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Monday, January 25, 2016

Pay Commission report: 20 services seek fair representation on panel

Seeking to check IAS dominance, a confederation representing thousands of officers of 20 civil services, including Indian Police Service, has sought fair representation on an empowered committee that will examine the 7th Central Pay Commission recommendations.

In a memorandum submitted to Cabinet Secretary P K Sinha and Expenditure Secretary Ratan P Watal recently, it demanded that the representation of any one service should be restricted to 25 per cent of the total strength of the committee.

The Union Cabinet had on January 13 given its approval for setting up an empowered committee of Secretaries under the Cabinet Secretary to process the recommendations of the pay panel. 

The move assumes significance as various civil services have been raising their voice against career benefits enjoyed by officers of the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) and Indian Foreign Service ( IFS).

The Confederation of Civil Services Association (COCSA) has highlighted the "apprehensions" shared by a "majority" of officers and requested for a fair representation to other services on committee, limiting the representation of any one service to 25 per cent of the total strength, said senior IRS officer Jayant Misra, its convener.

The COCSA had in December forwarded a memorandum and sought an appointment with the Cabinet Secretary to explain to him the "concern" of these officers.

"We are still waiting for an opportunity to meet the Cabinet Secretary. We have submitted fresh Memoranda dated January 19, 2016 to the Cabinet Secretary and also to the Expenditure Secretary, reiterating our demand that equitable representation be given to various services in all the bodies or committees etc. looking into or implementing recommendations of the 7th CPC, so that there is no domination by any particular service," he said.

Amid a bitter war of words among services, the confederation maintained "that officers from various services continue to maintain excellent interpersonal relations and serve the Government with full devotion".
"Cohesion and camaraderie among various civil services are essential pre-requisites for good governance and efficient public service delivery.
"The onus of strengthening these attributes lies on the officers of these services, but somewhat more on the officers who control the service conditions of the services, particularly when they are expected to render absolutely objective and neutral advice to the competent authorities, even if it may be perceived as disadvantageous to their own service," the memorandum said, citing its concern.
In the present context, strong evidence was presented before the Pay Commission regarding unfair, unjustified and exclusive edge to two services, the confederation said.
"Our arguments were accepted and favourable recommendations were made by the Commission in a majority voice, and the final decision will be taken by the Cabinet in due course," it said referring to the report submitted by the pay panel in November last year.
Two factors, however, raised concerns among thousands of officers whether the recommendations of the Commission will ever be taken to logical conclusion.
"First, the dissenting notes of one member of the Pay Commission in violation of the time-honoured principle of 'nemo judex in causa sua' (No one can be a judge in his own cause), and second, the very meagre level of compliance of the PMO's instructions of reducing the huge inter-service gap in empanelment to the Joint Secretary level by December 2015.

"When instructions from even the highest office of the country are not being complied, one cannot blame the affected officers if they get hugely disappointed and agitated, and approach the service associations for espousing their cause," said the COCSA, that comprises 20 services including IPS, Indian Revenue Service, Indian Forest Service, Indian Audit and Accounts Service and Federation of Railway Officers Association(representing nine railway services).

Source:-The Economic Times

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