Tuesday, March 31, 2015

GOVERNMENT MAY MAKE LTC CLAIM COVERING HOTEL EXPENSES

                In order to give boost to the tourism sector, the budget for 2015-16 is likely to expand the scope of LTA and LTC by including hotel and other expenses besides travel for the purpose of tax benefit. The ministry, sources said, it is also considering a proposal to allow employees to avail leave travel concession (LTC)/leave travel allowance (LTA) every year as against the current practice of two times in a block of four years. At present, LTA or LTC covers only economy class air travel or first class (AC I Class) rail fare.  Prime Minister Narendra Modi had earlier expressed his keenness to promote tourism. Experts are of the view that encouragement to the tourism sector will promote development of different regions and create employment opportunities. “To boost domestic tourism and also provide some tax relief to the individuals, the Leave Travel Concession benefit should be increased to one visit for every financial year,” KPMG (India) partner Vikas Vasal said. He further suggested that tax concessions should also be made available for stay in hotel may also be covered to help families avail of a holistic benefit. The LTC/LTA is available to the individual and his family including spouse, two children, parents, brothers and sisters, who are wholly dependent on the assessee. “There is a huge scope for developing the tourism industry in India which provides direct and indirect employment to millions of people. Therefore, an enhanced tax relief to individuals on LTC will benefit the overall economy,” Vasal said.

DISCRIMINATION IN GRANTING OF MACP


              As informed earlier, the delegation of CESA, Mumbai, met Hon'ble Member (P & V) on 11.03.2015 and briefed about depriving of 3rd MACP to the eligible officers in one or the other pretext.  On going through our detailed representation and discussion, the Member had asked us to give one more representation, clarifying certain points raised during the discussion.   It was also brought to her notice, that in Customs, the department is not resorting to recover the 3rd MACP from the officers who are serving and are not recovering the same from officers who have retired. The same will be submitted shortly as assured by us.  However, the representation dated 11.03.2015 on MACP is Annexed for viewers.  

                                                                                                            Ref: CESA/15/2015
                                                                                                            Dated the 11.03.2015
Ms. Joy Kumari Chander
Hon’ble Member (P&V),
CBEC, New Delhi.

Respected Madam,

            Sub: - Grant of 3rd MACP in the Grade Pay of Rs. 6600/- to the
                        Superintendents of Central Excise, Customs and Service Tax – reg.

            As per the MACP Scheme DPC has been held and Order in respect of the eligible officers for third MACP has been issued by the Cadre Controlling Commissionerate of Mumbai.  In accordance with the Order, Grade Pay has been refixed and accordingly the salary has been drawn by placing the officers in the Grade pay of Rs. 6600/-. However, as per the Board’s communication dated 04.06.2014 the Cadre Controlling Authority was forced to withdraw the grant of Grade pay of Rs. 6600/- to the officers as third financial upgradation under the MACP Scheme. Ironically, recoveries have been made from the retired officers who were initially granted the Grade Pay of Rs. 6600/-. Withdrawal of the grant of Grade Pay, as aforesaid, has even affected the pension drawn by such retired officers. It is a double setback for the officers as they could not get promotion due to delay in conducting the DPC from Group ‘B’ to Group ‘A’ and now financial loss depriving even the financial benefits.   
            In several decisions given by various High Courts, it has been held that the officers who have been granted NFG on completion of four years of regular service by way of grant of Grade Pay of Rs. 5400/- in PB-2 cannot be taken as financial upgradation since the same is not the Grade Pay granted in the hierarchical posts, as envisaged by ACP/MACP Scheme. The Cadre Controlling Authority vide letter addressed to JS (Admn), New Delhi dated 15.01.2015 has justified the contention of the officers and requested for restoration of the Orders of grant of Grade Pay of Rs. 6600/-.
            The purpose of ACP/MACP Scheme was to compensate financially to the stagnated Cadres as due to lack of promotional opportunities there was pay erosion also which affects these officers cumulative impact till they survive as they get even pension also on the last pay drawn. The very purpose of the Scheme is defeated by not following the scheme in its true spirit. This logic is also discussed in the Court pronouncements in depth and those judgments are even accepted by the department. The eligible officers whose Orders granting Grade Pay of Rs. 6600/- has been withdrawn are not only humiliated but also made to suffer a financial loss for no fault of them. This is nothing but applying salt to the wound of the stagnated Cadre.   
It is, therefore, requested to kindly withdraw the Board’s clarification dated 04.06.2014 and issue instructions to grant Grade Pay of Rs. 6600/- to the officers eligible for third MACP on completion of 30 years, which is also recommended by the Cadre Controlling Authority, Mumbai, who is awaiting the reply from the Board.
Thanking you.
Yours sincerely,

 Encl.: As above. 
A.K. SASMAL
General Secretary

Copy to:
                The Joint Secretary (Admn.), CBEC, North Block, New Delhi – 100001, for kind information and necessary action please.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

REVIEW DPC FOR ADHOC TO REGULAR FROM 2005 TO 2014

            25th March 2015, will be a great day in the history of Mumbai Central Excise Group B officers’ cadre.  To taste the fruits of first promotion from Inspector to Superintendent, due to acute stagnation, it took more than 22 years, that too, on Adhoc basis.  The practice of promotion on Adhoc basis, started since 2005.  Regularisation in the cadre, normally takes place varies from months to years. 
        CESA Mumbai, took up this issue vigorously.  Credit goes to Shri. Suresh Krishnani, Commissioner and Cadre Controlling Authority of Mumbai I, who earlier had served in Jaipur Commissionerate and was aware that the officer of Jaipur got promotions on the vacancy arising due to promotions etc. on Adhoc basis and got regularized on the date of Adhoc order as per the Board’s letter dated 26.10.2011 and our Hon’ble Chief Commissioner, Shri. V S Krishnan, who had raised this issue in the Board’s meeting held in September 2014 and got endorsment to adopt the same method for Mumbai.  It is due to the efforts of Mumbai Administration, Shri. V S Krishnan and Shri Suresh Krishnani, endless efforts by Shri N P Meshram, Joint Commissioner, CCU, Mumbai and staff of our Confidential Section of Central Excise, Mumbai I, the Administration is able to hold the review DPC today to review the promotion orders issued from 2005 to May 2013.  The practice of issuing Adhoc promotion orders have been stopped from June 2014 onwards.  However from June 2013 to May 2014, it was already regularized.
        Due to this exercise, hundreds of officers of this Zone, will be benefitted and their seniority will be restored at par with other officers of other Cadre controlling zones.  The humiliation and the discrimination will be erased, because of this action. 
      CESA, Mumbai expresses its sincere thanks to the Mumbai Administration, for this gesture. 

Friday, March 20, 2015

Litigation on the basis of N R Parmar’s judgement.

          Original Application filed in the Mumbai Bench of CAT, seeking refixing the seniority on the basis of date on which vacancy had arisen and as per the advertisement for employment, from 1982 onwards.  The applicants are S/Shri. V. U. Bhramakhshatri, L. V. Bisht, S. D. Patil (Pune), B. Kannan, K. K. S. Nair, M. K. Mishra and CESA, Mumbai. 

        Another OA for implementation of N R Parmar judgement in Mumbai Zone, like in CBDT, from 1986 onwards, is under process and is likely to be filed in the next week.  

Thursday, March 19, 2015

FROM CESA's DESK

DPC FOR MACP:    DPC for MACP was held on 10.03.2015 covering the period upto 31.03.2015.  Orders have been issued. 

ISSUE OF PROPER RATIO IN SUPREME COURT:        Hon’ble Supreme Court had adjourned the hearing on the petition filed by Kiran Panditji and Others, from 16.03.2015 by 4 weeks and had converted the petition from a Non-Miscellaneous petition to Miscellaneous Petition.

DELHI VISIT:        Delegation of CESA Mumbai, on the 12th and 13th March 2015, met Member P&V and other Board officials and represented the issue of infrastructure and MACP alongwith other issues, specifically to withdraw Board’s clarification dated 04.06.2014 denying MACP in the light of DOPT instructions dated 26.07.2010 and requesting to issue fresh instructions as requested by Cadre Controlling Authority, Mumbai vide its letter dated 15.01.2015 urging the Board to grant Grade Pay of Rs. 6600/- to the officers eligible for third MACP on completion of 30 years as per the decision of Punjab & Haryana High Court and Madras High Court.  CESA’s letter dated 12.03.2015 is annexed.

TRANSFER & POSTINGS:        Meetings with Mumbai Administration and Staff Association was held consequent to the reorganization of the Commissionerates/Zones, new Transfer and Posting policy is formulated.    Salient features are:
a)        IZT will be issued by end of April and ICT will be issued by the end of May.
b)       The tenure in a Zone (C.EX. Zone-I / Zone-II / Service Tax) will be of 5 Years.
c)        The tenure in Audit Commissionerates, (C.EX, S. Tax, and LTU Audit) will be of 3 Years.
d)       The tenure in M&P, LTU Mumbai and Loan Postings will be of 2 Years.
e)        Centralised Roster for Transfer and Postings to M&P will be maintained by PCCO and staff will be apportioned from Central Excise and Service Tax except from LTU, Mumbai and LTU Audit.
f)         Centralised Roster for LTU Mumbai and LTU Audit will be maintained by PCCO.
g)        The tenure in C.EX Commissionerates and S. Tax Commissionerate will be of 3 Years.
h)       For computation of tenure of a Superintendent, tenure as a Superintendent at a stretch will be counted.  Similarly for Inspectors tenure at a stretch as Inspector will be counted.   Deputation or loan posting/loan posting/M & P posting will not be counted, while computing the tenure in a Commissionerate/Zone.
i)          On promotion officer will be posted out of the Commissionerate and a separate roster on the basis of juniority will be maintained for repatriation from Pune Zone to Mumbai.
j)          The station of Entire Mumbai is treated as a one station.
k)        Exemptions for officers, whose wards are appearing in class 10th and 12th, will not be considered for ICT and IZT.   But it will be considered for postings to Pune but their names will not be deleted from their roster.  The posting will be postponed suitably. 

INFRASTRUCTURE:  Several Tenders have been issued for Service Tax Commissionerates and is under process of finalization and new space at 30th Floor of World Trade Centre for LTU audit and LTU Mumbai is under process. 

        Member (P & V) and DGHRD were kind enough to ease the congestion in office space and provide other infrastructure facilities for Mumbai. 


THE MACP ISSUE:  The delegation categorically clarify that the DOPT may be appraised to issue clarifications and alter their decision as per the High Courts orders and the pretext of DOPT referring the matter to the Seventh Pay Commission is strongly reacted by this Association.  This is beyond the term and reference of the Seventh Pay Commission and they cannot intervene the flaws created in the past commission or their report or any interpretations by DOPT or respective ministries.  Further it is urged that the Superintendent Cadre do not have any platform to redress this anamoly as like Inspector and other Cadres.  In the Revenue Department, CBDT do not have any problem and ACP to MACP was extended for others in the pretext of our cadre and others have been benefitted.  This issue was constantly neglected as it has not pinched others financially while in service or at time of retirement or after retirement.   

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

FINANCIAL BRIGADE OF SERVICE TAX

Exceptional officers of Mumbai Service Tax




Shri Sushil Solanki, Commissioner of Service Tax-I known for his cool and calm nature and nothing skip from his scanner and toll too hard to head more revenue from his Commissionerate and sharp enough to plug the leakage of revenue. There are many more financial soldiers in his command and the above four are exceptional and exemplary and proud of his team.  
The above officers dedicated their service not for recognitions it becomes a passion for them CESA appreciates their efforts and expects their service should be recognized by CBEC.