CURRENT monsoon session of Parliament has given reasonably clear answers on a number of confusing issues concerning bureaucracy and civil servant aspirants. Will there be a revision of civil services exam? Is there still a chance of introduction of pay parity between IAS and non-IAS officers? And, are employees unions contemplating on an indefinite strike against what they call a historical low revision of salaries? First, let’s find out what the government told the Lok Sabha about the much-talked about revision of civil services recruitment system. Will there be an overhaul? MoS in personnel ministry Dr Jitendra Singh in a written reply to a Lok Sabha said on Wednesday that the tenure of…the expert committee, constituted by Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) under the chairmanship of BS Baswan to comprehensively examine issues like eligibility, syllabus, scheme and pattern of the civil service examination, has been extended till August 2016. So, the government has indirectly hinted that it would take a call on revision of civil services examinations only after Baswan panel submits its report to UPSC by the next month.
On the question of pay parity between IAS and other non-IAS officers such as IPS, Indian Forest Services and Group ‘A” services, minister of state for finance Arjun Ram Meghwal, who incidentally is a former IAS from Rajasthan, said, “7th Pay Commission could not arrive at a consensus on this issue. Therefore, the matter will be examined by the concerned Department in detail for further consideration.” This written answer was given on Tuesday to a question raised by CPI’s D Raja in Rajya Sabha.
Another Rajya Sabha MP asked whether the increase in pay of Central government officials is “historically low under 7th CPC” and if so, the reasons thereof. He further wanted to know whether employees unions/trade unions have announced to go on indefinite strike against the low revision of salaries by government? “The increase in pay as recommended by the 7th Central Pay commission is based on the detailed deliberations by the Commission keeping in view all relevant factors having a bearing upon the prevailing circumstances…Employee Associations of Central Government had given a call for strike with effect from 11.07.2016 which has since been deferred. However, the Government is responsive to the concerns of the Employees’ Association and it would be the endeavour of the Government to ensure that the eventuality of a strike does not arise”, finance minister Arun Jaitley said in a written reply in Rajya Sabha.
Another interesting part of the same question is whether “uniform multiplication factor of at least 3 is proposed to be applied for revision of pay under 7th CPC; if not, the reasons therefor?”. In fact, both the 5th and 6th Central Pay Commission arrived at the new salary of the Central government employees by merely multiplying the earlier scale by three. The 7th CPC refrained from following the same formula in totality.
“In view of the multiplication factor having been accepted based on the recommendations of the 7th Central Pay commission, no such proposal is under consideration of the Government, at present” replied Jaitley on the question of “uniform multiplication factor of at least 3”.