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.
Wednesday, November 29, 2017
Representations submitted by CESA Mumbai to Chairperson on 28.10.2017 in person.
Date: 28th Oct.2017
The Honourable Chairperson,
Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs,
Ministry of Finance,
Department of Revenue,
North Block, New Delhi
Sub: - Visit to Mumbai GST Zone on 28.10.2017 for Cadre and Zone
Specific issues for effective implementation of GST – reg.
We at CESA, Mumbai, welcome you to Mumbai, and thank you for responding to our request and giving us your valuable time from your hectic schedule.
As directed by your goodself, a representation on the issues as discussed with you and Member (Admin) on 28.10.2017 at Mumbai are enumerated below for your kind implementation and action please.
Shifting of CGST Commissoinerates in respective Jurisdiction: The Executive Commissionerate in GST ,Mumbai viz. Bhiwandi, Palghar, Thane Commissionerates, are not at all looking into this aspect despite the instructions from Board and PCCO office. In past also on such issues majority of the HOD/Commissioners are doing only cosmetic work and junior officers are working in a ‘shifting mode’ since implementation of GST. Madam, this is our humble request to direct the Executive Commissionerates to shift in their respective jurisdictions immediately within a given time frame.. Further they may be directed that advertisements for hiring of buildings be given immediately and acted upon immediately and a status report be called from them.
Recasting of All India Seniority of Superintendent Central Excise (Now CGST): This is also a grey area wherein all kind of malpractices are going on and CESA Mumbai has pointed out time to time and DGHRD was kind to hear our plea and looked into the issue and rectified the Omissions’/Commissions committed in seniority list. But the sad story is that the seniority list itself is now like Bamboo tree flower blooms not even once in decade in CBIC. Since 2006 there is no seniority list at All India level. The last one was for the period 01.01.1998 to 2006 Jan, issued in 2011 or so. This is in contrary to the DOPT guidelines on the subject. Despite having a full fledged DGHRD at apex level. We request you madam that, Seniority should be revised by taking into account ‘N.R.Parmar judgement’ and while redrafting it the clause of ‘Step up’ should also be incorporated. Recasting of seniority list is not a rocket science and can be done digitally on excel. DPC may soon be conducted after revising the seniority list.
Stagnation Committee report: Needless to say that stagnation Committee report should be applicable to only those officers who are ‘stagnating’ and should not applicable per se to all. As discussed therein in the meeting with your goodself and Member (Admn) that one time relaxation can be worked out on this, so that stagnation is removed and all are brought at par.
Madam, it is suggested that,
Ø Lateral shift of officers to big firms like SBI/ LIC /Insurance/Finance/Taxation firms so that officers can come back and serve the government better.
Ø Approaching other ministries that require our skill sets, and offer them services on deputation.Issues such as GST, border protection, financial investigations, trade procedures GST tariffs are some ares that may interest other organizations. Some such as are DG (shipping),DGFT, DGAD,DEA, DFS,SCI,Agriculture,Corporate Affairs,ROC,Heavy Industries, Home and other Ministries dealing on industry sectors. This can also be worked through central staffing scheme.
Ø Creating and approaching large Government departments/PSU’s such as Railways, ONGC ,IOCL, NTPC etc wherein we can go and assist them in implementation of GST and plugging possible revenue leakages as they procure input/input services from large number of vendors.
Ø Various States should be asked for and a policy be devised wherein we can be posted there for effective implementation of GST. I am sure many states will be short of officers since GST is a consumption based tax.
The above suggestions are only indicative in nature and further options, opinions and out of box ideas may also be asked for. In this way Superintendents can go to different organisations and work with repute since our career prospects are limited in CBIC.
APAR System: It is suggested that all APAR should be digitised and should be filed online as in the case of sparrow system for Gr.A. This will minimise the issues of not getting a vigilance clearance and APAR during DPC and will entail clarity. All Group ‘B’ gazetted officers, Superintendents, APAR should be filed and available online and modalities can be worked out for its implementation at the earliest. This will be a positive step towards Digital India.
Customs reorganization: In the ensuing Customs Commisionerates reorganization, it is suggested that creation of new Customs Audit Commissionerate , new Divisions and Preventive Customs Commissionerates in Zones may be created where there are no Customs Commissionerates at present. In the established Customs Commissionerates like in Mumbai/JNCH/Kolkatta officers from CE should also be sent in all Customs Audit/Preventive, say @ 50% of the strength, and a process of amalgation should be taken up in right spirit.
Uniformity in matters; A well defined policy guidelines are immediately required so that in CGST we can correct the old deficiency:
i) Officers Uniform guidelines and Policy be framed soon or it can be done away with.
ii) Centralized ID Cards to all the officers in Zone.
iii) Colour Codes and format of ID Cards should be uniform all over the Country.
iv) Letter head, and other correspondence material of the department should be same all over.
v) Culture of running office on whatsapp should be minimized.
vi) Ensuring that the policies made are implemented in field formations for example vehicle policy
is made but it is not implemented as it is meant for.
Madam, issues are many and expectations are even more, we know that there exists no magical wand to change things instantly, but sincere efforts without any discrimination will certainly change the path and fold of the CGST fraternity.
( Sanjeev Sahai )
Copy to: Ravi Mallik, Sec.Gen AIACEGEO