Seventh CPC :Army and MNS Recommendations

The recommendations for Armed Forces are based on approach similar to that adopted for civilian employees as spelt out in previous posts.The  Pay Bands and Grade pay have been done away and fitment factor of 2.57 has been applied to all categories.The entry pay to a category (except for MNS) is arrived at by calculating minimum of pay band and accounting for subsequent increments earned in the pay band (except for the rank of Brigadier where fitment table notified by the Ministry of Defence through its Special Army Instructions of October 2008.)

Like civilian pay scales the Commission has, for deciding entry pay at various stages, proposed index of rationalisation to account for higher degrees of responsibility and accountability at various levels .While this is  fixed as 2.57 for PB  -1 it rises  steadily climbing to to 2.81 for Service Chiefs .Index of 2.57 applies also to the officers in the rank of Colonel and Brigadier and their equivalent.

The starting pay in existing pay structure is ₹8,460 Sepoy (and equivalent), Under the recommendations the pay of entry level personnel in the defence forces, has been fixed in the Defence Pay Matrix at ₹21,700. Fixation of pay will follow the same principle as that for a regular promotion in the pay matrix.

The Commission has not recommended any increase in the number of MACPs. which is presently pegged at 8, 16 and 24 years .

The Commission has maintained pay parity in civilian and defence personnel at matching levels .Group `A’ entry level is identical at ₹56,100 in the case of both civilian and defence service officers. Similarly the pay of the Major General and Joint Secretary and equivalent officers and those above [viz., Lieutenant General (in HAG, HAG+, Apex) and Chief of each defence service] has been kept identical with their civilian counterparts. Identical pay levels has been devised for JCO/ORs and their civilian counterparts corresponding to the existing pay bands and grade pay.

For defence forces personnel, there are two separate matrices, one for the Service Officers and JCO/ORs and another for the Military Nursing Officers. The Pay Matrix designed for the Defence Forces personnel is more compact than the Civil pay matrix keeping in view the number of levels, age and retirement profile of the service personnel.

Defence Pay Matrix

The Commission has further clarified that the pay structure designed by it for the defence forces personnel has been done keeping in view (a) some of the aspects in their rank structure unique to them and (b) pay structure is not intended to determine the status of the personnel vis-à-vis their counterparts on the civil side.

In the design of the Pay Matrix for Military Nursing Service (MNS) , the Commission has kept in view the approach followed by previous Pay Commissions and traditional relativities between the Armed Forces Officers and Military Nursing Service Officers. In particular the pay scales/grade pay based on the V and VI CPC Reports were kept in view.

While deciding the level of minimum pay fro MNS the following formula has been adopted:Minimum Pay for a Rank in MNS= (Minimum Pay for that Rank in Defence Pay Matrix) x (Grade Pay of the Rank in MNS)/(Grade Pay of that Rank in the Services).The pay Matrix for MNS thus conceived is as below :

Pay MAtrix MNS

Following exceptions have  been made for purposes of rationalising the pay structure:

  1. In the case of Captains, the Commission has moderated the minimum pay level upwards to ₹59,00017, to avoid bunching of minimum pay of MNS Lieutenant and Captain.

  2. In the case of Brigadiers some moderation downwards from the figure arrived at by the formula (₹1,26,800) has been effected to provide suitable differential in the minimum of the pay level between Brigadier and Major General of MNS. Hence the mid-point of the minimum of the pay levels of Colonel and Major General viz., ₹1,19,700 has been taken as the minimum pay for the Brigadier of MNS.

For Military Service Pay the Commission has recommended an MSP for the four categories of Defence forces personnel at ₹15,500 for the Service Officers, ₹10,800 for Nursing Officers, ₹5,200 for JCO/ORs, and ₹3,600 for Non Combatants (Enrolled) in the Air Force per month. MSP will continue to be reckoned as Basic Pay for purposes of Dearness Allowance, as also in the computation of pension but will  not be counted for purposes of House Rent Allowance, Composite Transfer Grant and Annual Increment.

For calculations in individual cases the procedure as outlined in previous post can be followed.The Report of CPC is also included in this blog on the “REPORTS” pages.In case of difficulty in viewing the pay matrix  original can be viewed on page 89 & 91 of the report.

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Seventh CPC Report -arrives at last !

Hurrah ! The wait is over for all Govt employees . For those who are directly affected as well as those who would reap benefits of the fall out. Whether it’s time for setting up crackers or for waiting till VIIIth Central Pay Commission (CPC)  will be known in coming days.Unlike previous occasions the CPC has ben considerate to the extent of submitting the report on time leaving enough time for Govt to deliberate and accept or reject various recommendations.

The initial signals are that of modest gains except for a few who were persistent about catching up with Indian Administrative Services and creating a level playing field. The Pay Commission has ultimately got convinced to extend the edge enjoyed by IAS in matter of pay fixation at various stages of career to IPS and IFoS.Following are some of the highlights.

The CPC while deciding about pay scales and procedure for fitment has come up with innovative concept of Pay Matrix whereby the lateral spread in the matrix would denote the panorama of job functions and related pay packages . The vertical movement would cover the  pay hikes.The system of Pay Bands and Grade pays introduced by the previous CPC has thus been laid to rest.The  CPC had been confronted with several anomalies by the representationists which prompted the change. Pay matrices have been drawn up for civilians, defence personnel and for military nursing service.

For the Civilian Employees the minimum pay starts from Rs.18000/- (corresponding to existing lowest pay of Rs.7000/-)and with the suggested annual increment rates of 3% the highest salary is pegged to Rs.2.25 Lakhs.A progressive suggestion is for dispensing with the differential pay system between direct recruits and those occupying a post by internal promotion.The strategy for pay fixation has been further simplified with introducing fitment factor of 2.57 which should expectedly take care of pay fixation anomalies which crop up whenever the matter of revision of pay scales comes up.This fitment factor of 2.57 is being proposed to be applied uniformly for all employees.

A similar Pay Matrix for defence personnel starts from Grade Pay of Rs. 2000/- which covers salary of sepoys and equivalents.A somewhat similar system has been conceived for Military Nursing Services.The aspect of performance monitoring and periodic promotions will continue through Modified Assured Career Progression Scheme  as per past intervals of 10/20/30 years with the changed  promotion criteria being benchmarked at” very good”. For military personnel the review is pegged to 8/6/14 years.

All ranks of the Defence forces upto Brigadier and equivalent ranks will continue to be entitled to payment of Military Service Pay (MSP)which is given in recognition of job related challenges and consequential difficulties.MSP would be counted for calculation of DA and Pension but not for House Rent Allowances (HRA) and Annual Increment.For defence personnel the Commission has also recommended rationalisation of compensation to Army Personnel for death or injury under various eventualities.

For  Short Service Commissioned Officers the good news is is that they may be permitted to exit Armed Forces any time between 7 and 10 years of service with a terminal gratuity equivalent of 10.5 months of reckon able emoluments. along with recommendation for a fully funded one year Executive Programme or a M.Tech. programme at a premier Institute.

The Commission has made drastic recommendation in respect of allowances admissible to Employees “with the overall aim of transparency, simplification and nationalization”.The Commission has highlighted the  difficulties related to staff housing and revised the upper limits  for housing loans besides liberalising the process and permitting separate loans to spouses who are in Govt. job. Requisition of private house for Govt. Employees has been recommended wherever the available staff quarters are not sufficient to meet the demand.

The Commission has proposed enhancement in the ceiling of gratuity payable at the time of retirement from the existing ₹10 lakh to ₹20 lakh from 01.01.2016.adding that the ceiling on gratuity may increase by 25 percent whenever DA rises by 50 percent.

Another area covered extensively is that of periodic Cadre Review.The Commission has recommended  that proposals of this nature be examined by Departments initially coopting DoPT and Department of Expenditure under concerned Secretary of the Department.Only after this basic scrutiny the matter can go to Cabinet Secretary in deserving cases.

Most of the allowances that have been retained have  been given a raise that is commensurate with the rise in DA. Allowances that are in the nature of a fixed amount but fully indexed to DA have not been given any raise. Regarding percentage based allowances, it has been stated that since the Basic Pay will rise as a result of the recommendations of the Commission some of the allowances have been proposed to remain untouched.

For House Rent Allowance the Commission has recommended rationalisations to 24 percent, 16 percent and 8 percent of the Basic Pay for Class X, Y and Z cities respectively. A formula has also been suggested for upward hike in HRA pattern as Cost of living index crosse 50% and 100%.Currently, in the case of those drawing either NPA or MSP or both, the amounts of NPA/MSP are included with the Basic Pay and HRA is being paid as a percentage of the total amount. The Commission has recommended that  HRA should be calculated as a percentage of Basic Pay only and that add-ons like NPA, MSP, etc. should not be included while working out HRA.

Amongst the allowances suggested for abolition are Night Duty allowances and Motor Car /Motor Cycle purchase advances. .

The Pay Commission has made several suggestions for improving  Health Coverage for Employees .These suggestions  include Scheme for Health Insurance,and suggestion for extending list  of hospitals from private sector in those areas where coverage is low.The Rates of contribution for Health Insurance are proposed to be increased upto Rs.1500/2500/5000.The higher rates for contribution would result in insurance covers extending to Rs.15/25/50 Lakhs.

For the Pensioners  the Commission has sought to make complete parity of past pensioners with current retirees.Under the recommendations  the pension of  personnel who retired prior to 01.01.2016 (expected date of implementation of the Seventh CPC recommendations) shall first be fixed in the Pay Matrix being recommended by this Commission, on the basis of the Pay Band and Grade Pay at which they retired, at the minimum of the corresponding level in the matrix. This amount shall be raised, to arrive at the notional pay of the retiree, by adding the number of increments he/she had earned in that level while in service, at the rate of three percent. Fifty percent of the total amount so arrived at shall be the revised pension. In the case of the Defence personnel, total amount so arrived at shall be inclusive of MSP.Another  calculation is to be carried by  multiplying the pension fixed under sixth  CPC  by 2.57 to arrive at an alternate value for the revised pension.Pensioners will be given the option of choosing whichever formulation is beneficial for acceptance.

This was what I could grab in the first reading of CPC report.Will be coming up with subject wise write ups in ensuing articles.

Some hazards of blogging

Writing a blog appeared to be a simple and harmless activity when I decided to take a plunge about a year back. My son who has some encouraging views on my writing skills goaded  me to continue writing with some regularity so that I could give vent to emotions which sometimes build up on incosequential issues. This exercise I expected would also build up a network of like minded persons and give us a platform for experience sharing .

My wife has been writing a blog for a longer period (in Hindi) and has cultivated a circle of friends over various cities. Her circle includes people of various age groups who share  an enthusiasm for narrating day to day experiences in simple language. I found some narrations of such bloggers , specially those relating to an old friend or a departed family member quite moving . Off course the number of such  blog writers is  less as compared to number of writers merely trying to impress with sentimental and emotional outbursts still they are a close community who share joys and sorrows and sometimes also meet each other while visiting another town where a known blogger resides.

My experience was however quite different on this wordpress blog .While I had started this as a  hobby for writing on any topic of immeadiate relevance to me , the report of Sixth Central Pay Commission became available on CPC website. Every week I used to go through one or two chapters and prepare short notes just for personal record and information .I started posting these short notes on my blog also along with other writings. Since at that time everyone around was also calculating  benefits expected out of CPC recommendations therefore I also made some calculations on Excel sheet and later worked out through the same sheet the benefits expected for others.

As the feverpitch for Sixth CPC report built up this blog also started receiving large number of hits, peaking to eight thousand hits on a day in August 2008. (So far this blog has generated  more than 1.78 Lakh hits). But thereafter a new class of readers completely overtook this blog asking for individual information on pay and pension related matters. I tried to periodically explain to readers that I did not have any intention of running a helpline service .This was also beyond my capabilities and being a working person I had no time for any further resarch on service matters. Moreover I also wanted someone to read and appreciate my so called literary pieces on other matters. In fact in my view popularity of pay commission related writings was  expected to be a temporary phenomenon. However things failed to change , the stream of queries continued . I found that more than 95%  readers came via CPC related writings only. In my frustration over lack of interest in my creative pieces I almost gave up this blog with the hope that my abondenment would discourage the visitors for pay related readings and queries.

After a few months I opened this blogsite and saw some disturbing trends. Some of the readers were quarelling between themeselves over profession related matters in less than acceptable fashion. Some comments were not in good taste.I realised that even blogging needs some policing. If things are left to indisciplined readers the consequences can be disastorous. I have put some regulatory mechanism in place now to restict comments and would be monitoring regularly.My apologies to readers who had a free run in recent months and to those who were at the receiving end . I would also continue to take this blog out of the CPC mania and try to  develop it on originally conceived lines. Let us see how far this  endeavour  succeeds.

Sixth CPC Benefits:That sinking feeling

    Since the first round of calculations after notification of Govt. decisions is over, there     is a sinking feeling amongst many of the employees. The Pay Commission benefits      which   appeared to be too good to be true to some at one stage, now seem to be           gradually slipping away after realization of the Income Tax liabilities. Since the tax on   the   entire amount of arrears is to be paid in this financial year and there is no precise commitment about the date by which the balance of arrears would be paid, the picture is a bit despondent. Here are some sample calculations to find out as to how much would be left out to employees. (These are just random sample calculations  which were attempted for sake of having a clear picture . Please do not make requests for advice on individual cases). Since all circulars are available on the net (and some calculators have also been hosted on individual blogs) making individual calculations is not difficult. There is possibility of calculation errors also.If any mistakes are noted,suggestions would be welcome. Income Tax calculations would differ for each case .What is shown here is only approximation.


Sixth CPC Report(xvi):Announcement Regarding Allowances

The Ministry Of Finance has on 29th August 2008 notified the rates of DA and other allowances which are admissible to Central Govt. Employees on basis of recommendations of the Sixth CPC. The details are available on the Ministry website. The revised rates for pension are also available on the same website along with the resolution containing Govt’s approvals relating to benefits for the pensioners.

Sixth CPC:What is the latest

The decisions of the Govt. Of India on recommendations of the Sixth Central Pay Commission (CPC) were notified on 29th August 2008 by the Department of Expenditure , Ministry Of Finance.

The recommendations which are modified include changes in Pay Bands PB-1 (now pushed higher at Rs.5200-20200), PB-2 (now increased to  Rs. 9300-34800) and PB-4 (now starting  lower at Rs.37400-67000)

Grade pay has been increased in several cases over the recommendations oF VIth CPC, the increase  ranges from Rs.500/- to Rs.1000/-,

A new grade is carved out of PB-4 which is to be designated as HAG (Rs.75500-80000/-).

Govt. have approved a multiplication factor of 1.86 (to be rounded off to next multiple of 10) for calculation of corresponding stage in the new scales and rate of annual increment is increased to 3% (4% for achievers) of the sum total of basic pay and Grade Pay.

The Group B Services OF Delhi & Andaman Nicobar Islands Civil & Police Services as well as the cadre of Section Officers in the Central Secretariat Service and Department of Posts shall be placed in PB-2 at induction stage and shall move to PB-3 after 4 years of regular service in Grade Pay of Rs. 5400/- on non functional basis. Somewhat similar benefits have been approved for IAAD officers in whose case all posts of Section Officers , Asstt Accounts/Audit Officers  are to be merged into one .

The Gr, B Officers in Railways and the Audit/Accounts Officers in IAAD are to get grade pay of Rs.5400/-in PB-3 instead of PB-2 as recommended by the Commission.

Scientists in Space, Atomic Energy and Defence Research & Development Organisations have been given various benefits ranging from Rs.1000/- to 2000/- for recognition of good performance. 

The Govt’s approval for revised pay-scales is to be implemented w.e.f 1st Jan. 2006. However the arrears for various allowances such as Transport Allowance,HRA shall be payable at the revised rates  from 1st Sept.08 only   . As announced earlier 40% of the arrears are payable in Fy 2008-09 and rest 60% in subsequent year.

For the Purpose of Calculation  Of Dearness Allowance the All India Consumer Price Index 2001 is to be adopted This index presently stands somewhere around 140 and was around 116 in 2006. (The approximate rate of DA payable was found on a Govt Officials’ blog.)

Other major decisions concerning administrative reforms relate to approval Of Assured Career Progression Scheme (ACP) with provision for promotion after 10,20 and 30 years and setting up of Anomalies Committees to take care of grievance regarding unfair treatment  Cadre review and empanelment of Gr.A Services is to be updated in one year.

The CPMF Officers of the rank of Commandant and below are to be considered for payment of allowances comparable to Army while deployed in terrorism infested/difficult  areas. However the officers would be losing some personal privilege since the posts of personal attendants known as Suraksh Sahayak are to be abolished . The posts of Addl.DIG upgraded to DIG level  in CPMF shall continue to be manned by their Officers.

The Ministry of Finance has subsequently brought out Revised CCS Pay Rules  2008 for Central Govt. Employees which were followed with instructions Dt. 30th August 2008 which provide the tables for calculation of matching pay and Grade Pay and the methodology for calculation and payment of arrears. This we shall take up in subsequent posts.

Later…..Please see the latest post on this site for exact rates for DA and other allowances

 

 

So, finally the suspense over the Sixth CPC report is over!

SINGH seems to have again proved that he is the KING. After winning the confidence vote in the Parliament and having firmed up his grip on the Government PM Manmohan Singh managed to steer the Sixth Pay Commission Report through the Cabinet seemingly with  benefits for everyone. While detailed report on the final decisions is yet to trickle down, the first reports indicate that the matter was tackled in a humanitarian spirit and some harsh suggestions from FM Chidabaram were overruled (including the suggestion for locking up 60% of the arrears in the GPF till retirement).

At this hour when Central Para Military Forces are engaged in tough operations at more than one place in the country and the hardships involved are reportedly taking a heavy toll on the morale of the security forces , the decision to give benefits to Jawans over and above the recommendations of the Central Pay Commission (CPC) and a handsome Military Service Pay to officers was the most sensible  decision to be  taken by the Govt while considering the report.

Increase in annual increment rate to 3% (against 2.5% recommended by the CPC ) and a higher fitment benefit  is another decision which will take the sting out of one major criticism of the report and  shall be giving a reason for cheer to everyone.

The reshuffling of various categories of employees to Pay Bands higher than the ones recommended by the CPC would also take care of the wide ranging dissatisfaction in middle level officers who had complained about the benefits for top level functionaries being much higher than those of others. Special mention needs to be made about opening of the PB-4 for middle level officers- a move which shall ensure that PB-4 shall not be an exclusive domain for top civil servants .

One decision which may appear retrograde to progressive minded mangement experts however stands out. That decision is to discard the recommendation of the CPC for ending further  recruitments for the Gr.D category staff and upgrading the peons and khallasis to semi skilled Gr. C staff. The Govt. could not agree on that and so the humble relics of medieval ages shall hang around for a decade or so, till some Govt. understands the need for dispensing with this organ of governance.

For the Forest and Police Services there are a few benefits in addition to what the CPC had sought to give , such as the creation of Posts of Principal Chief Conservator of Forests and Director General Of Police for every State. But these have apparently not gone down too well and some officers gave vent to their frustration in media over the unfair deal which successive pay commissions have meted out to them.

The Indian Media as usual wants to paint the Pay Commission benefits  as monstrous assault on national economy.On the other hand there was a tough looking guy on the TV who used this opportunity for being projected in national media, for IAS bashing saying that all officers are unworthy of the service !