Submission to the 7th Central Pay Commission
Uttar Pradesh IAS Association Lucknow
|Governance of India – Fulfilling the need of a Competent Bureaucracy||
|Unique Position of the Indian Administrative Service||
|Proposing a Decent Remuneration||
Governance of India – Fulfilling the need of a Competent Bureaucracy
1. Steel Frame
Governance of our country depends largely on the policy decision making by the political executive and its implementation by the permanent executive. In this perspective, Indian Administrative Service has a major role to play in both the policy formulation and its implementation as well. This gives a special edge to this service. That is why it has been recognised as the Steel Frame of the country.
2. The Premier Service
Indian Administrative Service has undoubtedly remained the single largest choice of all candidates in the country at the entry level of their careers. The service offers a unique career, challenge, diversity and opportunity to contribute to the growth of the country. No other service, not only in India but worldwide, can match the career profile of this service. One can be involved from the grass root level to the highest echelons of policy making for the country.
3. The Selection Process
There are around 5.5 lakh applications and almost 3.2 Lakh candidates appear for the Civil Services Preliminary Examination. Around 23000 of them make it to the Mains. Nearly 2300 are called for the personality test. Of these, only 1000 make it to the list of successful candidates for all services. A miniscule number of 150 are able to get through to the coveted Indian Administrative Service. There have been years when this number was limited to 55 only. The competition and the success rate of this entrance system are unparalleled. Even the IIT and IIM entrance cannot boast of such a tough competition.
4. The challenge to attract and retain talent
It should be a matter of great concern for the nation that the percentage of first choice for this premier service is diminishing fast. The opportunities offered by this service are no longer able to attract the best talent. They are opting for other career choices. It is becoming difficult to retain the talent already working in the service and officers are leaving midway in favour of other opportunities in the private sector. The prime reason for this shift is the astronomical difference between the pay and perks paid by the private sector and the Government.
5. The Entry Level Salaries
Since both the government and the private sector recruit manpower from the same talent pool, a comparison between the pay and perks in Government vis-à-vis the private sector is unavoidable. The emoluments offered to young entrants in the IAS is petty as compared to their peers recruited in the private sector from similar institutes. This huge and glaring gap must be filled somehow if we have to attract the best for administering and governing the country into future.
6. Mid Career Profile
The Civil Services pose much stringer challenges in the modern era. The roles and responsibilities have also multiplied. The sheer size of some of the ministries and departments is phenomenal. The financial allocations and the population covered by Government schemes are simply unimaginable for most of the private sector companies. The closest comparison could be some very large public companies. But the remuneration paid to the CEOs of much smaller companies far more exceeds those of topmost bureaucrats in the Government. The difference which started at the entry level becomes more acute at the middle and top levels. Immediate correction is required, if we have to retain the talent.
7. International Comparison
International comparison also reveals that bureaucracy in India is poorly paid as compared to their global counterparts. When viewed in the international context, salaries of civil servants in India are at present much lower than the salaries of similarly placed officials in other countries. Even the ratio of private sector salaries to government salaries is adverse in India for the civil servants. Across the world, there have been instances of delinking senior civil service pay from other services to ensure that pay does not become a constraining factor in ensuring that exceptional talent continues to be attracted to the top civil service.
In the light of the position outlined above, the time has come when the nation is poised for a leap on the growth path and it cannot do so without a talented, committed, dynamic and visionary permanent executive, the critical issue of decent and sufficient salaries to the civil servants is addressed properly. The oft repeated and beaten down argument of “parity” and “financial implications” needs to be revisited. The respectable salaries will ensure that truly motivated and talented individuals continue to join the IAS and serve the nation to the path of glory. There are just about 4,500 IAS officers out of total central government employee strength of 35 lakh. We are sure that we can afford to delink and pay our top civil servants attractive salaries and incidental benefits. The net additional financial impact would not even be 1% of the overall wage bill.
Unique Position of the Indian Administrative Service
1. The Selection Process
Indian Administrative Service is arguably the toughest service to get in. It is undoubtedly the single first choice even today for all the eligible candidates at the entry level to Public Sector or Private Sector. As outlined clearly in Para 3 Chapter-1, the ratio of 180 successful candidates to 5.5 lakh aspirants turns out to be 0.03% only. Candidates selected for other services make repeated attempts to get into the Indian Administrative Service.
2. Initial Stages of Career
In the initial stages of his / her career, an IAS officer gets posted in most backward areas and far flung Sub-Divisional headquarters. One may argue that members of other Services are being posted to equally far flung places in the initial phases of their career. But there is a difference. While their attention is restricted to a particular subject, an IAS officer has to take overall control of governance in the territory, which includes subjects dealt with by other Services as well. Moreover the Central Services officers always get posted only to bigger cities after 5-6 years of their service and don’t have to return to the far flung areas again throughout their careers.
3. Going Forward in Career
With every growing year in the service challenges of a different nature confront IAS officers. With every transfer, the officer is expected to pick up ropes of a new department / subject in no time at all and begin delivering almost immediately. A sharp learning curve has to be negotiated at regular and sometimes very short intervals. The officer is expected to adjust to such frequent changes between completely dissimilar responsibilities with considerable alacrity.
4. Unlimited Domain of Responsibility
As District Magistrates or Collectors, the IAS officers have to handle almost anything under the sun in their districts. The job encompasses the domain of all other services too. It is a fact that any issue concerning the people is not confined to a single subject. For example removal of encroachment involves law and order, rehabilitation, and various other issues that involve coordination with other departments. Therefore, there is need for an institutional set up to coordinate, to speak to other departments and also to ensure that other departments speak to one another. The IAS provides a permanent institutional set up of this kind. No other service brings this kind of a responsibility.
5. Senior Levels in the Government
At senior levels in the Government an IAS officer is expected to be at the helm of affairs, directing, supervising, coordinating and formulating policy regarding manpower management, resource management and budgetary exercise. Effective co-ordination and administrative efficacy provide the constant undercurrent over which an officer builds capacities in various sectors. By the very virtue of his experience across multiple sectors and geographies at the grass root level, deep rooted knowledge of the socio-economic-politico conditions and specialized understanding of public administration and the business of governance places an IAS officer many cut above the rest.
6. Straightforward Inference
Thus, it is amply clear that after obtaining the highest ranks in the ultra-competitive civil services exam through their sheer hard work and merit, IAS officers are expected to deliver on multifarious fronts like managing law and order situation, communal riot, census, crucial developmental programmes etc. When compared to any other Service; the breadth, scope and consideration of responsibilities spread across multiple sectors provides an officer with the opportunity to develop multifarious skills including on the spot decision making, coordination, leadership, programme implementation and crisis management. This unique set of skills painstakingly acquired over the years, positions an IAS officer in a different league, which cannot be replicated or acquired by any other Service.
7. Recognition by Successive Pay Commissions
The special place of the All India Services (AIS) and of the IAS within the AIS has always been recognized by successive Pay Commissions (PCs). It is a uniquely placed service entrusted with extraordinary responsibilities unparalleled by any other service and hence deserving a special treatment so that the best can come to shoulder and discharge this responsibility.
The first pay commission (PC), while fixing the scales, adopted the approach that the IAS should have an advantage of Rs. 100 (a princely differential in those days!) in the course of first few years, to be maintained throughout the junior scale. For the senior scale, the 1st PC suggested an even greater difference (Rs. 200) from the very start, on the ground that Senior Scale posts of the IAS carries higher responsibilities.
The 2nd PC, while not addressing the issue of pay structure of AISs because its terms of reference had not required it to, examined the question of parity as the issue had been raised by Class-I Services. It surmised that higher pay scales for the IAS and the Indian Foreign Service were justified.
The 3rd PC dwelt on this issue at great length in chapter-II of their report. They noted that opinion on the issue was divided – those for higher pay for the IAS also included the State Governments and the Chief Ministers. They concluded that the issue of parity could not be settled by examining the equivalence or otherwise of the standard of the initial examination; the basis had to be the nature of duties and responsibilities of each Service, the demands placed upon them during their careers and other relevant factors.
The 4th PC noted that most of the Chief Ministers were in favour of maintaining the existing relativities and that pay scale had to be attractive enough to attract and retain a fair share of the country’s best talent. The 5th and 6th PC also recognized the need to maintain the advantage for the Premier Civil Service.
8. Diminishing Advantage over the Years
The distinctive edge enjoyed by the IAS over the other services has been whittled away over the years. This has been a consequence of successive Pay Commissions succumbing to the other Services’ claims seeking parity with the IAS. Resultantly, the Service is increasingly being seen as just another Government Service and will have far reaching impact for future recruitments and government functioning unless corrected. The 6th Pay Commission had ventured into formalising the ‘conventional edge’ between the IAS and other AIS / Central Group-A Services against the established practice till the 5th Pay Commission. As stated in the 6th Pay Commission report, the actual gap that existed due to various cadre characteristics including some undesirable ones like stagnations etc. was much more than the two years that was formalized.
The extracts from the 6th PC report are as follows: “The Government should, accordingly, consider batch-wise parity while empanelling and / or posting at Centre between respective batches of IAS and other organised Group-A Services with the gap being restricted to two years. Whenever any IAS officer of a particular batch is posted in the Centre to a particular grade carrying a specific grade pay in pay bands PB-3 or PB-4, grant of higher pay scale on non-functional basis to the officers belonging to batches of organised Group-A Services that are senior by two years or more should be given by the Government. The higher non-functional grade so given to the officers of organised Group-A Services will be personal to them and will not depend on the number of vacancies in that grade. These officers will continue in their existing posts and will get substantial posting in the higher grade that they are holding on non-functional basis only after vacancies arise in that grade”.
Consequentially, the across board dispensation for maintenance of batch wise parity for appointment to various grades in Centre and restricting the disparity / gap to two years between IAS and organised Central Group-A Services has done away with the actual longer gaps that existed. This non-functional grant of higher pay scale granted is enjoyed by all organised Group-A Services, whether posted in their respective cadres or on central deputation. While it is nobody’s case that stagnations etc are undesirable, this indirect prescription of a uniform career progression and parity for all Group-A Services by the 6th Pay Commission has further reduced the diminishing gap owing to reduced formal differences in pay over the years.
The actual reduction in the edge enjoyed by the IAS vis-à-vis other AIS and Central Group-A Services is, therefore, much more than formally quantified. It is essential that the balance that has been disturbed is restored to maintain the Premier Nature of the Service. This can be done through increase of differential in pay. Also, ideally the formalized uniformity introduced by the 6th PC should be further mitigated by increasing the two-year gap to at least four years in case the same cannot be removed.
To drive home the point that such deceptive and erroneous arguments had mislead the 6th Central Pay Commission to recommend to the Government of India, which led to the following anomalies that have crept in, and it had lead to serious governance crisis in the States. Therefore, it calls for an urgent need to be rectified without any further delay to ensure that the Governance structure is not distorted:
- By allowing the apex scale of Rs. 80,000 (fixed) for Director General of Police and Principal Chief Conservative of Forest, the balance in the State has been disturbed, which is highly undesirable for Good Governance. Logically, no officer should draw a salary higher than the Chief Secretary, being the highest Co-ordinating Officer of the State since all other officers are subordinate to the Chief Secretary. It is an established fact that the Chief Secretary is head of the Bureaucracy in the State and not of a Department whereas the DGP and PCCF only head of the respective line Departments.
- The new pay scale namely HAG + scale of Rs.75,000 – 80,000 is specific for India Police Service (IPS) and Indian Forest Service (IFS), and introduces another level before the Apex scale of Rs. 80,000 (fixed) that does not exist for IAS. As a result, officers in the IAS are drawing lower pay in the 67,000 – 79,000 pay band, thereby, demoralising the Premier Service.
- By allowing the additional level of DIG after 14 years (PB-4, GP, Rs.8,900) for IPS and IFS, it has created an anomaly where these Service officers draw a higher grade pay than the IAS in the 14th – 16th years of service. This also nullifies the initial edge given to the IAS, which is causing lot of frustration, unhappiness and also demoralising the Service to the hilt.
Therefore, it is amply clear that the special place of the Indian Administrative Service has been recognised by successive Pay Commissions, however, other objectives of the Government namely, a socialistic pattern of society and concern with narrowing the disparity have been enough to persuade successive PC’s towards greater parity between AIS and other central government services including junior government functionaries. It is felt that this has not been a healthy development for the AIS and for the country and that this trend needs to be decisively reversed. If this is not done, the consequences for the country’s economic growth and development can be very serious indeed, which needs to be appreciated by all concerned before damage of permanent nature is inflicted to the morale of the senior civil service.
9. A Case for Distinctive Edge of IAS
The degree, breadth and scope of responsibility shouldered by members of the IAS at various stages of their careers are unparalleled. Driven by the enormity of challenges that the Service was required to face, the founding fathers of this country found it appropriate to ensure that the IAS was one of the first permanent public Service enshrined in the Constitution. IAS enjoys a unique position in that its services are common to the Centre and the States; and it is this Steel Frame that provides the vital policy and administrative link between the Union Government and the States, keeping the Nation united. The regular exchange of IAS officers between the Union and the States gives their members, truly unique exposure and experience not available to any other Service. The IAS has the unique experience of working from Block level to National level. As a result, the IAS has been a veritable link, which bolsters the federal structure of this country not through coercion but through the tools of co-operation, co-ordination and convergence.
It is for the above listed reasons that members of the IAS are given a 2-year lead in empanelment at the Centre. Indeed this lead is essential and richly deserved at various stages of an IAS Officer’s career, whether as a DM he needs to preside over and oversee the functioning of the uniformed and other technical Services or as a Chief Secretary at the State level or as Cabinet Secretary at the Centre, he is required to coordinate the tasks of the senior most officials of the Police, Armed Forces, Technical and other Central Services. In the interest of good governance and proper controls, it is essential that this lead for IAS Officers is maintained at every stage of their careers. This is a functional requirement and cannot be allowed to be diluted in the face of what are merely external comparisons by other Services.
Proposing a Decent Remuneration
1. Need for delinking from other Services
In the wake of special position of the Indian Administrative Service in the whole gamut of Governance, there is a pressing need to differentiate the salaries and benefits of IAS officers who perform the above functions for a country with population of over 1.2 billion. The salary of the IAS should not be a function of any other Service or group’s salary. If, however, parity is the prime consideration and objective of personnel policy in matters of emoluments, then it would be unrealistic to expect the IAS to deliver more than what the working environment enables. And this would not be in the interest of the country which has multifarious demands and expectations from the system.
The total present strength of IAS officers in the country is approximately 4400, which is a very small fraction of the total number of Government employees. Even if the salary of all IAS officers were multiplied by many times even then the total difference to the wage bill is not going to be significant. It also follows from the above that delinking this small fraction of top employees from the rest and moving them onto a market linked, competitive compensation would not have wide ranging financial implications of such a move would be minimal. Increase in the salaries of such a small number is not going to cost the country much but paying very low to the officials at such senior positions in an organisation manned by the crème-de-la-crème of the top graduates recruited from a highly competitive selection process can prove to be disastrous.
2. Higher Wages for Top Managers
While big pay packets should not be the only motivation to join the IAS and serve the country but at the same time the remunerations should not be so low that the best of minds start preferring the private sector. If we make a comparison with the private sector in the present scenario, we will find that IAS officers are being paid very low as compared to their counterparts in the private sector.
The need for a competent bureaucracy cannot be over emphasised in the ever increasing complexity of the governance systems. Despite periodic salary revisions and system of annual increments, the salary of IAS officers is continuously decreasing proportionate to the private sector over the period of last 25 years or so. The salaries of entry level Executives in the Government used to be more than the salaries of those entering the private sector in the mid 1980s. Then the downslide started for the Government Executives and is continuing even today. While the unskilled, non-executive staff in Government like assistants, clerks, drivers, peons, etc earn much more than comparable private sector staff, highly qualified executive cadres of civil servants in leadership positions earn way below comparable private sector counterparts.
Recruitment packages for Engineering Graduates in large private sector companies and MNCs range between Rs.15-20 lakh. For the Management Graduates, the similar entry level packages stand at Rs. 20-35 lakh. The difference is very high as compared to the entry level of the IAS and this difference gets even more pronounced at the middle level of management. At the senior levels, while the CEOs of such companies get packages running into several crores of rupees.
Though the job of a top bureaucrat is far more complex than any CEO of a private organisation and cannot really be compared but that is the closest comparison possible. Several countries across the world use benchmarking systems to fix the salaries of their civil servants as compared to the private sector. Government of Singapore introduced a similar benchmark in the year 1994 which was refined in 2000.
It is certainly fair to consider the resources of the country while deciding remuneration of the bureaucracy. The questions and observations are applicable to all the sectors, private / public and govt. servant alike and it will not be appropriate to single out government servants and make social & economic conditions applicable to them only. It should be ensured that in the long run it would not be useful or productive to have a demoralized and de-motivated bureaucracy. Only a motivated and happy civil service can ensure equality, equity and justice to all sections of society.
When benchmarking salaries with the private sector, it is important to note that our analysis focuses on base / fixed salary comparisons only. In the case of private sector executives, total compensation includes a large element of bonuses/incentives that can be several multiples of base salary and also stock option element that also compounds the problem of paltry Government salaries.
3. Some Common Myths
It is often argued that IAS / AIS Officers have huge perks like palatial houses, servants etc because of which comparisons with private sector are not quantifiable. It has been argued that any realistic comparison should take into account all perks and privileges available to IAS officers, thereby implying a disproportionately high total or overall compensation. This argument is completely fallacious and must be clear from the following explanations.
- HousingNot all officers have access to large mansions. Nowadays it is mostly limited to DM bungalows in smaller districts. It is a colonial legacy which has been passed on without proper maintenance and upkeep. Moreover it is a functional need to accommodate large number of petitioners, delegations and district officials who come to meet the Collector. All other IAS officers are allotted small functional residential accommodations on rent fixed by Government, which also double up as camp offices, thus creating pressure on personal space. In State capitals there are hardly any large Bungalows. Most of the senior officers are housed in multi-storied buildings. The provision of HRA is not sufficient to enable renting functionally appropriate good accommodations in decent localities.
The perception is based on DM Bungalows which are not availed by an officer for more than 4 to 6 years of his career in these positions. For more than 80% of his career an officer is subject to official accommodation wanting on quality and availability fronts. Left to himself an officer may not choose to pay rent beyond his HRA and may stay in an affordable location. This would not meet the functional requirement of officers being available 24×7 hours.
CEOs and senior Managers of private companies have more lavish and furnished accommodations made available to them. Thus they are able to afford much better houses than Government because of higher compensation that they get.
- VehicleThere can be nothing more unrealistic than inclusion of vehicle facility in a total cost to Government calculation. Surely the government does not expect a District Magistrate to respond to law and order / natural calamity situations in a self driven private car or wait for public transportation should he not choose to buy a vehicle of his own. A vehicle is necessity of the job, which may not be so in private sector. Moreover, most of the private sector companies are providing vehicles or decent allowance for the vehicle to most of their executives. This is no longer a perk enjoyed only by the IAS officers. Most of the other Government services also offer vehicles to even Class-II officers.
- Pension & SecutirySimilarly, the myth of lifelong security and pension needs to be busted. In this modern day an average benefit like pension can easily be substituted by purchasing an annuity scheme. The manager level private sector employees can easily set aside sums from their annual pay packages to yield a monthly pension equal to the government pension. Moreover, they can easily purchase an annuity pension plan and also have defined contributions schemes through EPF etc. Their stock options grow over long periods. Thus, pension is no longer an exceptional perk enjoyed by IAS officers.
- Other PerksOther facilities like medical, LTC and Children’s education allowance etc are available in both public and private sectors albeit in different guises.
It is worth mentioning here that submissions before the Pay Commission in the succeeding paragraphs the salaries and perks have been dealt separately. While dealing with the salaries, the C2C benefits available to private sector executives have not been taken into account. As far as C2C argument goes it is important to take into account the difference in the operating environment of the private sector and IAS officers. While the former operate in a largely fixed environment with very limited variables, there is hardly anything which remains constant in an IAS officer’s work environment. Therefore, what is construed as a perk in case of private sector may actually be a functional necessity in case of an IAS officer.
4. Submission before the Commission
Based on the logical reasons as enunciated in the preceding chapters, here are the final submissions before the 7th Central Pay Commission:
- Salaries:Looking at the average salaries being offered to the graduation level executives entering the large private sector companies, it is submitted that the monthly salary of the IAS Officer at entry level should not be less than Rs. 1.25 lakh to Rs. 1.5 lakh per month. The ratio between the highest to lowest in the hierarchical structure should be somewhere from 8 to 10. Thus, the salary at the senior most level should be around Rs. 12 lakh per month. The table below indicates the proposed growth chart of the salaries.
Junior Time Scale Rs. 1.25 lakhs to Rs. 1.50 lakhs
Senior Time Scale Rs. 3.00 lakhs to Rs. 4.00 lakhs
JAG Rs. 5.00 lakhs to Rs. 6.00 lakhs
NFSG Rs. 7.00 lakhs to Rs. 7.50 lakhs
Super Time Scale Rs. 8.00 lakhs to Rs. 9.00 lakhs
HAG Rs. 9.50 lakhs to Rs. 11.00 lakhs
Apex Rs. 12.00 lakhs to Rs. 13.50 lakhs
- Restoring the Relative Edge:The distinctive edge of the IAS over other All India Services can be maintained by following the Rs.200 differential on a base of Rs.800 as recommended by the 1st Pay Commission. This benchmarking can easily be followed to ensure the relativity. It is submitted before the 7th CPC to reintroduce this differential which simply works out to be 25% of salary. This will restore the lost relative importance of the IAS.
- Removal of Anomalies:The provision of the apex scale of Rs. 80,000 (fixed) for Director General of Police and Principal Chief Conservative of Forest has created an anomaly at the State level. The same scale is admissible to the Chief Secretary, who is the Head of the Bureaucracy in the State. DGP and PCCF are merely HoDs of their respective departments. This has disturbed the hierarchy in the State bureaucracy and is not a good sign for the governance in the days to come. It is strongly recommended and submitted before the 7th CPC that the Chief Secretary must be given a higher scale.
- Special Allowance for Senior Administrators: From the initial days in Service as Sub-Collector and progressing through jobs like Collector, Municipal Commissioner, Secretary to State Government and various positions in GoI, IAS Officers have to man senior Management positions. An IAS officer is required to be available at all times and is answerable both to the public as well as to his superiors and political executives. His work hours do not end when he leaves office physically. In fact most officers are required to carry files to process at camp office due to lack of time during the day spent in meetings.
Therefore, a special monthly Allowance should be paid to IAS officers to facilitate their functioning. This special allowance would also be an effective way of delinking the IAS from other services without imposing a similar burden on account of other government staff. Armed Forces personnel of comparable grades are already being paid such an allowance irrespective of their job requirements. It is submitted that the special allowance should at least be equal to 30% of total gross pay.
- Housing – HRA & HBA:The present rates of HRA are not sufficient to get a decent accommodation in any good city. With the current base of salary, the percentages are not sufficient. The cities also need to divided in four categories and slabs should be 40%, 30%, 20% and 10% respectively for top to bottom categorisation. This would be more equitable in a large country like India with cities of various sizes and living costs.
The upper limit of House Building Advance is very low and practically it is not possible to purchase a housing unit in that amount even after availing other loans and contributing from personal savings. This really needs serious attention. It is submitted that HBA should be at least 40 times the gross salary or Rs. 50 lakhs whichever is lower.
- Medical FacilitiesThe life of officers in governance and administration is becoming more and more prone to stress and this is leading to severe ailments and untimely deaths of the officers. The CGHS should be made more user friendly by empanelling good private hospitals for higher ailments like heart surgeries, cancer procedures both for working and retired officers.Fixed working hours of CGHS dispensaries are unsuitable to the needs especially at odd hours. To overcome this inconvenience, officers may be allowed to see private doctors (whether system of empanelment is in place or not) for common ailments and fees is paid by the officers, as fixed by the government, should be reimbursed without going through any cumbersome process. We should move from the CGHS system to cashless medical treatment in any of the recognized private medical institutions.
- Education of Children:Education allowance for the children is very meagre if it is compared with the fees of some of the reputed schools in New Delhi and various State capitals. The Government should reimburse the full fee to ensure good education for the children of senior officers. It is submitted before the CPC that Rs. 5000 per month per child should be made admissible as Education Allowance. The allowance should be available for education till graduation level at least.
- Leave Travel Concession:Most of the IAS officers are not in a position to get their leaves approved well in advance and have to depend on the last moment because of the pressing needs of their offices. Hence HTC or LTC travel should be allowed by air for all IAS officers irrespective of the class the officer is entitled to travel. LTC should include also include reimbursement of boarding and lodging. Considering the pressures of work, taking leave for LTC or HTC may sometimes not be possible at all. Therefore, monetization of LTC or HTC should be allowed in some form.
- Earned Leave: Most of the IAS officers are unable to avail Earned Leave due to the pressing requirements of their offices and hence reach the limit of total permissible accumulation of 300 days even before 15 years of their service. After that earned leave becomes meaningless for them for the rest of their careers. It should be endeavour of the Government to make officers take leave. Therefore, it should be made mandatory for all the IAS officers to take leave for 15 days in a year spread over 3 breaks. The other 15 days leave if not taken should be permitted for encashment on a yearly basis or at the time of retirement without any limit on the accumulated number of days.
- Camp Office Allowance:Most of the IAS officers have to work at odd hours and from their camp offices. They also have social and community obligations. Large meetings with other officials and visiting delegations have to be organized at the Camp office cum residence entailing significant hospitality as well as logistics and manpower requirement. Visitors and Telephone calls have to be attended round the clock. Personal security in important positions is also of paramount importance. All these needs cannot be met without hiring proper staff for these purposes. Such facilities are already available to officers of the Armed forces, Central Para-Military forces and other line Departments like the Railways etc as ‘Orderlies’ and ‘Bungalow Peons’.Therefore, salary of at least one Class-IV employee should be admissible to the officers where fully functional camp office is not provided at Government expense.
- New Pension Scheme:The NPS creates an unfair discrimination in provision of post retirement benefits for the officers, who have joined the service post 1st Jan, 2004. Old pension is based on last pay drawn, while NPS is based on a weighted average of pay over the entire career. This distinction will only get accentuated with time as there is no DA neutralization available in the NPS unlike old pension. There is no revision of pension based on decennial pay commission recommendations. The aim of NPS was not to create this distinction within officers of the same service. Funding pension liability was the limited goal, and therefore it should not have resulted in government passing on its funding liability to the employees.
Here are some suggestions for reforming the NPS. The contribution to the pension corpus should be fully borne by the Government only. The basic pension corpus invested and a minimum inflation-indexed interest return on the corpus should be fully protected. Actuarial analysis of pension returns should be conducted every 5 years at least to confirm if such returns would match the pension under old pension scheme. If there is any estimated shortfall then the same should be compensated by additional contribution by the Government to the pension corpus of the officer over and above the regular contribution. Some kind of equalization benefit needs to be provided at regular intervals after retirement to officers under NPS to compensate them for the indeterminate pension and bring them on par with officers of old pension scheme.
- Linking Allowances with Inflation:Various allowances are approved and sanctioned in absolute amounts. They become very meagre over a period of time as inflation goes up and value of rupee goes down. Therefore, all kinds of allowances must be linked with Inflation or with DA rates.