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Friday, December 21, 2012

Railway order : Grant of financial upgradation under MACP Scheme-Clarification reg

An another clarification order has been issued by the Railway Board to its employees regarding the Grade Pay would be admissible under MACP to an employee holding feeder post in a cadre where promotional post is in the same Grade Pay. The nodal department of the Union Government, DOPT has informed the the financial upgradations under ACP/MACP Schemes cannot be to higher Grade Pay than what are be allowed to an employee on his normal promotion...
The Railway Board order has been reproduced and given below for your consideration...
Railway Board

RBE No.142/2012
New Delhi, dated 13/12/2012
The General Manager/OSDs/CAO(R)
All Indian Railways & PUs
(As per mailing list)
Sub:-Grant of financial upgradation under MACP Scheme-Clarification reg.
References have been received from Zonal  Railways seeking clarification as to what Grade Pay would be admissible under  MACP Scheme to an employee holding feeder post in a cadre where promotional post is in the same Grade Pay. The matter has been examined in consultation with Department of Personnel & Training (DoP&T), the nodal department of the Government on MACP Scheme and it is clarified that ACP/MACP Schemes have been introduced by the Government in order to mitigate the problems of genuine stagnation faced by employees due to lack of promotional avenues.
Thus, financial upgradations under ACP/MACP Schemes CANNOT be to higher Grade Pay than what are be allowed to an employee on his normal promotion. In such cases financial upgradation under MACP Scheme would be granted to the same Grade Pay.
This issues with the concurrence of the Finance Directorate of the Ministry of Railways.
Hindi version is enclosed.
(N.P. Singh)
Dy. Director/Pay Commission-V
Railway Board

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Do you agree?

This is a report from staff corner. Do you agree with this report

Unknown virtues of new pension scheme

The Central government has made it compulsory, the New Pension Scheme (NPS) for its employees, who have joined service after April 1, 2004. It went operational in 2008-09. National Pension System (NPS) is an initiative of Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA), the apex body established by Government of India to regulate and develop the pension sector in India. NPS has been extended to all citizens of India with effect from 1st May 2009. 

The NPS offers very flexible investment options for the subscribers. A subscriber can invest into government security (up to 100 per cent) or corporate bonds (up to 100 per cent) and equity up to 50 per cent (only Nifty or Sensex). The Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) regularly monitors the performance to prevent risky investments. The process for withdrawal on retirement at 60 years of age is ‘market-proof’ as it gives the option to withdraw in lump sum or on deferred basis over 10 years. The total cost of administration of the pension account from the subscriber’s perspective is among the cheapest in the world. But these virtues are largely unknown to the public.

Since 2009, over three million pension accounts have been opened with total accumulated pension wealth of around Rs 21,000 crore. Out of this, the pension wealth accumulated under the voluntary scheme is less than Rs 150 crore (about 60,000 accounts) vis-a-vis pension wealth of government employees of Rs 20,850 crore. Clearly, policy initiatives are required for encouraging voluntary subscription.

PFRDA appointed the Committee to Review Implementation of Informal Sector Pension (CRIISP) to review the implementation of NPS. The committee identified that under the unbundled structure, no intermediary owns up the responsibility for marketing. While the committee examined the role of all intermediaries in the structure, it did not examine the role of government as a stake holder. As the pension wealth accumulation grows, government can seek funds from pension funds for infrastructure development and social sector planned expenditure. The success of NPS will partially relieve the government’s social security burden.

There is also a need to raise the awareness about the tax benefits of the scheme for employers, HR professionals and employees to motivate them to participate in it.

PFRDA introduced the ‘NPS for corporates’ scheme under which the corporate is the nodal point to offer NPS facility and will be responsible for collection of subscriptions as part of salary administration. The Income Tax Act allows 100 per cent of employer’s contribution to employees’ pension fund under NPS subject to a maximum of 10 per cent of salary of employees. A mere reallocation from the ‘cost to the company’ towards contribution to the pension scheme helps employees get substantial tax benefits plus systematic retirement savings.

The pension wealth accumulated under NPS will be available for withdrawal only at the age of 60 years, unlike other types of long-term savings. The government may create tax incentives around this USP of assured accumulation of pension wealth and attract them towards systematic pension savings. There is a need for offering exclusive additional deduction besides the current 80 CC options to encourage wage earners to participate in the NPS.

An awareness campaign on old-age financial security and NPS needs to be taken up, as today’s demographic dividend will become a demographic burden 20 years later.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

One million employees took part in the 12-12-12 strike

Nearly Ten lakhs Central Government employees took part in the one day token strike today, the 12th December, 2012 on the call of the Confederation of Central Government employees and workers, paralyzing the governmental functions in various departments throughout the country. The strike was to protest against the continued efforts of the Government to enact the PFRDA Bill, whereby the existing defined benefit pension of Government employees is sought to be converted into a defined contributory pension scheme. Every reason, the Government advanced at the time of the introduction of the new scheme is found to be incorrect and misleading by the Experts Committee set up by the Government itself.

Besides, the employees had been demanding wage revision by setting up the 7th Central Pay Commission, filling up large number of vacant posts, regularization of the service of Grameen Dak Sewaks/Casual/daily-rated workers, revival of the negotiating machinery i.e. JCM, removal of restrictions on compassionate appointments, introduction of Public Distribution system to arrest the ever increasing prices of essential commodities, stoppage of outsourcing, contractorisation, privatization etc. 

As per the report received the strike was total in Assam, Tripura, West Bengal, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh, Tamilnadu, Kerala, Chattisgarh, Jharkhand and beyond 80% in Maharashtra, Karnataka, U.P. Bihar, and about 60% in other States. The Postal, Income tax, Groundwater Board departments came to a grinding halt in all States, as the offices could not be opened at all. In Income tax Department, the promotee officers also joined the strike paving way of a complete closure. Many establishments of Atomic Energy, Printing and Stationery, Defence accounts, Medical Depots, Audit and Accounts Departments, Civil Accounts, CGHS, Indian Bureau of Mines, Directorate of Marketing Inspection, Geological Survey of India, Archaeological and Botanical Survey of India etc. remained closed. 

The organizers of the Strike have asserted that they will make the general strike of workers slated for 20th and 21st February, 2013 a grand success by enlisting participation of all sections of the Central Government employees. 

The Confederation will strive to organize an indefinite strike in pursuance of the 15 point charter of demands in 2013 if no settlement is brought about by the Government by then.