 155 posts of CAO are lying vacant and therefore there has not been any upward movement in the AO cadre during the last 5 years, due to which many Officers have already retired without getting their due promotion.
- However, no justification is available and forthcoming in the proposal for not considering increase in the CAO/AOs strength, while it contains various other proposals for creating new posts like Principal Chief Commissioner, Commissioner Grade –I, Sr.PS Grade –I & II etc., in the Group ‘A’ level.
- It is ironical to mention that even a Senior PS grade Officer is considered eligible to draw a Grade pay of Rs.6600 whereas the CAO/AO who are serving the department in the Administrative wing are not considered worthy for such a dispensation.
Extact of Submissions by AICCEMOF:-
- The entry to the Ministerial cadre is Tax Assistants and in order to achieve the minimum of 4 promotions, enough opportunities have not been provided and posts not made available. The first promotional avenue for a TA is STA, who will then go on to become AO through a farcical promotion to DOS (which has to be ignored in view of the fact that there is no financial benefit) and finally CAO.
- Therefore, it has been suggested to modify the hierarchy of the Ministerial posts in such a way that the promotional aspirations of the Ministerial cadre can be met with.
- Further the staffing pattern of Customs Commissionerate is drastically reduced without taking into account the requirements of the preventive commissionerates which have separate and more number of field formations compared to a Customs House or an Airport. Therefore, the staff pattern suggested for manning a Divisional office should be added to the number of field formations under each preventive commissionerate apart from the standard pattern of allotment for Hqrs.offices as well. For example as on date each Customs Commissionerate were sanctioned 6 to 8 posts in the grade of AO which has now been brought down to 2 without accounting the requirement of field formations. The proposal may suitably be modified to address these areas of importance and concern.
- In the Cadre restructuring proposal the Board has proposed to seek parity of the Group ‘A’ Cadre (IC&CES) on par with the IRS (IT) and justified the same in consonance with the recommendations of the 6th CPC. However no such effort has been made to provide parity to the Ministerial cadre to address the concerns of promotional avenues. It is learnt that in order to address the disparities in the promotional avenues and the imbalances caused consequent upon implementation of the recommendations of 6th CPC, the cadre restructuring proposal of CBDT has sought to address the issue by creating the posts like Principal Administrative Officer, Sr. Administrative Officer, A.O. Gr.II and A.O Gr.III. The pay Commission has recommended that the hierarchical structure of the Ministerial cadre be suitably amended/ modified so as to meet the promotional aspirations and address the request for upgradation of pay on similarly placed category of posts.
- Therefore it is submitted that an appropriate hierarchical structure may kindly be adopted in CBEC as well. Accordingly, it is requested that the following structure may be adopted along with the respective staffing strength.
- It is proposed that the present cadre restructuring may consider the long pending demand of this Association to grant 66.66% quota for promotion and 33.33% quota for Direct Recruitment in the grade of Inspector, thus maintaining parity with the Central Board of Direct Taxes.
Hoping that the above proposal which was submitted taking into account the growing demand for manpower in the Department and considering the legitimate aspirations of all the members of the Ministerial Cadre, would be given due consideration .