Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Regional Disparities in Promotions of Central Excise Inspectors to Superintendents


As the CBEC has started the implementation of Cadre Restructuring without taking care of regional disparity in promotion to the grade of Superintendent, it is high time to fight for our genuine demands.  We are not opposing Cadre Restructuring as a whole but CR will not be acceptable to us when it does not address regional disparity among 15 Cadre Controlling Authority and stagnation in the Cadre.  In view of the above, a meeting of all Office-Bearers of the National Body of the AICEIA has been fixed on 06.09.2014 at New Delhi to discuss the problem and our line of action.  You are, therefore, requested to send your views on the matter.  Meanwhile, some correspondences have been made with the Chairperson, CBEC and Hon'ble Minister of State for Finance, Govt. of India on 20.08.2014, copy of the same are reproduced on the blog:-








Letter to Hon'ble MOS (Finance)


F.No. AICEIA/CBEC/CR/2014/12                         Date:20.08.2014                               

To
The Hon’ble Minister of State for Finance,
Government of India,
North Block,
New Delhi-110001.


Sub: -Cadre Restructuring – Regional Disparities in Promotions of Central Excise Inspectors to
 Superintendents – Extreme Disappointment of Cadre at Continuing Grave Injustice.


Madam,

            Please refer to Association’s letters AICEIA/CBEC/2014 dated 18.06.2014 and F.No. AICEIA/CBEC/CR/2014/10 dated 05.08.2014 on above subject.

            In this regard, the following points are submitted for favor of kind attention and consideration please:-

                 1.  Inspectors of Central Excise, having Sanctioned Strength of 17749 (excluding SEZ) [new sanctioned strength after Cadre Restructuring is 20638], forms the largest and most important nervous system of the indirect tax administration headed by CBEC, is unfortunately also the most deprived in respect of prospects for career advancement.

                     2. This cadre is extremely demoralized and agitated because of their poor promotional prospects.  The majority of the Officers recruited as Inspectors have to retire as Superintendents of Central Excise with just one promotion in their entire career of 35-38 years.

                      3.   Such poor promotional avenues is totally contrary to the promotional prospects of  the cadres of Inspectors of Income Tax, Preventive Officer, Examiners and Assistant in Central Secretariat Service who are recruited through the same common examination conducted by the Staff Selection Commission but who get 3/4/5 promotions.

                      4. This cadre is facing huge regional disparities in promotions among the 15 Cadre Control Zones.  Inspectors joined in the year 1989 in Shillong Zone, 1992-1995 in Mumbai, Rajasthan, Lucknow, Bhopal, Kolkata, Chennai etc. are yet to get their first promotion whereas in Delhi, Bhubaneshwar etc. Inspectors joined in the year 2002 are getting promotion to the grade of Superintendent. It causes irreparable damage to the Department as whole by way of increasing humiliation and demoralization among the major work-force of the CBEC i.e.  Inspectors Central Excise. 

                      5. CBEC notified the allocation of personnel to various formations as part of the CR exercise vide F.No. A 11019/08/2013-AD. IV dated 01.08.2014 without first resolving the issues of regional disparities in promotions of Inspectors to the Superintendent of Central Excise.  It is also pertinent to mention here that the most stagnated zones have got few posts of Superintendent  e.g. Shillong approx. 46 posts, Cochin 10 posts, Kolkata 25 posts, Lucknow 105 posts, Jaipur 137 posts etc. whereas the Inspectors of 1989 to 1995 are yet to get their first promotion. If the posts of Superintendent vacated by way of promotion to the grade of Assistant Commissioner will also be counted, the problem of stagnation will continue to haunt the Inspectors of these stagnated zones.  In better placed zones like Delhi and Bhubaneshwar where Inspectors of 2002 are already getting promotions have got approx. 850 posts and 147 posts respectively.  These figures clearly indicate that the regional disparity will increase with greater degree after Cadre Restructuring if we do not address it this time.

The remedial actions to eradicate stagnation, regional disparity, poor promotional avenues etc. were submitted time to time by the AICEIA to the Board and were also intimated vide our letter Ref. No. AICEIA/CBEC/Prom Disparities/2014 dated 10.02.2014, AICEIA/Admin/2014/02 dated 09.07.2014, AICEIA/Merger.HRD/2014/06 dated 15.07.2014, AICEIA/CBEC/Resolutions/2014 dated 23.07.2014 and AICEIA/CBEC/CR/2014/10 dated 05.08.2014 (copies enclosed).  We, hereby, submit some remedial actions (in brief) to eradicate regional disparity in promotion for your kind perusal, and appropriate directions to the CBEC for implementation of the same before Cadre Restructuring are implemented in the CBEC:-

1.   Filling up of vacancies of the post of Superintendents of Central Excise arising out of the ongoing Cadre Restructuring exercise in the CBEC must be done in a manner which permanently removes the disparities among the 15 Cadre Control Zones in promotions of Inspectors to the Superintendent of Central Excise.

2.      Seniority of Inspectors must be drawn on All India basis: - On 9.12.1996 Hon’ble Apex Court pronounced the judgment in case of Radhey Shyam Singh & Others Vs Union of India & Others and quashed the Zonal Selection Process and directed to Conduct the examinations on All India Basis and thereby make selection on the basis of All India Merit List.  Hence, an All India Seniority of Inspectors must be adopted effective 1996 before implementation of Cadre Restructuring, which is also mandated by the DoPT’s OM dated 1986.  in the light of guidelines on Seniority Policy under DOPT’s O.M. No. 35014/2/80-Estt.(D) dated 7.2.1986 & O.M. No 22011/7/1986-Esstt. Dated 03/07/1986, no junior in selection made through ‘All-India-merit-list’ should be promoted before his/her senior of the same list. For the same, Seniority of Inspectors must be drawn on All India basis.   All India Seniority of Inspectors CE since 1996 batch (joined in 2003) is the only legitimate and judicious way out to eradicate intra-cadre disparity in promotion of Inspector CE to the post of Superintendent CE among different CCAs. This can easily be done by way of promoting all the Inspectors CE who belongs to Zonal-Selection process i.e. appointed prior to the above said judgment and for the All India Selection batches, All India Seniority can be done, without creating any administrative and statutory/legal crisis.

It is also to submit that if Cadre Restructuring in CBEC is attempted to be implemented without addressing the acute stagnation and huge disparity in promotions from Inspectors to Superintendents of Central Excise across different Zones, the problems will only aggravate further. If the junior Inspectors from better placed Zones are promoted ahead of their seniors from badly stagnating Zones while filling up thousands of vacancies in the grade of Superintendents of Central Excise arising out of Cadre Restructuring, may lead to flood of litigation and court cases all along.  Hence, it is matter of prime importance to address the genuine grievance of the cadre and avoid any future suffering of Inspectors.

It is, therefore, requested to kindly intervene into the matter to prevail justice to the largest cadre of the CBEC.

Thanking you.       

Encl. As above (Thirteen sheets)                                                                    


Yours faithfully,

(Abhishek Kamal)
Secretary General



Letter to Chairperson, CBEC



F.No. AICEIA/CBEC/CR/2014/11                                       Date: 20.08.2014


To
The Chairperson,
Central Board of Excise & Customs,

North Block, New Delhi-1.





                     
Sub: -Cadre Restructuring – Regional Disparities in Promotions of Central Excise Inspectors to 
Superintendents – Extreme Disappointment of Cadre at Continuing Grave Injustice.






Madam,
                 Please refer to Association’s letter F. No. AICEIA/CBEC/CR/2014/10 dated 05.08.2014 on above subject.

            In context to our above mentioned letter, this Association once again invites your kind attention to our demands, we have been raising repeatedly and insistently i.e. to address the regional disparity in promotion of Inspectors of Central Excise to the grade of Superintendent of Central Excise among 15 Cadre Controlling Zones of Central Excise.  In our above mentioned letter dated 05.08.2014 (copy enclosed), we have submitted all important correspondences related to redressal of zonal disparities in promotion to the grade of the Superintendent.

      A study Group hasp recently been formed vide DGHRD letter F.No. 8/B/194/HRD (HRM)/2013 dated 04.07.2014 to study acute stagnation, intra/inter cadre disparity in promotion in Group-B Executive Grades.  Its first meeting held on 31.07.2014 and the committee has not completed its study on the subject and the Board has rolled out the implementation of CR without taking consideration of regional disparity and the report of the study group.  If promotion will be given to any junior Inspector posted at well placed zone before their seniors posted at stagnated zone without implementation of All India Seniority, there will be no meaning of the Study Group.  It is high time to get away of regional disparity when we have a large numbers of post of Superintendent in hand.   


        In view of the above, it is once again requested that the vacancies in the grade of Superintendents allocated to various zones should be filled only in the manner that Senior Inspectors from any zones should be promoted ahead of Inspectors who are junior to them from any other zone, which will at least enable their seniority in the lower cadre to be protected when seniority as Superintendents is reckoned, which as per extant provisions is on an All India basis, and the date of joining as Superintendent is the criterion for determining inter-se seniority of Superintendents.  In the light of guidelines on Seniority Policy under DOPT’s O.M. No. 35014/2/80-Estt.(D) dated 7.2.1986 & O.M. No 22011/7/1986-Esstt. Dated 03/07/1986, no junior in selection made through ‘All-India-merit-list’ should be promoted before his/her senior of the same list.  For the same, Seniority of Inspectors must be drawn on All India basis.   All India Seniority of Inspectors CE since 1996 batch (joined in 2003) is the only legitimate and judicious way out to eradicate intra-cadre disparity in promotion of Inspector CE to the post of Superintendent CE among different CCAs. This can easily be done by way of promoting all the Inspectors of Central Excise who belongs to Zonal-Selection process i.e. appointed prior to the above said judgment and for the All India Selection batches, All India Seniority can be done, without creating any administrative and statutory/legal crisis.




                 This Association has continuously been pointed out its concerns in all written and oral submissions before the office side.  As a responsible recognized Service Association, we extended out full co-operation by way of supporting all types of solutions to solve the critical problems of this cadre but for seer dismay to this cadre the office side has no space for the points raised by the staff side as they unilaterally went ahead with the way they wish.  At this juncture, the members of this cadre are forced to ponder that whether the Board
considers this cadre as part of the department or not.  So, it is our responsibility to once again convey you that disappointed and demoralized cadre will never be good for any administration and non-redressal of the acute disparity in promotion will make members more agitated.



Madam, in order to achieve better results for our country, it is necessary to build a great organization with committed & dedicated work force.  For making that type of organization, effective redressal of grievances of largest work force of CBEC i.e. Inspector Cadre is essential pre-requisite.  Hence, it is once again requested to give an appointment at your earliest convenience so that we may present our concerns before you in person and suggest workable solutions to the problems, Cadre is facing. 

Thanking you.       
 Encl. As above (Two sheets)                          
Yours faithfully,

(Abhishek Kamal)
Secretary General
Copy submitted to:-

1.      The Hon’ble Union Minister of State for Finance, North Block, New Delhi with a request for an appropriate intervention in the matter.
2.      The Revenue Secretary, Govt. of India, North Block, New Delhi.

(Abhishek Kamal)
Secretary General












Friday, August 15, 2014

Co-Ordination Meeting of All Office Bearers of the National Body of AICEIA at New Delhi


It is to intimate that, with the agenda to review recent developments, to invite suggestions for better functioning of the Association and to chalk out the future course of action in view of the CBEC’s unilateral announcement of formations & staff strength to further the restructuring process without adhering to the views offered by this Association time & again, a Co-Ordination Meeting of all Office-Bearers of the National Body of the AICEIA was fixed on 16 & 17.08.2014 at New Delhi. However, some of our Office-Bearers, citing various reasons, expressed their inability in attending the Meeting on the said dates and suggested for some future dates. Taking into consideration their genuine requests, the Co-Ordination Meeting has been re-scheduled on September 6th 2014 at New Delhi. So, all office bearers of the National Body are hereby requested to attend the same, so as to make this Association more strong & participatory to handle the challenges.  The venue of the meeting will be intimated in due course.

With best wishes on the 68th Independence Day.

Yours fraternally,
Abhishek Kamal
Secretary General




Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Cadre Restructuring – Regional Disparities in Promotions of Central Excise Inspectors to Superintendents – Extreme Disappointment of Cadre at Continuing Grave Injustice


At last much awaited Cadre Restructuring of CBEC has finally taken a shape vide letter vide                F No. A 11019/08/2013 –Ad. IV dated 01.08.2014, though it serves little to ease out the stagnation of most stagnated zones and there is nothing to address regional disparity. In fact, it will create great gap between most stagnated and less stagnated zones. One of our key demands i.e. All India Seniority has also not been addressed though DGHRD and the Study Group have conceded to this demand in the meeting on 31.07.2014. We have been continuously presenting our view and discussing our points to eradicate Regional Disparity and Stagnation with CBEC, DGHRD and different Committees/Study Groups etc.  Even during our last meeting with the Study Group on Stagnation on 31.07.2014, we presented our detailed views on Regional Disparity and measures to address the problem of Stagnation and no such measures have been implemented before the CR.  Board has made a great joke to many stagnated zones by way of giving 7, 25, 46, 86 etc. posts of the Superintendent, which will not even promote the Inspectors of 1992, 1994 etc.

AICEIA strongly protests such mentality which deprives Inspectors from their basic rights.  At present, we are thinking on all possible ways to bring justice for our cadre and your views and supports are highly solicited. Today a letter has been written to the Chairperson, CBEC with copies to the Union Minister of State for Finance and the Revenue Secretary, Govt. of India, which is reproduced as under:-

F.No. AICEIA/CBEC/CR/2014/10                                     Date:05.08.2014                                

To
The Chairperson,
Central Board of Excise & Customs,
North Block, New Delhi-1.

Sub: - Cadre Restructuring – Regional Disparities in Promotions of Central Excise      Inspectors to Superintendents – Extreme Disappointment of Cadre at Continuing Grave Injustice. 
Madam,
It is with deep anguish that we write today to lodge this Association’s strongest possible protest on the CBEC notifying allocation of personnel to various formations as part of the CR exercise (vide F No. A 11019/08/2013 –Ad. IV dated 01.08.2014) without first resolving the issue of regional disparities in promotions of Inspectors to Superintendents of Central Excise.  Available information indicates that the said disparities would continue to fester acutely for long even in the post-restructuring period.
 If the CBEC has devised any plans for filling up the posts of Superintendents in a manner that eliminates the said disparities, it is requested that the same may kindly be made known to us also - to this cadre which has been anxiously waiting for some news on this front for several years now, but getting only repeated empty assurances from the highest echelons of the Board that the same will be addressed in course of CR.  From what has been put out in this regard on the public domain, we are unable to discern any measure which will result in doing away with the said disparities.

The members of this Association are highly agitated and dismayed at the continued neglect of this cadre’s burning issues, and the callous manner in which a great opportunity (Cadre Restructuring) to genuinely resolve at least partially some of their problems looks like being frittered away by the select few in the CBEC in their unseemly hurry to ensure immediate and huge benefits to their own kind.
 We can only conclude from the recent developments that the prolonged or rather endless consultations with this Association by many specially appointed bodies and Study Groups and Committees that has been going on at the CBEC’s instance is farcical, and meant only to facilitate a convenient reply to the Ministry that the problem of Inspectors of Central Excise are being addressed in consultation with the Association representing them.

         We request you to immediately order that vacancies in the cadre of Superintendents allocated to various Zones should be filled only in the manner that senior Inspectors from any Zone should be promoted ahead of Inspectors who are junior to them from any (other) Zone, which will at least enable their seniority in the lower cadre to beprotected when  seniority as Superintendents is  reckoned, which as per extant provisions is on an All India basis, and the date of joining as Superintendent is the criterion for determining inter-se seniority of Superintendents.  Further, it is also requested that before implementation of this Cadre Restructuring, All India Seniority regime for Inspectors from 1996-batch (joined in 2003) must be brought in order to bring justice in the cadre.  It is indeed unfortunate that even after this issue was represented so many times, no action has apparently been taken on the same, despite definite directions having been issued to the Board by the Revenue Secretary, Govt. of India also in this regard.    

Copies of certain important earlier correspondence, bearing reference nos. as listed hereunder, in this regard, are enclosed for ready reference: -

11.   OSD/ MPV/Inspector Assoc.  dated 22.03.2013 issued by Member(P&V), CBEC
22.   Nil dated 28.03.2013 issued by ADG (HRM) DGHRD , CBEC
33.  AICEIA/Prom Disparities/2014 dated 10.02.2014 submitted by this Association
44.   AICEIA/CBEC/RR/2014 dated 11.02.2014 submitted by this Association
55.  AICEIA/Regional Disparities/ 2013  dated 17.12.2013  submitted by this Association
66.  AICEIA/CBEC/2012/ UPGRADATION dated 26.06.2013 submitted by this Association
77.  AICEIA/Admin/2014/02 dated 09.07.2014 submitted by this Association
88.  AICEIA/Merger.HRD/2014/06 dated 15.07.2014 submitted by this Association
99.  AICEIA/CBEC/Resolutions/2014 dated 23.07.2014 submitted by this Assocation
                           
Madam, we are also very disappointed that despite our pursuing with your office several times, we have not been granted an audience by you, and we once again request that we may be given an appointment at your earliest convenience so that we may present the cadre’s grave concerns before you in person and also suggest workable solutions to those.

Encl. As above.
Yours faithfully,

(Abhishek Kamal)
Secretary General
Copy submitted to:-
11.  The Hon’ble Union Minister of State for Finance, North Block, New Delhi w.r.t letter No. AICEIA/CBEC/2014  dated 18.06.2014 submitted to her when office bearers of this Association met her, with a request for an appropriate intervention in the matter.
22.  The Revenue Secretary, Govt. of India, North Block, New Delhi, w.r.t letter No. AICEIA/RS/2013 dated 25.04.2014 submitted by office bearers of this Association when they met him, with a request for an appropriate intervention in the matter.

(Abhishek Kamal)
Secretary General

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Update from Delhi


Office bearers of the All India Central Excise Inspectors’ Association were in Delhi from 23.07.2014 to 25.07.2014 for meeting with senior most  officers of CBEC  and DGHRD on many issues like  Stagnation, Regional Disparity, All India Seniority for Inspectors etc.  The gist of the meetings is as under:-

 

Meeting with Member (P&V)

 

On 23.07.2014, the Office bearers of the All India Central Excise Inspectors’ Association met the Member (P&V) and briefed her on Resolutions passed in the  recently held XVIIIth Convention of the Association and apprised her about the problems of stagnation, apprehensions that regional disparities in promotions of Inspectors to Superintendents of Central Excise are not being addressed in the CR.  The Office bearers requested her to ensure that the issue of stagnation & regional disparity must be addressed during implementation of Cadre Restructuring otherwise there will be flood of litigations across the country.  We reiterated the fact that the All India Seniority regime must be brought in to address the regional disparity.  In the course of  the meeting the DGHRD also joined and listened to us carefully and invited us to meet her on 24.07.2014 for detailed discussion on the subject.  During the meeting, the Member (P&V) and the DGHRD repeatedly assured us that residency period will not be decreased for promotion to the grade of the Superintendent during implementation of Cadre Restructuring. 

 

Apart from above, all major issues concerning the cadre were also discussed.  

Meeting with the DGHRD

 

We met the DGHRD on 24.07.2014.  Ms. Renu K. Jagdev, ADG (HRM) and Sh. V. K. Singh, Addl. Director were also present in the meeting.  We submitted our written Resolutions passed during the 18th Convention and had a detailed discussion on Stagnation & Regional Disparity.  We suggested many solutions to the problem and asked them to eradicate the problems before implementation of the CR. We forcefully but with due regard and on the basis of court judgements and several documentary support demanded the All India Seniority regime before implementation of CR. We asked the outcome (minutes) of the meeting held on 19.05.2014 in the chamber of the ADG (HRM) on “Unification of Examiner, Preventive Officer and Inspectors of Central Excise”.  We  expressed  our anguish over the issue of not-providing the minutes despite several reminders.  She told us that the same has not been finalized yet and they will provide us as soon as they will prepare it.

 

We also sought information on the Study Group formed for addressing the  “Acute Stagnation in Group-B Executive grades”. We were accordingly informed of the  reasons for forming the Study Group. It is absolutely clear that this exercise has been undertaken by the CBEC pursuant to  AICEIA taking up the matter with Revenue Secretary, who subsequently directed CBEC to address the problem of stagnation.  Thus, this Study Group is the outcome of the meeting of Office bearers of All India Central Excise Inspectors’ Association and the Revenue Secretary held on 25.04.2014 during which he was  apprised of  the Stagnation in the grades of Inspector and Superintendent of Central Excise, Acute inter-cadre and intra-cadre disparities  in Promotions within Gr B executives of the CBEC, and highly unjust plans of CBEC for implementation of Cadre Restructuring ( copy of letter to the Revenue Secretary  uploaded on this  blog on 01.05.2014 may please be referred).  

 

The DGHRD told us that they are waiting for the approval of CR file from the MoS Finance, and no sooner than the same is  cleared, Notifications concerned will be issued.  We strongly reiterated our demand that  the issue of Inspectors’ stagnation and regional disparity must address before or at least in course of implementation of CR. 

 

Matters  related to the amendments required in Recruitment Rules of the Superintendent of Central Excise,  and IRS (C&CEx) were also discussed.

 

Meeting with the Addl. Dir. (I&W)

 

 

The AICEIA has regularly been pursuing the matter of Health Insurance Scheme for CBEC employees and effective doubling of Children’s Education Allowance since more than a  year.  In this connection, we met Ms. Meenu S. Kumar, Addl. Director (I&W) and discussed these issues with her.  The Addl. Director (I&W) was very keen on the Health Insurance Scheme and we discussed all aspects of the proposed scheme.  The proposed Health Insurance Scheme will provide cashless access to Health care facilities to the family of working employees thereby enabling access to healthcare facilities for In-patient department i.e. Hospitalization in over 3000 hospitals/nursing homes across the country with an Annual Check up of the Government Employee once in a year.  Initially the new scheme will be for two years as a pilot project, for providing health insurance cover to every employee of CBEC and his/her family worth    Rs. 2 lakhs for once year at a time from the date of the contract.   She also apprised us that more “Add On” or benefits will also be sought from the company providing the Health Insurance Scheme. The Addl. Director (I&W) told us that due to huge financial burden on welfare fund i.e. approx. Rs. 16.85 Crore per annum, a share of the cost of the insurance must also be borne by employee and the same will cost approx.  Rs. 1500/- per annum, which is a nominal amount for such great benefits. 

 

During the meeting, the difficulties in getting through the proposal floated earlier by DGHRD for  effective doubling of the   amount of Children’s Education Allowance for CBEC employees   was explained by the Addl. Dir. (I&W).   

 

During the meeting we were informed  that soon mobile phones/laptops and mobile connection may be provided to CBEC personnel, since the matter is being actively considered.      

 

 

Meeting with Sh. Prakash Chand, Consultant

 

On 24.07.2014, we met Sh. Prakash Chand, Consultant, and member of the Study Group referred to supra, and apprised him in detail the problems that our cadre is  facing.  We presented  the stagnation and disparities issues and the remedial measures proposed by AICEIA . All issues were discussed threadbare us. He informed  that  that a meeting will be held soon to discuss the matter in detail.  The ADG Nacen, New Delhi has subsequently convened  the said meeting will be held on 31st July, 2014.  

 

 

Apart from the above, we also met several officers at CBEC, DGHRD offices and interacted with the office bearers of other Associations & Confederation as well. 


Yours fraternally,

Abhishek Kamal
Secretary General

Monday, July 14, 2014

Committees constituted by CBEC


In recent development CBEC has issued two Office Memorandum regarding “Tax Administrative Reform Commission” and “acute stagnation in Group -B Executive grades”. 

TARC has submitted its first report and CBEC has constituted six committees to look into the six areas of the report.   All Circles/Branches of AICEIA and the office bearers of All India Body are requested to go through the first report of the commission available on http://www.finmin.nic.in/the_ministry/dept_revenue/tarc_report.asp.  

Further, CBEC has also constituted a study group to study the acute stagnation in Group “B” Gazetted and Non-Gazetted Executive grades and remedial actions.  The study will be conducted by Sh. Prakash Chand, Consultant in association with Sh. B. B. Agrawal, ADG, NACEN, Delhi and submit their report within two months. 






All Circles/Branches of AICEIA and the Office Bearers of National Body are requested to submit their views by 18.07.2014, on the following email ids:-


Yours fraternally,

Abhishek Kamal
Secretary General