Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Is Prime Minister Modi as helpless with IAS as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh

Primus Inter Predators? | Saikat Datta | Oct 13,2008 - Outlook


Sixth Pay Panel: IAS Advantage: The IAS lobby has cornered for itself far more pay than the Union cabinet cleared

Saikat Datta Outlook Magazine 13 October 2008

Smash & Grab
  • The Union cabinet had cleared two additional increments for IAS officers, but bureaucrats gave themselves four
  • Even the two additional increments cleared by the cabinet were meant only for a limited period. But the IAS lobby has manipulated to see that this incremental edge over others stays throughout service period.
  • The additional fiscal burden for these increments not sanctioned by the cabinet is Rs 12 crore a year
  • New notifications scripted by the babus have ensured that junior IAS officers will draw more than their seniors in other services
  • Those in other services who were drawing the same pay as their IAS counterparts will now get less
Who is supreme, the Union cabinet or the bureaucrat? There was never the need to raise this question. But the flurry of notifications from babus of the department of personnel and training after the Sixth Pay Commission's recommendations were approved by the cabinet on August 14 makes one wonder whether bureaucrats—IAS officers—have overriding powers. Documents accessed by Outlook show that the cabinet approved a certain pay structure, but it was subverted by the IAS lobby for salary gains. (Please see Govt Resolution approving recommendations of 6th CPC, Para 1 (vii) for more details). 

At a conservative estimate, this manipulation entails an additional annual burden of Rs 12 crore on the exchequer, not taking into account the proportionate gains the IAS lobby has allowed the IFS, or foreign service. Besides, in terms of arrears, 4,000 IAS officers will end up being paid Rs 32 crore. All this is money that wasn't authorised by the cabinet in the first place. Here's how the interpretations and manipulations took place:
  • On August 14, the cabinet okayed two additional increments for the IAS in the fifth year of service. This would put them ahead of other streams vis-a-vis salary till the completion of sixteen years, after which there is pay parity across all services.
  • However, while interpreting the new pay band system, the IAS lobby slipped in an additional two increments in the tenth year as well.
  • The bureaucrats have also ensured that the pay edge they have got over others remains till they retire. There will be no cutoff after the 16th year in service.
These machinations haven't gone down well with the other services. They have already shot off strong letters to the cabinet secretary and have also taken up the matter with senior members of the cabinet. "This malafide manipulation raises a basic question about who is supreme in the government—is it the Union cabinet or the IAS? The fact that this has been done shows that even the cabinet has no sanctity when it comes to the self-interest of a particular lobby in government," a senior police officer told Outlook.

State associations of IPS and Indian Forest Service (IFS) officers have sent in strong protests and representations, demanding not only a reversion to the original intent of the cabinet but also action against the officials responsible for "misinterpreting a cabinet decision."

In response to a fax to the Union finance ministry, an official associated with the pay commission told Outlook that the intention of the cabinet was to continue with the advantage for the IAS and IFS at three levels. "This was discussed at several meetings and has the sanction of the government," the official insisted, and pointed out that "members from the other services, including the IPS and the IFS, were present, they were fully aware of the implications, and gave their stamp of approval." However, the meetings took place on July 2, much before the issue came up before the cabinet.

Besides awarding themselves additional increments, the bureaucrats have also arbitrarily awarded themselves a higher salary structure than what was recommended through several arbitrary means. While the commission recommended Rs 9,000 as grade pay for joint secretary level officers, it has been increased straightaway to Rs 10,000.

The justification runs thus: an IAS officer of the director rank is equivalent to a colonel in the army or an SP in the police. The next step up the ladder makes a bureaucrat a joint secretary, equivalent to a major general or inspector general of police. However, police officers and those in the army and other defence services have to pass through one more rung—the brigadier-DIG level —before they are on par with a joint secretary. The commission's increment for DIG-level officers meant a grade pay of Rs 8,400—just Rs 100 more than an IAS director. The former protested and the grade salary was raised to Rs 8,900. This upset the joint secretaries, as their grade pay was Rs 9,000. The IAS lobby promptly raised it to Rs 10,000.

The cabinet mandated that the IAS has an edge over other services at only 3 middle levels, with 2 additional increments. But the new notification means that IAS officers get 4 additional increments, which continue throughout their career.
The manipulation of recommended pay structures doesn't end here. In a bizarre move, the slew of new pay notifications have also ensured that junior IAS officers get more money than their seniors in other services. For instance, a junior IAS officer drawing Rs 16,300 in the old pay structure will now get a gross of Rs 40,890 under the new scheme. But officers from other services, who were his seniors and were drawing a higher pay packet of Rs 16,400, will now get Rs 39,690.

The other services have also been crying foul at the way grade pays have been fixed for them, while keeping the IAS at an advantage. In representations to the Centre, other service associations have pointed out that their increments have been proportionately much lower than that of their IAS counterparts. While increments for other ranks have been higher, for the DIG/brigadier level the ratio has been kept at a measly 0.14. This has led to IAS officers at a lower level drawing more than DIGs and brigadiers.

Similarly, an IAS officer drawing Rs 15,100 today will now get Rs 39,690. But his counterpart in the other services, drawing the same salary, will now, inexplicably, get Rs 38,500. "It is not just about money," a police officer says. "Pay structure also decides seniority, perks and powers. By ensuring the superiority of one service at the cost of all other services, you are ensuring bad governance. This will mean that other services will remain subservient to the wishes of the IAS. Is that desirable in our framework of good governance or in view of the efforts that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is making to bring about more professional delivery of governance in India?" he asks.

In the end, even as bureaucrats bestow increments and sops on themselves, can citizens expect better governance? All government employees associations have rejected a key recommendation made by the commission: to link twenty per cent of annual increment to performance. So, while the exchequer is drained at the expense of the common man, the babu has ensured that he will continue to reap benefits—even as he short-changes the government he is supposed to serve.
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  1. Sir, this comment is merely by way of feedback that the graphic in the blog post is not viewable. Regards.

    1. Sorry, unable to place it. That is why provided a link.

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      The blog would be a dynamic one based on asp.net technology

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      I did try to get OROP.com. (Unfortunately it is already with some one though they are not associated with OROP in any way)

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    4. @Venkatesh VT and sunlit, Thanks for the offer by the former and the advice by the latter.

      I will give Venkatesh VT's offer and get cracking on sunlit's advice.

      Hopefully by then I will need all the graphics etc of the 7 CPC.

    5. Thanks for accepting the offer.In addition the blog will be based on a database in which a search would be easier with in the blog itself (when the code for the search part is developed which is under development now).There would be numerous other advantages which would be self evident(& may be some disadvantages too :) ) as it is put to use

    6. Dear Sir
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  2. So much happens in Delhi ,right under the nose of Gens .they are simply passive when issues of soldiers are concerned !
    Their msp,gr pay,nfu.......etc.
    All these would surface in big way.
    Orop is only a small issue in enormity of disparities.

  3. Can the IAS be leashed ? The judiciary and our legal luminaries have their task cut out, if the desire to lift our country out of the morass is there. Reminds one " Mayors may come and mayors may go, but I stay on for ever " .

  4. Let me state, a recent ( 2 days back )comment from convertee - from ssc to Ind Adm Svc ,retd at apex scale as chief. " mily is greedy "
    He would have other wises retd as a Lt Col or Col .instead he draws pension of over a lakh ,with all the fun in Ind Adm Svc from that of Ind Mil Svc.
    If he is like that ,other direct entry Adm Svc is.....

    1. Dear Bala Sir,

      Before we question the mentioned IAS officer few questions to be asked to ourselves.

      - Do we treat SSC officers with the dignity of an officer so that they leave service with pride n be brand ambassador of armed forces.
      - Y do we still live in branch culture which is synonyms to caste culture or divide n rule policy of british.
      - Y the executive branch in 3 services wants to corner all vacancies n allowances for themselves.
      - Y the executive branches of all 3 services oppose the NFU when initially offered to armed forces.
      - Y do we treat beaurocrats n politicians with dry fruits n scotch at the cost of young officers mess bill to give a false impression of lavish lifestyle.
      - Y the so called senior officers not open to differing views and welcome arguments.

      Sir, we need to accept that there r flaws in our system that are cashed by beaurocrats.

      Till we abolish the branch system n accept that all officers r performing the jobs assigned by the president, who is supreme commander and deserve same pay n perks we can never see EYE 2 EYE with IAS.

  5. Do politician ever come to know that babus are making fool to them, army persons & to the country.

  6. We cannot say with certainty that Bureaucrats are making fool of Politicians.The two may be working hand in gloves.

  7. Yes ! Netas and babus operate in co- op style.they co-exist at the cost of every body and common factor is " retention of profit " .,on every issue and activity they squeeze ,their share first- be rank pay pay out , min of scale from 1.1.2006 ,proposed orop.....etc.the budgetary projections and allocations may be some fig of 100 ,but actual pay out may be say 60%; remaining is adjusted in exp of the systems in diverse methods of mastery of appropriations/ reappropriations practiced for decades. Audit and approvals are all in house and by same brand. Nothing comes out in rti , all in closed files. only publicity is ,so much, say 12000 cr. Watch out for orop orders being crafted /designed and actual pay out in coming months.take any case of past and present issue of orop/circari oravp of 5 yrs frequency ( like scam of freq spectrum) ,with imported clause of VRS.

  8. Once OROP pay out starts whenever I am sure our senior veterans will seek the information of the actual amount paid out to veterans and not some cooked up figures of babus in the finance ministry. Hope NFU paid to babus are not clubbed with OROP to bloat the figures up