The announcement of a deferral is expected to be part of Jaitley's Budget speech on
With a massive financial resource crunch estimated for 2016-17, the government is planning to defer the implementation of the 7th Pay Commission award.
Last week, the Union Cabinet approved the formation of an empowered committee of secretaries to work out ways for staggering the award through more than one financial year, instead of letting the Rs 1,02,100-crore bill from the implementation of the award come up at one go.
A top-ranked official said one of the options for the empowered committee was to defer the increase in allowances for central government employees, while letting the rise in pay for all scales to go through. According to finance ministry figures, the ratio of allowances to pay for these 4.7 million employees is 1:1.4. For instance, the Budget estimates in 2015-16 pegged the salary bill for all central government employees at Rs 60,731 crore, whereas the tab for allowances is Rs 84,437.4 crore.The step would allow Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to keep the Budget numbers for this financial year and the next close to the targeted 3.9 per cent and 3.5 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) that he has committed himself to. For instance, even if the annual expenditure for 2016-17 were kept at about Rs 18 lakh crore (almost unchanged from Rs 17,77,477 crore in 2015-16), the Pay Commission recommendations would add another 5.5 per cent to it.
Given the sluggish pace of GDP growth and the almost negative deflator, the aggregate Budget numbers would otherwise be impossible to sustain on the back of the current trend in growth of tax receipts - just 50 per cent of the Budget estimates after the first eight months of the year, according to Controller General of Accounts data. The assumptions being worked on in North Block are that these might not change dramatically in the next financial year, too.
The announcement of a deferral is expected to be part of Jaitley's Budget speech on February 29. The formation of an empowered committee for the pay panel recommendations, again a first for the central government, is meant to bring all stakeholders on board in the exercise.
The official explained ministry-wise consultations with the department of expenditure in the finance ministry, in the run up to the Budget, were mostly over. Those discussions had proceeded on the assumptions that the Pay Commission recommendations would be implemented. It was now necessary to bring the secretaries of key departments on board about the need for a drastic cut-back on those estimates.
The status quo on allowances would also allow the government to ignore the demand made by various staff associations to raise the minimum level of salary for employees. The Pay Commission has suggested that the minimum should be Rs 18,000 per month; the unions have demanded that it should be raised to a band of Rs 19,000 to Rs 21,000 a month. Such a change would have created a ripple effect. About 70 per cent of the government employees are bunched in the non-executive ranks; the starting salary for them tops about Rs 42,000 a month, show calculations by the Commission. Even a modest increase in pay for them would cascade the bill for the government by another Rs 50,000 crore annually. The award of the Commission is slated to take effect from January 1 this year.
A key element in the plan to defer some elements of the 7th Pay Commission recommendations will be the railway ministry. Government managers reckon the powerful unions of the Indian Railways need to be brought on board for this plan to be successful. The higher wage bill for the Suresh Prabhu-led ministry works out to Rs 28,450 crore a year, only a shade less than the yearly loss it makes on its passenger services at present. No formal communications have been sent out to the railway unions by the committee. "It will follow once the empowered committee has decided to take a call on which allowances to clip," said the official.
In a recent television interview, Minister of State for Finance Jayant Sinha had said the Pay Commission recommendations were the biggest headache for his ministry, struggling to keep the aggregate expenditure of the Union government under control.
The recommendations of the seventh central pay commission (CPC) would reduce, rather than increase, the ‘take-home’ salary of almost 90% of Indian Railways’ workforce, the largest railway trade union has alleged. It has also threatened to go on an indefinite strike in the first week of March in response to the panel’s recommendations.
The National Federation of Indian Railwaymen (NFIR), which represents more than 90% of the railways’ workforce, has said 1.3 million railway employees are ‘seriously disturbed’ over what they call retrograde recommendations of the panel with regard to their pay structure as their take-home salary would be less than what they currently receive, particularly employees living in government accommodation.
“Those being covered against pay levels 1 to 12 of the seventh CPC Pay Matrix are approximately 90% of the workforce in the Indian Railways and these employees are seriously disappointed as their ‘take-home’ salary after 10 years waiting would be reduced ranging from Rs 2,000 to Rs 6,000 per month with effect from 1 January 2016,” NFIR said in a statement, without explaining how it arrived at the conclusion.
In a response to the “illogical” recommendations, the Union has threatened to go on indefinite strike in the first week of March after participating in a three-day Dharna at Jantar Mantar along with employees of Defence and Postal services.
The Seventh CPC has done grave injustice to the employees in the Railways as well in the Central Government employees with regard to multiplying factor and computation of need based minimum wage,” the NFIR said, adding a comparison with earlier pay panels reveals several of the current pay commission recommendations are negative and illogical.
The recommendations are effective from the current month and would lead to total annual wage burden of Rs 28,000 crore, the government estimates.
The Union also said that the hike in wages in general will either be marginal or less than what is received now in most of the cases of employees. “Experience proved that successive Pay Commissions’ reports have resulted into pay anomalies since the age old relativities in pay scales got disturbed and those aberrations continued unresolved for decades as the authorities always prefer to procrastinate matters,” NFIR General Secretary M Raghavaiah said in a strongly-worded statement.
The trade union termed it ‘sad’ that the seventh CPC had not seriously gone into the skills requirement, nature of duties, accountability, remoteness and arduousness of over 1.3 million railway employees. It complained the Pay Commission has recommended abolition of various allowances and interest free advances in the Railways, generating serious unrest among the employees.
RURAL ICT PILOT PROJECT ஆக பீகார், உ. பி. யில் அறிமுகப் படுத்தப் படுகிறது. கிராமப்புறங்களில் HAND HELD DEVICE மூலம் செய்திடும் எல்லா பரிவர்த்தனைகளும் உடன் CENTRAL SERVER ஐ அடைந்துவிடுமாம். இது நல்ல திட்டம்தான் . ஆனால் செயல்பாட்டில்தான் கோளாறு உள்ளது. இலாக்கா அஞ்சலகங்களில் CBS அறிமுகப் படுத்தி இரண்டு ஆண்டுகளுக்கு மேல் ஆகியும் கூட சரி செய்திட இயலாத, PENALTY CLAUSE இருந்தும் ஏன் என்று கேட்கக்கூட திராணி இல்லாமல் INFOSYS , SIFY நிறுவனங்களிடம் அடிமைப்பட்டுக் கிடக்கும் நிர்வாகம் , 1,30,000 கிராமப்புற கிளை அஞ்சலகங்களில் என்ன கூத்து நடத்தப் போகிறதோ தெரியவில்லை. அதற்குள் எத்தனை உயிர் பலியாகப் போகிறதோ தெரியவில்லை.
As a pilot phase Department of Post has started using solar powered, biometric hand-held devices in rural post office with connectivity along with the application software in selected circles viz. Bihar, UP and Rajasthan. This move was the outcome of Rural ICT project declared by the Government of India.
Following re the important features or benefits of Hand-held device supplied to Branch Post Offices.
1. Electronic transactions- Booking and delivery of Speed Post, registered mail, money orders, sale of stamps and postal stationery will be done through these devices and paper receipt shall be generated
2. Instantaneously thereby eliminating chances of overcharging and other problems associated with manual transactions. Savings Bank deposits & withdrawals, PLI/RPLI premium deposits and loan/claim payments will also be done electronically on these devices.
3. Immediate uploading of transaction data and financial reconciliation- Using mobile connectivity, data pertaining to all transactions done on the hand-held devices shall be uploaded onto the central server. E-Money order will reach the destination post office instantaneously unlike present day where the money order is digitized at the nearest computerized Post Office and leads to delay in delivery. All financial transactions shall also be reconciled immediately without any manual intervention and Cash on Delivery amount collected in the village shall be immediately credited to the account of e-Commerce Company. Similarly the artisans would be able to fulfill e-commerce orders and receive immediate payment for their sold products online. This will have a positive impact on the overall economy of the villages.
4. Automatic track and trace- Speed Post and Registered letters/parcels and money remittances will be trackable at the Branch Post Office level and booking/delivery information will also be uploaded to central server immediately.
5. Fraud and leakage elimination- As Savings Bank and Postal Life Insurance transactions will be done on a real-time basis and through immediate generation of receipt and voice message, chances of fraud would be eliminated. Biometric authentication of MNREGS and social security beneficiaries at the time of pay-out would also reduce leakage in the schemes
6. Post Offices as Common Service Centres- Branch Post Offices shall be able to work as Common Service Centres and offer services such as Railway Reservation, online bill payment for electricity and water utilities, mobile and DTH recharge, insurance policy premium payments & transactions for partner banks/insurance companies/mutual funds etc.