Non-performing govt staffers won’t get pay hikes: Centre
The government has finally decided to make its employees accountable and will withhold annual increments of non-performers besides tightening the benchmark for promotion, the notification of the 7th pay commission has revealed.
The notification paves the way for revised salaries for lakhs of employees from August. Retired employees, too, will receive higher pension.
But along with the pay rollout, there are stricter perfor mance benchmarks, something that has been talked about for years but not implemented earlier.
The norms for performance-linked increments and promotion had been part of the pay commission’s recommendations, but may trigger a backlash from the bureaucracy . The Centre could find it tough to defend the decisions.
“Withholding of annual increments in the case of those employees who are not able to meet the benchmark either for modified assured career progression scheme or a regular promotion within the first 20 years of their service,“ said the notification, which also said the government has accepted the recommendations of the pay panel. Increasing the performance assessment element in the civil service is a fraught issue as officialdom has been resistant as a whole to measures that give greater weightage to efficiency and outcomes than time-based promotions. Officials said that simultaneously the Centre also needs to rework the appraisal system as most government employees get “outstanding“ or “very good“ rating.
The current system of assessment does not ignore performance as promotions can be delayed creating a ranking within a particular batch of officers in a central service. On an average only a few officers reach the top scale of their service. This promotion process is less vigorous at the lower levels in the government.But the government intends to increase the denial of reward component.
The benchmark for promotion and financial upgradation will be raised from “good“ to “very good“ seeking higher performance from officials. The MACPS scheme will continue to be administered at 10, 20 and 30 years as before.
In June, the government accepted the Pay Commission’s recommendation of a `fitment factor’ of 2.57 (the starting pay will be 2.57 times what was prevailing on January 1, 2006) which will be applied across all pay scales. Gratuity ceiling has been raised from Rs 10 to 20 lakh.
“With regard to fixation of pay of the employee in the new pay matrix as on 1st day of January , 2016, the existing pay (pay in pay band plus grade pay) in the pre-revised structure as on 31st day of December, 2015 shall be multiplied by a factor of 2.57,“ according to the rules unveiled by the government.
It said there shall be two dates for increments -January 1 and July 1 of every year instead of just July1, provided that an employee shall be entitled to only one annual increment on either of these two dates depending on the date of appointment, promotion or grant of financial upgradation. The government had already said that arrears would be paid in the 201617 fiscal year.
The minimum pay has been increased from Rs 7000 to 18,000 per month. Starting salary of a newly-recruited employee at lowest level will now be Rs 18,000 whereas for a Class I officer it will be Rs 56,100. For a secretary-level officer, the salary will increase from Rs 90,000 to Rs 2.25 lakh and for the cabinet secretary at Rs 2.5 lakh a month.
The increase in pay and pension is expected to benefit 47 lakh central government employees and 53 lakh pensioners, and the government hopes the increased salaries will result in an increase in demand. Along with the impact of a good monsoon, it is expected to provide a fresh stimulus to the economy which is displaying signs of a rebound.
amar ujala newspaper 27/07/2016 : http://epaper.amarujala.com/login.php