Friday, January 30, 2015

From CESA’s Desk – 30th Jan. 2015


Ø  On 28th Jan. 2015, the Hon’ble CAT, Mumbai, passed an Order to implement the judgment of NR Parmar, in all the cadres of CBDT (instructions of CBDT was already in existence, only implementation was now ordered). 
Ø  Our applications for implementation of NR Parmar judgment in our Zone, is in the final stage of filing, as Mumbai CAT. 
Ø  CESA, Mumbai, is filing an application on MACP as regards to denial of benefits and misinterpretation, resulting in financial loss to the officers and causing the burden of recovery, shortly. 
Ø  Permission has been accorded for hiring three floors in Air India building on rent for Service Tax.  CESA is thankful to the Principal Chief Commissioner, Central Excise, Zone I, for obtaining an amount of Rs. 1.5 Crores for refurbishing the said premises.     
Ø  Efforts are on for hiring one more floor in Air India building and three more floors in Lotus building.   
Ø  A committee has been appointed to finalise and acquire office premises for Service Tax VII, Mumbai, in Vashi, Navi Mumbai. 
Ø  Tenders received for the office premises of divisions of Service Tax VI Mumbai Comm’te are being finalized. 
Ø  Funds have been received for renovation of residential quarters at Antop Hill, Bhandup and BKC and also renovation of quarters at Peddar Road & Katrak Road.  Work is going on.  The entire office premises at Churchgate is also being airconditioned. 

Ø  The proposal for accommodating all the divisions of Mumbai II in Kailash Heights, at Powai, is fizzled  out due to some serious irregularity  The proposal for office of Audit, Central Excise II, at Vashi, has been forwarded. to new delhi  .  
   Ø  CESA is thankful to the Administration of Central Excise Zone I and Zone II, for their keen interest in improving the infrastructure for the officers, which had been neglected for more than 2 decades. 
Ø  CESA, Mumbai has requested the Principal Chief Commissioner of Central Excise, Zone I Mumbai and Pune Zone to recruit meritorious sports persons, in the Department and also for considering pending applications on compassionate grounds. 
Ø  All the Superintendents are requested, including the recently promoted, to co-operate with the accounts section as CESA, Mumbai has requested the Administration to deduct the annual subscription for the year 2014-15. 
Ø  Support and trust are the two sides of the coin which comprise the Association and make it strong, active and vibrant.  The present local Administration as well as that at Delhi, are equally supportive to our cause, which has started delivering results.    
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 CESA, MUMBAI. 

Monday, January 26, 2015

An attempt to foil the evil recruitment rules

                                                                                                                         Ref: CESA/02/2015
                                                                                                                         Date: 21.01.2015.
Shri. Kaushal Srivastav,
Hon’ble Chairman, CBEC,
New Delhi 110001.
Sub: Request for revisiting of Draft Amendments in the IRS (C & CE) Group A Rules 2012 – reg
Ref: CESA letter dated 15.01.2015 No. CESA/01/2015. 
 Respected Sir,
Your kind attention is invited on the above referred subject.
Sir, the said proposed draft amendment is anti-staff and appears to be drafted and proposed only to safe guard the interest of elite class. The role of Gr-B Executive (Gazetted), though referred repeatedly as important, the attempt in RR amendments is demoralizing and appears with an intent to destroy the fabric of cordiality, and inflict hatred and indiscipline in the Group B feeder cadre against the Group A.
The very purpose in framing the Human Resource Management policy through RRs, has violated the Article 309; by not maintaining fairness and equity in recruitment/placement/promotions and other service related matters for Gr-B Executive.
The factual data as reproduced below from the Note for Cabinet submitted by CBEC. This data should be an eye-opener for any prudent Administrative Department handling important portfolio of Revenue.
        Thus, from above, it can be seen that the feeder to promotion grade ratio (Gr-B to Gr-A) has increased in this CR, while within Gr-B is maintained at 1 : 1.5.
In any organisational structure in each 'feeder to promotion' grade, the ratio/s should be within DoPT stipulated norm (i.e. 1 : 3 or 1 : 5). The VI Pay Commission Report undermines importance of these norms. The data on more than 35 Central Ministries confirms these norms of Nodal Ministry.
Further, as per CR approved strength, the total permanent posts in Group A are around 3474 [and 2118 temporary posts].  For permanent posts, 50% of the officers are to be recruited by direct appointment.  Their number comes to around 1737.  But, when we see the share of DR Group-A in cadre of AC/DC (source: Civil list 1.1.2014), out of total '1550' sanctioned strength - '950' are Direct Recruit, while only '334' are promotees Gr-B.  Again out of these 334, only 59% are from Supdt CX (Staff Strength of 84%) while 35% are from Customs Appraiser (Staff Strength of 3%).
As per RR norms as well as SC judgments, any category can not have extra-share than stipulated under RRs. The Direct Recruit Gr-A should have been '775' or less, but are in excess by 175 numbers. THIS IS AT THE COST OF PROMOTEE Gr-A.
Similarly, each of the 3 feeder-grades, their share should never cross the percentage of their respective cadre strengths (HBRR issued by DoPT). But, this has not been ensured for last two decades. THIS SHOULD BE CORRECTED NOW. The CR has been approved, amongst others, on main reason of "addressing stagnation in Gr-B Executive"[Para 2.3.of Note for Cabinet]. How can this promise given to Cabinet, be swiped under carpet, in proposed amendments to RRs?
Thus the cadre of Gr-B in general & the Gr-B Central Excise in particular is subjected to "multiple & perpetuating" gimmicks to curtail their just, fair & equitable opportunities in their career progression. The directions of Cabinet to target the root cause & taking effective measures to avoid recurrence, seems to be thrown to winds.
The ROOT-CAUSE is, of the 50% quota promotee posts, the ratio promises 13 from Excise, 2 from Customs Preventive and 1 from Appraiser.  Here also over years, manipulation is done and the posts belonging to Central Excise are siphoned-off by other stake holders.  The Central Excise cadre does not have source/means and financial ability to swing the Career Progression according to their Aspirations.  But that does not mean, those who have, will snatch all their posts in a piece-meal and methodical manner.
The Central Excise feeder cadre which comprises around 85% of the staff strength of the CBEC, plays an active role in the Organization from survey to searches, Registration to Recovery, ACES to RTI, Show cause notice to Adjudication, Review to Appeals, Star Question to SEVOTTAM, except; attending conference of Chief Commissioners with FM.
On the other hand, the concern of Senior officers for litigation or recovery of Tax Arrears or Disposal of Appeals, Adjudications, inspections and other non-sensitive charges shows their true concern, contribution and dedication which is known to one and all. Further, the quasi-judicial orders which beneficiaries pass, draws regular criticism from legal forum.   The primary job of the executive Commissioner is adjudication and holding MCM.  But in reality officers of Central Excise group B cadre assist in drafting the orders including review, appeals etc. The Gr-B Executive also extends their support in deciding the MCM objections also.
A direct recruit who is appointed as Assistant Commissioner, is promoted as Deputy Commissioner in 4 years, Joint Commissioner in 9 years, Additional Commissioner in 14 years, Commissioner in 17 years and so on, from the date of his appointment.   Whereas due of the faulty HR policies, the Gr-B Executive lands with one promotion, although he contributes the maximum to the organization and their experience is having no value and recognition.  While, those who provide cosmetic service, avails all the facilities, in time bound manner, without any reminder.
On pay side, the Gr-B Executive given with Pay was denied subsequently in lieu of MACP, now an attempt to seal the career progression of Gr-B Central excise is attempted in a planned manner, through such 'faulty amendments in RRs'.
The said draft RRs are made with a bias and prejudiced approach to serve the interest of the elite cadre and to seal the chance of promotee central excise officers.  The cadre of C.Ex. may be lacking in source / means / contacts and money power like appraisers or Group A direct recruits.  But they have a sincere courage, devotion, dedication and maximum contribution in the field.
This is repeatedly admitted in the Board meetings that the strength of the cadre is more than 85% and needs serious thought for their career progression, but the  outcome of this concern through these proposed RRs, appears as an 'eye-wash'.
These facts are well known to the Authorities.  Instead of streamlining and giving parity among the feeder cadre, Board has appointed a Stagnation Committee so that the Cadre will be under the illusion that they will get justice and behind the scene other stake holders who do not have their share will continue to get their stake easily. This is happening since Board meeting minutes 20 years ago, the letters of year 2002 & so on.
Sir, sl. No. 3a  (of the proposed Draft Recruitment Rules,) states that Fifty per cent of the vacancies in Grade VII/Junior Time Scale i.e Assistant Commissioner of Customs and Central Excise in the permanent strength shall be filled by promotion from amongst the following category of Group B officers in the Central Excise, Customs and Narcotics department who have completed two years of regular service in any of the following feeder cadres namely
(i)        Superintendent of Central Excise in the Central Excise department, District Opium officers or Superintendents (Executive) in the Narcotics Department,
(ii)                Superintendent of Customs Preventive in the  Customs department; and
(iii)               Appraiser of Customs in the Customs department.
The above para and the underlined provision clearly depict the naked favoritism to the cadre of appraiser, as they do not have eligible officers as on date. If he becomes eligible from examiner then within two years they will be eligible for promotion to Group A.  Whereas other two cadres can never become eligible in their life time because they are stagnated in the Inspector cadre for more than 15 to 20 years.  It is a criminal conspiracy and needs to be dealt with firmly.
Further, Para 3b states that One hundred percent of the Temporary Posts shall be filled by promotions in the manner mentioned in sub-rule 3(a) above.  In Note of para 4 it has been mentioned that the ratio of 13:2:1 be applied and in para 5 it is stated that the service in the temporary in the JTS shall cannot be counted as regular service for the purpose of promotion to higher grade. This is contrary provision, to the purpose of stagnation in Gr-B Executive. Because, Administration is fully aware that the officer of central excise who gets promotions will retire early, and their vacancy filled in the cycle of 13:2:1 shall encroach further by other feeder Cadres.  Any healthy administration, should at least find out a solution whether the Central Excise cadre which is stagnated can be benefited by adopting any other method i.e ratio or parity amongst the feeder cadre.  Instead of finding out any solution, the Administration is sealing the fate of the Central Excise cadre forever, in the name of huge temporary post.
Sir, as stated above the amendments proposed are bad in law and biased, prejudiced, unfair, discriminatory needs to be totally discarded and needs a fresh look with a fresh approach.  CR has been rolled out in CBEC and CBDT simultaneously, however due care has been taken in CBDT of the Group B cadre, whereas in CBEC, the Superintendents of Central Excise have been given a raw deal.  Several committees were appointed and they have succeeded to identify the reason for stagnation since 1997-98 as could be seen from Boards letter dated 02.03.1998 issued by the Dy. Secretary, Ms. Seema Malik.  In the passage of time, head of the Board has changed from one individual to another, but the step motherly approach, meted towards the Central Excise Superintendents has remained the same.
In the light of the above, CESA requests not to proceed with this faultily prepared and amended Group A Cadre Recruitment Rules, to have a Board meeting and place all the papers, related to all the committees and instructions alongwith the stakeholders, and resolve the issue once for all, for the smooth administration which will create a cordial atmosphere among all the cadres and a sense of belongingness will prevail with a feeling that this Board belongs to us, who care and show concern without any discrimination.
CESA looks forward for your kind cooperation in this regard.
                                                                                                                  Yours sincerely,
Encl.: As above.                                                                                         (A. K. SASMAL)
                                                                                                                  General Secretary.

Copy to:
1.  Ms. Joykumari Chander, Hon’ble Member (P & V), CBEC, New Delhi, for kind information and necessary action.
2.       Ms. Nirja Shah, Hon’ble DGHRD, New Delhi, for kind information and necessary action.
3.       Mr. Arun Goel, JS (Admn).,CBEC, New Delhi, or kind information and necessary action.
4.   Mr. Ravi Malik, Secretary General, AIACEGEO, New Delhi, or kind information and necessary action.