Housing facilities, House Building Advance, Scheme for Appointment on Compassionate Ground, Career progression: Grant five promotions in the service career, Training, Leave entitlement, holidays and working hours, Leave Travel Concession, Group Insurance Scheme, Assured Career Progression/Modified Assured Career Progression, Medical Facilities [CGHS/CS(MA) Rules]: Chapter 16 from NC, JCM Staff Side memorandum to 7th CPC
For other Part of NC, JCM (Staff Side) memorandum to 7th CPC Click here to view
The non-availability of housing accommodation in all towns and cities of India has become acute. The rent per month even for a modest accommodation is beyond the capacity of the Government employees. Elsewhere in the memorandum, we have suggested for increasing the rate of HRA. The acceptance of our suggestion, will also not change the situation significantly. We want the 7th CPC to look into the various suggestions made by the 5th CPC in the matter of housing facilities and house building advance, which were not acted upon by Government. Had the Government been good enough to accept even some of the suggestions made by the 5th CPC, it would have gone a long way to ameliorate the difficulties faced by the Government employees and low paid workers. Their main suggestions were:
To achieve housing satisfaction level of 70% at Delhi and atleast 40% in all other town/cities.
To take on lease, the accommodation from private property to allot to the employees. The land and building acquired by the Income Tax Department as part of their acquisition proceedings may be utilised for constructing residential accommodations for Government employees.
Often, the employees are asked to be stationed at remote/inhospitable areas for operational purposes. They are not provided with any facility. We suggest that they must atleast be provided with rent free residential accommodation, for it is difficult for them to get any residential accommodation due to the prevailing conditions of that locality.
We request the 7th CPC to reiterate these suggestions and recommend for its acceptance.
16.2.House Building Advance:
House Building Advance encourages the employees to own houses at a fairly early stage of their employment. This will also reduce the demand for residential accomodations. We have noticed certain difficulties encountered by the employees in obtaining the advance. The prescribed procedure requires amendments so as to enable the employees to comply with it properly. We make the following suggestions to improve the present procedure.
1. To simplify the procedure
2. To exempt the stamp duty when the property is required to be mortgaged and de-mortgaged.
3. To increase the advance to 50 times of the Salary
4. Since the repayment of the advance is to be made in a span of not more than 20 years, the employees must be made entitled to the advance on completion of 5 years, which is presently 10 years.
5. In the case of employee, who do not have the service period of 10 years for repayment, in order to compute the advance and the repaying capacity, the entire gratuity due and become payable to him may be taken into account.
6. The maximum ceiling limit to be raised appropriately on the basis of the new pay scales.
7. To reduce the rate of Interest at not more than 5%.
8. To make the Government employees entitled for the advance for purchasing second-hand or used houses
9. Advance may also be sanctioned for the purpose of making extension to the existing accommodation.
16.3 Scheme for Appointment on Compassionate Ground
As the nomenclature suggests, compassion is to be kept at the centre stage of the scheme of compassionate appointment. The objective of the scheme is to provide immediate assistance to the family of a Government employee who died in harness to tide over the sudden crisis. It is to be viewed as a sacred assurance to a fresh entrant in Government service that if unfortunately he expires while in service, his family would not be left in lurch/in destitute conditions. This scheme has been interpreted by the Supreme Court in many cases. The leading judgements of the Supreme Court are the following:
(i) Umesh kumar Nagpal Vs State of Haryana & Others[Jt.1994(3)SC525] judgement dated 4.5.94
(ii) Auditor General of India and others Vs G.Ananta Rajeswar Rao [(1994) ISSC 192] judgement dated 8.4.93.
(iii) Life Insurance Corporation of India Vs Mrs Asha Ramachandra Ambedkar and Others [ Jt. 1994(2) SC 185] judgement dated 28.2.95
(iv) Himachal Road Transport Corporation Vs Dineshkumar [Jt.1996(5)SC319] judgement dated 7.5.96
(v) Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd Vs Smt A.Ridhika Thiruwalal [Jt. 1996(9)SC197] judgement dated 9.10.96
(vi) State of Haryana & Others Vs Rani Devi & Others [Jt.1996(6)SC 696] judgement dated 15.7.96.
16.3.2. On going through the judgments one could infer that Supreme Court also upholds the relevance of this policy. The Court had tried only to ensure that this policy is implemented in an orderly and logical manner. It is unfortunate that the above judgements and particularly the Nagpal case (item no. 1 supra) was very often misquoted and misrepresented as if the Supreme Court has banned the appointment on compassionate ground.
16.3.3. The Supreme Court in Nagpal case laid down the following important principles.
(1) Only dependents of an employee dying in harness leaving his family in penury and without any means of livelihood can be appointed on compassionate grounds.
(2) The posts in Group C and D alone can be offered for compassionate ground appointments.
(3) The whole object of granting compassionate appointment is to enable the family to tide out the sudden crisis (death –premature retirement on medical ground) and to relieve the family of the deceased/premature retired from financial difficulties and to help it get over the emergency.
(4) Compassionate appointments cannot be granted after a lapse of a reasonable period of time and it is not a vested right which can be exercised at any time in future.Nowhere in this judgement it has been stated that compassionate ground appointments should be restricted by imposing a ceiling.
16.3.4. However, the Department of Personnel and Training in their OM dated 29.6.95 imposed a ceiling of 5% of vacancies in direct recruit quota in Group D and Group C for making appointments on compassionate grounds.
16.3.5 The Central Government employees organisations have been pleading since 1996 in the National Council JCM that this ceiling, being irrational may be withdrawn but in vain. Taking into account various factors, especially the welfare of the employees and workers, Railways devised the compassionate appointment scheme without enforcing the stipulation of the ceiling evolved by the Department of Personnel.
16.3.6. Once the high power committee decides that an applicant for appointment on compassionate ground is a deserving candidate, not to offer him such appointment on the plea that there is no vacancy available due to such unwarranted ceiling is negation of the very compassion on the basis of which this scheme has been envisaged. Therefore there is a valid case for lifting this discriminatory and arbitrary ceiling . A large number of applicants seeking appointment on compassionate grounds though found eligible have not been offered appointments. The direct recruit quota has shrunk due to the decision to ban creation and filling up of posts. We refer to the twenty third report on Government Policy of Appointments on Compassionate Grounds presented to the Rajya Sabha on 7th September, 2007 ( laid on the table of the Lok Sabha on 7.9.2007) and request the Commission to recommend the following:
1. To remove the 5 % ceiling
2. To ensure that compassionate appointment to the deserving candidates are given within 3 months of the date of death of the employee.
3. In case of any administrative delay in offering compassionate appointment the deserving applicants may be granted minimum of the pay scale of the post on which his application will be considered.
16.4. Career progression: Grant five promotions in the service career.
For the efficient functioning of an institution, the primary pre-requisite is to have a contended workforce. It is not only the emoluments, perks and privileges that motivate an employee to give his best. They are no doubt important. But what is more important is to provide them a systematic career progression. The present system of career progression available in the All India Services and the organised group A Civil services attracts large number of young, talented and educated persons to compete in the All India Civil Service Examination. No different was the career progression scheme available in the subordinate services in the past. Persons who were recruited to subordinate services were able to climb to Managerial positions over a period of time. The situation underwent vast changes in the last two decades. In most of the Departments, stagnation has come to stay. It takes decades to be promoted to the next higher grade in the hierarchy. It was the recognition of the lack of promotional avenue in the subordinate services that made the 5th CPC to recommend a time bound two career progression schemes. The three time bound scheme of MACP instead of improving the situation has been found less beneficial and has therefore not gone to address the inherent problem of de-motivation that has crept in due to the high level of stagnation. In most of the Departments, the exercise of cadre review which was considered important was not carried out. Any attempt in this regard was restricted to Group A services. The discontent amongst the employees in the matter is of high magnitude today. The VII CPC therefore, should recommend that the cadre reviews are undertaken wherever not done to ensure five hierarchical promotions to all employees in their career on the pattern obtaining for Group A Officers.
In chapter 20 (page No. 177), of their report the 5th CPC dealt with the need for in-service training for Govt. employees elaborately. Some of these recommendations were implemented by the Government in a few Departments. The need for the in-service training to equip the personnel for increasing the productivity and efficiency need require no emphasis. However, this has not been universally applied is a fact. At the lower levels, the need for training in the face of induction of new technology, though acknowledged by the concerned authorities are seldom addressed. The most important stumbling block is the financial constraints. Unless funds are earmarked separately on the basis of the proposal from the field formations and proper evaluation of the training programme, the training aspect will continue to remain a “least priority area”. We suggest that the annual budget drawn up for each department must have sufficient funds allotted specifically for training purposes. We request that the VII-CPC may kindly make recommendations on the need for in-service training and setting up training programmes by all Departments.
16.6. Leave entitlement, holidays and working hours.
Presently the holidays are determined for each year by the DOPT. However, they permit the high power welfare committee of each State to finalise, taking into account the local conditions, three among the listed holidays. We suggest that this may be recommended to be increased to six. This apart, we may bring to the notice of the commission that only Government of India has refused to recognise the importance of May Day. May Day is not a holiday for the Central Govt. employees. We request the commission to recommend for the declaration of May day as a holiday.
The Govt. reduced the Casual leave from 12 to 8 and in the case of industrial workers from 15 to 10. The number of days as 12 was conceived to be a day per month. Taking into account the various contingencies one has to face, the increasing social obligations, we request that the number of Casual leave may be increased to 12 per year and in the case of industrial workers in the open line establishments to 15.
16.6.3.Special Disability leave:
The Special disability leave is sanctioned for treatment in the case of an employee who gets injured in an accident. The Govt. has imposed a ceiling on this leave, a maximum of 24 months. During the leave period he will be entitled for full salary for 120 days and rest at half pay rate. Our suggestion in the matter is that such leave must not have any restriction on the number of days. The number of days a person has to be on such leave should be purely on the advice of the concerned Doctor and whatever he has suggested should be granted. .
At present there is a ceiling limit for accumulation of earned leave. Govt. employees are entitled for 30 days EL on an average every year. Due to revising the age of Superannuation to 60 years, generally Govt. employees are in service for 35 years and more. The total EL that goes into the credit of the employee is of the order of 1050 days, 50% of which comes to 525 days. In that background, the ceiling limit of 300 days can be reasonably raised to 450. The Govt. employee may be permitted to encash part of such accumulated leave say 50% to meet certain financial exigencies if he has put in 20 years of service or more.
On a humanitarian consideration, we may make a novel suggestion of gifting leave to needy employees. Due to prolonged illness or hospitalisation requiring continuous treatment an employee will be unable to attend office and might have exhausted all entitled leave at his credit. We suggest that in such extreme circumstances, either his spouse or his colleagues may be permitted to gift certain number of days leave at his credit to the suffering employee. This will help the suffering employees to tide over the financial difficulties when he is compelled to be in leave on medical grounds.
16.6.5. Half Pay Leave:
We suggest that the half pay at the credit of an employees may be allowed to be encashed at the time of superannuation./retirement.
16.6.6. Maternity and Paternity Leave:
The entitlement may be increased to 240 days in the case of maternity leave and 30 days for paternity leave.
16.6.7. Child Care Leave:
We request to convert the child care leave as “family care” leave. The women employee must be entitled to avail the leave to take care of problems and difficulties of her family members. Accordingly we suggest that:
(a) no restriction on the maximum number of spells in a year ;
(b) No restriction be imposed on age of the child for grant of the leave especially in the case of children with mental or physical debilities. Or of prolonged illness.
(c) She must be allowed to avail the leave for her own biological disorders
(d) In the case of death of the women employees, her spouse, the widower may be permitted to avail the child care leave.
16.7. Leave Travel Concession
Leave Travel Concession is a facility extended to the Government employees, which enables them to avail holidays and undertake travel as a tourist . The facility provides him with an opportunity to be away from the monotonous daily routine and be with his family members without the tension of the official duties. It is an established fact that if employee is encouraged to take such holidays they will reform rejuvenated and the employer is benefitted through his increased productivity.
16.7.2 Over the years, on representation from employees, the concession has been widened. However, some aspects of this facility require certain further relaxations/improvements. We enumerate those as under:-
1. Permission for air journey for all categories of employees to and from NE Region.
2. Permission for personnel posted in NE Region for a journey within NE Region.
3. To increase the periodicity of the LTC to once in two years.
4. Explore the possibility of allowing an employer to undertake tour outside India, once in his service career in lieu of the LTC.
16.7.3 We request the 7th CPC to consider recommending our suggestions for improvements to the Government.
16.8.Group Insurance Scheme.
The present Group Insurance Scheme for Central Government employees was introduced in 1982. The scheme was conceived to be a self-financing scheme. It is in operation to day without having effected any change in the rate of subscription or the amount of Insurance cover. Both Before the 5th CPC and 6th CPC, we had placed for increasing the rate of contribution to raise the amount of Insurance cover. Despite recommendations to the effect to increase the subscription rates by 5th and 6th CPC, Government did not change the scheme at all. We are unable to understand the attitude of the Government in the matter, when it is a self-financing scheme. The Government has not come forward to state that the scheme if changed as per the suggestions of the 5th and 6th Pay commissions, would be not viable. We therefore suggest to change the rate of subscription and insurance cover as under:-
|Group||Rate of Subscription||Insurance cover|
|Non executive (other than MTS)||750||750000|
16.8.2. At present the ratio between premium and savings is 3:7. The Government may change this ratio as per the changes in the average mortality ratio. We request the commission to recommend our suggestion to the Government.
16.9. Assured Career Progression/
Modified Assured Career Progression
The 5th CPC evolved the assured career progression scheme, which was adopted by the Government with certain modifications. The scheme ultimately evolved was a modified version of the in situ promotion or financial up-gradation. In the case of Group C and D cadres, the financial up-gradation was offered twice in the career with a residency period of twelve years. As per the scheme, one is entitled for the financial up-gradation, only if he is otherwise eligible for functional promotion. The ACP Scheme was replaced by modified ACP Scheme on the recommendations of the Sixth Pay Commission in which three financial up-gradations viz after 10,20,30 years have been provided for. The Department of personnel, while issuing the order stipulated that the said MACP will operate on grade pay hierarchy and not the promotional hierarchy which was the case with ACP.. Because of the said stipulation, it became not only not attractive but the ACP became more beneficial to some employees. At the National Council, the Staff Side suggested that the scheme may be made optional and the employees permitted to opt for either the ACP or the MACP as is beneficial to him. This was however, not agreed to by the official side, without assigning any reason.
16.9.2 Taking cue from the system of 5 time bound promotion available to Group A offcers,we propose that there should be five financial upgradation in service career of an employee, on completion of 8,7,6,5 and 4 years of service (i.e., first after 8 years of induction, second on completion of 15 years, third on completion of 21 years, fourth on completion of 26 years and fifth on completion of 30 years of service.) The 5 MACPs should be granted on promotional hierarchy as ordered by the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court dismissed the SLP No. 7467/2013 field by the Government against the CAT order which had been upheld by the High Court Chandigarh in CWP No. 19387/2011. They clarified that the financial upgrdation must also be granted in the promotional hierarchy.
16. 9.3. We also suggest that the induction training period is presently not taken into account for reckoning the ten year period. This being an incorrect interpretation, the Commission may recommend for its removal.
16.9.4 The existing principle of cadre review once in five years has not been implemented in many C. G. Department. We also propose that periodical cadre review on the lines it had been done in the Railways, by creating 5 levels of pay scale may be recommended.
16.9.5.The VII CPC may kindly consider our proposals and devise appropriate schemes to ensure five financial up-gradations.
16.10. Medical Facilities [CGHS/CS(MA) Rules]
Supreme Court of India has held that “the enjoyment of highest attainable standard of health is recognized as a fundamental right of all employees/Ex-employees (Pensioners) in terms of Article 21 read with Articles 39, 41, 43 and 48 of the constitution(vide Consumer Education & Research Centre and others Vs. Union of India (AIR 1995 Supreme Court 922)”. Therefore improvements in the existing Medicare systems viz., CS(Medical Attendance) Rules & Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS) has to be carried out.
16.10.2. The Departmental Related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Health & family Welfare has submitted their Seventy First report on the functioning of CGHS of Ministry of Health & Family Welfare to the Rajya Sabha on 06.08.2013. In this report existing deficiencies in the functioning of the CGHS have been discussed and very important suggestions to remove these deficiencies have been given. The VII-CPC may ask the Government to produce the Action Taken Note on this report to enable the commission to make their appropriate recommendations.
16.10.3. One of very significant recommendations of this Committee is that separate Super Speciality Hospitals exclusively for CGHS beneficiaries, on the lines of Ministry of Railways, Defence & ESIC, one in each metro city, where a considerable number of CGHS beneficiaries are residing alongwith their families, should be established so that the CGHS beneficiaries can avail treatment in these hospitals .
16.10.4. The employees & Pensioners Association have demanded that such Hospitals should be set up. The Govt. have, however, rejected this saying that the Planning Commission has not agreed to provide funds for this and that the Govt. is likely to introduce Health Insurance Scheme. For more than 5 years now, the proposed Health Insurance scheme is being talked about, without any tangible result. The VII-CPC should recommend that the above recommendation of the Parliamentary Standing Committee may be implemented. The health insurance scheme if at all introduced, should be made optional for the beneficiaries.
16.10.5. At present it is only in 26 cities where CGHS dispensaries are located. CGHS should be expanded to cover all the major/important cities where employees are working & pensioners are residing.
16.10.6. There is acute shortage of Doctors, Specialists, para medical staff etc. in all dispensaries. This has affected the quality of services rendered to the beneficiaries by the wellness Centres of the CGHS. Particularly the availability of specialised doctors in the CGHS viz. ENT, Heart, Ortho etc. has to be ensured. Pending their recruitment, the specialist from the Private recognised Hospitals may be requested to examine the beneficiaries in wellness centers atleast for a day or two in a week. Sufficient number of chemists should be attached to different wellness centers so that medicines are supplied on the day these are prescribed by the Doctors.
16.10.7. At present the beneficiary has first to consult a specialist and it is only on reference by him that he could opt a Private Recognised Hospital for indoor treatment. When such a specialist is not available in the wellness centre the beneficiary has to go to State Govt. Hospital to get Specialist consultation which is not only time consuming but inconvenient procedure too. Sometimes the beneficiary even fails to obtain such a consultation. Specialists in Rajasthan State Hospitals have even refused to examine any CGHS beneficiaries. To obviate this difficulty it is suggested that the in-charge of wellness centres should be authorized to refer any beneficiary for indoor treatment in any Private Recognised Hospital chosen by the beneficiary.
16.10.8. CGHS should attach Poly clinics and commence Ayurvedic, yoga, Homeopathic & Unani centers in each wellness centre. Each wellness Centre should be equipped with latest ECG machine, Glucometre, x ray machine etc. as these are basic requirement of any dispensary.
16.10.9. For indoor patients the entitlement of wards is discriminatory. The Officers in PN-3 are entitled for private wards whereas those in PB-2 are entitled to semi private/general wards. The entitlement of ward should be on the basis of seriousness of ailment and not on the basis of the status of the beneficiaries. This discrimination should end.
16.10.10.CS(MA)Rules: There is presently a ceiling limit for the Head of the Department to sanction the reimbursement of medical expenses of the employees. In organisations other than Railways, the said ceiling is Rs. 200,000. This may have to be raised to Rs. 500,000 taking into account charges to be incurred for hospitalisation, cost of medicine etc. . At present the CS(MA) Rules have not been made applicable to ex-employees. We request that for those who are not living in CGHS cities, the indoor/outdoor treatment may be allowed under the CS(MA)Rules.
16.10.11.Many suggestions have been given by us in our memorandum on Pension & pensioners which is part II of this memorandum. These suggestions are therefore not being reiterated here. The VII-CPC may consider these suggestions as well.
For other Part of NC, JCM (Staff Side) memorandum to 7th CPC Click here to view
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