Contradictory clarifications on ACP granted prior to 1.9.2008
Two Contradictory clarifications:
The following write up is an offshoot of the following two contradictory clarifications in the letter dated 02.02.2010 and Office memorandum dated 09.09.2010 issued by CBEC, Ministry of Finance and DOPT respectively on the subject of MACP, particularly, about the treatment of 2nd ACP to the Superintendents of Customs and Central Excise and equivalent cadres.
- Clarification-I: The Question No 7 and the clarification thereon in LETTER F. No. A/-26017/76/2009 AD II-A, dated 02/02/2010 issued by CBEC, Ministry of Finance (click here to download ) issued in connection with granting of 3rd MACP to the Superintendents who have got 2nd ACP in the pre revised scale of 8000-13500.
- Clarification-II: The Question No 3 and the clarification thereon Office memorandum F. No. 35034/3/2008 Estt (D), dated 09/09/2010 issued by DOPT (click here to download ) that deals with the issue of regulating the benefits of ACP granted between 01/01/2006 and 31/08/2008.
Stand of Officials of Pay and Accounts Department:
While carrying out 6th pay commission pay fixation, officials of Pay and Accounts Department were of the view that, Superintendents of Customs and Central Excise, Appraisers of Customs etc., who have got 2nd ACP in the Pre revised scale of 8000-13500, either before 01/01/2006 or between 01/01/2006 and 31/08/2008, are to be placed in PB-2 with GP5400 from the date of grant of 2nd ACP.
This stand has been taken relying on Part A Section I of First Schedule to CCS (RP) Rule 2008 (Click here to download). As per Sl.No: 16 of this provision, pre revised scale under S15-8000-13500 (also called as Junior Time Scale of Class I Officers) was revised as PB-2 9300-34800 with the grade pay of Rs.5400. Further, in the Sl.No: 17 of this provision, a new scale has been introduced, which is named as “Group A Entry”. The pre-revised pay scale of this new scale also has been deemed as 8000-275-13500 (Group A Entry) and the same has been placed in PB-3 of the revised structure with grade pay of Rs.5400.
What Clarification-I says?
Now coming to the specific doubt raised in Question No: 7 of clarification -I mentioned above, to the effect that whether the superintendents who have got 2nd ACP in pre-revised scale of 8000-13500 prior to 1.1.2006 can be placed in the grade pay of Rs.5400 in PB-3, it was clarified by CBEC, Ministry of Finance with the concurrence of DOPT that since the post of Assistant Commissioner (JTS) in the pay scale of Rs.8000-13500 is a Group A one, 3rd financial up gradation would be granted in the Grade Pay of Rs.6600.
Inference from Clarification-I
We may infer from this clarification-I that Superintendents, who have been accorded 2nd ACP in the scale of ( JTS) of AC., Viz., 8000-13500 before 01/09/2008 should have been placed in the grade pay of Rs.5400 (PB-3) and at the time of 3rd MACP they are to be granted the grade pay of Rs.6600/-.
But Clarification-II is otherwise:
But, after a close observation of the wordings Clarification-II, we may notice that emphasis is given to the word and meaning of “ NEW PAY STRUCTURE”. Accordingly the previous ACPS would be applicable in the new pay structure adopted w.e.f 01/01/2006. Based on this clarification Officers who have attained the pre-revised pay scale of Rs.8000-13500 (S-15) prior to 1.9.2008, are to be placed in PB-2 9300-34800 with the grade pay of Rs.5400.
Consequences of Clarification-I and II
These two different or rather contradictory Clarifications by DOPT (please note that the clarification CBEC has been issued with the concurrence of DOPT) would create lot of confusion and obviously the authority who is empowered to fix the pay would safely take the one which involves lesser pay benefits.
Source of Confusion:
Actually, this is a problem created due to introduction of a new pre-revised scale of 8000-275-13500 and corresponding 6CPC revised pay band PB-3 15600-39100 with the grade pay of Rs.5400 under Sl.No: 17 of Part A Section I of First Schedule to CCS (RP) Rule 2008, for Group A entry.
This introduction has alienated the officers financially upgraded from Group B Post to Group A, from Direct Entry Group A Officers as far as pay scale is concerned. In fact they are denied the pay benefits of Group A Cadre though they were upgraded to Group A grade (Assistant Commissioner Junior Time Scale) by virtue of ACP.
Need of the hour:
The Superintendents of Customs and Central Excise and equivalent cadres should take up this matter to CBEC as well as DOPT for getting categorical clarification to the effect that Revised Pay Band of PB-3 15600-39200 with grade pay of Rs.5400 would be applicable to those who were financially upgraded to pre-revised Pay Scale of 8000-275-13500 under ACP prior to 1.9.2008.
Source of this article is the analysis of above mentioned two clarifications providedby Shri.J.Lakshmi Narayanan who works for Central Excise Department at Salem as Deputy Office Superintendent