The Government of India has solicited people’s suggestions/ comments regarding pay scale to civil servants to be decided by Sixth Central Pay Commission. It is in the form of a questionnaire. People have to answer the questions. The questionnaire can be downloaded from http://india.gov.in/govt/paycommission.php and answers can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. My answers are as below:
1. Comparison with public/private sectors
1.1 Should there be any comparison/parity between pay scales and perquisites in Government and the public/private sector?
1.2 Is it possible to quantify all other benefits, excluding pay, derived by employees in Government and the public and private sectors from security of tenure, promotional avenues, retirement packages, housing and other invisibles? In view of these benefits, can there be any fair comparison between the salaries available in the government vis-à-vis the salaries in the private sector?
Public sector jobs have security. Promotions and increments are regular. Private sector jobs do not have pension. There should be no comparison.
1.3 In order to ensure a fair comparison based on principles of equity and social justice, would it not also be appropriate to take into account the economic conditions of large sections of the community that are less privileged than Government employees and many of whom live below the poverty line?
Employment should be based on merit. Principles of equity and social justice are irrelevant.
2. International comparisons
2.1 Some countries have raised civil service pay scales almost to levels prevalent in the private sector on the hypothesis that a well-paid bureaucracy is likely to be honest and diligent. To what extent would such a hypothesis be valid and how far would such a course of action be desirable?
Public Sector employees do not have the disadvantages of Private Sector. If they want such scales they should be ready for ‘hire and fire’.
3. Impact on other organizations
3.1 Salary structure in the Central and State Governments is broadly similar. The recommendations of the Pay Commission are likely to lead to similar demands from employees of State Governments, municipal bodies, panchayati raj institutions & autonomous institutions
Their paying capacity is considerably limited. To what extent should this factor be considered in devising a reasonable remuneration package for Central Government employees?
This factor should not be considered.
4.1 How should we determine the salary to be paid to a Secretary in the Central Government? Please suggest an appropriate basic pay for a Secretary? Can appointment to this post be made on a contractual basis where salaries and tenure are linked to the performance in terms of achieving defined targets?
Retain 5th pay commission scale. Appointment to this post be made on a contractual basis. USA does not have fixed tenure for top officers. They do not have something like IAS. Secretary need not be a bureaucrat.
4.2 What should be the reasonable ratio between the minimum and the maximum of a pay scale?
Minimum should be one fourth of the maximum. Maximum salary is when the person retires. Minimum should be the starting scale. If the person’s salary begins with Rs.10,000/- when he joins, when he retires after full years of service it should not be more than Rs.40,000/-.
4.3 Is it necessary to persist with a pre-determined minimum-maximum ratio on ideological considerations? Or is it more important to ensure efficient administration by preventing flight of outstanding talent from Government?
It is not necessary to persist with a pre-determined minimum-maximum ratio on ideological considerations. On practical considerations the ratio should be maintained. There are many reasons why outstanding talent flees government.
5.1 Employees in the Secretariat and analogous establishments are entitled to higher pay scales than the corresponding field functionaries. This was supposed to compensate them for the loss of certain facilities available to them in field assignments and the extra effort required for decision-making at the policy level. Are these factors valid even today particularly in the context of decentralization and devolution of administrative powers? Is this discrimination between field and secretariat functionaries even justified today?
The factors are not valid today. Discrimination is not justified.
6. Group-A Services
6.1 Is there a case for a Unified Civil Service, merging therein all Central (both technical and non-technical) and All India Services, allowing vertical and horizontal movement ? Or should there be two distinct streams, one embracing all the technical services and the other for non-technical services?
Civil Service should be abolished. Suitable candidates must be taken after interviews. They should be graduates and when they join at lower level should not be more than 24 years old.
6.2 Do you feel that the pattern of pay scales for all Group A Services should be redesignated so as to attract candidates of the requisite caliber? Keeping in view some of the compensation packages being offered to fresh professionals by the private sector, what emoluments would you suggest for an entrant to a Group-A Service in Government?
No need to redesignate. Private Sector has ups and downs. When there are downs public sector employees don’t talk of reduction in salaries.
7. Professional personnel
7.1 Should there be a higher compensation package for scientists in certain specialized streams/departments like Department of Space, Department of Atomic Energy? If so, what should be the reasonable package in their case?
It is not known how much they are paid. So no comments. However Government should not employ scientists on large scale. When satellites fail there is loss of lot of money. We should find alternatives for Atomic Energy. Blasts in nuclear reactors are dangerous and consequences last for decades.
8. Classification of posts
8.1 Presently, civilian posts in the Central Government are classified into four Groups (‘A’, ‘B’, ‘C’ & ‘D’) with reference to their scales of pay. The Fifth Central Pay Commission had recommended their reclassification into Executive, Supervisory, Supporting and Auxiliary Staff. Would you suggest any changes in the existing classification or should the classification recommended by Fifth Central Pay Commission be adopted with/without modifications?
Reclassification is cosmetic. It does not serve any purpose. It is like calling call centre employees customer care executives.
9. Restructuring of Group ‘C’ & ‘D’ posts
9.1 Should all lower Group ‘C’ functionaries in the Secretariat be replaced by multi-functional Executive Assistants, who would be graduates and well versed in office work, secretarial skills and use of modern office equipment including computers? Should Similar arrangements can be evolved for Group ‘C’ posts in other organisations of Government?
9.2 Should a similar regrouping of Group D staff into fewer categories capable of performing diverse functions also be carried out?
10. Pay Scales
10.1 How should a pay scale be structured? What is a reasonable ratio between the minimum and maximum of a pay scale?
Pay Scale should be consolidated and should not have Basic, DA and HRA divisions and PF and ESIC deductions. Minimum should be one fourth of the maximum. Maximum salary is when the person retires. Minimum should be the starting scale. If the person’s salary begins with Rs.10,000/- when he joins, when he retires after full years of service it should not be more than Rs.40,000/-.
10.2 The successive Pay Commissions have progressively reduced the number of distinct pay scales. The number of scales has therefore come down from more than 500 scales at the time of the Second Central Pay Commission to 51 scales before Fifth Central Pay Commission, which was brought down to 33 scales by the Fifth Central Pay Commission. The reduction in the number of pay scales brings in attendant problems like the promotion and the feeder grades coming to lie in the same pay scale, etc. Do you feel whether the existing number of pay scales should be retained or increased or decreased or whether the same should be replaced by a running pay scale?
11.1 What should be the criteria for determining the rates and frequency of increments in respect of different scales of pay? Should these bear a uniform or varying relationship with the minima and/or maxima of the scales?
Increment should be after completion of each year of service. It should be 10% of starting salary.
12. Revision of pay scales
12.1 Is there any need to revise the pay scales periodically especially when 100% neutralization for inflation is available in form of dearness allowance?
No need to revise the pay scales periodically.
12.2 How should pay be fixed in the revised pay scales? Should there be a point-to-point fixation? If not, please suggest a method by which it can be ensured that senior personnel are not placed at a disadvantage vis-à-vis their juniors and due weightage is given for the longer service rendered by the former.
13. Compensatory Allowances
13.1 Is City Compensatory Allowance a sufficient compensation for the problems of a large city? If DA and HRA provide full neutralization, do you think CCA should continue? Is there a need for changing the basis of classification of cities and the rates of CCA? If so, please suggest the revised basis and rates.
If DA and HRA provide full neutralization, CCA should not continue.
14. Pay and perquisites for Armed Forces
14.1 What should be the basis for determination of pay scales for Armed Forces Personnel? What percentage weightage should be assigned to (i) parity with civil services, (ii) comparison with private sector, (iii) special and hazardous nature of duties, (iv) short career span and (v) restricted rights?
There is no comparison of Armed Forces Personnel with other services. Armed Forces Personnel are required to defend the country. They can kill and get killed.
14.2 How should the pay of a soldier, sailor and airman be determined? How should it relate to the minimum wage in Government and the pay of a constable in paramilitary or internal security forces?
The pay of a soldier, sailor and airman should be determined according to the nature of duties. It should not relate to the minimum wage in Government and the pay of a constable in paramilitary or internal security forces. The number of soldiers needs to be reduced. Soldiers should have armours, helmets, visors, gloves, pads etc that are bullet proof.
15. Abolition of feudalism
15.1 Should all vestiges of feudalism in the country like huge residential bungalows sprawling over several acres, large number of servants’ quarters, retinues of personal staff, bungalow peons, use of uniformed personnel as batmen or on unnecessary security or ceremonial duties etc. be abolished? Please make concrete suggestions.
Yes. Officers and higher ranked civil servants must be provided flats. In places where flats can not be provided. single houses can be provided, but no servants, peons etc. The bungalows can be sold and Government can make lot of money.
16. Specific proposals
16.1 In what manner can Central Government organizations functioning be improved to make them more professional, citizen-friendly and delivery oriented?
Automation and computerization will improve the functioning of Central Government organizations.
16.2 Please outline specific proposals, which could result in:
(i) Reduction and redeployment of staff,
(ii) Reduction of paper work,
(iii) Better work environment,
(iv) Economy in expenditure,
(v) Professionalisation of services,
(vi) Reduction in litigation on service matters,
(vii) Better delivery of service by government agencies to their users.
Automation and computerization will result in the above. There should be disciplinary action against civil servants who are not doing their duty.
17. New concepts
17.1 Do you think the concepts of contractual appointment, part-time work, flexible job description, flexi time etc. need to be introduced in Government to change the environment, provide more jobs and impart flexibility to the working conditions of employees?
Contractual appointment can be tried. Government offices should have fixed time and there can not be flexi time.
17.2 For improving punctuality/introducing new concepts like flexi time, should biometric entry/exit be introduced?
17.3 What steps should be taken to ensure that scientists, doctors, engineers and other professionals with sophisticated education and skills are retained in their specialized fields in Government? Should they be appointed on contract with a higher status and initial pay, advance increments, better service conditions, etc.?
The performance of professionals in many fields in pathetic. After many years of effort and thousands of crores of rupees our Defence Forces do not have Light Combat Aircraft, Main Battle Tank and suitable missiles. Institutions like Defence Research and Development Organization must be wound up.
17.4 Should there be lateral movement from Government to non-Government jobs and vice versa? If so, in which sphere(s) and to what extent ?
17.5 It has been suggested that existing Government employees should be encouraged to shift to employment on contract for specified periods in return for a substantially higher remuneration package. Would you agree?
18. Performance Appraisal
18.1 In what way should be present system of performance appraisal be changed? Should be ACR be an open document?
The ACR should be shown to the person about whom it is written.
18.2 How far has the introduction of self-assessment helped in the process of appraisal?
Self-assessment is of no use.
18.3 Should appraisal be done for an entire team instead of for individuals?
18.4 In what manner can Government employees be made personally accountable for their acts of omission or commission, without any special safeguards? Would you recommend any amendments to Article 311 of the Constitution, Section 197 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, Section 17 and 19 of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 and various rules relating to conduct of Government servants and disciplinary proceedings?
`Interest of the security of the State’ should not be a reason for not holding an inquiry.
19.1 Kindly comment on the appropriateness of adopting a five-day week in Government offices when other sectors follow a six day week. Please also state whether the number of Gazetted holidays in Government offices should be reduced? Please also comment on the appropriateness of declaring Gazetted holidays for all major religious festivals.
Government offices must follow a six day week. Number of Gazetted holidays should not be more than 12 per year. Gandhi Jayanti and Ambedkar Jayanti should not be holidays. Total number of holidays including earned/privilege leave, sick leave, casual leave, Gazetted holidays and restricted holidays should not be more than 60 days per year.
19.2 What do you think is the state of work ethics and punctuality in Government offices? Kindly suggest ways of improving these.
Those who do not do the work must be punished. There must be punch card system for punctuality.