Tuesday, February 27, 2018
*No Agitational Programme by AIACEGEO on 28.02.18*
Dear, friends, colleagues & Members
It is to clarify and confirm that there is No CALL for any agitational programme by AIACEGEO to be observed on 28.02.18.
Neither any such decision has been taken nor any such call has been given by the All India Body.
So, AIACEGEO is observing No agitational programme/No black badges/No lunch hour demonstrations on 28.02.18.
Friends, you are requested to refrain from rumours which are being floated for agitation. The same if any will be informed in due course.
Ravi keny /Sanjeev Sahai
*Jt Sec.(WZ) AIACEGEO*
Thursday, February 22, 2018
A few days back, the Advocates of the Karnataka High Court went on a week-long relay hunger-strike, demanding the filling of up 62% of posts of judges of the Karnataka High Court that are lying vacant. Similarly the Orissa High Court Bar Association also went on a week-long strike in protest of the growing vacancies at the Orissa High Court.
What a pathetic situation, lakhs of cases are pending and there is no judge to take up the cases. Similarly in schools and colleges, whether private or Govt., class-rooms are there, but the subjects are not being taught, as there are no professors / lecturers to conduct the classes. Students are visible in malls and in other places, killing their precious time during their youth and putting their future in jeopardy. Hospitals are also in the same state as there are no doctors/nurses/other necessary staff. So also in other places of Govt. machinery, where there is a lot of vacancies.
Whenever there is a crisis, if there is a disruption in electricity or telephones we remember linesman. Similarly when some fire breaks then we remember the fire brigade. Whenever there is a crime, we remember policemen. What is the condition of the men in these organisations, everyone knows, but, those who choose to take a stand in any of these organisations, have felt the wrath of the crooked & the terrible weight of injustice.
It has almost been a week, where the hot topic of discussion is about the PNB and the Rotomac scam. To look deeply into the matter, various agencies have been called up, i.e., Income Tax, Enforcement Directorate, etc. One of the premier investigative agencies i.e., the Enforcement Directorate, who recently carried out searches in 100 locations related to this case, that too with limited staff. It is on record that the agency is functioning with less than 50% of the approved strength. The agency cannot be & should not be blamed for any shortcomings, as the expectations of our countrymen are too high – it is as if the people believe that they can achieve it with a magical wand. Blame can be squarely put on those who are in the corridors of power that intentionally keep the posts in various cadres vacant, whether it is in the I-T, Police, ED or GST.
We are moving from various controls to digitalization, with an intention to integrate processes and reduce human interface. After the introduction of GST, citizen online services, transaction through cheques, ATM services, traffic monitoring CCTVs, Toll collections, etc., and a whole lot of digital services have been introduced. This has resulted in lack of co-ordination, sharing of information, resulting in a certain amount of chaos and confusion.
In the GST formations across the country, reports and information are being called from the field formations without ascertaining the situations and circumstances under which they are functioning. The lack of up-gradation in the ACES network of CBEC and the starting problem from the inception of AIO is more or less the same. Nobody can come forward as like earlier that they can improve the ACES systems or presently the AIO, as it is not under the control of the CBEC but under the contract of an entity who is not accountable to anybody.
The issue of functioning is really alarming when in the first quarter reported about the manner of filing TRAN-1 return and subsequent pattern of verifications. Whether the feasibility and effectiveness of the checks and balance in the system, will stand upto the need of the hour or expectations of the public will be answered only by time. As on date, a unit that is evading GST, is not captured by the system nor by the officers who are chained to their chairs and monitors. Whether or not there is a mechanism to recover government dues due to any possible evasion during the transition period and whether the Department had a golden period or the trade, will be answered by time alone.
This Department is dedicated for collection of revenue, but more than 45% of the staff strength is lying vacant across all cadres, except at the apex position. Orders of transfers and postings, promotions in one particular grade, is issued prior to the dates of vacancy. But sadly the VRS applications of other grades are also not issued in time. More than 1600 posts of Assistant Commissioners are lying vacant and few more thousands in Superintendents & Inspector level, who form the backbone of the Dept. In each formation, whether it is executive, appeals or audit, they are holding 2 to 3 additional charges, staff are managing with great difficulties, either out of fear of 56J or ACRs or out of the call of their conscience, etc.
When advocates of various states can go for an agitation to fill the vacancies, so that the pending cases can come up for hearing, similarly the time for ED has come, for insisting to fill up the vacant posts, so that they can gear up to meet any eventuality as is being faced presently with the current scams.
We hope that the CBEC Board will be impressed upon to set right its own administration, by filling up all the vacancies at various levels. Recently there is a commotion among the staff as a result of an exercise to identify and recommend for abolition of posts lying vacant for more than 5 years.
In Mumbai and in other places also, a task force has been constituted to examine the current staff formation, requirement of additional staff, recommendation for relocation of staff and to identify posts where no one has been posted for more than one year in all the grades. The Administration is prompt enough to comply with and submit the report/position as called for.
But it is unfortunate to see that even after reorganization of the various formations in June-2017, the Commissionerates are still functioning on an as-and-where-is basis, without adequate telephone lines, not to mention other basic amenities. Some officers are complaining that they are being promoted without being given any facility / amenities / sub-ordinate staff, only to become the object of wrath of their seniors - that they are incompetent to deliver and with a sound caution not to complain about staff and other facilities, but you are required to manage anyhow.
How long can anyone pull on in such situations ? Can it be called a fair administration, when administration is run on the basis where seniors don’t owe responsibility but expect a lot more accountability from the junior staff !!
Leaders, cadres, associations should awaken from their slumber, give life to the dead souls of collective thought and rise to the occasion without blaming each other, like in earlier times when rulers used to rise above petty issues & politics to safeguard the interest of their kingdoms. Similarly, one should rise above the cadre and think of CBEC as a whole, so as to safeguard everybody’s dignity.
Thursday, December 7, 2017
Posting order of 68th Batch of Group Officers was issued on 01.12.2017 by the Board as Assistant Commissioner. The probationers have been relieved with directions to report to the respective CC’s on or before 11.12.2017. All the 157 Officers are designated as Assistant Commissioners in the said Order. However, on 02.12.2017, DG, NACIN has issued an instruction that “Board has decided that the probationers will not be assigned an independent charge as Assistant Commissioner till the end of Apr-2018 since all of the OTs (probationers) this year, have been posted to only GST & CX formations they are to be assigned functional assignment of sub-ordinate officers (Inspector/Superintendent) from Dec 2017 to Apr 2018 with the designation AC (OT) and from May 2018 as AC with independent charge”. In the backdrop, in early 80’s the probationers were posted for 6 months as Sr. Superintendents and thereafter as AC. During that period from Administration to Field Formations, from all type of controls as prevailed during that time that is SRP, RBC, PBC Etc., thereafter they were given independent postings. Golden days are gone as well as the pattern of practice training and humane approach, humbleness are missing as on date. Many of the officers have an allergy to designate or call as Inspector except using their service for protocol purposes till today which has no relevance whether to wear uniform or not in the present GST regime. In police, in executive cadre, the designation of Inspector has relevance as even their top most post is designated as Inspector General. The present scenario for eg. in Mumbai, many of the Commissionerates do not have their own place anyhow in a squeezed condition and reporting day to day functioning. Seniors up to JC’s have place but below AC to Inspector, are on musical chairs and cubicles. If this is the situation of Mumbai, rest of the places, situation are more or less similar to the junior level officers.
In the GST regime, there is no role assignment to Superintendent as well as Inspector, although AIO are installed, but inauguration is expected regarding its capacity and capability to cater and sustain the present needs. However, since July, assessees are complaining about GSTN and the wrath is being faced by the Inspector and Superintendent as they are in the ground level. Now, the situation in GSTN has been improved, but, returns from Aug 2017 onwards are not accepting for uploading onto the GSTN.
The stagnation in Inspector and Superintendent Cadre and step motherly treatment by its own administrations is already in the demoralizing mode and the present allocations where the jurisdiction base of GST and its existence of its own officers are at stake. The Group A Officers who have joined this Department have a high ambitions but when they will be in the formations they will come to know the reality and realize whether they have joined the right Department in the beginning of their career. Our own Board, should have, while passing such instructions, to designate them to work as sub-ordinate officers i.e., as Inspector & Superintendents, will definitely be a laughing stock before their own same batch who joined in IAS & IPS, ITRS, IRS (IT), Etc., it would have been prudent the para 2 of the said communication should have at least indicated that these officers are to undergo 6 months in-house training in GST filed formations and thereafter Independent executive posting will be given. Hope we should care for the image of our department and should not demean or have selfish approach like ‘My days are over, let others set their own days to come’.
Recently, in one of the exams, in BHU, a question was asked as to, What did Kautilya think of GST? The said issue was published in the Hindu dated 07.12.2017. The head of the BHU’s political science department said, ‘Paper setting is done as per specialization and expertise. It is the responsibility of the expert to set question’ M N Thakur, who teaches Political science at JNU, said ‘In an exam that tests students in areas taught, such questions have no place. Whoever set the paper acted mindlessly’. Everybody is jumping on GST whether it is their field or not. The great days of our academicians are also missing today.
The recent communication of the Board letter dated 05.12.2017 about TRAN 1 data is far from the ground reality and shows that the reporting officers are not able to convince the authority about the difficulty faced by the lower level officers that they are sandwiched between the systems and non-cooperation of the trade. As such, the trade is coming up from the hiccups of GST and continuous contact with the concerned jurisdictional officers who are at the receiving end from both the sides. We are not able to improve our systems and the infrastructures i.e., in what conditions the GST Commissionerates are functioning. When citizen Charter specifies courteous behavior and principle of delivery of services is envisaged, why does a field officer have to report against a tax-payer who prefers to share his information only to state officers or against Chartered Accountant who is not accountable to us or under our control.
We have seen the board headed by several headstrong personalities who stood with the staff and with the own mechanism. In this transitions we should act as time demands and the existence of our department and the dignity of each cadre should not be compromised at any cost. If, the fate of the Group A is concerned for their career, those who have joined after 2008, they should be given promotions, postings, deputations at par with other cadres. The Board belongs to A, B and C. The approach should be rational and not discriminatory one. If they will show least concern about Group B and C, then, the huge workforce will not come forward with the same support and co-operation. The Board should stop giving step motherly treatment to the lower cadres and adopt an inclusive HR policy. Officers in B & C cadres are pushing and self motivating themselves to meet the objectives of the GST law and which should not be stretched beyond tolerance levels. The present allocation of assessee-base is echoing in each cadre. Don’t give any safe passage to one cadre think for all. a. On Saturday the 9th December 2017, a meeting of Board Officials is scheduled by the Revenue Secretary, who will take stock of GST & GSTN and strengthening of the mechanism and various intricate aspects (RCM, etc) of GST law. It is hoped Board Officials shall not hesitate to appraise the ground realities and difficulties faced by the field officers as regards to GST and GSTN and also appraise working conditions, career progressions and financial crunch where the essential services for efficient delivery of GST - like telephone, internet electricity are disconnected due to non-payment of bills upto the level of Chief Commissioner Offices. This is the nadir of shame, loss of dignity of our esteemed Board and our own offices are defaulters of payment public utility before the state machinery. It is a matter of shame forcing our own officers to defend defaulting actions.
Let us hope that our Board will wake upto the situation.
सर्वे भवंतु सुखिन:
Wednesday, December 6, 2017
Recent clarification on grant of NFSG of grade pay of Rs. 5400/- during 01.01.2006 to 31.08.2008. The intention and mindset of the board is discriminatory and not at all changed since the issue of MACP becomes controversy, although many heads are changed in the board. The latest one is as under;
F. No. A-26017/58/2017-Ad.II.A
Government of India, Ministry of Finance, Department of Revenue, Central Board of Excise & Customs
New Delhi, 23'd November, 2017
The Chief Commissioner,
CGST Chandigarh Zone,
C R Building, Plot no 19, Sector 17-C,
Chandigarh — 160017.
Subject: Clarification on grant of NFSG of grade pay of Rs. 5400/- during 01.01.2006 to 31.08.2008 - reg.
I am directed to refer to your office letter C.NO.II-3(l)SEC/MACPS/2017/388
dated 09.08.201 7 on the subject mentioned above.
2. Board has vide circulars/clarifications, time and again clarified that NFG granted will be counted as one financial upgradation for the purpose of MACP Scheme. Board has issued circulars dated 07.12.2016 and 20.06.2016 in the matter whereby it was clarified that the grant of non-functional grade pays of Rs. 5400/- in PB-2 to the Superintendents needs to be counted as one financial upgradation for the purpose of MACP Scheme. MACP Scheme is effective from 01.09.2008.
Hence, NFSG granted to Shri S.K. Jan (w.e.f. 01.01 .2006) wit I be counted as one financial upgradation for MACP Scheme. Since he had already got 3 financial upgradations-(i) promotion from UDC to Inspector, (ii) promotion to Superintendent and (iii) grant of NFSG, he is not eligible for 3" financial upgradation under MACP Scheme.
3. As regards counting of NFG granted during 01.01.2006 to 31.08.2008 as one financial upgradation, it is clarified that for the purpose of giving upgradation under MACP Scheme, the NFG granted will be counted as one financial upgradation
irrespective of the date of grant of NFG. Shri S.K. Jan is misinterpreting the Board’s
letter dated 06.05.2013, where the date 01.09.2008 was implying the date of effect of MACP Scheme. Financial upgradations shall be given under MACP Scheme with
effect from 01.09.2008, and under MACP Scheme, NFG granted from 01.01.2006 is to be counted as one financial upgradation.
4. You are requested to take necessary action in the matter and
ensure that the guidelines of Board/DoP&T on MACP/ACP Scheme
are adhered to strictly.
Under Secretary to the Government of India
Tele: 011 — 23095528
2. On recommendation of VIth CPC, Central Civil Service (Revised Pay ) Rules, 2008 was notified giving effect from 01.01.2006. As per the said Revised Pay Rules, the Inspector who was promoted as Superintendent was placed in the Grade pay of Rs.5400 in PB-2 w.e.f. 01.01.2006, if he has put in 4 years of regular service as Superintendent or on the date as and when he completed 4 years, thereafter. The upgradation of pay scale after 4 years has been termed as Non Functional Selection Grade (NFSG). The trouble started with the Clarification issued by DOPT vide letter ref. Dy No. 257/62460/US(D)/2010 dated 21.07.2010 contemplating the benefit of NFSG granted to the Superintendent (Group-“B”) officers after completion of 4 years would be treated / viewed as upgradation in terms of para 8.1 of OM dated 19.05.2009 and the same would be offset against Financial Up gradation under MACPS.It is not out of place to mention here that CBEC had issued letter F. No. A.23011/29/2010-Ad.IIA dated 20.05.11 in consultation with Deptt. of Expenditure and DOPT, clarifying that the officers who were granted pre-revised scale of pay of Rs.8000-13500 as financial upgradation in the promotional hierarchy under ACPS on or before 31.08.2008 be granted grade pay of Rs.5400 in PB-3 as per 6th CPC replacement pay, and that there would be no effect on grant of ‘Non-functional scale’ in PB-2 with GP Rs.5400 during 1.01.06 to 31.08.08, as the same is not counted under ACPS and would not be offset against financial upgradation under the Scheme. Harmonious reading of CBEC clarification dated 20.05.2011 and 29.09.2009 r/w 02.02.2010, the Inspector who completed 30 years of service was entitled to the grade pay of Rs.6600/- in PB-3. Despite this factual position, the department has not allowed the Inspector the grade pay of Rs.6600/- in PB-3. Therefore, certain officers from time to time approached various judicial forum and got favourable orders. The Hon’ble Madras High Court in WP No. 19024/2014 in case of Shri R. Chandrasekaran, passed an interim order and directed the department to consider the case. Accordingly, the CBEC vide letter F. No.A.23011/25/2015-Ad.IIA dated 26.05.15, after getting opinion of DOPT vide Dy. No.1078183CR15 dated 5.05.15 to the effect that since Shri R. Chandrasekaran got only one promotion and 2nd ACP in the GP of Rs.5400 PB-3 in his career prior to implementation of MACP Scheme w.e.f. 1.09.08, he is entitled to the grant of 3rd MACP in the GP of Rs. 6600 under MACP Scheme w.e.f.4.06.2012 on completion of 30 years of service, implemented the interim order and compliance was filed with the Hon’ble High Court. However, while passing final order in the said W.P., the Hon’bleHight Court remitted matterwith a direction to DoPT to considerthe issue in extenso in the light of the provisions of MACP Scheme and the benefits given to the employees like the petitioner to count the non-functional scale for the purpose of ACPS, within three months. The DoPT took u-turn and issued clarification which was circulated under CBEC letter dated 20.06.2016.
3. Some of the relevant judicial decisions are as under:
The Hon’ble Madras Bench of Central Administrative Tribunal decision in the case of S.Balkrishnan&Ors in OA No. 280/2012 The said order of Hon’ble Central Administrative Tribunal, Madras Bench was challenged by the Department before Hon’ble Madras High Court in Writ Petition no. 11535/2014 with M.P No. 1/2014 which was decided by Hon’ble Madras High Court on 16.10.2014 by upholding the order of Hon’ble Central Administrative Tribunal and dismissed the petition filed by the Department. The said judgment of Hon’ble High Court of Madras challenged by the department before the Hon’ble Apex Court vide Special Leave to Appeal (C ) 15396 OF 2015 wherein the Hon’ble Apex Court has condoned the delay in filing of SLP by Department and dismissed the same. Thus the order of Tribunal at Madras and Judgment of Madras High Court has merged with the order of Hon’ble Apex Court and thereby the order of Hon’ble Tribunal at Madras attained finality and became a judicial precedent which is binding on all the Courts of Law
The Hon’ble CAT Mumbai in OA No. 633/2015 by ShriPrakashVasantRatnapati& 9 other retirees Vs. UOI/Secy (Revenue)/CBEC/Pr. CCA. The CAT Mumbai in its order dated 21.06.17 directed the respondents to grant 3rd Financial Upgration in GP 6600 w.e.f the date of completion of 30 years of service to applicants who are similarly placed and circumstanced as Shri R. Chandrasekaran.
4. TheCBEC letter dated 20.06.2016 based on the latest advice of DoPT refers provision contained in para 8.1 of Annexure-I of OM dated 19th May 2009 and FAQ No.16 which indicates that the non-functional scale in the grade pay of Rs.5400/- in PB-2 is to be treated as a financial upgradation under MACP Scheme. Thus, the whole issue revolves around interpretation of aforesaid para 8.1 which does not specifically say to offset the grade pay of Rs.5400/- in PB-2 before grant of grade of Rs.5400/- in PB-3. The interpretation of DoPT is not founded on sound footing and legally not sustainable. The Hon’ble High Court of Madras in W.P. No.11535 of 2014 in the case of Shri S. Balakrishan has allowed GP of Rs.6600/- in PB-3 on 3rd MACPS. Para-18 of the judgment reads as under:
“18. The Central Administrative Tribunal correctly interpreted clauses 8 and 8(1) of the MACPS and quashed the impugned orders and restored the earlier orders granting benefit to respondents 1 to 3. Similar view was taken by the Central Administrative Tribunal, Chandigarh Bench in O.A.No.1038 of 2010 and it was upheld by the High Court of Punjab and Haryana by judgment dated 19 October 2011 in CWP No.19387 of 2011. We are therefore of the considered view that the impugned order does not call for interference by exercising the power of judicial review.”
Thus, the clarification issued by CBEC in consultation with DoPT is not proper & correct.
5. Inthe CBEC letter dated 20.06.2016, a reference of FAQ No.16 is made. A plain reading of said FAQ NO.16 reveals that it speaks about viewing of grant of ‘non-functional scale of Rs.8000-13500 (revised to grade pay of Rs.5400 in PB-3) towards one financial upgradation under MACP Scheme. It does not speak about grant of upgradation of time scale of pay of Rs.8000-13500 (revised to grade pay of Rs.5400 in PB-2. This is because of the fact that what is given by Revised Pay Rules, 2008 cannot be taken away by mere clarification issued by DoPT.
6. This upgradation of time scale from Rs.7500 (pre-revised) to Rs.8000 (pre-revised) effective from 01.01.2006 and thereafter in terms of CCS(Revised) Pay Rules, 2008 has nothing to do with grant of NFSG since NFSG requires :
(i) screening Committee;
(ii) evaluation of ACR of last 5 years;
(iii) cap on number of officials to be given NFSG i.e. not more than 30% of the sanctioned post;
(iv) finding a place in the recruitment rules i.e. it should form part of recruitment rules of the post etc..,
(v) a specific order allowing or not allowing grant of the benefit of NFSC.
7. There is one cadre (Joint Commissioner) of Group A officer in the CBEC is entitled to NFSG (as Additional Commissioner) as can be seen from the Indian Revenue Service (Customs & Central Excise), Recruitment Rules, 2012 as amended/superseded. No such NFSG has been prescribed for any other cadre in the CBEC.
8. It is needless to mention here that there is no express provision in the MACPS to count NFSG towards one MACP. The recent clarification of DOPT is based on the para 8.1 of Annexure to MACP Scheme which stipulate GP of Rs.5400 in PB-2 and Rs.5400 in PB-3 as different grade for the purpose of MACP Scheme. The clarification based on this clause is not proper and legal. Therefore, it can be concluded that the legitimate benefit is denied with improper and incorrect clarification. Government one side is issuing instructions after instructions not to indulge into litigations and resolve the issue amicably in the spirit of the instructions, circular, policy and norms, but it is unfortunate when it comes to our cadre, we are constantly deprived, not only functional promotions but also financial up gradation as envisaged in MACP scheme. On being aggrieved Individuals from all the corner are approaching CAT and receiving order in their favor, however the board in or one other pretext denying the rights by issuing clarifications. We hope sooner or Later the para 8.1 of MAPC scheme needs amendment so the said issue will be settled forever.