Monday, September 15, 2014

NEW SERVICE TAX COMMISSIONERATES AS PER NEW PROPOSAL


Ref :CESA/60 /2014
Dtd.:15.09.2014

Ms. J.M. Shanti Sundharam
Hon’ble Chairperson,
Central Board of Excise & Customs,
New Delhi
 

Sub :  Request for notifying jurisdiction of new Service Tax Commissionerates as per the recent revised changes in Districts effected by the Maharashtra Government and proposal submitted by Mumbai administration on 09.09.2014 - reg.
Respected Madam,

CESA expresses its appreciation that your honour is putting in your all-out efforts to roll out the proposal of Cadre Restructuring as well as creation of new Formations/Commissionerates according to the parameters of total revenue, number of assessees as well as catering to the requirements and aspirations of the staff as well as better tax administration.
           The proposals for new Commissionerates, as approved by the Cabinet got issued vide CR Notification dated 12.05.2014. Accordingly, the two existing Service Tax Commissionerates of Mumbai zones are split into 7 Commissionerates of Service Tax & 3 Service Tax Audit Commissionerates.

As far as Central Excise is concerned there is no change in the formation of Commissionerates in both the Zones, except allocating of Audit Commissionerates.
The Notification of the new Commissionerates is expected and it is learnt that the Board is going ahead with the previous proposal which was sent prior to the issuance of the CR Notification, which is outdated at this juncture.
          Madam, as you are aware, the new proposed Mumbai ST-VII Commissionerate is carved out of the existing Division-VI of Mumbai ST-II Commissionerate (comprising of the existing jurisdiction of Thane-I, Thane-II and part of Mumbai-III Central Excise Commissionerates), Division-V of ST-II Commissionerate (comprising of Mumbai-II, Belapur and the remaining part of Mumbai-III Central Excise Commissionerates) and Raigad ST Division (comprising of the Raigad Commissionerate of Central Excise).
That is, the area of the proposed ST-VII Commissionerate of Mumbai covers entire Thane, Raigad and a part of Mumbai Districts. One end of ST-VII starts from Dahanu near Gujarat State Border and ends at the border of Ratnagiri District. Distance between both the ends would be more than 250 kms. There is no local train connectivity between these two ends. As such, the Trade as well as the staff will be put to great inconvenience in reaching each other for official work on day to day basis.
Accordingly, local staff Associations have requested in person to the Chief Commissioner, Central Excise, Mumbai Zone-I, to consider the geographical and topographical conditions of the jurisdiction of Mumbai Zones and the facilities available for commuting while proposing the formation of the seven Commissionerates and to aligning the jurisdictions of Service Tax Commissionerates, so as to cause least inconvenience to the Trade at large and the staff as well.
The Government of Maharashtra has split the erstwhile Thane District into Thane District & Palghar District, with effect from the 01-Aug-2014, as the area was very vast. This was done to facilitate the citizens of the newly formed Palghar District as earlier the District Head Quarters of Thane District was located at Thane, which involves considerable travelling. Moreover, there was no direct connectivity of train service.
Considering the above development, it is learnt that the CC office, Mumbai Zone-I, after due consultation, had administratively amended the earlier proposal and submitted a new one on 9/9/2014 along with the draft of the Notification (in both English & Hindi), as instructed by the Board office.
The amended proposal has been drafted after due consultations with CCs of Mumbai Zone-I & Zone-II, Commissioners ST-I & ST-II, who are well acquainted with the ground reality & the difficulties faced by the staff and Trade. Local trains are the lifeline of Mumbai as far as commutation is concerned, both for staff and the trade. Commuting between Dahanu of Palghar District to Belapur and Raigad involving change of trains, takes almost 5-6 hours in trying circumstances, especially during peak hours. The amended proposal has been thoughtfully and meticulously carved out without any breaks in continuity as per the revenue wards of the Mumbai Municipal Corporation and other important parameters, as earlier stated above.
The amended draft proposal is more practical and convenient one and also balancing the revenue, number of assessees and continuity in the geographical jurisdiction. It also takes care of the commutation problems of the Trade and the Staff, who can reach the HQ of the respective Commissionerates with the least amount of inconvenience.  The old proposal was lacking in the above concerns.
Madam, the staff of Mumbai Zones will be highly obliged if your goodself will consider the amended proposal submitted by the CC office on 09-Sep-2014, while issuing the Notification outlining the jurisdiction of the new Commissionerates.

Thanking you,
                        
                   Yours sincerely


                      A.K. Sasmal
                                                                                      General Secretary
CC to :
  1. Hon’ble Revenue Secretary, Deptt. of Revenue, Ministry of Finance, New Delhi – For kind information and with a request to consider the amended proposal, which is convenient for all and also rational.
  2. The Member (P & V), CBEC, New Delhi - For kind information and with a request to consider the amended proposal, which is convenient for all and also rational.
  3. Ms. Mala Shrivastava, Hon’ble Member (Customs), CBEC, New Delhi, In – charge of Mumbai Zone  - For kind information and with a request to consider the amended proposal, which is convenient for all and also rational.
  4. DG (HRD), CBEC, New Delhi - For kind information and with a request to consider the amended proposal, which is convenient for all and also rational.
  5. The Chief Commissioner, Central Excise, Zone I/II, for kind information and with a request to impress upon the Board to consider the latest amended proposal dated 9/9/2014 which is convenient to all.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

GST TO BE ROLLED OUT FROM APRIL-2016


India’s biggest tax reform initiative — Goods and Services Tax (GST) — has entered the final leg of implementation with the government planning to announce a roadmap to roll out the new indirect tax regime by April 2016.

The Centre plans to introduce the Constitution Amendment Bill in the Winter Session of Parliament in December. States also want an independent compensation mechanism to be incorporated in the Constitution Amendment Bill and are also seeking for petroleum and liquor to be kept outside the ambit of GST.

The Centre is hoping that a robust country-wide IT network and infrastructure to make the implementation seamless across state boundaries will be ready by April 2016.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

ROAD MAP TO ROLL OUT CR

1.  Trade notice for jurisdiction of new formations draft of Mumbai zone is ready.
2.  New Commissionerates likely to be functional from November 2014.
3.  DPC for Inspector to Superintendent is fixed in the last week of September.
4.  CESA requested a placement policy to be formulated before implementation of CR.
5.  The dossiers for 421 regular post of AC are already sent to UPSC by including the Mumbai officers as per the new OM dated 19.08.2014.
6.  CR related post either regular or temporary, the dossiers are still under preparation.
7.  The proposal of new premises i.e., Air India building, Lotus building, MTNL building at Borivali, Thane and Vashi is under active pursuation.
8.  CESA also requested to recruit staff on compassionate grounds as well as on sports quota.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

A Bold petition to PM from Meerut Unit

                                                  By Speed post                                    1st September 2014
To
Hon’ble Prime minister
Shri Narendra Modi
7, Race Course Road, New Delhi

Respected Sir,
Subject: All staff grievances may be settled by willing and accountable Secretariat (with Ombudsmen) instead through unending litigations in Courts -- Online grievances thru CPGRAMS or RTI are closed in the name of govt. policy unaware of its meaning and as if the grievance owner has no right under the Constitution – Those who cleared Civil Service or SSC Exams by solving difficult passages of English comprehension and logical reasoning have failed to apply the same intelligence in day to day Govt. functioning, dragging everything to Courts bringing tears of blood to grievance owner staff/public, and happiness to Govt./other counsels with Courts feeling elated of their power – Social audit and the Ombudsmen/juries of high repute from social groups may take lead to take country forward by being direct link between Ministers and the citizens.

1.0.        The Recruitment Rules and the rules governing other conditions of service of the Govt. servants (except three AI Services) are framed by the Government (read Administrative Ministry and/ or DOPT in consultation with UPSC) under proviso to Art. 309 of the Constitution.

1.1. The President under Art. 77 has authorised the DOPT to issue guidelines for RRs and other service conditions under GOI (AOB) Rules, 1961, whereas the UPSC is the constitutional body under Art. 320 for giving advice in service matters and furnish reports to the President.

1.2. Therefore, the RRs framed by the administrative ministry in the name of President following the guidelines prescribed by the DOPT, after approval of DOPT and in consultation with the UPSC are considered subordinate legislation and statutory in nature (though not tabled before the Parliament).

1.3 This also follows that if DOPT guidelines are misinterpreted and flouted by the administrative ministry or if the ministries follow obsolete guidelines already amended by a section of DOPT, but retained/reiterated by its another section due to ignorance/negligence, then the RRs or rules framed by the concerned Ministry would not remain statutory even if they are issued in the name of President.

à Misinterpretation of Para 3.11.8 and 3.12.1 of DOPT consolidated OM No. AB.14017/48/200-Estt.(RR) dtd. 31.12.10 on framing of RRs by CBEC to prescribe separate %age quota to three identical grade Gr-B Gaz posts for promotion to Gr-A JTS grade in the IRS (C CE) Group-A Rules, 2012.
2.1. Three Gr-B Gaz posts (grade pay 4800/-)  in CBEC are named as Supdt C.Ex (responsible for Inland/Air/minor sea ports/SEZ/ICD/CFS related Customs work, all central excise and Service tax related work), Supdt Customs Preventive (responsible for preventive and anti-smuggling work at gateway sea ports) and Appraisers (valuers of imported goods at gateway sea ports). They are of the same rank or grade and no concept of lower or higher grade. The next promotional post in Gr-A is JTS grade (Grade VI and named Asstt. Commissioner, Asstt. Director or under secretary), next posts in Gr-A are in Grade V to Grade I or STS, JAG, JAG NFSG, SAG, HAG, HAG+ and Apex grade. This is to make one understand that three Gr-B posts in the same grade pay or pay in CBEC can not be called different feeder grades for promotion to the JTS grade in CBEC so as to prescribe separate promotion quota for each of them, instead based on common seniority list in the IRS (CCE) Rules, 2012

2.2. The CBEC in its Meeting dated 16.09.2011 approved revised IRS RRs and ruled out common seniority based promotion of three feeder posts (not different feeder grades) to Gr-A JTS (as provided originally under RRs of 1987) on the ground that these are likely to be challenged by Supdt CX as in WP No. 308 of 1988 and that common seniority based promotion to these three feeder posts in Gr-A JTS is not supported by DOPT guidelines, which are evidently false, fabricated and unlawful reasons from CBEC. It is a fact that WP No. 308/1988 was filed by some ill-advised Supdt CX seeking fixed post based quota in Gr-A not supported by the Govt. policy, but the then CBEC instead of resolving the issue proposed arbitrary quota to three feeder Gr-B posts in terms of Customs dominated and Excise dominated posts Gr-A posts for promotion to favour Customs appraisers (Valuers of imported goods getting 22% quota for 5% strength) and got ex-parte approval from the SC in 1996, the result is that the appraisers junior by more than 10 years are ahead of Supdt CX who get hardly second promotion in life – SC in its decision dated 3.08.11 asked CBEC to frame RRs in a just and fair manner without being influenced by its decision of 1996 and after considering representations in tune with the Govt. policy, but the CBEC proposed the IRS (CCE) Gr-A Rules, 2012 in the old fashion only (this time quota in terms of sanctioned strength but included abolished 50% DR Appraisers posts – both Appr and Supdt Cus P junior in length of service to Supdt CX ), and the DOPT and UPSC approved the RRs in a casual and irresponsible manner;

2.3. It was represented by the undersigned vide CPGRAMS grievance regn No. DARPG/E/2014/04411 dated 26.07.14 that the CBEC (DoR) has issued IRS (C CE) Gr-A Rules, 2012 (notified on 13.09.12) with approval of DOPT and UPSC in violation of DOPT consolidated guidelines dated 31.12.10 on framing of RRs so as to prescribe separate quota (13 Supdt CX : 2 Supdt CP : 1 Appr) for promotion of three Group-B identical feeder posts of the same grade to Group- A JTS  instead by common seniority list of three cadres (quota to be prescribed when feeder posts are in different grades or pay and rank). The DARPG under the PMO replied on 4.08.14 as under:
“ RRs are amended by concerned Ministry/ Deptt. as they have the details of the cadre hierarchy. You are advised to approach Dept. of Revenue.”
The Establishment Division of DOPT in response to the said grievance No. DOPAT/E/2014/01897 dtd 26.07.14 replied on 19.08.14 as under:
“ RRs/amendments to RRs are proposed by concerned Departments. This department examines and concurs RRs as per the facts available in file.”

2.4. It appears DARPG and DOPT are not aware that the President has authorised them to ensure that the Ministries follow the Govt. policy without discrimination. The CBEC, DOPT and UPSC are therefore morally and ethically bound to amend Para 5(4) of IRS (CCE) Service Rules, 2012 by providing that promotion of three Gr-B identical grade officers to Gr-A JTS shall be based on common seniority list (as per original 1987 RRs). Even otherwise the quota provision in IRS RRs 2012 is against the stated Govt. policy laid down in Para 3.11.8 and 3.12.1 of DOPT guidelines dtd 31.12.10 and so it shall be deemed to be annulled and substituted by the only other procedure based on common AISL.

à  DOPT OM No. 35034/7/97-Estt (D) dated 8.02.02 merged promotion methods ‘Selection’ (by merit) and ‘non-selection’ (seniority subject to rejection of unfit) into ‘Selection’ by seniority subject to rejection of unfit (same as non-selection before 8.02.02) for all promotions. But IRS (C CE) Gr-A Rules, 2012 were not framed/approved according to mandate in Estt (D) OM dtd 8.02.02 to prescribe that method of promotion shall be ‘Selection’  by seniority subject to rejection of unfit only – And UPSC association not required for conduct of DPC when promotion not based on Selection by merit .

3.1. Second discrepancy in the IRS (CCE) Rules, 2012 is that method of promotion has been mentioned as ‘Selection’ (from Gr-B to Gr-A JTS except NFSG) without stating its meaning, and non-selection (from Gr-A JAG to NFSG) despite the fact that DOPT OM No. 35034/7/97-Estt (D) dated 8.02.02 merged the Selection (by merit) and non-selection (by seniority subject to rejection of unfit) and renamed them as ‘Selection’ i.e. promotion by seniority subject to rejection of unfit following Good (for Gr-B to Gr-A JTS to STS) or Very Good (to Gr-A JAG and above) bench-mark. The CBEC, DOPT and UPSC are again requested to introduce the above change immediately to the IRS (C CE) Gr-A Rules, 2012 (also by other CCAs) to stop discrimination against thousands of officers in feeder cadres. OR confirm that it may be deemed to be as per the Govt. policy.

3.2. Third discrepancy in the IRS (C CE) Gr-A Rules, 2012 is that it seeks association of UPSC in DPC for promotion of Gr-B to Gr-A (all others exempted)  causing undue delay despite the fact that the association of UPSC is not required after issue of DOPT OM dtd 8.02.02 as  promotion is not made on the basis of Selection by merit (UPSC association in DPC was needed when promotion was made on the basis of selection by merit earlier). The UPSC  in reply to CPGRAMS grievance regn No. DARPG/E/2014/04121 dtd 15.07.14 clarified in the matter on 30.07.14 as under:
“ It is to state that the mode of promotion from Gr-B to Gr-A posts as prescribed  in the earlier RRs used to be Selection by merit and selection cum seniority. As per DOPT OM dated 8.02.2002 this has been dispensed with and the mode of promotion in all such cases has been rechristened as ‘Selection’.” The UPSC however defended its association in DPC on the ground that for promotion to the post of JTS of CBEC the recruitment rules provide for consultation with UPSC and the RRs being statutory in nature the DPC for promotion is convened by them. The petitioner however seeks omission of provision from RRs as the same is unconstitutional and non-statutory being against Govt. policy in OM dated 8.02.02.

3.2.1. The UPSC is in the process of conducting DPCs for the vacancy year 2013-14 and 2014-15 for Gp-B to Gr-A promotion in CBEC as a result of CR exercise to be completed by 30th September 2014; considering 5000 officers in the consideration Zone (All Supdt CX drawing Gr-A STS GP Rs. 6600 under MACPS but retiring each month without second promotion in Gr-A JTS grade in the career) the overburdened UPSC may not conduct DPC in time, giving serious blow to already crumbling tax administration in CBEC. Therefore as admitted by UPSC that their association in DPC is not required after DOPT OM dated 8.02.02 the irrelevant clause seeking UPSC association in DPC may be deemed to be deleted from  IRS (C CE) Gr- A Rules, 2012.

4. DOPT OM No. 35034/7/97-Estt (D) dated 8.02.02 merged promotion methods ‘Selection’ (by merit) and ‘non-selection’ (seniority subject to rejection of unfit) into ‘Selection’ by seniority subject to rejection of unfit (same as non-selection before 8.02.02) for all promotions. But Para 3.6, Para 3.11.2, Para 3.13.4 of the said Estt (RR) OM 31.12.10, and Para 6.11 and 6.12 of Estt (Res) OM dated 17.11.11 and 23.01.14 were not amended by DOPT according to mandate in Estt (D) OM dtd 8.02.02 to prescribe method of promotion as ‘Selection’  by seniority subject to rejection of unfit only. The DOPT may take remedial action at once.

5. As per the Govt. policy issued by DOPT in OM No. 22011/18/87-Estt (D) dtd 9.04.96, the DPC will prepare an extended panel interalia when officers in the panel have retired/ are retiring within the same year. Further, DOPT OM No. 22011/9/98-Estt (D) dtd 6.10.99 has clarified that the chain vacancies on account of retirement, etc. in the higher grades in a vacancy year shall include the vacancies which can be clearly anticipated as likely to become available in the concerned grade by promotion of officers of the service to higher grades during the vacancy year ( e.g. anticipated retirement or promotion in Gr-A STS to HAG+ grade in a panel year to create vacancies at Gr-A JTS). But CBEC has never followed the provisions of above DOPT guidelines in its history and the RTI queries/CPGRAMS requests have not been responded by them. 
PRAYER
Hon’ble Prime Minister is therefore requested kindly,-
i)             to order independent enquiry by social audit/jury or as deemed fit (but not by any secretariat staff or attached offices whose one liner would be ‘it is Govt. policy not grievance’) to examine the legitimacy and legality of the petition, and
        ii)            direct CBEC (DoR), DOPT and UPSC after such enquiry report to work in co-ordination (instead shifting onus to others) and resolve the grievances of the petitioner by making the stated three amendments in the IRS (C CE) Gr-A Rules, 2012 (may be treated deemed to be amended as per Govt. policy for RRs with immediate effect till formal approval of amdts), CBEC to follow DOPT OMs dtd 9.04.96 and 6.10.99,  and DOPT to make amendments in its Estt (Res) OM dtd 17.11.11/23.01.14 and Estt (RR) OM dtd 31.12.10 in tune with Estt (D) OM dtd 8.02.02 as mentioned in Para 4, supra.

With highest regard,

Enclosures: 1) DOPT OM dtd 31.12.10 with remarks/inconsistencies,  2) IRS (C CE)   Gr-A Rules, 2012, 3) DOPT OM dtd 8.02.02, 4) UPSC reply dtd 30.07.14 to CPGRAMS, 5) DOPT OM dtd 6.10.99 on chain vacancies, 6) DOPT OM dtd 9.04.96 on extended panel.
Yours faithfully,
Sd/-
S. S. Chauhan          
General Secretary,
Meerut unit


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Regularisation of Irregularity in the Seniority List (1993-1997) of officers of Mumbai Zone

“Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.”


Irregularity in the Seniority List, a long standing demand of CESA Mumbai is resolved. 
198 officers of Mumbai Zone is properly placed in the first All India Seniority List (1993-1997) and may get a place in the regular vacancy of ACs in the ensuing DPC.
Timely action of CESA Mumbai and support of local administration and Co-operation of Board averted the great injustice and embarrassment of senior officer of Mumbai Zone.
Somebody has rightly said that 
“A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him.”
F. No. A-23018/1/2014-Ad.IIB
Government of India
Ministry of Finance
Department of Revenue
Central Board of Excise & Customs
*****
New Delhi, the 19th August, 2014
OFFICE MEMORANDUM
Subject: Re-fixation of seniority of Superintendents of Mumbai-I Zone who have been upgraded/promoted during 1st phase of Upgradation / Restructuring in year 1996 and others who have been notionally promoted w. e. f. 30.09.1996 in All India Seniority List of Superintendent of Central Excise for the period 01.01.1993 to 31.12.1997.

            The undersigned is directed to say on the basis of the information furnished by concerned Cadre Controlling Authority and based on the information of Zonal Seniority List. The Competent Authority has approved re-fixation of seniority of officers of Mumbai-I Zone who have been upgraded / promoted during 1st phase of Restructuring in the year 1996 and others who have been notionally promoted w.e.f. 30.09.1996 in All India Seniority List of Superintendent of Central Excise for the period 01.01.1993 to 31.12.1997.
2. The details of re-fixation of seniority of the above mentioned officers are given in the Annexure-I enclosed with this order.


(B. K. Manthan)
Under Secretary to the Govt. of India


To,
(i)                 Director General of Human Resource Development, CBEC, C-4, West Wing, Ground Floor, IRCON Building, District Centre, Saket, New Delhi – 110017.
(ii)               Director General of Systems with the request to upload the details (Annexure-I) in the official website of CBEC.
(iii)             Concerned Cadre Controlling Authority (Mumbai-I Zone).
(iv)              The Under Secretary Ad. II for necessary action.
(v)                Office folder.


(B. K. Manthan)
Under Secretary to the Govt. of India

For Details Browse CBEC website

Monday, August 25, 2014

MEETING ON IMPLEMENTATION OF CADRE RESTRUCTURING


A meeting is scheduled to be held on 27/08/2014 in North Block, New Delhi at 10 A.M. with all the Cadre Controlling Authorities of Group B & C to discuss the issues on implementation of the Cadre Restructuring plan including conduct of DPC’s for promotions to various grades in Group B & C. Other details will follow.