Response of Indian Revenue Service Association

1. Comparison with public/private sectors

1.1 Should there be any comparison/parity between pay scales and perquisites in Government and the public/private sector?

Yes, if the Government wants to obtain and retain talent in a fiercely competitive job market, relative parity based on objective comparison is definitely called for.

1.2 Is it possible to quantify all other benefits, excluding pay, derived by employees in Government and the public and private sectors from security of tenure, promotional avenues, retirement packages, housing and other invisibles? In view of these benefits, can there be any fair comparison between the salaries available in the government vis-à-vis the salaries in the private sector?

The private sector operates on pure tangibles, while the Government / public sectors operate on a mix of tangibles and intangibles not only in terms of benefits but also in terms of value systems. Therefore, absolute comparison is not possible, though a fair comparison could be possible so that emoluments of a comparative job in the government do not look very poor.

1.3 In order to ensure a fair comparison based on principles of equity and social justice, would it not also be appropriate to take into account the economic conditions of large sections of the community that are less privileged than Government employees and many of whom live below the poverty line?

Yes. One of the critical roles of the Government is to alleviate poverty and economic distress where it exists in the short-term, and empower the socially and economically weaker sections in the long-term. That, however, does not; mean that the government, as employer, should ignore the legitimate demands of its employees.

2. International comparisons

2.1 Some countries have raised civil service pay scales almost to levels prevalent in the private sector on the hypothesis that a well-paid bureaucracy is likely to be honest and diligent. To what extent would such a hypothesis be valid and how far would such a course of action be desirable?

The hypothesis is only partly valid. Corruption in public life is a result of need or/and greed, or a combination of both these factors. What we need is elimination of the need factor along with a strong preventive and curative mechanism to check corruption.

3. Impact on other organizations

3.1 Salary structure in the Central and State Governments is broadly similar. The recommendations of the Pay Commission are likely to lead to similar demands from employees of State Governments, municipal bodies, panchayati raj institutions & autonomous institutions

Their paying capacity is considerably limited. To what extent should this factor be considered in devising a reasonable remuneration package for Central Government employees?

The Central Government must have considered the impact of the recommendations of the Central Pay Commission on the State Governments and local bodies. What we would like to say is that the pay package should be decided keeping in view, inter alia, the duties, responsibilities and conditions of service.

4. Salaries

4.1 How should we determine the salary to be paid to a Secretary in the Central Government? Please suggest an appropriate basic pay for a Secretary? Can appointment to this post be made on a contractual basis where salaries and tenure are linked to the performance in terms of achieving defined targets?

We have suggested pay scales in our Memorandum (submitted separately) after considering all the factors. We have suggested only three scales for Group-'A' services. Pay of the secretary has not been separately suggested. However, we suggest that a secretary may draw fixed salary at the maximum of senior management scale, i.e. Rs.1,20,000 per month. Appointment on contractual basis may sound attractive, but there would be practical difficulties. However, there must be an effective mechanism to weed out corrupt and inefficient personnel so that quality and efficiency is maintained at all levels.

4.2 What should be the reasonable ratio between the minimum and the maximum of a pay scale?

We have given our suggestion in the Memorandum.

4.3 Is it necessary to persist with a pre-determined minimum-maximum ratio on ideological considerations? Or is it more important to ensure efficient administration by preventing flight of outstanding talent from Government?

Pre-determined mini-max ratio on ideological considerations has become dysfunctional in the market-driven economy. Talent could be retained in the government only by attractive emoluments and working conditions.

5. Relativities

5.1 Employees in the Secretariat and analogous establishments are entitled to higher pay scales than the corresponding field functionaries. This was supposed to compensate them for the loss of certain facilities available to them in field assignments and the extra effort required for decision-making at the policy level. Are these factors valid even today particularly in the context of decentralization and devolution of administrative powers? Is this discrimination between field and secretariat functionaries even justified today?

These factors are to some extent still valid today and the policy of extra/additional compensation for those posted to secretariat and analogous organizations may continue.

6. Group-A Services

6.1 Is there a case for a Unified Civil Service, merging therein all Central (both technical and non-technical) and All India Services, allowing vertical and horizontal movement? Or should there be two distinct streams, one embracing all the technical services and the other for non-technical services?

In the age of specialization/super-specialization, the case for a Unified Civil Service would be difficult to support. In fact, it is more important to end the glaring inter-service disparity and monopoly of one service over senior positions irrespective of the suitability of the officers of that service for the post. It would be more advisable to build "Central Management Pool" of experienced officers to man senior positions in the Government.

6.2 Do you feel that the pattern of pay scales for all Group A Services should be redesignated so as to attract candidates of the requisite caliber? Keeping in view some of the compensation packages being offered to fresh professionals by the private sector, what emoluments would you suggest for an entrant to a Group-A Service in Government?

Please refer to our Memorandum for details.

7. Professional personnel

7.1 Should there be a higher compensation package for scientists in certain specialized streams/departments like Department of Space, Department of Atomic Energy? If so, what should be the reasonable package in their case?

Yes; there should be higher compensation package for scientists, in specialized streams. However, such compensation should be in the form of specialization and super-specialization allowance (on the pattern of non-practicing allowance to the doctors) and not in the form of higher basic pay which will again make the services and scales discriminative.

8. Classification of posts

8.1 Presently, civilian posts in the Central Government are classified into four Groups (‘A’, ‘B’, ‘C’ & ‘D’) with reference to their scales of pay. The Fifth Central Pay Commission had recommended their reclassification into Executive, Supervisory, Supporting and Auxiliary Staff. Would you suggest any changes in the existing classification or should the classification recommended by Fifth Central Pay Commission be adopted with/without modifications?

Broadly, there should be three grades - managerial, supervisory and executive. Group-D services may be gradually phased out and the services outsourced.

9. Restructuring of Group ‘C’ & ‘D’ posts

9.1 Should all lower Group ‘C’ functionaries in the Secretariat be replaced by multi-functional Executive Assistants, who would be graduates and well versed in office work, secretarial skills and use of modern office equipment including computers? Should similar arrangements can be evolved for Group ‘C’ posts in other organisations of Government?

Group 'C’ functionaries may be replaced by multifunctional executive assistants in the secretariat as suggested. However, similar arrangements for other organizations may not be suitable as each organization may have its own peculiar requirement. For example, the Income Tax department requires tax assistants who are well versed in taxation laws / rules and computer operation.

9.2 Should a similar regrouping of Group D staff into fewer categories capable of performing diverse functions also be carried out?

A similar regrouping of the Group D staff (for the jobs which cannot be outsourced) into fewer categories would be beneficial.

10. Pay Scales

10.1 How should a pay scale be structured? What is a reasonable ratio between the minimum and maximum of a pay scale?

We strongly suggest that the scale of pay should be sufficiently long so that no employee suffers stagnation in any scale. Since only three scales are proposed in each category, as a thumb rule, the length of any scale should not be more than one-third of the total service span. The details have been discussed in our Memorandum.

10.2 The successive Pay Commissions have progressively reduced the number of distinct pay scales. The number of scales has therefore come down from more than 500 scales at the time of the Second Central Pay Commission to 51 scales before Fifth Central Pay Commission, which was brought down to 33 scales by the Fifth Central Pay Commission. The reduction in the number of pay scales brings in attendant problems like the promotion and the feeder grades coming to lie in the same pay scale, etc. Do you feel whether the existing number of pay scales should be retained or increased or decreased or whether the same should be replaced by a running pay scale?

In our Memorandum we have suggested de-linking of post and pay scale and only 3 pay scales - Junior Management, Middle management and Senior Management - for officers of Group 'A' Services. Similar, exercise could be done for the lower Groups.

11. Increments

11.1 What should be the criteria for determining the rates and frequency of increments in respect of different scales of pay? Should these bear a uniform or varying relationship with the minima and/or maxima of the scales?

Frequency of increment should be 1 year, as at present. It should bear a varying relationship with the minima / maxima of the scales.

12. Revision of pay scales

12.1 Is there any need to revise the pay scales periodically especially when 100% neutralization for inflation is available in form of dearness allowance?

Yes. There is a need to revise pay scales periodically as the base level becomes obsolete after a few years. Neutralisation for inflation is only one of the factors in pay determination.

12.2 How should pay be fixed in the revised pay scales? Should there be a point-to-point fixation? If not, please suggest a method by which it can be ensured that senior personnel are not placed at a disadvantage vis-à-vis their juniors and due weightage is given for the longer service rendered by the former.

We strongly suggest point-to-point fixation. 6.3. The earlier Pay Commissions resorted to the unhealthy practice of bunching various stages in the revised scales. This was highly inequitable, since many officers lost the benefit of increments earned. Correspondingly, many juniors jumped to the same level of pay as their seniors, without putting in the extra years of service or earning the increments. If the same policy is adopted this time around as well, many officers stand to lose out again, and others may get double benefit. This would be undesirable, demotivating and patently unfair. Hence, we strongly urge that the fitment formula may be such that the pay in the revised scale may be fixed at the same stage as in the pre-revised scale, i.e., point-to-point fixation.

13. Compensatory Allowances

13.1 Is City Compensatory Allowance a sufficient compensation for the problems of a large city? If DA and HRA provide full neutralization, do you think CCA should continue? Is there a need for changing the basis of classification of cities and the rates of CCA? If so, please suggest the revised basis and rates.

No, present levels of CCA is not sufficient. For detailed suggestions please refer to our memorandum.

14. Pay and perquisites for Armed Forces

14.1 What should be the basis for determination of pay scales for Armed Forces Personnel? What percentage weightage should be assigned to (i) parity with civil services, (ii) comparison with private sector, (iii) special and hazardous nature of duties, (iv) short career span and (v) restricted rights?

Any civilized nation takes proper care of its armed personnel. At present, the pay of Armed Forces is more or less at par with that of civil services. The same thing may be continued.

14.2 How should the pay of a soldier, sailor and airman be determined? How should it relate to the minimum wage in Government and the pay of a constable in paramilitary or internal security forces?

No comments.

15. Abolition of feudalism

15.1 Should all vestiges of feudalism in the country like huge residential bungalows sprawling over several acres, large number of servants’ quarters, retinues of personal staff, bungalow peons, use of uniformed personnel as batmen or on unnecessary security or ceremonial duties etc. be abolished? Please make concrete suggestions.

No comments.

16. Specific proposals

16.1 In what manner can Central Government organizations functioning be improved to make them more professional, citizen-friendly and delivery oriented?

By ensuring that all Group 'C’ personnel become Executive Assistants (as in para 9.1 and 9.2 above) considerable reduction would already be achieved. The Group-D cadre should be phased out and replaced with outsourced contractual services.

16.2 Please outline specific proposals, which could result in:

(i) Reduction and redeployment of staff,
(ii) Reduction of paper work,
(iii) Better work environment,
(iv) Economy in expenditure,
(v) Professionalisation of services,
(vi) Reduction in litigation on service matters,
(vii) Better delivery of service by government agencies to their users.

Reg. (i) above:- Implementation of 16.1 above can achieve reduction of staff. Certain State Governments allow their servants to go on leave for 5 years and go abroad and 'earn'. Such a practice can be adopted at the Centre as well. Allowing Government servants to go on deputation even in private sector, without compromising on the position of Government, would also reduce the strength. Reg, (ii) to (vii) above:- Introducing the agency model of governance, particularly for revenue earning and services sectors in the government, with full administrative and financial autonomy to such agencies; Reducing existing multiple grades and nomenclatures to 3 basic grades and de-linking pay with posts; Factoring in perquisites in monetary terms, thus dispensing with the requirement of submission, examination and passing of evidence of expenditure related to such perquisites; Introducing structural changes in the work-place environment, such as replacing present day chamber / room system with work-station system; Extensively using e-governance practices, such as intra-net for intra-office communication and internet for inter-office communication; Implementing citizen-friendly mechanisms for delivery of services, such as use of e-filing / e-payment, BPOs, touch screen systems, etc. (some of these have been implemented by the Income Tax department in a big way); The above measures, taken compositely, will lead to achieving all the above desired results.

17. New concepts

17.1 Do you think the concepts of contractual appointment, part-time work, flexible job description, flexi time etc. need to be introduced in Government to change the environment, provide more jobs and impart flexibility to the working conditions of employees?

Contractual appointment, part time work, flexible job description, etc. may not be suitable to the Government sector. However, some technical services can be contracted out, in so far as they are quantifiable in nature.

17.2 For improving punctuality/introducing new concepts like flexi time, should biometric entry/exit be introduced?

It may not be feasible.

17.3 What steps should be taken to ensure that scientists, doctors, engineers and other professionals with sophisticated education and skills are retained in their specialized fields in Government? Should they be appointed on contract with a higher status and initial pay, advance increments, better service conditions, etc.?

Advance increments/special incentive allowances to the qualified persons could be considered.

17.4 Should there be lateral movement from Government to non-Government jobs and vice versa? If so, in which sphere(s) and to what extent?

Yes, lateral movement from government to non-government organizations only should be permitted in all spheres up to a maximum of 5 years in the entire career.

17.5 It has been suggested that existing Government employees should be encouraged to shift to employment on contract for specified periods in return for a substantially higher remuneration package. Would you agree?

No. Govt. servants should not be allowed to shift on contract basis within the Government. Sense of service, much more than anything else, is what counts in Government.

18. Performance Appraisal

18.1 In what way should be present system of performance appraisal be changed? Should be ACR be an open document?

No. ACR shouldn't be an open document. But it should be made objective with grading on a scale point system. For promotion from one Grade to another, a minimum qualifying point must be fixed apart from any other required qualification.

18.2 How far has the introduction of self-assessment helped in the process of appraisal?

For the officers the system of self-appraisal is already in vogue. Objective criteria and objective assessment of each criterion on a point scale system for self-appraisal as well as assessment by the superior authority will reduce subjectivity and increase employee satisfaction.

18.3 Should appraisal be done for an entire team instead of for individuals?

Team evaluation may not be workable at present.

18.4 In what manner can Government employees be made personally accountable for their acts of omission or commission, without any special safeguards? Would you recommend any amendments to Article 311 of the Constitution, Section 197 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, Section 17 and 19 of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 and various rules relating to conduct of Government servants and disciplinary proceedings?

If sufficiently compensated for their needs, there should be zero tolerance to proved corruption by Government employees and the law needs to be changed / modified accordingly.

19. Holidays

19.1 Kindly comment on the appropriateness of adopting a five-day week in Government offices when other sectors follow a six day week. Please also state whether the number of Gazetted holidays in Government offices should be reduced? Please also comment on the appropriateness of declaring Gazetted holidays for all major religious festivals.

Five day week is appropriate. This is the international practice. Further, on exigencies of work Government employees do attend office on holidays. Officers require disturbance-free time for taking a studied, considered approach on many issues and files. There is, however, a need to reduce the number of Gazetted holidays in the Government. Correspondingly, the number of restricted holidays should be increased. Limited holidays on religious occasions may be allowed at the option of the employees. Earned leave of 30 days in a year should be continued. However, we suggest that the option to encash earned leave up to 15 days in a year should be allowed.

19.2 What do you think is the state of work ethics and punctuality in Government offices? Kindly suggest ways of improving these.

Employees should be motivated to achieve their targets and adhere to the ethics. Higher compensation, better facilities, career advancement opportunities, and a feeling that they are working for society at large and a caring employer can ensure this.