CHAPTER -I HISTORY AND PRESENT PROFILE OF INDIA POST

1:1 Historically, the postal service is known for its high standards of efficiency. The Roman boasted their postal system, curses publicans, could deliver message over distances upto 170 miles in 24 hours! Post Office is the only institution in the country touching every person's life. 1:1:2 In the late sixth century B.C., Confucius is quoted to have said, "The influence of the righteous travels faster than a royal edict by post-station service." 1:1:3 While tracing out the History of Indian Post, a regular Postal Service in India was established by the East India Company in 1766. It was, however run by Private Agencies. The East India Company, by an Act No. XVII of 1837, nationalised the Postal Services and brought it under the monopoly of the Government. Thereafter, in 1854, separate Postal Department was established and the First Postage Stamp was introduced. The First Railway Mail Service was established in 1863. First Sorting Section was between Allahabad and Kanpur. 1:1:4 Thus, the Postal Department is one of the oldest departmentally run Public Service departments of the Government of India. Its legislative basis is the Indian Post Office Act, 1898. The Department of Posts is committed to fulfil the universal services obligation in terms of providing basic postal services throughout the country, irrespective of terrain at an affordable price. 1:1:5 The postal system in this country can truly be regarded as indispensable for social development and commitment of the country. Our Late Prime Minister Sri Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru said "Among the necessary things, good or bad, that the Modern World had produced, only the postal system which covers the world is one of its most beneficent activities. The postal system is a necessary and important public institution. It is one of the public institutions which are most intimately bound up with the human relations than other Government departments; for it deals with messages, helps to connect people and makes communication between human beings possible at all levels through the letters."

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1:1:6

India has the largest number of post offices in the world.

At the time of

Independence, the number of post offices were 23,344. Now the number of post offices has been expanded to 1,55,516 as on 31-03-2005 of which 1,25,148 are in rural areas and as an average, a post office serves an area of 21.13 sq. km and population of 6615. Mail processing, transmission and delivery are the core activities. Mail is collected from 5,84,006 letter boxes in the country. This is processed by a network of 460 RMS offices. During 2004-2005 the Department of Posts handled 7630.36 million articles including 214.18 million registered articles. It also handled 120.65 million of money orders amounting to Rs. 70521.65 millions. 1:2 The Department of Posts operates Savings Bank on behalf of Ministry of Finance. The accumulated savings deposits as on 2004-2005 amounts to over rupees three lakhs seventy five thousand crores, which is almost equivalent to the deposit of a leading nationalised bank in India. Thus the Post Office Savings Bank is the oldest and largest banking institution in the country. It operates about 140 million Savings Accounts. The POSB is an agency function performed by the Department of Posts on behalf of Ministry of Finance, Government of India. 1:2:2 The PO Savings Bank provides an avenue to the customers through the network of 1,54,000 post offices. During 2004-05, the department earned an approximate revenue of Rs. 20,300 million as remuneration for the Savings Bank work. 1:2:3 The POSB is having a customer base of 140 million account holders with annual deposits exceeding 10,00,000 million. The outstanding balance under all Nationalised Savings Schemes in post offices is over 3,750,000 million.

SAVINGS BANK – A PROFILE AS ON 31-03-2005 Sl. No. 1. 2. 3. Savings Accounts (SB) RD Accounts TD Accounts 61990467 64475526 7892478 Name of the Scheme No. of Accounts Total Amount Deposited (In Millions) 152981.0 412931.2 320607.3

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4. 5. 6. 7.

MIS Accounts NSS Accounts (87 & 92) PPF Accounts Senior Citizen

22599857 808666 1873726 164257 (Annual Report : 2005-2006)

1515735.7 42332.8 148298.1 87839.2

1:2:4

The following is the revenue figures of the postal department earned from its traditional service.

Particulars Sale of Stamps Postage realised in cash Commission on M.O & IPOs etc. Remuneration on SB / SC work Other receipts

Rs. (in Million) 79986.58 12971.13 3268.94 18610.00 1481.82 44318.47

Note:- 'Other receipts' includes service charges retained by the Department of Posts from Sale of Passport Application Form, Pass Port Fee Stamps, CRF stamps, receipts from other postal administration etc. 1:3 The major operation in Insurance Sector is the PLI / RPLI which is now run by the department itself and it has 23,91,662 & 37,38,798 polices in PLI and RPLI respectively with an aggregate assured sum of Rs. 1,91,054.30 millions & 1,85,209.30 millions respectively as on 31-03-2005. It had a deposit of Rs. 89330 million & Rs. 16240 million as deposits with Government of India as on 31-032006. Postal Life Insurance (PLI) operated by the Department of Posts is one of the oldest welfare schemes for Government employees. It was introduced in the year 1884 for the postal employees as a welfare measure and it today covers employees of Central & State Governments, the Armed Forces personnel, employees of Central and State Public Sector Undertakings, employees of Autonomous bodies, Financial Institutions, Nationalised Banks, Local Bodies, Universities and Government aided educational institutions. In the address of the

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Hon'ble President of India Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam at the inauguration of the sesquicentennial celebrations of India Post held on 04-10-2004, informed the nation that in the insurance front, the postal department is planning to offer new products such as Group Premium Policy, Pension Schemes and Term Policy. From 28 policies and a business of Rs. 6,13,000 in 1884, the PLI has grown to handle 23,91,662 policies and total business of Rs. 1,91,054.30 millions at the end of 2004-05. 1:4 The erstwhile P&T department was bifurcated as Department of Posts and Department of Telecom in January 1985 and since then, the entire work being performed at post offices are under the control of Department of Posts. The maintenance, operation and development of the post is being controlled by the Department of Posts throughout the country. 1:4:2 In the Annual Report of the Department of Posts of 2004-2005, the objectives of the department have been described as below:-

Ensure availability of basic postal services in all parts of the country, including tribal, hilly and remote areas; Provide efficient, reliable and economic service; Provide value-added services according to market requirements; Modernise the services to handle the growing volume of work with efficiency and thereby enhance customer and employees satisfaction; Be a forward-looking organisation, and; Generate more resources and improve financial performance. 1:4:3 The normal postal operation of handling letters like sorting, transmission and delivery of mails and traditional functions like registration, money order, postal order etc., even though maintained efficiently and effectively has now given second line and the agency work like SB, NSC, TD etc. and the Business activities have given a new face for the India Post. There are various business activities now introduced in the India Post. 1:4:4 The Department of Posts, introduced Speed Post service which carried 10,89,000 articles and earned a revenue of Rs. 3.17 crore in 1987-88 has grown

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about twenty times and earn a revenue of Rs. 3541.60 millions during 20042005. 1:4:5 Satellite Post, earlier known as Hybrid Mail was started in 1995 which does away with physical transmission and substantially reduces the time lag between sending of a message and its delivery. It takes advantage of and optimises the use of an infrastructure of V-SATs. operator in the country. 1:5 As a result of Malhotra's Committee recommendations, its mandate was enlarged in 1995 to cover the general populace in rural areas in the name of Rural Postal Life Insurance. Now it operates 37,38,798 policies with an aggregate assured sum of Rs. 1,85,209.30 millions. 1:6 The Department of Posts also performs other items of work like payment of Military Pension, Coal Miner's Pension, EPF, and Family Pension, Railway, Telecom Pension etc. for which it gets mutually agreed remuneration from the respective principals. 1:7 The post office is undergoing vast changes supplementing the traditional postal activities by its various new services. A number of new products and services were introduced to meet the requirements of customers and modernise the postal operation through induction of technology. 1:7:2 The value added postal services now offered by the India Post in recent years include Speed Post, Business Post, Express Parcel Post, Greetings Post, Data Post, Speed Post Passport Service, Bill Mail Post, E-Post, and E-Bill Post. Besides these the India Post has ventured into various financial services which include International Money Transfer, Electronic Fund Transfer, Electronic Clearance Services, Warrant Payment, Sale of Mutual Funds and Bonds etc. There are services like Direct Post, Express Parcel Post, Media Post, Meghdoot Post Card, Logistics Post, Retail Post, Bill Mail Services introduced by the Business Directorate. Thus the India Post has diversified the postal operations into different areas through the business development. The Post becomes the highest E-Mail

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1:7:3

The Department of Posts has a tie up with the Western Union which provides the facility of receiving remittances from more than 196 countries on a real time basis. The service is currently available from more than 6800 post offices. Remittances to the extent of more than the value of 298 millions US Dollars have been delivered through this service since April 2001. The service has sought in remittances worth 170 million US Dollars from April 2004 to March 2005 and has generated revenue of Rs. 110 millions. India Post has increased its meagre share of Western Union transactions from 22% in 2004 to 30.9% in 2005.

1:7:4

At this juncture, it is pertinent to mention that all these new services were introduced with the existing staff and in particular, all of them are being carried out very efficiently and effectively by the Group 'C' staff even though there are inadequacy in the training. The skills and capabilities of the existing Postal Assistants are being extracted without granting any higher pay for such technical work or granting any incentive / honorarium.

1:7:5

Due to introduction of various new schemes and tying up with UTI, Oriental Insurance Scheme, Clearance of cheques for various private companies like TVS, Bajaj Auto, HDFC Bank, verification of address proof for Hutch and BSNL, Direct Posts and other schemes, the Postal Assistants are put into enormous pressures. There is also a huge task of filing TDS returns to the Income Tax returns, Acceptance of IT returns etc., now shouldered by the Postal Assistants. Apart from these, several services were introduced depending on the local needs like "Sabrimala Prasadams", Sales of Christmas cake, Haleem Tea Masala, Herbal Products etc. The verification compilation work which is a laborious job was now looked after by the Head Offices instead of Director of Postal Accounts. All these extra works are being shouldered by the existing staff even after a drastic staff cut exercised in the post office of more than 17% while comparing the figures from 2000-01 to 2004-05.

1:7:6

The following is the statistics furnished from the Annual Report of Department of Posts from the year 2001-02 to 2005-07.

DECLINE IN NON-GAZETTED STAFF 6

Year

Group 'C' including Postman

Gr. D

Total

2000-2001 2001-2002 2002-2003 2003-2004 2004-2005

228579 220448 212021 201421 200302

52292 49773 48036 46523 43656

= = = = =

280871 270221 260057 247944 243958

1:7:7

For Gazetted, the position is different Both Group A + B 2000-2001 2001-2002 2002-2003 2003-2004 2004-2005 2738 2737 2695 2770 2720

There is no reflection of staff cut in respect of Group A & B cadres. 1:7:8 As on 31-03-99, the department had 2,92,672 full time regular employees and 3,09,915 Extra Departmental Employees and this has been shrunk to the extent of 2,43,958 & 2,93,656 as on 01-03-2005 respectively in both the categories. The postal employees are being overburdened and facing untold miseries every day. 1:8 The Postal Department is headed by a Secretary who is also the Chairman of the Postal Services Board and also the Director General of Postal Services. There are 22 postal circles headed by Chief Postmaster General or Principal Chief Postmaster General as the case may be. Each circle is co-terminus with a state except Gujarat circle which includes Daman & Diu, Dadra & Nagar Haveli; Kerala Circle includes the Union Territory of Lakshadweep; Maharashtra Circle includes Goa; North Eastern Circle consists of Arunachal, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura; Punjab Circle includes the union territory of Chandigarh;

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Tamil Nadu Circle includes Pondicherry; West Bengal Circle includes Sikkim & the Union Territory of Andaman and Nicobar Islands. 1:8:2 Each circle is divided into regions comprising groups of field units, called divisions (Postal / RMS Divisions). Each region is headed by a Postmaster General and assisted by a Director of Postal Services. Each division is headed by Senior Superintendent of Post Offices / Superintendent of Post Offices. 1:8:3 Post Offices in the country are categorised as Head Post Office; Sub Post Office and Branch Post Office. The Branch Post Offices are manned by the Gramin Dak Sevaks earlier called as Extra Departmental employees. Such offices are opened for three hours in rural areas. departmental offices. 1:8:4 "India, during the past hundred years, has built up a great postal system of her own" – Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru said in October 1954. The strength of the post office lies in its connectivity to each and every village and personal knowledge of the delivery staff of every house in the village. The strength of the India Post is its staff. 1:8:5 Post office of India is the biggest postal system in the world. There had been a massive expansion. The post office is now modernised and technologically updated to meet the requirements. 1:8:6 As on the day, the postal service has reached every nook and corner of the country and there is no village not covered by the postal department. This is why the postal service is known as second line of defence. This service of National Importance is mainly rendered by the Postal Assistants and Supervisors. 1:9 1:9:1 POSTAL ACT 1898 - AMENDMENT It is most pertinent to place before that even though the legal monopoly of the postal department still exists, this has been eroded illegally on the ground of eruption of mushroom growth of couriers who had taken away a good proportion of the higher revenue yielding traffic from the state owned monopoly operator of Department of Posts. The amendment to the Post Office Act 1898 which The Sub and Head Offices are the

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provides a legal basis to private couriers and legal protection of monopoly over letters upto 300 grams service with the Department of Posts is still pending consideration of the Parliament. 1:9:2 The Post Office Act 1898, (Section 4) conferred upon the Central Government the exclusive privilege of conveying by post all letters and of performing all the incidental services of receiving, collecting, sending, dispatching and delivering all letters except in the following three cases:(i) Letter sent by a private friend in his way, journey or travel, to be delivered by him to the person to whom they are directed, without hire, reward or other profit or advantages for receiving, carrying or delivering them; (j) letters solely concerning the affairs of the sender or receiver thereof, sent by a messenger on purpose; and (k) letters solely concerning goods or property, sent either by sea or by land to be delivered with the goods or property which the letter concern, without hire, reward of other profit or advantage for receiving, carrying or delivering them; 1:9:3 While the Act has included postcards within the definition of letters, the term 'letters' has not been defined in law. This lacuna and imprecision in law along with the exceptions provided in law has led to the large number of private couriers conveying letters purportedly as documents which "concerns the affairs of the sender or receiver, sent by a messenger on purpose." 1:9:4 The Department of Posts, knowing well that this interpretation and the mushroom growth of couriers over two decades has failed to arrest the menace which cornered high revenue and the Department of Posts as a part of its universal service obligation left with low revenue and the amendment to Postal Act remains in the consideration of the Parliament over five years. 1:9:5 It is most apt to mention that the following countries have complete monopoly of letter mails. 1. USA 2. France 3. China

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4. Brazil 5. Hongkong 6. Malaysia 7. Thailand 8. Bangladesh 9. Pakistan 10. Sri Lanka 1:9:6 Even countries like Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, Netherlands, Switzerland etc. are having complete monopoly of letter mails upto 2000 grams. Most of the advanced countries are having weight restriction in various forms whereas the Indian Postal Service has been shattered by the illegal presence of 2500 national and international private courier services existing over 26 years. 1:9:7 The misuse of the Section 4 (j) of the Post Office Act 1898 should be arrested forthwith. The monopoly of the postal services be restored from the clutches of the mushroom growth of couriers which will alone ensure security besides better service to the public for which the bill has to be passed in the Parliament. The Unions already suggested to raise the monopoly of 300 grams to 1 kg at least as is in existence in various countries. Similarly the sub clause of exceeding 2 ½ times of postage stamp value providing to couriers to handle even less than 300 grams letters should be deleted from the proposed postal amendment bill. The monopoly of delivery of letters should be ensured. The traditional mails of the postal department should be saved from the couriers who are handling the letters illegally only in major cities / towns and the traditional postal service should not be shrunk to the rural villages alone.

CHAPTER -II POSTAL IS A SOCIAL SERVICE

2:1

Most of the genuine demands of the postal employees are being denied as if the department is a loss-making organisation of organisations. the Central Government The facts had not been given due credence and even an

imaginary and illusory picture has been stapled in the mindsets.

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2:1:1

The post office should be looked upon as public utility office and is essential and important from the point of view of the community.

2:2

India Post being a member of Universal Postal Union since 1976 had its obligations termed as the universal service obligation and the loss sustained shall be subsidised by the Government of India. In 2004-2005, it has subsidised Rs. 1382 crores for different postal tariff but the same was debited from postal budget. The following Cost of Services as published in the Annual Report 20042005 will prove that how much of lower cost is prescribed for the traditional posts in the Department of Posts which is incurring perennial loss.

COST OF SERVICES
Sl. No. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. Name of Service 2004-2005 (Projection) Average Cost Average Revenue 6.96 0.50 6.88 6.00 5.09 10.00 6.97 2.50 8.43 10.04 9.72 0.39 17.03 0.79 10.78 7.27 14.95 14.97 6.17 66.47 33.57 45.88 23.55 45.06 57.61 75.91 24.24 20.40 4.37 9.44 3.00 57.17 17.00 36.08 4.07 53.21 27.37 29.37 2.18 35.56

Post Card Printed Post Card Competition Card Letter Card (Inland Letter) Letter Regd. Newspaper – Single Redg. Newspaper – Double Book Post, Book Pattern & Sample Parcels Book Post – Printed Book Book Post – Other Periodicals Acknowledgement Parcel Registration Speed Post Value Payable Post Insurance Money Order Telegraph Money Order Indian Postal Order Foreign Mail

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2:2:1

A perusal of the losses sustained by the postal will reveal that provisions of these services at uneconomic rates inevitably leads to losses. It is therefore absolutely necessary to demarcate those services and brought out of postal finance as an essential public service. Moreover being public utility service, it cannot have overriding influence on economic considerations in the matter of fixing the tariffs.

2:2:2

Since the Department of Posts is committed for universal postal organisation and the cost above the revenue on the items prescribed should be subsidised, the department should not bring the loss under postal budget. In 2005-2006, the net loss due to rural postal network was more than Rs. 600 crores which is compulsory as the service provided to rural people by the Government.

2:2:3

It is a paradoxical to note that the pensionary expenses being paid for the postal department pensioners which was Rs. 1207.94 crores last year has also been brought under the postal budget which ought to have been borne by the Ministry of Finance, Government of India from the consolidated fund of India as in vogue for other Central Government departments. This is because the Department of Posts is being projected as a loss-making organisation. It is needless to mention that it is not only in India, most of the state run postal services in the world are subsidised.

2:2:4

The following comparative study among the Universal Postal Union countries, their social structure will throw light into the weakness of the postal system in the days of globalisation of Indian Postal System.

2:3 2:3:1

SOCIAL STRUCTURE OF UPU COUNTRIES – A COMPARATIVE STUDY Out of 192 countries under UPU, 112 countries of the world are having less than one crore population – that is each of those countries are even smaller than our State Jammu & Kashmir. 26 countries are even smaller than our "Chhattisgarh". Each of the other set of 15 countries are even smaller than State of Kerala (population – 3,18,41,374). Each of another set of 15 countries are even smaller than our Gujarat. 12 countries, each of them is having population varying between 5 crore plus to less than 10 crore. Only 4 countries of the Universal Postal Union are having more than 20 crore of population—China tops the list

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(131 crore). India follows China (110 crore). Next USA –30 crore, difference between India (2nd) and USA (3rd) is whopping figure of more than 80 crore. 2:3:2 People of 122 UPU countries each of them speak in 1,2 or maximum 3 languages. Indian people speak in 20 major languages and 1600 dialects. 2:3:3 So far as the literacy is concerned, 93 UPU countries are having 90 to 100 percent literacy. In literacy rate India is trailing behind even countries like Uganda, papua New Guinea, Nicaragua, Ghana, Nigeria, Madagascar etc. 2:4 2:4:1 POSTAL STRUCTUE – A COMPARTIVE STUDY OF UPU COUNTRIES Out of 192 UPU countries there are 132 UPU countries each of which are having less than even 1000 permanent post offices. 36 UPU countries are having permanent post offices varying between 1000 to below 4000 post offices. Only 16 UPU countries are having more than 10,000 permanent post offices. 2:4:2 So far as the number of permanent post offices are concerned, China has nearly 67,000 permanent post offices, France serves through nearly 17000 post offices, Germany has more than 13000 post offices, U.K. has nearly 15000 post offices (14609). Italy has nearly 14000 post offices. Indonesia serves its people through 19,632 post offices. Poland has almost 11000 post offices. Japan has 24,678 post offices. Russian Federation has more than 40,000 post offices. USA serves its people through 37,159 post offices. 2:4:3 So far as the number of mobile post offices are concerned, USA has 62,762 mobile post offices and Ukraine has 31,010 mobile post offices and even a small country like Czech Republic with a little more than 1 crore population has 10,370 mobile post offices. 2:4:4 India's Geographical locations, ecological systems and vast area including 5,93,643 villages demand that we should have more and more permanent and mobile post offices whereas India has only 30,368 permanent post offices. 2:5 COMPARISON OF INDIAN POSTAL SERVICE WITH THE MOST

PRESTIGIOUS G-8 COUNTRIES

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2:5:1

Germany and Japan have no temporary and part-time workers. Canada has only 14.5 percent part time postal workers. Italy has only 2.4 percent part time workers. USA has only 12.4 percent temporary postal workers, such percentage in case of UK is 17.75 and France has 17.9 percent temporary work force whereas India has 54.35 percent part time work force (GDS) serving the vast postal network of 1,55, 415 post offices throughout the country.

2:5:2

If we compare Indian Postal Service with Germany in light of population, then India should have 49,37,764 permanent postal workers and 4,16,247 post offices. offices. Comparison with UK means India should have 27,06,660 permanent, 5,83,992 part time postal workers and 2,62,998 permanent post If USA is taken into account, India should have 28,29,940 permanent, 400444 part time postal workers and 3,99,684 post offices. If France is in the comparison, India should have 41,40,828 permanent, 9,05,058 part-time postal workers and 3,05,046 post offices. In the light of Japan, India Post should have 9,13,264 permanent postal workers and 1,97,488 post offices. Considering Italy, India Post should have 27,99,726 permanent and 69,787 part time postal workers and 2,64,461 post offices, whereas India has only 2,46,678 permanent staff, who run 30,366 Departmental Post Offices and 2,93,656 part time staff (GDS), serve 1,25,148 branch post offices.

2:6 2:6:1

INDIA'S GEOGRAPHICAL CHARACTERISTICS India is world's seventh largest country in terms of area. India has 28 States and 2 Union Territories. India has, according to latest census 2,86,120 towns with urban population of 27.82 percent and 5,93,643 villages with rural population of 72.18 percent.

2:6:2

Thus, this comparative survey proves that even in these days of globalisation Indian Postal System is very-very weak and has wide scope for extension.

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2:6:3

To describe the deficits in the postal budget as 'losses' is wholly wrong and irrational. The post offices are maintained to serve a social purpose mainly as an infrastructure for development and administration of the country.

2:6:4

It is most unfortunate that the Government / Department harps on the theme of postal losses and looks at the problems and demands of the postal staff and for special and economic betterment with jaundiced eyes.

2:6:5

In view of the circumstances detailed above, whatever may be the revenue and expenditure account of postal, the postal employees should be treated as one belonging to the essential public utility service and remunerated adequately by raising status at par with similarly situated persons working in the Central / Public Sector Undertakings.

CHAPTER -III EVOLUTION OF THE HIGHER PAY TO POSTAL ASSISTANTS
3:1 The Postal Clerical employees constitute the nerve of the Postal Administration and the nature of work assigned to them spreads over long hours besides shouldering heavy responsibilities including monetary and otherwise. 3:1:1 Postal Assistant is the main functionary in the Postal Network and translate the policies and planning into practice. He is the first Public Relation Officer of the department who has direct dealings with the members of public and transacts with them at the counters. He is the main link behind the delivery of all postal mails and articles. The Postal Assistants are regarded as the symbol of 'Service Before Self!' 3:2 The history of the recommendations of the earlier committees considering the pay of the Postal Assistants is furnished in gist. 3:2:1 The first committee presided over by Mr. H.N. Haseltine in 1920 enquired into in the conditions of service of the non-gazetted supervisory, clerical, sorting, delivery and menial establishments employed in the postal branch with special

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reference to their rates of pay and allowances, the hours of duty and the principles which have been laid down for fixing the staff strength. 3:2:2 The committee came to the irresistible conclusion after an elaborate investigation and recognised that the Postal Clerk performs duties of a special nature although the remuneration did not commensurate. 3:2:3 The Committee further observed that "the conditions of service of postal clerks differ very much from those of ordinary clerks of the Government offices, their hours of work are longer and much more irregular beginning in some cases at 5:00 AM and ending at 10:00 PM. 3:2:4 The subsequent committee appointed in the 1940's headed by Sir Gurunath Bewoor while making his report on Time Test observed interalia:3:2:5 "It is necessary to point out here the peculiar conditions of work in other offices. In an ordinary administrative office if the staff cannot finish the day's work, the unfinished work is left over for the next day……… in the post offices, the accumulation of arrears is not possible. Day's mail must be delivered the same day and despatched on the same day." 3:2:6 "The accounts and abstracts must be adjusted the same day and returns to the audit office must be sent on due dates. The staff of post offices cannot leave office unless all this work is completed. If the staff is inadequate it might work beyond the fixed hours of duty and late in the night to finish the work." 3:2:7 Sir Gurnath Bewoor envisaged that to cope with the intensity of the postal work, the only other alternative for the Postal Clerk is to ignore the rules and get through the work somehow or other. But it invariably leads to losses, commission of errors, resulting in punishments and recoveries from the staff. 3:2:8 After considering the Bewoor observations, the P&T Department sanctioned relief exclusively for the Postal Clerks in 1946 vide letter No. A17-8/46 dated 0408-46 which reads as follows:-

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3:2:9

"Taking into consideration also the nature and conditions of work of the P&T employees, as special measure of relief for them, Government decided to increase the "Good Conduct Pay" and the quantum of this special pay was also enhanced subsequently."

3:2:10 Thus, it is very clear that the Postal Clerks were treated as superiors when compared to other employees in the Government of India and granted with special pay considering their hard work and responsibilities.

3:2:11 Meanwhile, the Retrenchment Committee headed by Sir Gowasjee Jehangir suggested a combination of graded pay and thus introduced the time scale system for clerical cadres. This was the starting point provided for the reduction of the status of the Postal Clerk since they were equated with other clerks in the Government service. 3:2:12 The scale of pay of the other Government departments should not be considered as a criterion for fixing the scales of pay of Postal Clerks who stand on a different footing altogether. 3:2:13 The 1st Pay Commission has pointed out in their report, "that the work of the post office clerk which involves split duty, contact with the public and heavy financial responsibilities is of a more onerous character. The post offices clerks should be equated on a pay with the Civil Accounts and currency office clerks who perform more or less identical and similar duties." 3:3 The Postal Assistants performs a variety of duties and shoulders heavy responsibility in handling valuables besides the cash and currency. Unless one is fully conversant with the rules and regulations which are changing every day and month, efficient discharge of duties cannot be expected of him. 3:3:1 The Postal Assistant who is incharge of post offices also performs a variety of works. He acts as a liaison with the public and ensures secrecy, security and confidence of the people. He should possess thorough knowledge in the matter of various rules and regulations and should have abundant, resourceful intelligence to tackle the customers – the public.

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3:3:2

The Postal Assistant is not doing a "Sedentary Type" of job in the general run of the category of clerks. He is responsible for all the transactions that take place both before and after the incidence since he is liable to make good the losses suffered by the department under the nomenclature of "Contributory Negligence."

3:3:3

In case of loss or fraud or misappropriation the liability thereof is squarely put on the shoulders of the post office clerk whatever be the circumstances, whether fortuitous or deliberate. Besides, he is also subjected to disciplinary action and awarded with severe punishments for such acts even after making good the loss sustained by the department.

3:3:4

The Postal Assistant is made to work under unhygienic conditions. The location of post office buildings in dilapidated conditions, inadequacy of space are the glaring examples to quote at many levels.

3:3:5

The Postal Assistants are performing more volume of work as compared to the other Government Administrative Offices. The comparative figures between other Government Administrative Offices and post offices will prove that both should not be equated with the volume of work done qualitatively and quantitively.

Operative Staff in Post Offices Holidays (effective) Casual Leave & RH Saturdays Weekly Off / Sundays Total in a year Working days in a year One year 18 days 10 days 0 52 days 80 days 285 days 365 days

Other Government Administrative Offices 18 days 10 days 52 days 52 days 132 days 233 days 365 days

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Working hours converted into hours for Postal Assistants Working days converted into hours for Assistants working in Administrative Offices Excess of work hours for Postal Assistant

285 X 8 hours

= 2280 hours

233 X 8 ½ hours

= 1980.5 hours

2280-1980.5

= 299.5 (i.e.) 300 hours

3:3:6

Thus it could be seen that the Postal Assistant working in post offices is doing 300 hours extra work in a year for that additional work he has not been properly compensated.

3:4

The working condition of the postal service is entirely different from the employees of the other Central Government Services. (i) The postal staff are subjected to prolonged over inconvenient hours of attendance. They could leave the office only after the works of the day completed. Sometimes they are involving attendance in split duty barring them to attend their homely needs and other social obligations; (ii) (iii) (iv) (v) They have to shoulder heavy monetary and financial responsibility; They are required to perform duties of a very arduous nature; The postal officials are required to put in longer hours of duty i.e. 48 hours weekly duty instead of 42 hours in other Government departments; The PO is now engaging various business activities and required to do much more work apart from their conventional work of transmission and delivery of articles.

3:5

The Postal Assistant in the postal department does the work of all other departments while no other department does the work of the post office. The Postal Assistant, (i) Does the work of 'Bank' involving huge monetary responsibility in the Postal Savings Bank, deals in savings certificates, time deposits, senior citizen

19

schemes, public provident fund, monthly income scheme and also sale of debentures, share certificates etc. etc. (ii) Does the work of 'Insurance Department' as the postal department itself runs the PLI / RPLI and knows the different rules and regulations on the subject. Besides does the work related to Oriental Insurance Company and implementing their scheme through post office; (iii) (iv) (v) Does the work of 'passport' Department by accepting the passport application forms across the counters and processing the same; Does the work of 'Pension Payment' work of other departments as well like Railway, Telecom, EPF etc.; Does the work of 'Telecom Assistant' by booking, transmitting, receiving, delivering telegrams and also booking trunk calls and accepting telephone revenue collections, etc. entailing the 'know how' of the 'Rules and Procedures'; (vi) (vii) Does the work of Police in issuing identity cards; Does the work of various branches like mail and sorting, Delivery and Deposit, Registration and Parcel, Money Orders, Indian Postal Orders, British Postal Orders etc. (viii) (ix) (x) (xi) (xii) (xiii) (xiv) (xv) (xvi) (xvii) Does the work of enquiry clerk; enquiry covering multifarious subjects; Does the work of 'Treasurer'; Does the work of an 'Accountant'; Does the work of a 'Counter clerk'; Does the work of 'Correspondence clerk'; Does the work of an Auditor, a Typist, Despatcher and correspondence clerk when posted in a divisional office; Does the work of an Accounts clerk; Does the work of 'Promoter' in various financial schemes developed in the Business tie up; Handles lakhs of rupees worth insured / foreign articles daily involving great risks; Helps the Excise department in checking & transmission of contraband goods; (xviii) Has direct contact and moves with different types of public; (xix) Expected to know thousands of rules running in several volumes. Breach of any rule is attracted to with the severe punishment;

20

(xx) (xxi) (xxii)

Has to be conversant not only with the Indian Postal business but complicated Foreign Postal business as well; Will not be let off even after 8 hours of work but will have to work till accounts for the day tally which in most cases result in long hours; Must be conversant with hundreds of Multiple letters, circulars etc. issued by the divisional heads, circle heads and the Director General which will be changing every day;

(xxiii) Involves great attention, concentration and intelligence even in ordinary 'mail branch'. If a tag is mislabelled, thousands of letters will be delayed for more than a day; (xxiv) Not only his work is brain killing and nerve eating, he should also be very honest in word and deed. (xxv) Due to introduction of various new schemes and tying up with UTI, Oriental Insurance Scheme, Clearance of cheques for various private companies like TVS, Bajaj Auto, HDFC Bank, verification of address proof for Hutch and BSNL, Direct Posts and other schemes, the Postal Assistants are put into enormous pressures. There is also a huge task of filing TDS returns to the Income Tax returns, Acceptance of IT returns etc., now shouldered by the Postal Assistants. Apart from these, several services were introduced depending on the local needs like "Sabrimala Prasadams", Sales etc. The verification / compilation work which is a laborious job was now looked after by the HO instead of Director of Postal Accounts. Now the Postal Assistants are entrusted with the work of Electoral verification, driving licence verification work, loan payments through post offices like NABARD. They are now working as System Engineer and Marketing Executives. In quarters post offices they are guarding the properties of post offices as Night Watchman too since they are bound to sleep in the office as per the rules on the subject. All these extra works are being shouldered by the existing staff even after a drastic staff cut exercised in the post office for more than 17% while comparing the figures from 2000-01 to 2004-05. 3:6 The first and foremost principle which should be ensured is that the Central Government should be the model employer of the country and the employees should have a pride and proud of their job. It is very much essential that the Postal Assistant should receive salary much higher than the counterparts of the

21

other Public Sector Undertaking considering the multifarious activities of profound by the Postal Assistant. 3:6:1 Though five pay commissions have submitted their reports, this vital aspect has not been duly considered. The condition of living of the Postal Assistant has been deteriorating due to inflationary spiral soaring up everyday. The Government all along comes up with the plea that the state of finance does not admit to increase the wage expenses to the Government employees. Resultantly several fringe benefits recommended by the earlier pay commissions have not been implemented. 3:6:2 The Fourth Central Pay Commission in its report observed in chapter 10 para 10.56 that the postal services and personnel management may be reviewed by a committee to be specially set up for the purpose so that it may be possible to achieve postal excellence and give satisfaction to those employed in the vast infrastructure of the department. 3:7 In pursuant to the recommendation stated in para supra, the Government has set up an 'Expert Committee on Excellence in Postal Services in 1987. The committee in its interim report (December 1988)" Quest for Postal Excellence", observed that almost 86% of the population is quite satisfied regarding timely opening of post offices. (5-1 Appendix IV). 3:7:1 It further observed that "this seems to be a strong point for postal employees with about 92% of the sample population being quite positively oriented as far as honesty of postal employees is concerned. Educational institutions and banks are more satisfied with honesty of employees than other Government institutions. (Appendix IV . 6 (a) While elaborating the sincerity of the Postal employees, it observed that "Postal employees are seen to be quite sincere in their work by the general public. Only 12% of the sample population has any serious doubts about sincerity of postal employees. 3:7:2 (Appendix IV. 6 (b))

The following tabulation observed in the said Excellence Committee will exhibit the personal traits of the postal employees working in the Department of Posts.

22

Personal Traits of Postal Employees % shows level of population satisfied.

Trait

Satisfied (In % age)

Partially Satisfied (In % age) 25 38 38 41 42 43 40

Dissatisfied (In % age) 2 5 6 7 5 5 8

Honesty Courtesy Helpfulness Patience Efficiency Knowledge-ability Skill at Handling Complaints Sincerity Hardworking

73 57 56 52 53 52 52

59 64

36 31

5 5

(Consumer Survey – Appendix IV Para 6) 3:7:3 Such being the performance of the postal employees , they are still denied and deprived of their due pay and perks. The said committee in its 'quest for Postal Excellence observed that' the postal service suffers from:(a) Failure to attune itself to the changing needs of the various segments of postal users; (b) Failure to increase the productivity of postal employees in the context of increasing manpower costs and availability of new technology; (c) Insensitivity to the low morale of the postal employees who do routine manual jobs which offer no chance for upgradation of their skill and self development. (Chapter VI para 6.2) 3:7:4 Based on the recommendations of the committee, there was vast changes in the operation as detailed in various paras. The department had launched an extensive modernisation covering all facets of its activities like counter, mail, SAT MOs, MIS SB, PLI and for various business activities including money transfer service. Similarly there was a drastic staff cut exercised unscientifically; whereas

23

the dire need of extending more promotional avenues had been totally ignored and denied. 3:8 Considering all these aspects, the Department of Posts also in its memorandum to 5th Pay Commission has requested to consider higher pay to Postal Assistant at par with Bank and Insurance Organisations. It also recommend to grant pay scale atleast at par with the employees of Postal Accounts Organisation. The excerpts of the observation is furnished hereunder for the kind consideration. 3:8:1 "Both in terms of number of the personnel employed and cost, in reference to total establishment of the Central Government, the department has exercised strict economy in use of the manpower by optimising human resources. During this period the staff has offered higher productivity, but for which it would not have been possible to handle higher work load with decreasing manpower base. At the same time, during this period there has been ban on sanction of additional posts, justified or in the basis of approved norms. Introduction of technology for modernisation of postal services has been taken place without offering any economic package to its employees, as has been done in the case of banking and insurance industries. 3:8:2 For computerisation of banks, the employees were offered pension, wage rise and cash incentives. The staff side while accepting the need for modernisation of the services to maintain its edge in the communication market have been demanding share of the fruits of technology induction for upgrading services. There is a force in the demand made by the staff side and the department submits to the commission for favour of sympathetic consideration of this demand." 3:8:3 "That apart, introduction of modern technologies and consequent all round upgradation of skills of the postal employees calls for re-categorisation of the postal operative and supervisory cadres which were hitherto being treated as clerical cadres. Having regard to the nature of their functions, the postal employees in the front offices should be equated with EDP personnel in the Central Government and the back room operators with the employees of the

24

banks /

insurance

companies or the employees of (Para 3.6 of the report)

Postal Accounts

Organisation." 3:8:4

Even though, the 5th Pay Commission had considered the plight of the Postal Assistants at par with UDC, the justified upgradaton of pay scales considering the multifarious functions have not been recommended.

3:9

It is most apt to see the nature of job performed by the Postal Assistants drafted to the divisional offices. The Postal Assistants from the post offices are being drafted to man the different branches of the Postal Superintendent's office for a tenure period of 4 years. The administrative work in the office of the Superintendent of Post Offices is of a very high order.

3:9:1

The correspondence work of high calibre has necessarily to be performed by the divisional office assistants. They have to be thorough with the rules of the P&T Department and the various orders issued from time to time. The nature of work in the divisional office is such as to demand a high intellectual standard; patience, willingness to overwork and the capacity to face arduous work are the other qualities expected of a clerk in the divisional office.

3:9:2

The Postal Assistants attached to the divisional offices perform the following administrative duties. Maintenance of the personal files of entire staff, grant of leave, issue of leave orders, arrangements of substitutes, maintenance of gradation lists in each categories, appointment and confirmation of staff, arrangement for holding departmental examination, recruitment, matter relating to GDS, collection of pension papers, rotational transfer, leave roasters, reservation roaster, grant of advance of pay, GPF, advances like cycle, scooter, festival etc. Adequate proposals for opening and grading of offices, redeployment / relocation of post offices augmentation of staff on the basis of statistical data compiled, review of establishment, revision and fixation of stationary charges, grant of cycle allowance etc.

3:10

Apart from this, these Postal Assistants have to attend complaints, mail arrangements, follow up action on inspection reports, issue of sanctions relating

25

to SB / SC claims, all matters relating to surcharge / supply of articles of stock / forms, sanction of all bills etc. planning, preparation of budget estimates etc. The duties performed in this divisional office is more skilled and highly responsible while comparing the work in the other administrative offices. 3:10:1 The complaint section in the divisional office has to maintain a very great vigilance and extreme efficiency. A perusal of the list of duties performed by the Postal Assistants in the divisional office will speak for itself. Now on introduction of Right to Information Act, the complaints clerk work is not only confined to the postal services to the customer but also involves a wider ramifications of work and knowledge consuming a lot of time to trace, consolidate and present the information required by any members of public, not necessarily the consumer. Sometimes, the information required under RTI act relates many decades back and the work cannot be completed within the assigned date as enshrined in the act. Officials try to avoid a transfer to the divisional office all along because they are denied compensation for shouldering such a heavy responsibility and further they have to move to a station where the cost of living is high since the divisional offices are located only in big towns. 3:10:2 It is pertinent to mention that many items were not covered under the norms and no incentive or extra duty allowance has been paid to them since they are not being granted Overtime Allowance. The following items are the examples about non-fixation of norms. 3:11 Recently, the PLI/ RPLI work has again been decentralised, involving more and more workforce at divisional level. Even in the existing circumstances, the RPLI work and other newly introduced financial services are handled by the officials drafted from operative work force without provision of any special establishment and budgetary allotment etc. 3:11:1 The present formula for clerical strength of Divisional office is evolved on the basis of SIU standard of 1986. While computing the workload of complaints only Cpt. 21 and search bills relating to Registration, Parcels and Money Orders are taken into account. The following items are omitted for inclusion. (a) Inward references relating to Money Orders, Registration, Parcels.

26

(b) Audit objections. (c) Allotment of Post Boxes and renewal. (d) Recall of articles. (e) Mail arrangements and schedules. (f) Buildings and wirings. (g) Work relating to service union matters. (h) Dealing of public complaints. 3:12 In respect of recruitment at divisional level, since its introduction so many recruitments have been taken place without provision of any additional manpower. Apart from this, the bulk of SBCO staff and its administration have been transferred to divisional office and the staff clerks being very much overloaded are unable to release even normal leave orders, resulting delay in settlement of personal claims like pension etc. 3:13 The following items of work are not covered under SIU Formula consequent on decentralisation of works to divisional level. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. Recruitment of Postal Assistants since 1979; Dealings relating to SDPAs / RTPs Triennail revision of allowance to GDS; Sanction of PCO allowance to BPMs; Review of workload of EDBOs ; Split Duty allowances; Authorisation of Payment of DCRG and Commutation of Pension; Process of IR; Investigation of loss or fraud consequent to enhancement of limit; Work relating to SB claims consequent to raising of limit; Sanction of honorarium to IVP discharge & MIS work; Claims relating to NS / MIS work; Franking Machine work; Registration of newspapers; Sanction of GPF to all officials; Sanction of all kinds of advances; Sample mails, survey; Reimbursement of Tuition fees;

27

19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29.

TBOP scheme work relating thereto convening of DPC etc. Best Postman award, Meghdoot award work; Encashment of Leave Salary; Absorption of ED outsiders and Casual Labour Problems; SBCO staff matters; Speed Post dealings like BNPL, Franking Machine & Calculation of Rebates etc. FRAC conduction for enhancement; Group Insurance Scheme including EDAs; Cash Allowance for SPMs; Statements for all financial activities like Western Union Money Transfer, E-trading, Mutual Funds, Unit Trust, Micro Credit loans etc. Retail services work;

3:14 Apart from above, various new services were launched and resultantly the Dealing Assistant has to collect daily statistics on each and every item and submit a bundle number of returns / statements every day, weekly, fortnightly and monthly. The work is very cumbersome and with all difficulties, they are attending such returns. 3:14:1 This is most pertinent to mention that the department in its submission to 5th Pay Commission observed interalia:"The minimum educational qualification for the post of Postal Assistant is Higher Secondary (10+2). In practice, it is found that suitable number of direct recruits have higher qualifications, many of them being graduates or above." (Para No. 5.3) 3:14:2 We are also of the firm opinion that the minimum educational qualification for the Postal Assistant may be enhanced as graduation with computer knowledge and the Postal Assistants may be granted in the existing pay scale of Rs. 5000-8000 since the post requires more knowledge, skill & talent to tackle the situations after the face lift the Department of Posts was changed from the traditional service. 3:15 After the computerisation of the post offices, the nature of job of the Postal Assistant has been changed thoroughly and his work is more or less equal to EDP personnels. The Department of Posts in its report to 5th Pay Commission

28

while recommending higher pay to Postal Assistants at par with Bank / LIC organisations and also postal accounts staff, requested the Pay Commission to consider for the payment of 'qualification pay' for handling computers at an attractive rates. The following is the extracts from the report of the postal department on the issue. 3:15:1 "The operation in post offices, RMS offices, Stores Department and Administrative offices is undergoing a qualitative change and Postal and Sorting Assistants handling computerised operations are performing higher skilled job rather than conventional clerical work." 3:15:2 "To encourage the employees to acquire appropriate technical skill either through departmental training or from outside by personal efforts and to motivate them for computerised operation, appropriate incentive may be provided. It is suggested that for acquiring necessary qualification to handle computerised operation, an employee should be paid qualification pay as it is admissible to some categories of staff. 3:15:3 "For example, an employee, after qualifying in the Junior Accounts officer examination in Accounts organisation like CGA, CGDA etc. is entitled to get a special pay of Rs. 40/- p.m. in the first year and Rs. 70/- p.m. from the second year onwards till he gets his promotion as Junior Accounts Officer. The provision of such an incentive will motivate employees to acquire technical qualification and upgrade their skill. Once these employees are posted in the positions to handle computerised operation they should be paid a special pay. At present, a Postal Assistant working in computerised counters is being paid a special pay of Rs. 100/- p.m. This may be appropriately enhanced to make it attractive to the operative staff. In addition, the special pay should be made applicable to all the staff handling computerised operation in post office. The employees acquiring EDP qualification should be paid qualification pay. In addition, trade allowance should be paid to personnel who actually handle computerised operations." 3:15:4 However, the 5th Pay Commission did not consider about the grant of qualification pay. However the computerisation has taken place vastly in the Department of Posts and all Head Post Offices were already computerised. Some of the sub offices are also now computerised. In the long run every SO is

29

being computerised. compensated. 3:16

The officials deployed at the computers are not being

It is therefore requested to consider the following based on the facts and figures furnished above.

1. The Postal Assistants may be granted with higher pay and perk. Considering their multifarious duties with higher skills and responsibilities, the Postal Assistants may be granted higher pay scale in the existing pay scale of Rs. 5000150-8000 duly enhancing the minimum educational qualification as graduation. According to the pay scale demanded by the staff side JCM, the pay scale of the Postal Assistant may be considered in the scale of pay starting with minimum of Rs. 23000 with annual increment of Rs. 1150 p.m. 2. The Postal Assistants may be granted with 'qualification pay' as recommended earlier by the department to 5th Pay Commission for skill, talents being spent on computer operations. The 'qualification pay' may at least be equal to one advance annual increment atleast. 3. Similar qualification may also be extended to AMFI qualified officials.

CHAPTER –IV TBOP (LSG), BCR (HSG.II)

4:0

The Department of Posts introduced a promotional scheme called "Time Bound One Promotion Scheme" (TBOP) in the year 1983 after reaching an agreement signed between the Staff Side and the Official Side of the JCM Departmental Council on 19-12-83. (Copy Enclosed) (Annexure-I)

4:0:1

The said TBOP Scheme came into operation from 30-11-83. The purport of the said scheme was stated that all officials belonging to basic grades in Group 'C' and Group ' D' belonging to Operative Cadres who have completed 16 years of service in that grade will be placed in the next higher grade.

30

4:0:2

For the grant of that TBOP promotion, the Operative Staff bear the staff cut of 15% in Supervisory plus 5% in Operative Cadres i.e. LSG. After introduction of the TBOP scheme, the Supervisory allowance, charge allowances to SPMs / Postmasters etc. were withdrawn in token of additional item on matching savings. It was stated that the promotion granted under TBOP scheme is equivalent to the grant of LSG. Therefore, no one was promoted to LSG after 1983 onwards by convening DPC since the TBOP promotion was declared as LSG promotion in various communication of the Department of Posts.

4:0:3

After the introduction of TBOP promotion on completion of 16 years service as the only channel for LSG promotion, the department divisionalised the LSG cadre with effect from 18-12-85.

4:0:4

It is most apt to mention that in various letters, orders and instructions emanating from the Postal Department on TBOP / LSG, both the TBOP and LSG were equated as one and the same and it will be most appropriate to furnish some of the contents in the Directorate letters for the kind notice of the 6th Pay Commission.

4:0:5

(i) "Para –2: The issue regarding divisionalisation of LSG cadre has been under consideration in the Directorate for a long time with effect from 30-11-83, a decision was taken to promote officials in the grade of Postal Assistant in the LSG on completion of 16 years of service."

4:0:6

"The officials in LSG holding Supervisory Posts were to perform operative duties even after promotion to the LSG under TBOP scheme."

4:0:7

"Further promotions of officials to the higher grades viz. HSG.II and HSG.I will continue to be dealt with at the circle level. For purpose of promotion to the higher selection grades, the seniority of officials in the T/S will be the basis for such promotions at circle level even after promotion to the LSG under TBOP scheme." (DG (P) letter dated 18-12-85)

4:0:8

(ii) Query No. 2: Who will issue orders for posting of LSG officials promoted under TBOP against vacant LSG supervisory posts?

31

4:0:9

Query No. 4: Whether transfer of LSG officials just promoted under TBOP and posted against the upgraded LSG posts is permissible at their own request? (DG (P) letter No. 6-19/82-SPB.II dated 02-06-86)

4:0:10 Para 1: "That consequent upon divisionalisation of LSG cadre as corollary to the TBOP scheme, the promotion to LSG officials to HSG.II and then to HSG.I will continue to be dealt with at circle level for the purpose of promotion to HSG.II and HSG.I, the seniority of officials in the T/S would be the basis even after promotion to LSG under the TBOP scheme." 4:0:11 (iii) Para 1 (b) reply: While discussing how to fix seniority on LSG, it was stated that "their seniority in the combined gradation list (LSG plus TBOP) for the purpose of selection to HSG.II will remain unaffected." 4:0:12 Para 3. Reply: "In other words, seniority of LSG officials fixed on circle basis before the introduction of TBOP scheme shall remain undisturbed. The seniority of the LSG officials promoted under TBOP scheme shall remain undisturbed and determined. (DG (P) letter No. 6-19/82-SPB.II dated 13-03-86) 4:0:13 (iv) Para (iii): "Since for purposes of promotion under the TBOP scheme what is to be counted is the total length of service whether in one division or in different divisions, the condition that the transferees under Rule 38 will rank junior most in the new division will have effect only to the extent that seniority of such an official in the divisional LSG will be below the officials of that division promoted during the year in question." (DG (P) letter No. 6-19/82-SPB.II (PT) dated 06-06-90) 4:0:14 (v) Para 1 (x):"As a result of the grant of Time Bound One Promotion, a large number of LSG officials will be available for deployment. These officials may be posted in smaller SBCOs which are at present under the charge of a UDC. The Supervisory Allowance will, however, not be admissible to such LSGs incharge of SBCOs." (DG (P) letter No. 20-2/88-PE.I dated 26-07-91)

32

4:01

From reading the above mentioned orders, it would be very clear that the TBOP promotion was equated with LSG and the next promotion for TBOP will be the HSG.II and HSG.I and also about maintaining of seniority list i.e. Gradation List of LSG (TBOP) at circle level.

4:01:1 Thereafter, the department introduced another scheme called as "Biennial Cadre Review" shortly known as BCR by which the officials who had completed 26 years of service would be eligible for BCR promotion which is equated with HSG.II. A Matching Savings of 5% in Supervisory Cadre and 1% in Operative Cadre has been given by the Staff. (Annexure - 2)

4:01:2 In Para 2 (x) of the said introductory orders, it was stated as interalia:"It is expected that those who are promoted to HSG.II scale under this scheme on completion of 26 years would take over the supervisory responsibilities likely to be performed by the LSG Supervisor." 4:01:3 The department has issued various clarifications on BCR promotion and in almost all the clarifications, the BCR promotion was equated with HSG.II. The following are few examples:(i) Para 2:- "the officials who became HSG.II as a result of Biennial Cadre Review." (DG (P) letter No. 4-4/PE.SPB.II dated 30-03-92) (ii) "All norm based HSG.II posts should be filled up with HSG.II (BCR) officials in the manner as ordered earlier." (DG (P) letter No. 4-4/PE.SPB.II dated 05-08-92) (iii)"the officials promoted under BCR scheme, is deemed to have become HSG.II." (DG (P) letter No. 4-54/91-SPB.II dated 15-09-92) 4:01:4 (iv)

33

(a) Whether the regular LSG officials promoted to BCR will be considered senior to those question of promoted from PA or LSG.

The officials will get HSG.II. LSG cadres.

BCR on

completion of 26 years of service in PA /

(DG (P) letter No. 22-1/89-PE.I dated 10-12-93) (v) "BCR officials working on a non functional post would be required to be shifted to a norm based LSG / HSG.II posts on the basis of their seniority even if they had not completed 10 years. Posting of BCR officials to all Norm Based HSG.II posts should be ordered." (DG (P) letter No. 137-55/96-SPB.II dated 11-12-97) 4:02 From the above, it could be seen that in various letters and correspondences, it is made clear that officials who were granted promotion under TBOP scheme and BCR scheme have automatically become LSG and HSG.II respectively. These promotions were granted to the officials after reducing the staff strength to the extent of 20% in Supervisory and 6% in Operative Cadres as matching savings as per the agreement made with the Staff Side in the JCM Departmental Council. 4:02:1 Meanwhile, the 5th Pay Commission recommended Assured Career Progression scheme (ACP) for all Central Government employees guaranteeing two promotions to Group 'C' employees on completion of 10 and 20 years of service without any matching cost and the same has been accepted by the Government by altering the years as 12 and 24 retrospectively for 1st and 2nd ACP. 4:02:2 However, the 5th Pay Commission under Para 62-11, did not recommend any pay scale for TBOP/LSG and BCR/HSG.II, but suggested as interalia:"We have recommended the implementation of the Assured Career Progression Scheme which is in tune with the present two time-bound promotions. The schemes of One Time Bound Promotion (OTBP) and Biennial Cadre Review (BCR) will accordingly be replaced by this scheme in its general applicability. We therefore do not recommend any change in the scales of pay for the time-bound

34

promotions. The scale of pay of Rs. 1400-2300 will be the first ACP scale and Rs. 1600-2660 the second." 4:02:3 There was a glaring anomaly that has been risen after the department has extended only ACP pay scales to TBOP & BCR in the new pay scales on the following reasons:(i) ACP I and II are Assured Career Progression on completion of 12 and 24 years respectively. Whereas TBOP & BCR are LSG & HSG.II respectively which are the Supervisory posts required more skill for effective supervision; (ii) ACP I and II are granted to officials on completion of 12 and 24 year. Whereas the TBOP (LSG) is accorded on completion of 16 years and BCR after 26 years. As such this cannot be equated with; (iii) ACP has been granted without any Matching Savings. Whereas for the grant of TBOP (LSG) & BCR (HSG.II), the staff cut of 20% in Supervisory and 6% in Operative in the total establishment had been implemented as Matching Savings; (iv) The 5th Pay Commission had not dealt about LSG, HSG.II posts which are carrying higher responsibilities (The details furnished in Separate Chapter) and the importance of its functions in post offices.

4:03

The recommendations of the 5th Pay Commission have seriously disturbed the long existing relativities, both horizontally and vertically, leading to grave dissatisfaction, despondency lowering the morale of the LSG and HSG.II and HSG.I officials. Resultantly, after several round of negotiations with the department and authorities, a committee was set up to deal the anomalies under the Chairman of Sri S.C. Dutta, Member, Postal Services Board.

4:03:1 The following equations and justifications were put forth before S.C. Dutta Committee for higher pay to LSG and HSG.II (TBOP & BCR).

35

1. The LSG (OTBP), HSG.II (BCR) and HSG.I officials are the supervisors, group leaders, guides and motivators at the ground level with added responsibility, risks and skill with assumption of higher grades i.e. from LSG (TBOP) to HSG.II (BCR) & HSG.II (BR) to HSG.I – the responsibilities and skills are being equal to that of Senior Postmaster in Group 'B' class. 2. The 3rd Central Pay Commission observed in Para 97 at Page 50 chapter V, Vol. I of its report that "The responsibility of an employee also depends upon the degree of supervision exercised over him and the consequences of his action. In framing pay scales we have gone primarily by the existing duties and responsibilities attached to the post under consideration." The LSG (TBOP), HSG.II (BCR) and HSG.I officials provide proper supervision as group leaders and supervisors over the staff including Postal Assistants, Postmen, Group 'D' and ED agents. 3. Consequent upon the upgradation of Postal Assistant scale on account of qualification, skill and knowledge in computer operations, the supervisory cadres i.e. LSG, HSG.II and HSG.I have undergone a change and they are required to upgrade their skill for better supervision. 4. The LSG (TBOP), HSG.II (BCR) and HSG.I are the practical leadership in execution of various schemes and functions. They are unparalleled in maintenance of public relations. They have the maximum accountability to the public and experts in personnel management and better utilisation of staff. 5. These cadres come forward to implement the various new schemes in SB and Certificate, Speed Post, metro Mails, Hybrid Mails, V-SAT Mos, Express Parcel Service, Corporate Money transfer Business Mails & other Business activities etc. The success of new schemes could only be feasible due to proper motivation, leadership and guidance provided by the ground level supervisors of LSG (TBOP), HSG.II (BCR) and HSG.I officials by upgrading their skills & experience. 6. Functional responsibilities, on the spot supervision, personal utilisation, accounting liabilities, day-to-day supervisions in functions and accounts of subordinate offices, cash and treasury functions and liabilities, quality control and

36

utilisation, public complaints and on the spot settlement by the supervisors are unparalleled. No other official works at any level with such liabilities, risks and responsibilities. 7. The LSG (TBOP), HSG.II (BCR) and HSG.I officials have equal share of responsibilities with each Postal Assistant under their control. After introduction of technology, they are now functioning with the skills of EDP Managers to supervise and guide their subordinates. 8. They are the appointing and disciplinary authorities to Postman, Group 'D' and ED staff in the office which are the recruiting units and discharge regulatory / statutory functions. They are the custodian and guardians of efficiency, discipline and productivity of the department. They serve as the link between the other staff and higher-level authorities. 9. The duties, responsibilities, skills, leadership, motivation and supervision exercised by LSG (TBOP) are of higher calibre and more arduous than those of IPOs / IRMs and of HSG.II (BCR) staff are higher than those of ASPOs / ASRMs and of HSG.I is equal to those of officers in PSS Group 'B'. 4.04 Apart from the above, the following horizontal and vertical relativities were maintained by the different Central Pay Commissions. (a) The 1st and the 4th Central Pay Commission recommended the same scale of pay for the LSG officials in general line and the IPOs / IRMs. However, the 2nd and 3rd Central Pay Commission recommended a slight higher maximum for IPOs / IRMs than the LSG. The statement showing the relativities between the scales of LSG vs. IPO & HSG.II vs. ASPOs is furnished in the Annexure. (b) The Varadhachariar Commission has recommended that the IPOs / IRMs should continue to be graded with LSG in the general line and the recommendation had been accepted by the Government. (Para 46, Page 302. Vol. II of the report of the 2nd Pay Commission.)

37

(c) The following relativities were maintained by the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th Central Pay Commissions

INCREASE OVER THE PAY SCALES LSG Postal Assistants Sorting Assistants IPO over Sorting Assistants HSG LSG over / IRM Postal / / over

1ST CPC

2ND CPC

3RD CPC

4TH CPC

166.66%

90.90%

63.46%

43.58%

-do-

-do-

-do-

-do-

Assistants

56.00

59.52

HSG cadre reorganised as HSG.II and HSG.I

-----

HSG

over

-do-

-do-

-----

------

IPOs / IRMs ASPOs ASRMs HSG / over Same Scale Same Scale -----------

3rd CPC HSG.II over LSG / IPOs / IRMs HSG.II and HSG.I were created by the 3rd CPC ASPOs / ASRM were in the scale of Pay with same same minimum -----

4th CPC 14.28%

2.5%

over HSG.II

38

minimum HSG.I over HSG.II HSG.II and HSG.I were created by 3rd CPC HSG.I over ASPOs / ASRMs ---------------------27.27% 22% 27.27% 25%

4:04:1 The 5th Central Pay Commission's recommendations seriously disturbed the above relativities horizontally and vertically as detailed below:-

Between LSG & PA / SAs IPOs /AIRs & PAs /SAs LSG / IRMs & PAs / SAs HSG.II & LSG HSG.II IRMs & IPO /

(+)

12.5%

(+)

37.5%

(-)

22.00%

(+) (-)

11.11% 10% HSG along had all been

above the IPOs / IRMs and till late 70s had been scale promotion for IPOs. ASPOs & HSG.II HSG.I & HSG.II HSG.I & ASPOs / ASRMs (+) (+) Same Scale 30% 30% HSG.I is the promotional cadre for ASPOs / ASRMs & HSG.II.

39

4:04:2 A definition of anomaly was arrived in the Group of Minister and JCM (Staff Side) meeting held on 6,7,9 and 10th September 1997 and as per Department of Personnel and Training OM No. 19/1/97-JCA dated 06-02-98, the Anomaly Committee should have been constituted since the vertical / horizontal relativities have been disturbed as a result of the 5th Central Pay Commission report. The Departmental Anomaly Committee has not been set up in the Department of Posts. 4:04:3 The Staff Unions placed the above said arguments and also requested the committee to mitigate the anomaly with the following upgraded scales w.e.from 01-01-96 which are essential and imperative.

LSG (TBOP) HSG.II (BCR) HSG.I

Rs. 5500-175-9000 Rs. 6500-200-10500 Rs. 7450-225-11500

4:04:4 After examining the various aspects arising out of implementation of 5th Central Pay Commission recommendations, the S.C. Dutta Committee released its report vide OM No. 23-108/98-PE.I/PCC dated 17-09-98 and 05-08-98. (Annexure – 3) 4:04:5 The final observation of the report is reproduced below as this is most pertinent to decide the merits and justification in this case. "The staff representatives maintained that with introduction of technology and modernisation the supervisory responsibilities of LSG / TBOP & HSG.II / BCR are enhanced proportionately. They reiterated that the LSG / HSG.II officials actually discharge real managerial responsibilities at the grass root level by proper regulation of the personnel / utilisation and the functions to match the requirement of the public with an eye on proper financial management of the office and SOs or BOs under them along with treasury liabilities of the office which an IPOs / IRMs or ASPOs / ASRM is not required to do. They reiterated that though the promotions under TBOP / BCR schemes were time bound, these were on matching cost by surrender of posts in entry and supervisory cadres – the entry grade posts which would have been in the scale of Rs. 4000-6000 if not

40

abolished.

They maintained that it was on this count that the pre—5th Pay

Commission scales of entry grade LSG (TBOP): HSG.II (BCR) stood at Rs. 9751400-1600 which roughly works out to 1:1.43:1.64. With the entry scale now being Rs. 4000-6000 the TBOP and BCR scales justify the scales Rs. 5500-9000 and Rs. 6500-10500. Recognising that pay scales are matters for consideration, by pay commission and percentage difference between respective scales getting reduced as a result of exercise carried out by 5th Pay Commission which may operate adversely in the successive higher scales in TBOP / BCR scheme, the committee is of the view that the following scales for LSG & HSG.II have merit for recommending. LSG ---- 5500-8650 HSG.II --- 6500-9500 HSG.I – The next level of promotion for BCR / HSG.II officials and ASPOS is HSG.I. With identical scales for HSG.I and ASP and considering the functional responsibilities of HSG.I there is complete justification for upgradation of the scale of HSG.I cadre. The Committee, therefore, feels the scale of Rs. 745011500 for this cadre has merits for recommending." 4:04:6 However, the recommendations of the Dutta Committee had not been implemented by the department till February 2000. The staff unions issued a strike notice on 24-03-2000 intimating their proposal to go indefinite strike from 02-05-2000 in which the implementation of the Dutta Committee is one of the demands. 4:04:7 The strike was called off before it began, as the Minister of Communications appealed the Staff Side leaders on 28-04-2000 and assured to consider the upgradation of pay scale to TBOP / BCR as agreed upon and these demands (i) which are unique to the Department of Posts and will therefore have no impact outside the department. (ii) which are in the nature of anomaly as per definition laid down by the Department of Personnel and Training. 4:04:8 As per the settlement document dated 01-05-2000, stated in para supra, signed by the Staff Side and Department, the Government has constituted an Internal

41

Departmental Committee under the Chairmanship of Sri S.C. Dutta, Member (P) vide OM No. 25-6/2000-PE.I dated 21-07-2000 with six members, four from Department of Posts, one from Department of Personnel and Training and one from Department of Expenditure. 4:04:9 The committee was to identify cadres which would be considered unique to the Department of Posts and will not have any impact outside the department. In the said meeting the representatives of the department have categorically emphasised that "ACP provides upgraded scales after 12 and 24 years of service without any reduction of establishment, but in TBOP / BCR scheme of the Department of Posts, upgraded scales of pay are available only after 16 and 26 years and the scheme was introduced with matching savings provided through appropriate reduction of establishment. Thus, the scales of pay for TBOP / BCR levels ought to be better than scales available under the ACP scheme."

4:04:10However, the representatives of the Department of Personnel and Training and Department of Expenditure felt that there was no case for any modification in pay scales on the plea that the TBOP /BCR pay scales recommended by the earlier Committee i.e. Rs. 5500-8650 and Rs. 6500-9500 respectively are new pay scales and introduction of any new scale at this juncture is not possible nor justified as it would lead to similar demands from various categories of employees. 4:04:11The two members further hypothetically observed "At the time of introduction of TBOP / BCR schemes in the Department of Posts, other departments did not have similar time bound promotion schemes and the Department of Posts gave savings to achieve a benefit which was not available to others. Therefore, the ground advanced that matching savings were offered under the TBOP / BCR schemes which are not being insisted upon the ACP scheme has to be viewed in the context of special dispensation granted to them. The Department of Posts has not switched over to the ACP scheme though an option was available. This indicates that even now the TBOP / BCR scheme in spite of having longer residency periods i.e. 16/26 years as against 12/24 years is still more beneficial." 4:04:12Due to their objection, the committee could not reach any unanimity of view of this issue and Justice was denied to the TBOP / BCR officials, even though

42

majority members of the committee advocated the genuine acceptance of the demand. 4:05 (Annexure –4)

The concept of financial upgradtaion is a misnomer for TBOP and BCR schemes which amount to promotion and not a simple financial upgradation as in the case of ACP. TBOP / BCR schemes are not substituted / alternative schemes for ACP. Whereas the concept of financial upgradation and ACP is a novel concept introduced in the 5th Pay Commission, the schemes of TBOP / BCR are unique obtained on matching savings basis. Though these schemes (TBOP / BCR) were not reasonably discussed simply advising to opt for ACP by the 5th Pay Commission, the issues are not properly addressed by the nodal department and Department of Expenditure. When they considered these schemes are unique once comparing to other departments then there is every justification to treat them uniquely. Rather it is very paradoxical to note that promotion orders are issued to BCR officials to a lower pay scale of LSG.

4:05:1 The said committee did not see the probabilities that the TBOP & LSG are one and the same and also the BCR & HSG.II are also one and the same. The committee did not value the tasks and responsibilities being carried out by the cadres while working as Supervisors and Postmasters. The duties of the Head Postmaster headed by HSG.I / HSG.II (BCR) cannot be compared with any posts of the Central Government organisations and they are unique, with higher responsibilities and risks. 4:05:2 A Head Post Office is the primary accounting unit and responsible for controlling and regulating accounts of sub offices under its jurisdiction. This office is being maintained by HSG.I / HSG.II Postmasters. Their responsibilities and duties can be described as below:1) He is responsible for drawing funds from Bank and remitting surplus cash to Banks involving huge financial responsibility; Actually a Head postmaster is a local treasury officer (vide P&T FHB Vol. I) for the department of post. 2) He is the drawing and disbursement officer for drawal of pay and allowances of all staff working under his accounts jurisdiction; 3) He is maintaining service records of the entire staff of his jurisdiction;

43

4) His prime responsibility is to render Accounts in consolidation to General Manger, Postal Accounts; 5) He is incharge to monitor the supply of funds including stamps to sub offices and branch offices and remove surplus cash from those offices; 6) The Head Postmaster is personally responsible for controlling all the functions in a Head Post Office; 7) He has to exercise supervision over 40 to 200 staff consisting of various categories like HSG.II, LSG, PA, Overseer, Sorting Postman, Postmen, Group 'D', GDS in his office; 8) His personal duties as listed in Financial Hand Book Volume II under Chapter IV and the following are most important:(i) (ii) (iii) (iv) (v) (vi) (vii) (viii) (ix) (x) (xi) (xii) To check up the Daily Accounts of sub offices; To check up the Daily Accounts of branch offices; To check up SO and BO summaries and maintain transit entries of cash and stamps with SOs / BOs; To check up the excess cash retained by sub offices; To check all vouchers in support of payments at various offices and head office; To check the Treasurers Cash Book and HO Summary; To write to the Postmaster's Balance Sheet in the HO Cash Book; To carry out physical verification of cash and stamps of the close of each day; To exercise the financial powers, delegated; To see that the works are carried out by different branches as per rules; To see that due returns are submitted to the Audit / Accounts; To assist / carry Administrative, Audit, Internal Check Organisation (SBCO) Inspection / Verification; 9) He is the Joint Custodian of cash and stamps and other valuables with the Treasurer involving several lakhs; 10) As administrator, he is the appointing authority in respect of Postmen and Group 'D' officials and also the leave sanctioning authority for other staff also; 11) He is the Disciplinary authority vested with powers to impose minor penalty;

44

12) In a nutshell, he functions as a Manager, Public Relation Officer, Bank Officer, Welfare Officer and also a good administrator. He has been vested with many powers and duties for that he requires to acquaint himself with all Departmental Rules and Procedures. 4:05:3 Similarly, the duties and responsibilities of TBOP (LSG) officials are very arduous in nature. The following are very few:4:05:4 The TBOP (LSG) / BCR (HSG.II) officials have been posted to work as Supervisors, Sub Postmasters in the offices like LSG, 'A' class, 'B' class or 'C' classes and they are shouldering more responsibilities while working as Head of the office like Postmasters. They are the pillars of the department and are to excel in man-management so that the image of the department is well maintained. 4:05:5 These officials should be well versed with the up-to-date rulings and P&T Manuals, so that they could guide not only their subordinates but also the members of public. The customers' satisfaction is supreme in the Department of Posts where public utility is more, in which case the role of LSG officials should be very high. 4:05:6 The duties to be supervised by these officials are as below:1. Supervision over the opening / closing of mailbags / regd. and parcel bags. 2. Taking special care in closing / opening insured letter / parcels. 3. Regulating funds for his office and other sub offices. 4. Supervising SB, MIS , RD deposits / withdrawals including time deposits. 5. Supervising both issue and discharge of all kinds of savings certificate; 6. Supervising MO issue / payments. 7. Supervising Deficiency of postage paid. 8. Supervising Sorting Work. 9. Supervising Delivery work – booking / delivery of registered letters, parcels and VP articles. 10. Supervising premature closure of RD accounts.

45

11. Supervising his subordinates such as PAs, Postman, Group 'D' and EDAs works as an administrator to grant leave to his subordinates and acts as a disciplinary authority in disc cases 12. Supervising telegraph branch. 13. Supervising settlement of public complaints. 14. Supervising settlement of audit objections. 15. Supervising settlement of objections made by SBCO. 16. Supervising issue of duplicate passbooks. 17. Supervising settlement of claim cases (deceased) in respect of SB / MIS etc. 18. Joint custodian of cash and valuables. 19. Acquaint himself to the new schemes implemented by Government of India such as IVP/KVP/MIS/SCSS and MSY. 20. Resetting franking machines. 21. Supervising over prepaid articles. 22. Maintenance of stock registers. 4:05:7 Apart from the above, there are many more works now entrusted after venturing into business activities by the Department of Posts. 4:05:8 Supervision in the post office is not nominal. Every item of work, entries in the various books and registers, calculations in various books etc. have to be actually examined in order to ensure that errors do not go undetected before the close of each day's accounts. Every item of such entries has to be checked and countersigned. 4:05:9 The duties performed and the responsibilities shouldered by the supervisory staff in the post office are of a high order which cannot be found in comparable cadres in any other department. Time and again only in the postal wing the strange anomaly of supervision of one category by an official of the same category is to be found (A & B class post offices). place in the post office. In every rule in the P&T Manuals, the supervisory officials are held responsible for each and every transaction taking

4:05:10It is pertinent to mention that "Unique" means being the only one of its kind, having no like or equal or parallel. The demand of upgradation of pay

46

scale to TBOP / BCR is also unique to the jobs performed by the LSG and HSG.II officials. 4:05:11TBOP & BCR promotions in the Department of Posts and also in the Department of Telecom are the only time bound promotions which have been granted to the employees offering matching savings on the basis of specific ratio between the basic (entry) grade TBOP & BCR (Supervisory) grades. Thus these promotions are unique only to the Department of Posts or to the erstwhile P & T. 4:06 In the Department of Telecommunications, the TBOP & BCR scales for restructured cadres / Sr. TOAs are in the basic of Rs. 5000-8000 and Rs. 55009000 respectively. But here 16 years of service is computed on the basis of total services rendered in the pre-structured scale of Rs. 3200-4900 and restructured scale of Rs. 4000-6000. Orders to this effect had been issued vide D.O. (T) letter No. 1-38/98-MAP dated 20-04-99 to implement the agreement between the Department of Telecommunications and the Telecom Federation which reads:4:06:1 "9-A (I). An official who after getting qualified and trained enters the re-structured cadre before completion of 16 years of service in the pre-structured feeder cadre shall be placed in the TBOP scale of the restructured cadre recommended by the 5th CPC on completion of 16 years of total service including that rendered in the pre-structured cadre provided he / she has put in a minimum of 4 years of service including the officiating spell in the restructured scale."

4:06:2 Subsequently, this condition of four years service in the re-structured scale of Rs. 4000-6000 has also been removed vide DOT No. 1-38/98-MPP dated 20-09-99 which reads interalia:"The matter has been considered and it has been decided to remove the condition of minimum of four years service in the re-structured cadre for such officials." 4:06:3 Thus the TBOP / BCR promotions in the Department of Telecom are given on total service rendered in pre-structured scale of Rs. 3200-4900 and restructured scale of Rs. 4000-6000.

47

4:06:4 In the Department of Posts, on the other hand, TBOP promotions is accorded on completion of 16 years of service in the entry scale of Rs. 4000-6000. Thus the TBOP promotion in the Department of Posts granted on completion of 16 years of service in exclusive scale of Rs. 4500-7000 on matching savings offered on the basis of a specific ratio between the entry (basic) grade scale and TBOP scale is unique only to the Department of Posts. This cost offered has been cumulative for ever and perpetual. restored. 4:06:5 Similarly BCR promotion granted on completion of 26 years of service out of which 16 years must be in the scale of Rs. 4000-6000 and ten years thereafter in the TBOP cadre is unique to the Department of Posts and by all probabilities, the recommendation of Dutta Committee in the scale of Rs. 6500-9500 is justified. If such pay scale has not been prescribed, the committee would have recommended the pay scale of Rs. 6500-10500 for BCR which is just short of five increments in the maximum prescribed by the Dutta Committee. In the said committee, only two members out of seven including the Chairman have a differing view and that too on very untenable grounds explained earlier. 4:07 It is nothing but a farce and also a fate that the genuine demand of upgraded pay scale to TBOP (LSG), BCR (HSG.II) and HSG.I which are unique to the Department of Posts in the scale of pay of Rs. 5500-9000; 6500-10500 and 7450-11500 respectively has been denied repeatedly till date either on one pretext or the other. 1. The pay scales prescribed by the 5th CPC have been amended in several cases. To cite an instance, in the Railway which is also governed by the recommendations of the 5th CPC, a separate scale of Rs. 6000-9800 has been introduced. Several new pay scales were also introduced after 4th CPC which can be seen from the list of pay scales existing at the time of 5th CPC; 2. The 5th CPC has only prescribed pay scales for ACP.I – and ACP II which are to be granted on lesser residency of service in the basic cadre and without any matching cost. The need for the demand of constitution of Dutta Committee arose because the Pay Commission omitted to prescribe pay scales for TBOP The cuts of staff strength have not been

48

(LSG) and BCR (HSG.II) in case the same were to be retained in the Department of Posts. 3. The department retained the scheme of TBOP and BCR which are equal to LSG and HSG.II probably because on implementation of ACP scheme, they would be required to restore the matching cost taken and revive the posts already abolished which they were not in position to do but arbitrarily retained the ACP pay scales for TBOP and BCR. This half backed proposition is without any principle. The word "Therefore" used by the 5th CPC itself denotes that in case of TBOP / BCR schemes of promotion were to be retained, there was a case for higher pay scale which proposition the Dutta Committee has completed. 4. The differing members have also agreed in toto that there was or is no such scheme of promotion like TBOP / BCR on matching cost in any other department and hence the cadres are unique to the Department of Posts and have no effect any where outside the department, as there is no such promotion any where but these differing members have knowingly ignored that in that case the demand or the recommendations of Dutta Committee has to be implemented in view of the agreement at the instance of two ministers signed on 01-05-2000. 5. The contention of the two differing members that the TBOP / BCR is better despite longer residency period and lesser pay scales is without any basis, explanation or facts and so cannot be accepted. 6. The comparison with the re-structuring of cadres is a different scheme and cannot be compared with the TBOP /BCR scheme. The TBOP / BCR officials should get the benefits equal or matching to the cost given and on that score the pay scales recommended by Dutta Committee are totally justified. 7. It is pertinent to note that Dutta Committee is a committee of professional experts knowing very well about the anomaly and its settlements. 8. After inter changeably used the terms TBOP /BCR as LSG / HSG.II and extracted the work of similar status for longer years, cleverly inventing the phrase of Financial Upgradation which the 5th CPC introduces for the pay scales of

49

upgradation under ACP at 12 years and 24 years is nothing but a farce and to deny the dues to the entitled officials.

4:07:1 Because of this genuine demand of higher pay scale of TBOP /BCR has been denied, the All India Postal Employees Union Group ‘C’ agitated the cause in the Central Administrative Tribunal Principal Bench, Delhi under OA No. 1582/2002 and unfortunately the case was dismissed on the following grounds and also by citing the Hon'ble Supreme Court judgement in the case of "Union of India and Anr. vrs. P.V. Hariharen and Anr (1997 SCC (L & S) 838). 4:07:2 "Quite often the Administrative Tribunals are interfering with pay scales without proper reasons and without being conscious of the fact that fixation of pay is not their function. It is the function of the Government which normally acts on the recommendations of a Pay Commission. Change of pay scale of a category has a cascading effect. Several other categories similarly situated, as well as those situated above and below, put forward their claims on the basis of such change. The Tribunal should realize that interfering with the prescribed pay scales is a serious matter. The Pay Commission, which goes into the problem at great depth and happens to have a full picture before it, is the proper authority to decide upon the issue. Unless a clear case of hostile discrimination is made out, there would be no justification for interfering with the fixation of pay scales." 4:07:3 "As regards the judgments cited by the learned counsel for the applicants over the concept of doctrine of legitimate expectation, merely because Dutta Committee had given certain recommendations, that does not give any legitimate expectation to the applicants nor does it make the applicants to alter their position. The denial of expectation for implementation of the recommendations made by Dutta Committee does not by itself create any right, which may be arbitrary or unreasonable and not in public interest because it is well settled principle that the recommendations of the Expert Committees dealing with pay scale matters, merely recommendatory in nature and ought to have been accepted by the Government taking into consideration various other factors. In this case, the Government has taken into consideration various other factors that it will disturb the relativity between cadres of the PAs / SAs with similarly Group

50

'C' employees of the Department, which seems to be sound reasoning to deny the acceptance of recommendations made by the Dutta Committee…." 4:07:4 "The counsel for applicant also argued that in the inter Departmental Committee majority had recommended to give benefit to applicants and majority decision should prevail. In our view this contention also have no merits because it is not obligatory even to accept unanimous report. As the Government has still to examine the report from various angles and also to examine its repercussions on other services. In this case since it affects other group 'C' employees both inside and outside the department, so Government is justified in not accepting the majority decision of inter Departmental Committee." 4:07:5 "We are also of the considered opinion that the applicants have failed to establish as to how they have been treated in a manner of hostile discrimination. Rather the applicants, who enjoying TBOP and BCR benefits, are better placed than those who are given ACP benefits after Vth CPC. In view of our above discussions, we do not find any ground to interfere particularly when there is no case of hostile discrimination. As such, OA being bereft of any merits is hereby dismissed." 4:07:6 The copy of the Judgment pronounced in the case stated in para supra is enclosed for the kind notice. This arguments, averments and justification has not been given any credence and this union perforced to agitate again in the High Court against such pronouncements as no other remedy could find for this genuine demand of the LSG & HSG.II officials. This union will withdraw the case at any juncture in case of any agreed settlement arrived in mitigating the genuine demand hanging over nine years. (Annexure –5) 4:08 Meanwhile, all the Staff Unions under the banner of the Postal Joint Council of Action had given strike notice for indefinite strike w.e.from 15-03-2005 in which the higher pay scale for TBOP / BCR is one of the demands. After the Minister of Communications & IT had an interview with the Staff Side representatives on 1403-2005, the strike was called off after signing an agreement by both Official and Staff Side on 14-03-2005, in which the Official Side agreed to process and recommend the case of upgradation of TBOP / BCR / HSG.I pay scales to the

51

next Pay Commission (i.e. 6th CPC). We are confident that the department which is from the beginning accepted the injustice met by the TBOP / BCR officials will forward due proposals to the Pay Commission on the subject elaborately. (Annexure –6) 4:08:1 It is most pertinent to place before the commission that the proportion of pay between the entry scale and two promotional scales (i.e) TBOP & BCR prior to the implementation of 5th Pay Commission was 142% and 164% respectively. ENTRY SCALE TBOP BCR 975-1660 1400-2300 (142%) 1600-2660 (164%)

4:08:2 The 5th Pay Commission did not cater any recommendations for TBOP & BCR but mentioned the pay scales for two ACP promotions in which the proportion was 112.5% and 125% respectively. ENTRY SCALE I ACP II ACP 4000-6000 4500-7000 (112.5%) 5000-8000 (125%)

4:08:3 The above proportion did not reflect or respond to the matching savings offered by staff surrendering 6% operative & 20% supervisory posts to avail TBOP / BCR promotions which require a longer service than prescribed for ACP (i.e) 16/26 years instead of 12/24 years. Moreover if an official entered in the scale of pay of Rs. 4000-6000 will draw Rs. 5600/after completion of 16 years and the prescribed scales are not in consonance with any rational or ethical sense. 4:08:4 Based on the proportion as prevailed in the Fourth CPC, the following pay scales will alone correspond to the cost already given. ENTRY SCALE TBOP BCR 4000-6000 5500-9000 (137%) 6500-10500 (162%)

(5% Less than by comparing 142% in the IV CPC)

52

(2% Less than by comparing 164% in the IV CPC) 4:08:5 Since there is no such promotion on matching savings anywhere else and especially after 16 years of service in the scale of Rs. 4000-6000 this will have no impact anywhere outside the postal department also. 4:08:6 The demand for higher pay to TBOP / BCR is totally just and reasonable. 4:08:7 It is most pertinent to submit that the National Labour Commission has rightly observed as follows:"Promotion means movement of a worker to a position of higher responsibility and consequential improvement in the emoluments. It is reward of his hard work and an incentive to give of his best to the employer. It also serves to maintain the requisite morale among the workers. Promotion provides a stimulus to the employees to cultivate, the qualities that are necessary for advancing in life. While such encouragement is important in all employments, it acquires a special significance in the public sector where management finds for reasons explained elsewhere that it cannot reward a worker in other ways." 4:08:8 In the service carrier, it is legitimate aspiration for the employees to expect promotion to higher grade at reasonable intervals and if such avenues for promotion are not provided, but the employees are made to retire in the same grade at their entry, naturally they lose interest therein. While considering this aspect, the Second Pay Commission made the following observations:"Where there is an adequate promotional outlet that would provide necessary incentive; and so also would be provision of selection grade. But where there is neither, the employee may feel frustrated and become apathetic." 4:08:9 Accordingly the promotions are the best encouragements to the employees and the TBOP, BCR promotions were introduced in the Department of Posts on matching savings by staff cut to the extent of 20% supervisory and 6% operative only to accord promotional avenues to the frustrated employees who did not get LSG, HSG.II promotions even till retirement. The postal department, all along

53

equating TBOP with LSG & BCR with HSG.II suddenly declared that both the TBOP & BCR are only financial upgradations. 4:08:10The Department of Posts in a mess of various changes in the TBOP / LSG/BCR/HSG.II etc. subsequently introduced new Recruitment Rules for LSG / HSG.II vide its letter No. 4-16/2002-SPB.II dated 26-02-2002 in which a new scheme of Fast Track Promotion Scheme was introduced. 4:08:11The Fast Track Promotion Scheme was as follows:(i) (ii) On all LSG/HSG.II categories 33.34% on the basis of selection-cum-seniority and; 66.66% by means of promotion through Departmental Merit Examination / Aptitude Test relating to functional needs. 4:08:12The postal department has further clarified vide its letter dated 12-11-2002 that norm-based LSG / HSG.II posts may be filled up notionally in terms of the relevant Recruitment Rule. (1976 LSG / HSG Recruitment Rules) from the year 1983 when the norm based LSG / HSG.II promotions were stopped due to introduction of TBOP scheme & BCR schemes and also promotions to the HSG.I could be made in accordance with Recruitment Rules from amongst those formally appointed in HSG.II with the requisite 3 years actual / notional service in the grade as the case may be. 4:08:13It is the department which had discontinued promotions to LSG / HSG.II norm based posts all these years since 1983 after declaring TBOP is equal to LSG promotion and BCR is equal to HSG.II and promotion to HSG.I will be accorded as per the BCR seniority resulting which all the norm based LSG / HSG.II posts were occupied by the senior BCR as per the orders in existence. Without minding the position and realities the department resorted action to replace the seniors who occupied the Supervisory Posts by conducting the Fast Track Promotions in 2003 & 2004. The paradox in this episode is that officials in BCR cadre which is in the scale of pay of Rs. 5000-8000 were asked to write for the LSG examination for the pay scale to Rs. 4500-7000 since the department has declared that LSG is the only channel of promotion to HSG.II / HSG.I

54

4:08:14Resultantly, the aggrieved officials approached Central Administrative Tribunal, Chennai under OA 679/2003 which had given the verdict in favour of officials with the following observations. "5. Heard the learned records. 6. A careful reading of the various Annexures appended by the applicants clearly brings out the fact that the department had consciously wanted to provide atleast two promotions to the employees in a career of 30 years. Initially based on the 1976 RRs, a competitive examination was held to fill up LSG posts (1/3rd ) and by seniority-cum-fitness under 2/3rd quota. This scheme was working till 1981/1982. The admn. found certain difficulties in this scheme because they did not get the desired level of efficiency in the supervisory cadre posts. It is obvious from the reply that the employees were only interested in getting salary, but were not prepared or inclined to shoulder higher responsibilities in the supervisory cadre. The respondents were confronted with this problem since 1983 and had therefore resorted to making adhoc / notional promotions of persons through a different scheme which came into operation viz. TBOP / BCR from 1983 and 1991 respectively. Apart from introduction of this scheme , we are not aware as to whether the department took any further institutional methods like inductment of modern methods of office management, training and providing of latest equipments etc. If so, to what extent, it has the impact on the employees are all not known. However, it is stated that since 1995, discussions were held with the various employees representatives to evolve a scheme and ultimately they could announce a scheme in 2002 what has come to be known as FTPS. Without casting any aspersions, we are disappointed to note that the so-called FTPS has really been moving on a slow track mode, than anticipated. In other words it had taken seven long years to finalise the scheme when the department was concerned with the day to day administration of work. Here, it is relevant to mention that after bringing the scheme into force and without putting the applicants on notice, the department had changed their dates of promotion in the HSG.II from 1991 to 2002. The only answer which we have, been told is that the earlier promotions are only in the nature of financial upgradations and cannot be termed as 'promotion' in the sense of the term it connotes, or understood. counsels for both sides in extenso and perused the

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7. On going through the facts, we do not subscribe to this reply of the respondents. As mentioned earlier, in all correspondences and letters issued by the respondents 1991 to 1993 it has been specifically mentioned that OTBP/BCR are promotions and they correspond to LSG and HSG.II. There was not even a whisper as to the fact that the so called promotions were only financial upgradations. What we can infer now is that, the respondents have invented the term 'financial upgradations' now and want to apply this term in retrospect effect of the promotions given to the applicants way back in 1991. In our opinion, such actions on the part of the respondents is totally illegal and is incorrect. They cannot change the nomenclature, viz. 'promotions' made already to that of 'financial upgradations' and deny the consequential benefits after a lapse of 11 years and that too without putting the applicants on notice. It is by now well settled that in matters relating to seniority, settled issues should not be disturbed / distorted after a long lapse of time. When the respondents gave the date of promotions to the HSG.II in the year 1992, the applicants have a legitimate expectation which they have been nurturing since 1992. Now that the settled position cannot be unsettled in the year 2002 and without any reasons and, the contention of the respondents that the promotions given earlier are to be construed only as financial upgradations in our considered view cannot be accepted as the same is unreasonable and such an argument goes against the letter and spirit of the communications issued by the respondents themselves from 1991 to 1993. Therefore, this argument put forward by the respondents has to fail. 8. It is true that the respondents may have problems relating to appointment of proper persons to man the supervisory posts. But at the same time, the respondents by their own letters have communicated that an employee is entitled for a minimum of two promotions in the manner it is required. Therefore there is no use of mixing up of the promotional problem and placement aspects and these are totally unrelated and are guided by different norms. Further, as the respondents have brought out the new RRs 2002, it goes without saying that these rules will be effective prospectively. There is no scope for retrospectivity with regard to application of the RRs which came in 2002. On the other hand, the 1976 Rules have been in operation all along and the respondents have no other option but only to follow these Rules till they were properly amended or replaced. The action of the respondents in trying to find solution to solve the problem

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relating to promotion and placement of employees in supervisory posts by juxtaposing the RRs and administrative instructions cannot be sustained. As mentioned earlier, the RRs will have to acted upon strictly, as they are framed. On the other hand, there is enough scope for placement of appropriate officers to man the jobs after suitable training etc,, through administrative means. There is no point in mixing up both and trying to find a solution. 9. In the light of the discussion above, we hold that the applicants have made out a case for themselves and in the result they succeed and the ends of justice would be met if the following orders are passed:(a) The impugned order dated 14-07-2003 is quashed. (b) The respondents are directed to consider the case of the applicants for further promotion and this exercise will be completed within three months of receipt of a copy of this order by the respondents. (Annexure –7)

4:08:15The Department had filed a writ petition against this judgement in the High Court of Madras which has also been dismissed by the lordships and upheld the decision of the Central Administrative Tribunal Madras. Now the Department has filed a SLP in the Supreme Court against the decision of the High Court Madras. 4:08:16Meanwhile, the Department after experimenting the Fast Track Promotion and its after effects, has again modified the recruitment rules of the LSG / HSG.II and restored the original position of selections to LSG / HSG.II by dropping the Fast Track Promotion vide its notification dated 18-05-2006. 4:08:17Under these circumstances, we respectfully request to consider the entire matters and decide on the following demands of our organisation. 1. TBOP and BCR were introduced after 16 years & 26 years of service on Matching Savings to the extent of 20% in Supervisory and 6% in Operative and equated with LSG & HSG.II all along till 1998 which may be confirmed once again as LSG & HSG.II. TBOP & BCR should not be termed as ACP promotions; 2. The nomenclature of TBOP & BCR should be changed as if it is denotes the work of the Postal Assistant even though these officials are doing supervisory duties. The nomenclature of TBOP may be termed as Supervisor and the BCR

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may be designated as Senior Supervisor / Deputy Postmasters if he works under the Postmaster. If he is the Postmaster, he may be termed as Postmaster, Grade.II / Grade. I like wise; 3. There is no need to keep HSG.II & HSG.I. There was no HSG.II promotion prior to Fourth Pay Commission. Both the posts may be amalgamated or keeping them by granting master scale as if granted by the Punjab, Himachal Pradesh & Kerala State Governments; 4. There is no need to keep the four nomenclatures like TBOP, LSG, BCR & HSG.II as in existence today only two designation with Supervisor & Senior Supervisor will be sufficient by continuing the time bound promotion. 5. The Pay Scale of the two supervisory cadre may be fixed as follows:-

EXISTING

PROPOSED NOMENCLATURE

PROPOSED PAY SCALE (EXISTING) (In Rs.)

TBOP / LSG BCR /HSG.II

SUPERVISOR SENIOR SUPERVISOR

6500-200-10500 7500-275-12500

Accordingly, the pay scale of LSG may be fitted with Staff Side demand of Rs. 30,000 in the minimum pay scale with an annual increment of Rs. 1500 p.m. Similarly the HSG.II / BCR may be granted with the proposed minimum scale of Rs. 37000 with an annual increment of Rs. 1850 p.m. Annexure –8 to this chapter brings out the 'Internal Relativities Among LSG, IPOs / IRMS and ASPOs/ASRMs' with reference to five pay commissions. So also Annexure –9 to this chapter brings out the Relativities Between THE SCALE OF LSG (TBOP) Vs. IPOs/IRMs AND HSG.II / BCR vs. ASPOS / ASRMs with reference to five pay commission. The discussion with facts and comparison justifies our reasonableness in demanding higher scales to TBOP (LSG) and BCR (HSG.II)

CHAPTER - V
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HIGHER SELECTION GRADE

5:00

The Higher Selection Grade officials are Head Postmasters of non-gazetted Head Post Offices or Deputy Postmasters in Gazetted / Non-Gazetted offices. They are also in-charge of very large sub post offices. The Higher Selection Grade Head Postmasters and Sub Postmasters have under their control upto 74 Postal Assistants, 10 Lower Selection Grade Supervisors besides scores of Postmen, Group 'D', Stamp Vendors and Gramin Dak Sevaks.

5:01

QUALIFICATION OF A POSTMASTER

The qualification set down for a Postmaster in the departmental volume runs as follows and is correctly summarised below. 5:01:1 "The Postmaster should be a man of business habits and understand account keeping. He should be thoroughly acquainted with the rules of the post office as laid down in the volumes of the P&T Manual and also with the rules of the public as published in the P&T Guide. He should be familiar with the objects and use of all the forms prescribed for the post office. He should be able efficiently to supervise the work done by the clerks and to maintain strict discipline in his office. He should be energetic and intelligent and able to act with judgment and promptitude in cases of robbery, fraud etc. He should show tact and courtesy in his dealings with the public transacting business with the post office." 5:01:2 The Postmaster's duties relating to accounts are mentioned in Chapter IV of P&T Financial Hand Book Vol. II 5:02 DUTIES ASSIGNED TO HEAD POSTMASTER

5:02:1 Supervision over drawal of cash and stamp from Bank and Treasuries, supply to subordinate offices under his accounting jurisdiction and supply to Head Post Offices in non-treasury stations are some of his important duties. 5:02:2 With a large contingent of staff, he is personally responsible for the management of the men under him and for efficient service to the public. He is jointly responsible with the treasurer of his office for holding cash and stamps including

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certificates, Indian Postal Orders and other stocks etc. He has to sanction and pay bills in a number of cases. He has to decide the claims in respect of Savings Bank Accounts and cash certificates standing in the name of deceased persons. 5:03 CONTROL OVER STAFF

5:03:1 He has to exercise full administrative control over the Postman and Group 'D' staff in his office. He is expected to posses the management technique and supervisory skill in conducting the affairs of his office. As Head of Office he has to look after the management of staff, attend to enquiries by members of the public, guide the supervisory staff working under him and perform all the personal duties for himself. It is a common sight to see the Head Postmaster in the Higher Selection Grade working late in the office checking cash, stamps and insured articles in the safe custody. 5:03:2 This Higher Selection Grade is recruited from the HSG.II / LSG Grade officials only when they have a handful of years of service for superannuation from the department. Some even decline this promotion because they are liable to transfer to any station outside and the remuneration is not sufficient enough to cover two establishments one at the former headquarters and the other at the station to which they are posted. The arduous responsibilities shouldered by this cadre did not receive a fair and just dispensation so far in all the five pay commissions.

5:04

The staff side demanded higher pay in the scale of Rs. 7450-225-11500 which had not been considered by the department. The Dutta Committee which recommended Rs. 7450-11500 pay scale to HSG.I observed interalia:"HSG.I – The next level of promotion for BCR / HSG.II officials and ASPOs in HSG.I. With identical scales for HSG.I and ASP and considering the functional responsibilities of HSG.I, there is complete justification for upgradation of the scale of HSG.I cadre. The committee, feels the scale of Rs. 7450-11500 for this cadre has merits for recommending."

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5:04:1 However, the recommendations were rejected on the plea that out of six members, two members did not agree for the proposal in the Inter Departmental Committee constituted for this purpose. This is a clear injustice met out to HSG.I official. 5:04:2 A scrutiny of the standard pay scales of the 5th Pay Commission reveals that in a vertical hierarchical promotions for any individual cadre has a minimum starter benefit of Rs. 1000/- (For example:- While IPO scale starts with Rs. 5500, the ASPOs scale starts with Rs. 6500/- & Group B scale starts with Rs. 7500/- in the Department of Posts). 5:04:3 On these same analogy the Time scale clerical cadre with minimum start of scale of Rs. 4000/- should atleast have Rs. 5000/- in the TBOP (LSG) and Rs. 6000/in the BCR (HSG.II) and Rs. 7000/- for HSG.I. Since there is no standard pay scales starting with Rs. 6000/- or Rs. 7000/- naturally the scales should have been Rs. 6500/- and Rs. 7450/- for BCR & HSG.I respectively. 5:04:4 While the 5th CPC has deliberated much about the time scale pay linking with revised Recruitment Rules fixing minimum academic qualification of plus 2 with computer appreciation etc., it has simply left the TBOP & BCR cadres with no further deliberations suggesting alternative adoption of ACPs. Even suggesting for ACP, the 5th CPC has categorically justified upgradation of these scales provided the department has not switched over the ACP. 5:04:5 While the Department of Posts has adopted ACP for those who are not covered under TBOP /BCR scheme, it has not only failed to come up for any revision in the TBOP /BCR scales but also left the issue in cold storage. 5:04:6 After much struggles by the service unions, Dutta Committee has been appointed which has recommended upgraded pay scales for both these categories, besides suggesting a separate upgraded scale for HSG.I. Had the report of the Dutta Committee been implemented, the relativity among Time Scale LSG, HSG.II & HSG.I would have been maintained. 5:04:7 In no other cadre the minimum starter in the next promotional post is Rs. 500/-. It, itself is an evidence of gross injustice in not maintaining the justified relativity

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among these cadres. This disturbs the work ethics & morale of the employees not prepared to accept any promotion. 5:04:8 The following table brings out how the relativity has been very much eroded by the 5th CPC from the earlier CPCs.

1st CPC Clerks (PA) HSG.II HSG.I --------250-325 60-170

2nd CPC 110-240

3rd CPC 260-480

4th CPC 975-1660

5th CPC 4000-6000

--------335-425

550-750 700-900

1600-2660 2000-3200

5000-8000 6500-10500

(i) After the 1st Pay Commission, the ratio between the initial pay of the Postal Assistant with the basic pay of HSG.I in the minimum scale of pay 1:4.5 (Rs. 60/& Rs. 250/-) (ii) Whereas in the 2nd Pay Commission it was 1:3 (Rs. 110 & Rs. 335) (iii) In the 3rd Pay Commission, the relativity was maintained at the ratio of 1:2.6 (Rs. 260 & Rs. 700) (iv) The relativity in the 4th Pay Commission was at the ratio of 1:2.05 (Rs. 975 & Rs. 2000/-) (v) The ending of ratio since first to fourth pay commissions has further been eroded to the worst sence 1:1.6 (Rs. 4000 & Rs. 6500) 5:04:9 Atleast, the average relativity maintained by the earlier pay commissions brings some solace to the much affected officials in selection grades. 5.05 Since the functional difference between HSG.I post and ASP has been taken away by upgrading scale of ASP (from 1640-2000 to 2000-3200 pre-revised), they are made interchangeable with no fixation benefit, all such HSG.I posts may be earmarked for general line officials. The present day experience is that as mostly senior most officials in ASP cadre are posted to HSG.I postmaster, Group

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'B' superintendents find very difficult to exercise proper administrative control over these ASPOs working as HSG.I postmasters. Hence the demand for 100% earmarking of HSG.I to general line officials is justified on administrative angle also. 5:05:1 With long residency period, no eligible HSG.II officials are made available to work against HSG.I posts. Of late most of such HSG.I posts are occupied by BCR officials, the fixation benefit of which is objected to by the Audit. Hence it is right time to amalgamate both the scales into one running master scale. As and when an official happens to work against HSG.I posts, his existing pay may be got jumped by a certain percentage say 10%. An elongated running scale (prerevised) is suggested, as per the existing 7450 & 7500 scales amalgamated both for HSG.II. As per the suggestions of the Staff Side JCM the minimum pay for HSG.II may be ensured in the scale of pay of Rs. 37000 with an annual increment of Rs. 1850 and while officiating in HSG.I post 10% of the pay may be added as special pay for all purposes. The point to point fixation will alone mitigate the problems. We fervently request to consider the point to point fixation and protect the interest of senior employees who are facing erosion of wages in every pay commissions.

CHAPTER VI

PO AND RMS ACCOUNTS & APM ACCOUNTS

6:00

In all the Head Post Offices, there are Accounts branches to consolidate different types of accounts done not only at the Head Post Offices but also in the sub and branch offices placed in account with them. The Head Post Office is the controlling, administering, supervising and maintenance base of the entire financial transactions in the postal branch.

6:00:1 The Head Post Office compiles its own accounts and the accounts of each and every sub and branch offices in its jurisdiction and submits the periodical returns to the postal accounts and postal audit.

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6:00:2 Most of the duties of the Head Postmasters relating to financial matters as enumerated in the Financial Hand Books and other P&T manuals are performed in the Accounts branch. The Head Office in fact performs the initial audit which is an important as the final one. The Head office is also entrusted with the responsibility of interpretating the various financial rules and orders to the sub and branch offices and also offers interpretation to the postal accounts and audit. 6:00:3 The Head Post Office accounts branch prepares and compiles the data necessary for the postal budget. The onerous responsibilities of preparing the pay bills, maintaining the service books, leave accounts, security bonds, health certificates etc. of the hundreds of employees of the Head Post Offices in the accounts jurisdiction of the Head Post Office rests with the accounts branch. 6:00:4 In nutshell, it functions as a drawing, disbursing, accounting and auditing unit of the postal branch. The PO and RMS Accountants are the main pillars upon whom the entire structure of Postal Accounting System rest. They play pivotal roles in management of postal finances from the micro level to the top level by incorporating monetary transactions with proper classifications, apart from maintaining accounts of revenue receipts and expenditures and also monitoring overall state of financial health of the departmental offices like HOs, SOs & Branch offices. There are many more items of work performed by the accounts branch. 6:01 The Accountants and APM Accounts are the incharge of the Accounts branch and they are solely responsible for the accounting works, returns, and also the settlement of personal claims like pay, allowance, leave, pension etc. of the officials etc. They are the basic advisors in the matter of postal finances and the architects of the preparation of budgetary proposals of the departement. 6:01:1 The Accountants posts were also created for the Divisional offices since 1st April 1967 to manage the Budget section. The very important work of scrutinising and passing of TA bills, OTA bills, OSA bills, Night Halt Allowance bills, medical bills, contingent bills etc., checking of memo of disbursement of pay and allowances received from the Head Post Offices, preparation of revised and budget

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estimates, anticipated final grants, statements showing the variations between the budget grant and expenditure etc. is being performed by the Accountant of the divisional office besides the other work of routine nature assigned to him. 6:01:2 The special officer appointed to go into the question of "duties and standards' for the accounts branch in the Head Offices and Head Record offices has rightly observed in his report as follows:6:01:3 "Accounts branches dealing as they do with the pay and allowances of the staff are subjected to great disturbance in their work by enquiries from officials regarding leave due, drawal of increments, arrears etc. Though not officially the Accountant and his staff are also disturbed on various matter regarding rules and their interpretation even though their branch may not be concerned. It is due to the fact that these officials are better informed in rules and procedures." 6:01:4 The Postal Assistants / Sorting Assistants who qualify in an examination of tough nature in Accounting duties and functions are alone posted as accountants in the respective HPO / HRO. Their duties are of a very high order. Nevertheless, they have so far received a raw deal and placed them in the doldrums with bundle of transactions. 6:02 The syllabus for the PO and RMS Accountants Exam is so tough rather than IPO and other departmental examination. The syllabus broadly comprises:(i) (ii) (iii) (iv) (v) (vi) (vii) (viii) (ix) (x) (xi) Fundamental Rules; Supplementary Rules; Leave Rules; Pension Rules; Rules relating to Pay & Allowances; Budget Estimates and Control (P & T Manual Vol. II) P&T Manual Volume IV. Sub Account and Accounts in Sub Post Offices (P&T Manual vol. VI-Part III) P&T Financial Hand Book – Vol. I P&T Financial Hand Book – Vol. II and All other Accounting rules issued from time to time.

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6:03

After the computerisation of the works and changing environment, these officials upgraded their service to the requirement for the accounting work due to various business activities etc. and work as a leader and guide to the Postal Assistants working in Accounts Branch.

6:03:1 It is a paradoxical to note that except in the case of PO and RMS Accountants, all other cadres who upgrade their skill by qualifying exam like IPO, JAOs etc. have been elevated to the higher scale of pay. 6:03:2 Unfortunately, the Accountants have not been given a scale despite the fact that the 3rd Pay Commission recognised the higher skill and responsibilities but did not recommend a higher pay (Chapter 23, para 101 of 3rd CPC report page 49). 6:03:3 It had granted special pay of Rs. 45/- to Accountants and Rs. 35/- to Assistants Accountants. The para is reproduced hereunder:"We anticipated practical difficulties in the formation of a separate cadre for the category. The number of posts in each division being few, only a circle cadre will ensure reasonable promotion prospects. This will, however, involve transfer liabilities over a wider area. Also as corollary the Accountants would have to forego the common promotional avenue now available to them to LSG / HSG general line supervisory posts. Their promotional opportunities to HSG grade would be very limited and there would be none at all to gazetted grade. 6:03:4 During evidence the departmental witnesses informed us that it was proposed to take over postal accounting work from the audit department and the entire future set up of the account organisation in the postal branch was likely to undergo a structural changes. They thought that it was inopportune to consider any changes in the existing arrangements at this stage. We agree with the view and accordingly do not recommend any change in the existing position. As regards demand for abolition of the distinction between Accountants and Asstt. accountants on the ground that their duties are more or less identical, we understand that the accountants do shoulder higher responsibilities. circumstances, we think that the present two levels should remain. the Asstt. Accountants." In the We

recommend a special pay of Rs. 45/- p.m. for Accountant and Rs. 35/- p.m. for

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6:03:5 The Department after discussions with the Staff Side, granted an upgraded new pay scale to the PO and RMS Accountants in the scale of Rs. 380-12-440-EB15-560-EB-20-620 w.e.from 01-11-1978 without any special pay. 6:03:6 This new pay scale become defunct after the introduction of Time Bound One Promotion (LSG ) scheme w.e. from 30-11-83 and most of the Accountants opted to Time Scale in order to avail the LSG promotion (TBOP) on completion of 16 years service in the basic cadre. 6:04 After the implementation of 5th Pay Commission, the special scale introduced earlier for the Accountants had been withdrawn and the special allowance has been restored. The special pay which was granted to accountants equal to two increments i.e. Rs. 90/- prior to 5th Pay Commission has been doubled and fixed as Rs. 180/- called as special allowance. 6:04:1 But to the dismay, the special pay of Rs. 90/- attached to the Postal Assistant granted in lieu of a higher scale of pay has been renamed as Special Allowance after the implementation of 5th Pay Commission. Resultantly the quantum of Special Allowance is not being counted towards fixation of pay on promotion, there is a great injustice rendered to the PO and RMS Accountants even though the conditions prescribed for special pay in F.R. has not been amended. 6:04:2 As such, the PO and RMS Accountants even after qualifying in the exam and deployed, they are entitled the meagre benefit of Rs. 180/- as Special Allowance which has not been taken into fixation of pay at the time of TBOP / LSG promotion. 6:04:3 The demand for taking the special allowance for pay fixation into account has been tossed pillar to post between nodal ministries over eight years and no fruitful decision has so far been taken in respect of PO and RMS Accountants. Whereas it is pertinent to mention that the special allowance granted to JAO qualified officials has now been taken into account for pay fixation on promotion vide Department of Posts letter No. 8 (1) 2004/PAAdmn/501 to 544dated 29-10-2006.

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6:04:4 This order was issued by the Department after getting concurrence from Department of Personnel and Training and to our dismay the case of PO and RMS Accountants is still hanging and not disposed so far. 6:04:5 At this juncture, this union desires to submit that the accountants performing similar duties in Railways, Audit and Accounts and Postal Accounts were granted higher scale of pay with effect from 01-01-96 vide Government of India OM No. F. NO. 6/82/E.III (B)/91 of Ministry of Finance & Company Affairs dated 28-022003. However, the said order has not been implemented for the case of Accountants working in Head Post Offices and Divisional Offices in the Department of Posts. 6:04:6 It will be most apt to mention that the following works performed by the post office / Divisional office Accountants are one and the similar of the works performed by the Junior / Senior Accountants working in other departments including Postal Accounts and Audit and accounts:1) Maintenance of Service book and service rolls; 2) Maintenance of Leave Accounts; 3) Preparation of Increment Certificate & Absentee Statements; 4) Maintenance of cash book and cash abstracts; 5) Issuing Last Pay certificates; 6) Assessment of income tax and submission of income tax returns; 7) Maintenance of security bond register; 8) Processing of Pension in respect of Group 'C' and Group 'D' officials; 9) Maintenance of GPF ledger, calculation of interest and final settlement of GPF accounts in respect of Group 'D' officials; 10) Scrutiny of NPC bills, acquittance rolls, memorandum of pay and allowance; 11) Drawal of pension to those who have opted for payment at HO and subordinate offices; 12) Processing of all personal claims such as TA, LTC and medical for submission to Divisional Superintendents for further disposal; 13) Verification of service with pay bills; 14) Maintenance of registers of drawings from bank and remittance to bank and watching the receipt of bank scrolls; 15) Maintenance of establishment registers;

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16) Preparation of budget estimates and revised estimates and control over expenditure under various heads; 17) Attending ICIR / audit paras; 18) Processing of RTF claims, leave encashment cases, CGEGIS cases, Ex-gratia and severance amount payment to GDS; 19) Preparation of statement for payment of P&T pension, Railway pension, EPF and Telecom pension; 20) Fixation of pay on promotion under TBOP / BCR/LSG/HSG.II and HSG.I etc.; 21) Preparation of pay fixation memo consequent on implementation of pay commission report and drawal of arrears thereafter; 22) Transfer of pension payment order from one office to another within circle and outside circle; 23) Preparation of cash account; 24) Submission of audit returns to accounts office; 6:04:7 The nature of job of the Accountant is so arduous and they are not being remunerated adequately. The examination pertaining to this cadre is so tough comparing the other departmental examinations having enormous volumes, FHBs and practical solutions. 6:04:8 In fact several items of work performed by the officials working in accounts branches of Head Post Offices are not brought into the norms either by the Madan Kishore Committee and also the subsequent S.I.U. revision conveyed vide DG (P) No. 31-25/84-PE.I dated 06-07-93. The following works which are performed in routine are not given any time factor so far. (i) (ii) (iii) (iv) (v) (vi) (vii) (viii) Cash Account; The work relating to drawal, remittance and allied works; All schedules like UCR, UCP, OHO, PLI payments, CD, PL, CDL, Post Box, Bulk Bag etc. Non payable contingent Bills; FHR, Electricity charges etc. All kinds of pensions like GF, GR, QF, Railway EPF etc. Works relating to Budget Estimate, Revised Estimates, Fixed and fluctuating charges statement etc. Forwarding returns to Audit.

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(ix) (x) (xi) (xii) (xiii) (xiv)

Works relating to ICIR & Audit Objections. Schedules and works relating to franking machines, post boxes, posts bags, Earnest Money Deposits and Refunds; Works relating to casual labour, part time casual labour, contingent staff and canteen staff; Works relating to SAs Authorised Agents Commission. Outward and inward late fee bills to Signallers and cooly; In respect of APM A/C. (Supervisors) the work relating to cash book posting has been omitted to be taken into account while assessing workload.

6:05

The DG, P&T vide his letter No. 9/4/80-SPB.II dated 21-01-80 had categorically mentioned that since examination for the appointment of PO & RMS Accountant is competitive, merit list should be prepared only against the actual vacancies notified in each division. Now this order has been sidelined and ignored. The PO and RMS Accountants are totally denied of their dues.

6:05:1 The 5th Central Pay Commission had dealt a body blow to the PO and RMS Accountants. It had eclipsed all the concessions, though at nominal rate, given by earlier pay commissions to this cadre. The commission had altered the nomenclature of special pay as special allowance to Rs. 180/-. It viewed the PO and RMS Accountants only as a little elevated PA and failed to recognise and acknowledge the services, which are at par with the accountants working in other departments and also in the postal department. 6:05:2 One of the fallouts of these negative recommendations was that many officials had deserted the accounts line and opted to general line at the time of TBOP (LSG) promotion. Now the department could not find suitable hands to man the posts throughout the country. Fresh candidates are not appearing in the PO and RMS Accountants exam as it has lost its identity. Resultantly, the department is now recalling the officials who had opted out from accounts line and deploying them compulsorily as Accountants. All these had resulted in the demoralisation of the staff working in the accounts branch which in turn had affected the quality of the accounting work. 6:05:3 LDCs working in the postal accounts and audits and accounts departments with the scale of pay of Rs. 3050-75-3950-80-4590 when posted as Junior Accountant

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on their passing the qualifying examinations are placed in the scale of pay of Rs. 4500-125-7000 which is equivalent to the LSG scale in the Department of Posts. 6:05:4 Whereas the Postal Assistant drawing in the scale of pay of Rs. 4000-100-6000, after passing the Accountant examination has given only Rs. 180/- extra as special allowance and no enhanced pay is provided. They have to satisfy with the Rs. 180/- for qualifying such a tough examination and adoring more responsible duties. This is a clear injustice met out to the PO and RMS Accountants. The PO and RMS Accountants had clear justification to place them in the scale of pay of Rs. 5500-175-9000. 6:06 The Government of India had approved grant of higher scales for the Accountants working in organised accounts on notional basis w.e.from 01-01-96 vide OM No. F.No. 6/82/E-III (B) Branch dated 29-02-2003 of Ministry of Finance and Company Affairs, DoE as under:Designation Pay scale prior to 01-01-96 Existing pay scale Pay scale revised with 01-01-96 (notionally and actual payment prospectively) Auditor / Accountant Sr. Auditor / Sr. Accountants Section Officer 1200-30-1560-402040 1400-40-1600-502300-60-2600 1640-60-2600-752900 5500-175-9000 6500-200-10500 5000-150-8000 5500-175-9000 4000-100-6000 4500-125-7000

(Copy of the OM is enclosed for ready reference) (Annexure –10) 6:07 From the above, it is evident that the nature of duties of the APM Accounts can be equated with the Section Officer and more or less their works are in identical in nature, there is every justification to grant the existing pay scale of Rs. 6500200-10500 to the APM Accounts.

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6:07:1 It is our firm opinion that the Accounts line in the post office should be declared as separate cadre and the total number of such posts will not be more than 6000 throughout the post offices in the country. They should be given a fair deal. The Accountants should be placed with the Senior Accountants working in Postal Accounts / Audit and Accounts of the department and the APM Accounts should be treated at par with the Section Officers. 6:07:2 With similar designations as Jr. / Sr. Accountants as available in the organised accounts, the minimum academic qualifications as graduation suggested for Postal / Sorting Assistants will meet the basic condition of Recruitment Rules. 6:07:3 Multifarious financial activities recently introduced and proposed to be introduced require skills for more object classification and control and HPO as a primary accounting unit can be managed with highly skilled resource personnel like accountants. 6:07:4 Now electronic disbursement of pay and allowances and other services etc. require more and more modern skilful knowledge not only on written manuals but also on computer unit softwares. 6:07:5 Accordingly the PO and RMS Accountants should be declared equal to LSG and their pay scales be fixed as suggested by the JCM staff side in the pay scale of Rs. 30,000 with an annual increment of Rs. 1500 p.m. Similarly further promotion to the Accountants can be under the ratio of 40:40:20 in three grades and granted the scale of pay applied to HSG.II and HSG.I and Group 'B' depending upon the nature of charge held by the Accountants. A separate channel for advancement of their carrier should be considered and opened. 6:08 Notwithstanding our claim to open separate channel of promotion for accountants, the injustice rendered to this cadre in the past after 5th Central Pay Commission should be set aside. (i) The Special Allowance granted to PO and RMS Accountants may be taken as Special Pay and counted towards fixation of pay on promotion with effect from 01-01-96 and set aside the anomalies existing;

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(ii)

Since the department has declared the APM Accounts (LSG Accountants) as circle cadre / divisional cadre and now as circle cadre and also stated as the TBOP, BCR are only financial upgradations and not LSG and HSG.II, respectively, the options obtained at the time of TBOP should be declared void and accountants who opted out earlier during TBOP should be given a chance for reoption to join the stream of accounts line as per the Directorate earlier orders contained in the letter No. 6/15/60-SPB.II dated 16-06-60 read with letter No. 6/1/59-SPB dated 08-05-59, the option prematurely taken from officials may be withdrawn and the officials concerned may be allowed to exercise an option only when their turn for promotion to either times comes in future.

6:08:1 This union requests that separate channel of promotion for accountants will motivate them for better efficiency and advancement of accounting work etc.

CHAPTER - VII PUBLIC RELATION INSPECTORS

7:00

The posts of Public Relation Inspectors are attached to Head Post Offices and other bigger HSG.II & LSG offices in big cities and towns. The officials promoted to LSG are appointed to work as PRI (P) for a tenure of four years. While the work of exercising supervision over the delivery staff, when they are inside the post offices, is done by the postmaster / assistant postmaster, the work of exercising supervision over them, when they are actually on their beats, is entrusted to the Public Relation Inspectors of the post offices.

7:01

In addition to the work of exercising supervision over the delivery staff viz. postmen and LB peon, the PRI (P) is required to attend to the following items of work:-

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(i)

He has to post test cards / letters to verify punctual clearance of street letter boxes in the area under his jurisdiction;

(ii)

He has to maintain a schedule of clearance of street letter boxes and to exercise supervision over the movements of letter box peons. This work is of great importance to avoid public complaints regarding early or late clearance from street letter boxes;

(iii)

He has to inspect the condition of each and every letter boxes in his area and suggest to the postmaster whether any repairs etc. are called for in respect of any letter box, he has to watch the repainting of letter boxes in his area;

(iv)

He is required to re-set the franking machines supplied by various manufacturing companies to the firms etc. under a proper licence. This is an important item of work connected with collection of revenues of the department;

(v) (vi) (vii) (viii) (ix) (x) (xi) (xii) (xiii) (xiv) (xv) (xvi)

He is required to promptly enquire into the complaints from the public, made over to him by the postmaster or the divisional head; He is required to verify the stamp balances with the stamp vendors by exercising surprise checks; He is required to verify cash and stamp balances of 'C' class SOs as frequently as possible; He should assist / carry with the duties of carrying out of inspection of post offices allotted to him by the Superintendent of Post Offices; He has to verify payment of atleast 100 money orders in a month by way of exercising check over payments of money orders by the paying postmen; He is required to collect competitive estimates for local purchases of articles etc. He has to attend to the work of transferring excess cash lying in post offices to the cash offices or Head Office; He is to attend the work of conveying cash bags from HO to sub post offices in cases of emergency; He has to attend to the work of delivery of special bags of VIPs; He is expected to be able to take charge of any post office at a short notice; He has to contact mercantile people and firms for procuring business to speed post, and also bulk mails; He has to attend to all the instructions of the divisional head for procurement of business like RPLI, Media Post, E-Post etc.

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(xvii) He has to verify all heavy withdrawals in Savings Accounts (at present it is
Rs. 5000/- and above) carried out in single handed and branch offices.

7:02

From the above, it could be seen that the Public Relation Inspector is a Mobile Executive who maintains a liaison between the Postal Administration and public in general. outdoor staff. They should possess a proper

knowledge of the character of delivery staff and exercise vigil over the

7:03

The PRI (P)s are not entitled to earn any overtime even if they have to remain on duty for longer hours on many occasions. Their duties are thus so arduous.

7:04

The special pay paid considering their nature of job has been discontinued after the Third Pay Commission and now the post is brought under LSG. They should be equated with the Public Relation Officer in the Central / State Government organisations.

7:05

Their nature of job is so risky, arduous and hard in nature requiring more skill and abilities, there is every justification to restore the special pay granted earlier. At least a special pay equivalent to the minimum of two advance increments may please be recommended as special pay to the PRI (P) in token of recognition of their hard nature of job.

CHAPTER – VIII SYSTEMS ADMINISTRATORS

8:00

The face of the postal department has been vastly changed with the introduction of new technology and computerisation of postal operations.

8:00:1The department has computerised all the 839 Head Post Offices and also 1533 Sub Post Offices in 2004-2005. The department has proposed to computerize the remaining (6861-1533) i.e. 5328 Sub Post Offices as targeted in the 10th Plan

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during the remaining period of 10th Plan. The department has placed orders to computerise 2860 more Sub Post Offices during 2005-2006. 8:00:2The department is also working towards networking of post offices by setting up a National Data Centre in National Informatics Centre (NIC) during this plan period. Similarly, it modernised 29 mail offices and 10 HRO were computerised in the RMS wing. 8:00:3Even though the computerisation has been made in most of the post offices, the required posts for the personnels for handling the software and hardware problems have not been created so far in the Department of Posts. The existing Postal Assistants of the post offices who know very well about the systems operations were designated as System Administrators and are being entrusted with lot of responsibilities and duties for which no extra remuneration is paid so far. 8:00:4The designation of System Administrator has been coined, created and came into existence by the multi-national companies for the person who takes care of the hardware, operating systems and software problems etc. of their organisations. 8:00:5The same nomenclature has been christened to the Postal Assistants who are deploying for the same purpose in the post offices without any extra remuneration. From various circulars / orders the department has prescribed that each division should have one Dy. Systems Manager and each HO at least two Systems Administrators. The Systems Managers main concentrations are :(i) (ii) (iii) (iv) (v) 8:01 Overall techno supervision of the division; Warranty / AMC details with stock of every electronic peripherals Getting periodical backups and to keep them in secured places Local purchase of electronic items within the powers of divisional Head Assisting inspectorial officers with regard to electronic transactions; The sphere of duty also tends to expand in proportion to expansion of electronic functions of the department. Whereas the Systems Administrators are at each HO, the primary accounting and control unit for his own office as well as SOs under it their main sphere of duty is time to time attending faults

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arising during operational work mass generation of daily reports schedules etc. obtaining electronic files from computerised SOs by way of CD / floppies attending smaller rectifiable faults at computerised POs. At regional / circle level System Managers are there to control over all the general activities like :I. II. III. IV. V. VI. 8:01:1 Procurement of peripherals Getting a preservation of periodical backups Maintenance of stock Follow up warranty and AMC work Centralised purchase of consumables and spares Coordination Administrators The broad description of duties as performed by the Systems Administrators are enumerated below:(i) (ii) They are the incharge of all the hardware problems of the systems provided in the post offices which require a high level skill in hardware maintenance; They are incharge of all operating system problems which require a high level skill set in the server operating systems (e.g. windows 2000, windows 2003 etc.) & client operating systems (e.g. windows 2000 professional, windows XP etc.) The problems require detailed troubleshooting and in turn requires in depth knowledge in both the operating systems. (iii) They are incharge of all the software used in the department. There are 11 modules used in the Meghdoot Millennium Software, Sanchay Post for SB LAN, SBCO Software, MIS for divisional offices, HOTPS Software for RPLI, 'E' Payment Software, Speed Net etc. Under different platforms such as Windows based, DOS based Fox Pro, Oracle etc. Approximately, there are around 20 software being used in the department and the Systems Administrator should have an in-depth knowledge in all these software. Every software has separate module for supervisors and operators, but the Systems Administrators need to have a thorough knowledge of both the modules in each and every software. (iv) They are also functioning the duties of TESTERS. The software released after a thorough testing by the developers has to put into on site testing where the tester be present in the point of implementation for a week or so to check the performance of the software using live and real data. The among Dy. System Managers and Systems

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software, thereafter will be put into use. As the above process could not be adhered in several post offices due to practical difficulties and installed directly, all the problems being faced / expected to be faced by the testers are now being tackled by the System Administrators with the added responsibility of securing the live data as well. (v) They are also incharge of maintaining all the databases in the office. There are around 40 databases in Head Post Offices and around 10 databases in the sub offices. The responsibility of the System Administrators includes back up, shrinking and the total maintenance of all the above said databases. This requires in depth knowledge of RDBMS (Microsoft SQL Server) used in the systems. Many times it is required to write small programmes in the form of stored procedures and queries in the back-end i.e. server in the occurrence of errors. (vi) This is the exact job of a DBA (Data Base Administrator) which is a separate job profile. They are incharge of all the network problems encountered in offices which requires a thorough knowledge in the networking, which is also a separate job profile which includes maintaining physical connectivity devises such as switch, cables, patch cords etc., and software networking parts such as configuring Internet Protocol Addresses (address given for identifying a computer on the network) installing protocols etc., and enabling and ensuring network securities. The above said job profile comes under the designation as Network Administrator. (vii) They are maintaining the security of the network in the office by providing adequate passwords to the operating system, to the databases and enabling tracking tools for any mischievous activities in the offices which will have adverse and serious impact on the carrier of System Administrator. (viii) They are incharge of all the installations. This includes installation of operating systems, RDBMS packages and all the required prerequisites and of course all the departmental software. This is also a separate job profile known as Installation Engineer. (ix) They are also incharge of imparting training in computers as well as the departmental software. This again may be split into two where the training is imparted in the work place training centres in the regions and on site training in the offices while implementation.

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(x)

They also need to engage themselves in the so-called ergonomics of the working environment such as installation of Modular Counters, fixing UPS and other electrical points for computers, etc.

8:01:2

From the above, it could be evident that the job profile of the Systems Administrators of the postal department includes the job profiles of Hardware Engineer, Systems Administrator, Database Administrator, Network Administrator, Installation Engineer, Programmers to small extent etc.

8:01:3

The Systems Administrator Job is highly responsible consisting of hardware maintenance, operating systems maintenance, departmental software maintenance, RDBMS packages and the networking tools etc. They have to clear all the doubts of the officials over phone even while on leave with the lost privacy.

8:01:4

Further more, the System Administrators need to accompany the Inspecting Authorities during inspections of computerised post offices and has to assist in investigation of frauds and malfunctioning in the computerised offices to fetch the required data in the required format from the sever.

8:01:5

The responsibilities of Systems Administrator will not end after the preparation and despatch of daily accounts by the Postmasters and they have to generate all the daily accounts of the computerised offices in their division which is not less than 30 offices in every divisions in bigger cities and 15 to 20 in rural divisions.

8:01:6

At present, in almost all places, the Systems Administrators are maintaining the stock of the computers; maintain history sheets even though there is no specific instructions on the subject. Besides they have to maintain record of warranty AMCs for all systems and peripherals including gengets, UPS as the Postmasters are not having or expected to have adequate technological know how. As any query relating to technology from the higher ups are being straightway referred to these Systems Administrators. Similarly they are forced to send proposals on

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technology and obtain quotations for the peripherals. They are ordered to attest all the quotations and bills pertaining to all related to technology. 8:01:7 There is no working hours prescribed so far and the Systems Administrators are working more than ten to twelve hours daily. As most of the problems occur in the closing hours, they are to attend the problems in the closing hours and in many days they have to stay in the offices at night if the problems occur at Head Post Offices. 8:01:8 If any installation process with regard to upgradation begins, that could be done only after office hours and end in the midnight. No honorarium or no compensation has so far been granted for such work. Similarly, as new version is released for the software once in four months, and to attend atleast 20 software installed in the post offices, and also the time involved for the upgradation around five hours for each office, these officials are forced to work continuously with heavy risk and responsibility. No compensation has so far been granted for the excess work, they are shouldering all along. 8:01:9 Above all, the System Administrator has to travel a lot which has become part of his job for which no conveyance allowance as entitled has been granted. These officials have not been provided with phone facilities like mobile and they are incurring more expenses personally while attending their work. 8:02 In nutshell, the Systems Administrators are the exploited employees amidst Postal Assistants. Therefore, this union submits to consider their plights based on the facts furnished above and request to cause recommendation on the following:(i) (ii) Augment a new establishment with a nomenclature of 'Systems Engineer'; 100% posts should be filled by conducting a competitive trade test among the qualified officials working as Postal Assistants and declared as a promotional cadre to Postal Assistant.

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(iii)

The Educational Qualification may be fixed according to job like Graduation with Computer Applications. However, the existing System Administrators may be declared as Ex. Cadre posts taking into account the practical knowledge, they may be considered 3 years of field experience for doing away with any trade test. Training for periodical upgradation of skills may be explored.

(iv)

They may please be placed in the existing pay scale of Rs. 6500-20010500 considering their arduous nature of job and qualification. Accordingly the pay scale of System Engineer may be fixed as Rs. 30,000 pay scale with an annual increment of Rs. 1500 p.m. as per the pay scales suggested by the JCM staff side.

(v)

The System Engineer may be declared as a separate cadre in the Department of Posts at par with other institutions and their promotional avenues in the cadre shall be fixed at the ratio of 40:40:20 as in the case of stenographers;

(vi)

These higher posts at the ratio of 40 and 20% may be decided considering the number of systems they handled during the course of the day.

(vii)

The Systems Engineer may be provided with mobile phone at department cost and they may be granted with conveyance allowance as per the orders on the subject;

(viii)

The Systems Engineer may be granted with adequate compensation for the excess work, they are performing while upgradation, installation of systems etc.

CHAPTER - IX BUSINESS ACTIVITIES AND PLIGHT OF MARKETING EXECUTIVES

9:00

The Business Development and Marketing Directorate was reorganised into Business Development and Marketing Directorate in the year 2004-2005 to provide a sharper focus on marketing. Thereafter similar structures have also been formed at circle, regional and the divisional level.

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9:01

According to the Directorate report, the revenue from the premium products handled by the Business Development and Marketing Directorate continue to grow and the revenue for 2005-2006 stood at 1202 crores compared to Rs. 953.31 crore in 2003-2004, a growth at 26.01% . The net revenue addition over the revenue earned last year was Rs. 248.79 crore. The target for 2006-2007 is an ambitious Rs. 1700 crores. Revenue performance of most premium products has shown a continuous increase over the year, as can be seen from the table below.

REVENUE PERFORMANCE OF PREMIUM PRODUCTS
Rs. in crore

Sl

Product Year

20002001 151.45

20012002 196.27

20022003 243

20032004 298.36

20042005 354.16

20052006 408.42

Premium Mail Products

1

Speed Post

2

Business Post

111.66

166.29

276.86

365.11

473.06

610.05

3

Bill

Mail

------

----

----

5.84

23.09

33.10

Service 4 Direct Post 5
Premium Parcel Products

------

-----

----

----

----

0.85

Total EPP Logistics Post

263.11 10.52 ----

362.56 19.31 -----

519.86 26.10 -----

669.31 31.45 ----

850.31 37.70 ------

1052.42 45.76 0.47

6 7

8
eProducts

Total ePost ePayment

10.52 ----------

19.31 -------

26.10 ---------

31.45 --------

37.70 ---0.93

46.23 0.30 1.26

9 10

82

11
Other Premium Products

Total Retail Post

----1.21

----2.16

----7.87

-----33.65

0.93 50.50

1.56 65.11

12

13

Media Post

6.05

5.81

5.96

5.75

6.36

28.07

14 15 16

Others Total Grand Total

1.03 8.29 281.92

43.96 52.08 433.95

3.85 17.68 563.64

7.09 46.49 747.25

7.54 64.40 953.34

8.71 101.89 1202.10

9:01:01

The Speed Post is the premium express mail service from India Post. It offers a time bound and assured delivery service for letters, documents and parcels upto 35 kgs in weight. This service has been steadily growing at an impressive rate at Rs. 408.42 crore in 2005-2006.

9:01:02

The Pre-Mailing and Mailing Services offered by the India Post have been branded as Business Post. This is the top performing premium product. Out of the total revenue of Rs. 1202.1 crores in 2005-2006, from premium products, revenue from Business Post come to Rs. 610.05 crores. This is Rs. 137.05 crore more than the revenue of last year i.e. 2004-2005.

9:01:03

Media Post is a range of media and opportunities offered by India Post for advertisement of products and services of messages by the corporate businesses, Government Departments and organisations, international bodies, as also NFOs, charities and individuals. Advertisements are accepted on postal stationery, letter boxes, hoardings / posters in postal premises etc. At Rs. 28.06 crore in 2005-2006, Media Post revenue was Rs. 21.28 crore more than last year, registering an increase of 313.86%.

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9:01:04

Bill Mail Service was introduced with effect from 15th September 2003 to provide a cost effective solution for mailing of periodic communications in the nature of financial statements, bills, monthly accounts bills or other such items of similar nature, which may be posted by service providers to their customers. The periodicity prescribed for the communications to be eligible under the Bill Mail Service is 90 days. At Rs. 33.10 Crore in 20052006, Bill Mail Service revenue was Rs. 13.75 Crore more than last year, registering an increase of 71.06%.

9:01:05

ePost is a message that is transmitted as an email, but can be delivered as email to an email inbox anywhere in the world, and / or be printed and delivered to a postal address anywhere in India as a letter. Rs. 32.17 lakhs more than the previous year. ePost revenue in the year 2005-06 was registered at Rs, 62.58 lakhs which is

9:01:06

ePayment Post allows bill connection etc. from a large number of customers of utilities etc., web based consolidation and transfer of the amount to the utilities etc. Revenue generation from ePayment during the year 2005-06 was Rs. 126 lakhs which is Rs. 33.76 lakhs more than the previous year.

9:01:07

Direct Post is the un-addressed component of Direct Mail, and would comprise of un-addressed postal articles like letters, cards, brochures, questionnaires, pamphlets, samples, promotional items like CDs / floppies and Cassettes etc,, coupons, posters, mailers or any other form of printed communication that is not prohibited by the Indian Post Office Act 1898 or Indian Post Office Rules 1933. Revenue generation from Direct Post from its launch in July 2005 to 31st March 2006 was Rs. 85.34 lakhs.

9:01:08

Logistics Post: So far, the post offices could book only individual parcels weighing upto 35 kgs. under different parcel services offered by India Post, like ordinary parcels, registered parcels, insured parcels, and parcels under Speed Post and Express Parcel Post. Logistics Post The provides for booking of higher loads, even consignment loads. delivery. The whole value chain of logistics is covered.

service offered include pick up, booking, insurance consignment and Revenue

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generation from Logistics Post during the year 2005-06 was Rs. 0.46 crore. 9:01:09 Express Parcel Post earned a revenue of Rs. 45.76 crore in 2005-06 and registering an increase of 21.37%. Similarly the Retail Post has contributed Rs. 65.11 crore in 2005-2006 registering an increase of 29.82% over the last year. 9:01:10 The Retail Post refers to the service offered by the Department of Posts leveraging its rest retail and delivery net week. The service include:Acceptance of payment of bills e.g. utilities like Electricity Boards, Telecom Companies, Gas Supply Companies; Sales of various forms, e.g. for UPSC, AFMC, SSC, CAT; Sale of various products, e.g. recharge cards of Mobile Phones and sale of Kodak Products; Acceptance of loan applications, disbursement of loans for companies like GE Money; Collection of Data e.g., for Municipal Corporation of Delhi and Registrar General of India; Market Surveys and; Verification of addresses for Telecom Companies, Election Commission of India and others. Microcredit on behalf of NABARD. 9:01:11 Acceptance of Income Tax returns in Post Offices- India Post is in the process of positioning Post Offices as the 'front office' of the Government. As a part of this effort, in a major tie up, India Post and Department of Revenue entered into an arrangement for acceptance of Income Tax returns in Post Offices. The arrangement came into place from 26th July 2006. In the 6 days of July 2006 itself over 3.75 lakh income tax returns were accepted in post offices, bringing in additional revenue of over Rs. 3.75 crore. 9:01:12 Thus the postal department has ventured business activities and given a new face-lift for the service. For developing the business activities, a

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Business Directorate has been formed and several JTS / STS level officers posts have been created. More number of Group 'B' posts were deployed for the business activities. 9:01:13 Whereas not even a single post has so far been created for the business activities at grass root level. The Postal Assistants working in other branches were taken for this purpose and christened them as Marketing Executives without any remuneration, perks or incentives. The business expansion in the postal has been established due to the untired work of these Marketing Executives. It require more skills in canvassing business for speed post, business post and media post and the existing Marketing Executives are doing an excellent job resulting to earn a sizable revenue to the department. 9:02 Under these circumstances, this union put forth the following for your kind consideration:(i) Right now the Postal Assistants academic qualifications in Commerce, Business Administration (Diploma / Degree) or AMFI qualified officials may be utilised. In future irrespective of academic qualifications, any officials qualified in AMFI like examinations. Insurance business may be assigned / chosen for the job. According to need based level, we can even resort to imparting training by an recognised and reputed 'B' schools. (ii) The pay scale of Marketing Executive be fixed as Rs. 6500-200-10500 considering their qualification, skill requirements for the marketing. Accordingly the pay scales with minimum of Rs. 30,000 with an annual increment of Rs. 1500 p.m. may be considered as per the scales suggested by JCM staff side. (iii) (iv) The Marketing Executive may be kept as a separate cadre and promotions in higher grades may be granted with the ratio of 40:40:20. For promoting business at counter level, the incentive / honorarium may be granted to the staff deployed at the counters for the works for which time factors have not been assessed like Western Union Money Transfer, Retail Post etc.

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CHAPTER - X PROMOTIONS

10:00 Promotional avenues in the Postal Assistant cadre in the Department of Posts is not attractive as in the case of other Central Government departments like Railway, Central Excise & Income Tax Customs etc. 10:01 At the best, a Postal Assistant begins his carrier with the existing basic pay of Rs. 4000/- could get his first promotion after 16 years of service in the pay scale of Rs. 4500-125-7000 and second promotion after completion of 26 years of service in the pay scale of Rs. 5000-150-8000 . Only few officials could be elevated to the third promotion of HSG.I. 10:02 It is strongly felt that much injustice is done to the Postal Assistants in as much as promotions concerned. Therefore, the postal officials should be given atleast three promotions in their service like LSG after completion of 10 years service; HSG.II after completion of 20 years service and HSG.I after completion of 25 years of service. 10:03 Similarly more number of HSG.I posts atleast by 20% considering the needs and developments be identified and upgraded as Group B posts and the same may be ensured as the next promotion to the HSG.I officials. 10:04 Since the introduction of Selection Grades Rules of 1976 in the Department of Posts, various schemes like 20% LSG, 2/3rd LSG, 1/3rd LSG, TBOP / BCR and Fast Track Promotion have not at all yielded the desired promotion avenues to the clerical cadre. Various attempts to prescribe examination oriented promotions like 1/3rd LSG, the recently abolished 2/3rd FTP have all proved futile resulting detrimental to the senior officials. Hence with the recent abolition of Fast Track Promotion, the normal line of hierarchical promotion for this cadre is confined to awarding post based selection grades at various levels of services.

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10:05 To mitigate the hardships of the very senior officials not able to get post based promotions, the existing channel of promotions like LSG, HSG.II are available at present. 10:06 Before the 4th CPC, for general line officials promotion to PSS Group 'B' (Gazetted) was available. With implementation of 4th CPC, these promotions to Group B has been made examination oriented and 6% of the Group 'B' of superintendents are earmarked. Later on, the IPO & IRMs have also been Till 2003, a allotted 19% of examination oriented promotion to Group B.

considerable number of general line officials in TBOP / BCR were able to get promoted by duly qualifying in the Group B examination. The Department of Posts, all of a sudden without any rhyme and reason has stipulated that TBOP & BCR officials are not eligible to sit for Group B examination. 10:07 Now with the opening of direct recruitment for Inspector posts / RMS, the Postal Assistants who have hitherto enjoyed the full cent percent of the inspectorial cadres by writing examination after earning a minimum qualifying service of five years is deprived of the percentage of post earmarked for direct recruitment. 10:08 However, since more and more graduates and post graduates are getting recruitment for Time Scale clerical posts, they are also taking up such direct recruitment posts by writing the examination conducted by Staff Selection Commission. In the changed scenario as discussed above, they may not be any far to the Time Scale clerks to appear for examination based promotions for PSS Group B or Inspectors. 10:09 In respect of promotion to JAO cadres, those qualified even fifteen years back are still in the waiting list drawing a meagre amount of special pay in the time scale cadre. Many of such qualified JAOs after spending too much of money, time and energy already retired without getting any chance of promotion to JAO cadre. Unless the system of accounting restructured, right from the post offices there is no hope of existence of such cadre in future. This union has elsewhere in the report suggested for putting up such of those wait listed qualified officials in the primary accounting units of the department. In case, this is accepted, an immediate requirements of very good number of JAO qualified officials will arise.

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There may be chances for many more examination oriented promotions. In this way to some extent we can meet the aspirations of the younger generations.

CHAPTER - XI FOREIGN POST ADMINISTRATION

11:00

Foreign Post Exchange Administration is special organisation functioning within the inland postal service, unlike the overseas communication services. There are four major foreign post offices functioning at Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai with smaller offices in a few other places. All postal articles, parcels, postal orders and money orders coming into the country by sea, air for land from foreign countries and despatches made to foreign countries from India are dealt with in those offices.

11:00:1

With the growth of commerce and industry and development of tourism, the importance of the Foreign Exchange Postal Administration has also grown. The Department has introduced changes in the set up and organisation to keep abreast of the requirements. Previously, the foreign exchange offices were part and parcel of the Presidency Post Offices of Kolkata, Mumbai, Chennai and Delhi. To meet the growing requirements and to specialise the work connected with foreign exchange of mails, these have been constituted into independent organisations. From time to time changes in the operations have been introduced in conformity with the conventions of the Universal Postal Union and with bilateral agreements with foreign countries.

11:00:2

The Foreign Exchange offices have not only to ensure the proper handling and disposal of mails received from and despatched to foreign countries, but also to work fully cooperating with the Customs Department in checking goods and materials prohibited from export or import and also in assessing duties on postal articles containing diamonds, gold ornaments, cheques, currency notes, postal orders, most sophisticated and complicated miniature machinery parts either to personal use or for

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aviation research, defence, etc. They have to correspond with all countries with which we have agreements for exchange of postal articles. 11:00:3 The Foreign Exchange office is also required to handle the mails for diplomats and foreigners in the country. Special process has to be adopted in handling these mails and particular care and attention is necessary as it will have reflection on the country and its postal service. 11:00:4 India has concluded separate bilateral agreements with many countries in respect of the value payable systems for both the letter and parcel post and agreements concerning the cash-on-delivery system also with some common wealth countries. A special procedure has been prescribed for dealing with Foreign Post which is of a high order. 11:00:5 The service rendered by the Foreign Post organisation is different and wide in repercussion. The staff working in these offices have not only to be efficient, judicious in handling the articles, watchful, but also possess high integrity, considering these factors and some special consideration by nature of work or additional responsibilities entrusted with, the officials handling these branches may be paid with special pay which is not less than the quantum of two increments. 11:01 (I) Parcel and Letter Article Assessment It is the rule and an accepted fact that even unregistered, ordinary foreign letters, parcels and packets are to be treated as quasi – insured articles since considerable portion of these articles have been found to contain valuable articles, currency notes, etc. on examination, some of these articles contain diamond and gold. Even though there are prohibitions to send or receive certain goods and articles through foreign post, yet even explosives, matches and acids are being sent through parcels. These have to be detected and separated with risk. Because of long transit parcels containing inflammable goods or dangerous acids get damaged and they have to be handled with care, opened with caution, packed with meticulous attention and transmitted. The Postal Assistants working in these departments have also to face grave health hazards when parcels

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containing old and soiled apparels for distribution to the poor. Whenever such parcels and letter mail articles are opened, a complete inventory of the contents has to be prepared to help the customs authorities to assess duties and then treat such unregistered articles as registered ones. If the contents of the said articles requires insurance compulsory, then such articles are being insured for further disposal. 11:01:1 Considering the responsibilities and health hazards, we propose that the Postal Assistants working in Parcel and Letter Mail Article Assessment branch in the Foreign Post be granted a special pay of minimum to the extent of equivalent to two increments per month proposed in the Postal Assistant cadre. 11:02 (ii) Parcel and Letter Mail Articles Opening and Closing The work in the Import and Export sections of the parcel and letter mail departments entails the opening and closing of the Foreign Bags containing parcel and letter mail articles. In the process, so much of dust and dirt emanate that the staff working in these branches are coated with dust and dirt and they have also to inhale the dust causing deleterious effect on their health. The officials working in these departments are liable to contract occupational disease such as sinuses and fall sick. In the performance of their duties, the Postal Assistants have to watch for the various documents such as despatch notes, customs declarations forms, Bank guarantees and PP forms that should accompany the parcels for despatch to foreign countries. 11:02:1 Articles received damaged have to be separated, contents sorted out and re-packed in such a manner as to be fit for onward transmission. In such cases a complete inventory of the contents has also to be prepared. Whenever there is any irregularity or omission, verification note should be prepared which require timely and follow up action. In case of delay or failure, the loss sustained to the department may be fixed against the official as his responsibility. The work in these departments is not only strenuous but also of higher responsibility and with hazards to health.

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11:02:2

In respect of returned parcels, the foreign administration claims return charges in SDR (Special Drawing Rights) which is equivalent to Rs. 70/approximately. The same SDR should be calculated and returned on the returned parcel for collection of amount from the sender. If any lapses, in these process, the onus of responsibilities be fixed on the PA who attended the work.

11:02:3

In consideration of these factors, we suggest that the Postal Assistants working in these departments be granted a special pay equivalent to two advance increments.

11:03 (iii) Mail Department The nature of work in Foreign Mail Department is of a different nature than the work performed in the mail department of the inland post offices. The receipt and despatch of mails are irregular depending on the arrival and departure of streamers at the port. 11:03:1 Sometimes. more number of streamers arrive at the same time at different wharfs and discharge heavy load of mails. At times, mails will be discharged by the streamers berthed out the moorings of the harbour and the Postal Assistants of the mail department have to receive them even at odd hours and irrespective of the weather at the convenience of the shipping agents. They have to work at the harbour and on board the vessels to receive the mails and sometimes stay overnights. 11:03:2 They have also to be alert and tactful in moving with the officers in the vessel and move with courtesy and persuasion. In case of damage to mail bags or seals of the bags or any other condition which may create suspicion either to their condition or their contents, they should be alert and careful to make suitable reports to the concerned officers, otherwise the liability for the damage or loss of contents will be theirs. 11:03:3 Considering these, we suggest that the Mail Assistants doing multifarious work should be granted a special pay equivalent to two advance increments subject to a minimum of Rs. 500/- for month.

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11:04 (iv) Strong Rooms All letters and parcels containing precious stones, currency and other valuable goods and articles are kept in deposit in the strong rooms till they are despatched. Letters and parcels worth lakhs of rupees are in their custody. 11:04:1 They have to keep account of the articles received, issued and in deposit. The act of any miscreant will lend them in trouble and the nature of job is very risky and responsible. 11:04:2 In view of the heavy responsibility, all the Assistants deployed in strong rooms may be granted with special pay to the extent of two advance increments. 11:05 (v) Administrative Staff Apart from routine functions as required for the administrative set up of Department of Posts, the following additional works are being carried out by the staff deployed in the administrative office at Foreign Post:(i) (ii) (iii) The dealings with regard to Foreign enquires and claims; Settlement of all claims; Maintenance and settlement of accounts with various Foreign Postal administrations; 11:05:1 Some kind of special pay or incentive may be paid to the officials who deals such type of most important and specialised duty.

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CHAPTER - XII RETURNED LETTER OFFICES
12:00 The Returned Letter Offices which were earlier called as 'Dead Letter Offices' are functioning under the direct control of the Head of the Circle but considered as administrative – cum-executive units. independent units. 12:00:1 The functions of the RLO are two fold. Firstly, it functions as an inquiry office and deals with articles, the delivery of which to the addresses, it is possible to effect. Secondly, it deals with articles which cannot be delivered to the addressees or the senders functioning as a deposit office. 12:00:2 Articles remaining undelivered by the post offices are forwarded to the Returned Letter Offices for disposal. Such articles may be broadly classified into three groups, viz. (i) Articles, the delivery of which is possible to effect by due / subsequent enquiries; (ii)Articles, the delivery of which is possible while on retrial after close examination; and (iii) Articles, the delivery of which is impossible and have, therefore, to be kept in deposit pending lodging of claims or complaints by the concerned parties, and are eventually treated in the prescribed manner. 12:00:3 The staff working in the RLOs are required to put in their best to ensure delivery of articles to the addresses by securing all obtainable details from various books of references. They should open the closed articles, examine the contents, read the communications and with the knowledge they gained due to the above process, dispose the articles for effecting delivery. It is only as a last resort, that articles are to be returned to senders. 12:00:4 The staff working in the RLOs are bound by the Act of Secrecy in accordance with Section 38 (i) (b) of the Post Offices Act. They are, as a They are

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matter of rule, required to commit to memory, the list of Indian Post Offices in the circle. 12:00:5 Besides having knowledge of all the rules in the various P&T Manuals, the staff working in the RLO are required to consult Directories, Army Lists, Civil Lists, Distribution Lists and several other publications brought out by the states containing information which can be of help in the disposal of postal articles. 12:00:6 As per Rule 415 of Vol. VIII, the staff in the RLOs are expected to know many languages as possible. With a view to enthuse the employees of the RLOs to learn Indian and Foreign languages in the interest of quick disposal of articles, a language allowance at the rate of Rs. 50/- p.m. Per additional language (barring the English, Regional and Hindi) was paid to RLO employees. The staff should be trust worthy and should possess a good knowledge in English. 12:00:7 For the effective discharge of the functions, the RLO has to remain as an Information Bureau. The RLO is supplied with all books of P&T references. Directories, Guides, Sorting Orders etc., Army List, Civil List, Year-books, Guides and reference books etc. published by various authorities public and private. As far as the formation so gathered is maintained in a readily accessible codified form for frequent references. 12:00:8 As the "Public Information" is a too vast field and the compendium in the RLOs is not up to the mark. Resultantly, the staff deployed in RLO has to keep themself equipped with current events in all fields of activity in public life and apply this knowledge frequently while discharging the duties. 12:00:9 The duties (operative and supervisory) in RLO are performed by the Assistants and Supervisors in LSG, HSG.II and HSG.I. By far the most important duty performed and responsibility shouldered by the staff are of a very high order with regard to final disposal of articles treated as undelivered.

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12:00:10

Unregistered articles undelivered have to be sorted in an alphabetical order in accordance with the name of the addressee and after the expiration of one month following the month of receipt have to be destroyed by burning. The supervisor has to take care that articles likely to be delivered are not destroyed. Cash and currency notes after entry of all particulars in RLO records are to be made over to the post office at Headquarter for credit under 'unclassified receipts' and accounted for. Postage stamps, court fee and other stamps have to be affixed to error books after entering full particulars, and obliterated.

12:00:11

British and Indian Postal orders have to be forwarded to the Audit office after preparing relevant records. Hundis, Bank Drafts, and cheques have to be destroyed by being burnt after preparing the necessary documents of particulars for records. All other articles of value must be disposed of by public auction through recognised agencies and duly accounted for.

12:01 OUR DEMAND In order to improve the efficiency in the functioning of RLOs, where promotional avenues are at present meagre the following proposals are made (i) (ii) (iii) All posts of Managers should be in HSG.I; Considering the strength and to have effective supervision, at least two / three posts of Dy. Manager in HSG.II be created; The Time Factor for sanction of Postal Assistant in RLO should be liberalised taking into consideration the actual time required for the performance of several items of work; (iv) The staff shall be adequately augmented considering the statistical figures provided in the rules and not as per the observation made by the officers from the circle office; (v) The language allowance be revived and improved at least with the minimum equivalent to one annual increment.

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CHAPTER – XIII

POSTAL STORES DEPOT AND STAMP DEPOT

13:00 Based on the recommendations of P&T Forms Committee of 1957, Regional Postal Stores Depot were established in July 1962 as separate units placed under the charge of Superintendent of Post Offices, and, the functions of the Stock Depots and Forms Stores were transferred to the newly established "Postal Stores Depot". 13:01 The main function of the PSD is to procure, store and distribute more than 1200 types of forms which are being used in the post office and also to maintain stock of stationeries, and equipments. There are 46 Postal Stores Depot in existence. 13:02 Similarly for procuring stamps and postal stationeries (printed in Government Security Presses) and for their distribution to different post offices, Circle Stamp Depots were established at circle level. There are 22 such stamp depots. The main duties of the Postal Assistant in the stamp depot are to supply stamps and stationery in closed bags / sealed bags, account for the supply and submit statements. Crores of rupees worth of stamps etc. are handled. The special pay granted to them is meagre and considering the heavy responsibilities risk and arduous nature of job, the cash handling allowance may be paid equal to double the rate prescribed for cash handling allowance by the Pay Commission. 13:03 It is most pertinent to submit that no recruitment has so far been made in the stores depot / stamps depots exclusively. Postal Assistants from neighbouring divisions are being posted on deputation resulting shortage in their parent section. Originally, separate independent recruitment for Group 'D' had been made for PSD and in respect of clerical cadre required officials had been drafted from the headquarters division which used to notify vacancies inclusive of staff requirement of PSD. Then all of a sudden, an order for drafting officials from various postal division to work at PSD / CSD was issued by the postal Directorate, resulting without any recruitment, the requirements of PSD / CSD are fulfilled. The postal divisions also spare such officials from their own establishment of staff strength. Resultantly the sufferings of every such division

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with more and more shortage of staff is visible.

Hence status-quo ante by Any individual

drafting officials from headquarters division may be restored.

request to work at PSD / CSD may be considered on merits of each case.

CHAPTER – XIV

GRANT OF RISK ALLOWANCE FOR SUB POSTMASTERS IN TIME SCALE

14:00

A vast number of Postal Assistants are working as Sub Postmasters in the Sub Post Offices with two Postal Assistants, one PA and without a Postal Assistant. In post offices with two Postal Assistants and one clerk, they have definite supervisory work over the clerks and other staff like Postmen, Group 'D' and Gramin Dak Sevaks. Even in respect of an office without a Clerk, otherwise called as single handed 'C' class sub office, the Sub Postmaster is expected to exercise control and supervise over the work of Postmen, Group 'D' and Gramin Dak Sevaks.

14:00:1

Thus the Sub Postmasters working in these offices called 'A', 'B' and 'C' depending upon the number of Assistants working under them performing operative duties as well as supervisory work. They are also responsible to the Divisional administration, Head Office and the members of the public in the matter of implementing various schemes of department just like the Postmaster of higher post offices. These A, B and C offices are generally located in small towns and as adjuncts to higher offices in cities, the SPMs have further to bestow much attention and time in their dealings with the public whose demands for satisfaction now-a-days are really exacting.

14:00:2

In fact, the Sub Postmasters have become a part and parcel of the life of the community and in fact he is the Public Relation Officer, the liaison between the state and the people. They are either jointly or individually held responsible for the cash, postal stationery, valuable and other articles of stock in the custody of the post office.

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14:00:3

A large number of rural post offices called Branch Post Offices are placed under their jurisdiction. Every transaction done in the Branch Offices has to be carefully scrutinised by the Sub Postmasters and incorporated in their office accounts. Effective control over the cash and stamp balances held by the Branch Postmasters under him is one of the important duties of the Sub Postmaster. It is his responsibility to regulate and keep a watch over the cash and stamp remittances between the sub office and the branch offices and vice-versa. In this regard the SPM should function like HPM with reference to cash remittances, consolidation of preparation of BO account etc.

14:00:4

Thus the Sub Postmasters are called upon to perform all the multifarious duties attached to all the branches of a post office.

14:01

Considering the responsibilities of the Sub Postmaster, the Sub Postmasters were granted a sum of Rs. 10/- called 'Charge Allowance' with effect from 01-04-1967 to compensate the supervisory duties. This was subsequently revised as Rs. 20/ & Rs. 25/- after the implementation of Third Pay Commission.

14:01:1

The Charge Allowance granted to these Sub Postmasters were taken back as matching savings for the grant of TBOP (LSG) promotion w.e. from 30-11-1983 apart from the staff cut of 5% in operative and 15% in supervisory cadre. There is a vast change in the TBOP / LSG position and now the TBOP has been termed as Financial Upgradation just as ACP extended to other Central Government employees. In the absence of any recognition for the extra responsibilities being shouldered, now there could not be found enough volunteers to man the posts.

14:01:2

In the recent past the whole chunk of RD, MIS & Senior Citizen schemes work has been decentralised to SOs level. Besides in respect of centralised items of work like Savings Account, TD etc. more powers have been delegated to SOs. For example, issue of duplicate passbooks, premature closure of RD accounts, the unlimited power of acceptance and closure of senior citizen accounts etc.

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14:01:3

Notwithstanding the clearance of arrears posting of RD and MIS ledgers, the premature closure of RD accounts consumes a lot of work and time for calculating interest bearing balances for so many years and months and application of various rates of SB accounts from time to time. With no provision of revision of establishments and addition of time factors for all the above works, the SPMs are burdened with not only the additional work but also additional and sensitive accountability which were not in vogue at the time of existence of charge allowances etc.

14:01:4

Even before decentralisation of above categories to SOs from 01-05-2000 onwards all SOs were burdened with payment of commissions to agents at source and deduction of Income Tax at source and maintenance of relevant records for all these items.

14:01:5

The hectic popularisation of RPLI, involves the preparation and issue of receipts, securities, accounting etc. for which no norms are fixed and most of the time, the SPMs are involved to popularise RPLI with specific target to accomplish out of their normal working hours.

14:01:6

Therefore since the traditional concept of charge allowance has undergone a sea change and withdrawal of such charge allowance under TBOP scheme has no any direct nexus with the present day increase of additional workload on financial accountability, we, therefore, propose that the Sub Postmasters working in all post offices should be granted with 'Risk Allowance' which was earlier treated as special pay for all purposes at the following rates.

Sub Postmasters in HSG Sub Postmasters in LSG Sub Postmasters in 'A' class Sub Postmasters in 'B' class Sub Postmasters in 'C' class

Rs. 750/- p.m. Rs. 600/- p.m. Rs. 500/- p.m. Rs. 400/- p.m. Rs. 300/- p.m.

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CHAPTER – XV

PLIGHT OF JUNIOR ACCOUNTS OFFICER EXAM PASSED OFFICIALS

15:00 After the decentralisation of accounts come into effect in the Department of Posts w.e. from 01-04-1976, the department conducts Junior Accounts Officer Examination for promotion to the grade of JAO. The Postal Assistant, Sorting Assistants working in the PO and RMS offices and administrative offices are eligible for appearing in the said exam. These posts of JAO in postal accounts organisation is comparable in all respects with the JAOs of other Accounts organisations in Central Government organisations like Defence, Railways, Telecom etc. 15:01 There are many officials awaiting for their absorption as JAOs after qualifying the examinations some fifteen years before. The Government had granted a special allowance equal to two increments in the cadre presently held by the qualified official to those candidates was passed the said exam and awaiting for the promotions. 15:02 This special allowance is also taken into account for fixation of pay on promotion vide Directorate letter No. 8(1)/2004/PA-Admn/1/ 501 to 544 dated 28-10-2006. This will not mitigate the real problem of the qualified officials in expertise exam in accounting and awaiting for regular absorption. They may be utilised as JAOs by creating posts for Business Directorate including Speed Post and also in PLI Directorate for the activities of PLI / RPLI. They may be deployed in regional offices and SBCO for instant accounting. If this has been not considered and protracted on one pretext or the other, the well-qualified candidates are becoming frustrated. This may be given due consideration.

CHAPTER – XVI POSTAL SIGNALLER
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16:00 Even though, the work of receiving, transmitting and delivery of telegrams was the concern of the Department of Telecom, there are many combined post offices doing telegraph work. The post office clerk who man the telegraph work is called as Postal Signaller. 16:01 The Signallers in the postal branch are chosen for special, long and exhaustive training in telegraphy in all its complicated aspects and they were granted advance increments for the training. They are also called as combined hands. 16:02 At times, when such combined hands are not available for manning the telegraph branches in post offices which requires a special skill and knowledge, the other Postal Assistants are deployed in telegraph branch to receive and transmit telegrams over phones. But they have not been given any incentive / special pay so far. 16:03 The demand of granting a special pay of Rs. 60/- p.m. for such officials on the analogy of the special pay granted to phonogram operators in telegraph offices was placed in the Departmental Council JCM and it was agreed to remit the issue for the consideration of 5th Pay Commission. 16:04 The department, instead of recommending the issue has taken a negative stand and denied the justified demand. The risk and responsibility over receiving and transmitting telegrams had not taken note of. When the job of a technically qualified official is being performed by an unqualified official, there is every justification to grant special pay duly satisfying the conditions laid down in FR 9 (25) on the ground of specially arduous nature of duties and shouldering additional responsibilities. 16:05 It is therefore requested to consider the nature of job and risk and recommend a special pay of Rs. 500/- p.m. atleast to the Postal Assistants deployed in the post of combined hand. 16:06 Now, it is the time for popularisation of e-post, a very good substitute for telegram since more and more state Governments are also moving towards e-governance. Moreover with the successful implementation of IMO, we can very well discontinuance the concept of TMO. Till such time a complete switching over to

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electronic handling of these items of work we request to consider and recommend a special pay of Rs. 500/- p.m. to those deployed for such work.

CHAPTER – XVII

TREASURERS AND ASSISTANT TREASUERES / CASH HANDLING ALLOWANCE

17:00 The Postal Assistants with not less than ten years of unblemished record of service and integrity only are posted as Treasurers and Assistant Treasurers on tenure basis. They have to furnish a security of Rs. 3000 during their tenure. Because of the heavy cash handled and stamps responsibility, their tenure has been fixed only for two years. 17:01 The Treasurers and Assistant Treasurers working in Head Post Offices and large sub offices are saddled with heavy cash and stamp responsibilities as can be ascertained by a perusal of the duties performed by them. Some of their very important duties alone are enumerated below:(i) To hold Joint Custodian / Charge with the Postmasters and Sub Postmasters not only for cash, stamps but also for the insured articles of the letter and parcel mail in deposit and also keep secured of Indian Postal Orders, all Cash Certificates and all saleable items under his custody. (ii) (iii) (iv) (v) (vi) (vii) To effect payment of all sums of money due to the members of the public by way of bills, PLI, Policy dues, house rent etc. To effect payment of all sums of money due to the members of the public by way of bills, PLI dues etc. To effect payment of pension, gratuity, commutation amount, GPF, accumulations and advances etc. To remit and receive cash and stamps from the subordinate offices. To disburse cash to the postman and GDS MDS for payment of Money Orders and collect the cash from them in respect of unpaid money orders. To collect cash from the postman and GDS MD towards the unpaid articles entrusted to them and also receive the collections on account of parcel

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postage and customs duty towards inward foreign letter and parcel mail articles. (viii) To supply cash to the counter clerks for disbursing payments to the public and to clear the cash collections from the counter clerks periodically to ensure that heavy cash is not left with the counter clerks. (ix) (x) (xi) To draw cash from the Bank / Sub Treasureries and remittance of surplus cash in the same way. To place indents on stamp depot for supply of postage stamps and other postal stationery. To receive from the Postmaster and several departments of the office all the treasury and bank receipts and vouchers, receipts forming part of the cash balance and all other articles, documents and property to be kept in his charge. (xii) Apart from this the problems being faced due to fake notes by these officials result heavy loss every month. There is no proper training to detect fake notes. (xiii) (xiv) Preparation of postmaster cheque for any payment of Rs. 20000/- and above by HO and all SOs; Performance of clearing house duties which are time sensitive and financial risky. In most of the stations two time attendances are prescribed. Even otherwise as the DG's instructions issued in 1997, two times attendance for clearing house should be ensured; (xv) (xvi) To maintain stock and sale of application forms for UPSC, State Public Service Commissions, Universities and Colleges etc; To stock and sale of CRF stamp;

17:03 The cashiers in Administrative offices whose duty is only to disburse cash for the bills were granted special pay as per the Fifth Pay Commission recommendations under para 62.13 which is interalia.

Amount of Cash Handled Upto Rs. 50,000 Above Rs. 50001 and upts 2 lakhs Above Rs. 2 lakhs and upto 5 lakhs Above Rs. 5 lakhs and upto Rs. 10 lakhs

Rate of Special Pay Rs. 75 per month Rs. 150 per month Rs. 200 per month Rs. 250 per month

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Above Rs. 10 lakhs

Rs. 300 per month

17:04 Even though there was the heavy responsiblity on account of cash, stamps, and other valuables on the Treasurer and the Asstt. Treasurer in post offices, the department did not recognise their hard services and appreciate. 17:05 To our dismay, the recommendations were implemented for the cahiers working in Administrative offices and RMS offices and the Treasurer working in the post offices are being paid with only Rs. 120/- & Rs. 160/- only doubling the allowance paid prior to the implementation of 5th Pay Commission. 17:06 The irony in this is the cashiers of RMS offices received the remittance of cash required for their offices only from the adjacent or nearby post offices. The Treasurer of post offices thus handles more cash than his counter part in RMS called cashiers. This is nothing but an anomaly and unjust which this union requests to quash. There should be only one nomenclature as cashier or treasurer which may please be decided to end this discrimination. 17:07 There is another anomaly existed in the grant of cash handling allowance. The officials handling cash at 'A' class offices by maintaining TCB are not being granted with Treasury allowance even though those offices fulfil the condition and the requirement of cash handling. The cash handling allowance, thus to be granted to the officials handling cash at 'A' class offices. 17:08 Similarly, all the SPMs working in 'B' & 'C' class offices may also be granted cash handling allowance if they fulfil the minimum prescribed in the rates of cash handling allowance. 17:09 Further present practice of obtaining fidelity / security bond from employees for handling cash should be dispensed. 17:10 It is further requested that the nomenclature of cash handling allowance may be changed as special pay and included for all benefits like DA etc. 17:11 It is requested that at least the quantum of special pay should be equivalent to that of two advance annual increments.

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CHAPTER – XVIII

CASH ALLOWANCE TO SUB POSTMASTERS PERFORMING TREASURY WORK

18:00 The Staff Side placed in the Departmental Council JCM to grant cash allowance to the Sub Postmasters in single handed and double handed post offices for handling cash in the absence of any designated treasurer. Since no agreement could be reached on this demand, a disagreement was recorded and the staff side went for arbitration. The terms of reference for arbitration was "Grant of Special Pay to Sub Postmaster for performing duties of cashiers." 18:01 After the process of arbitration, the Board of Arbitration gave the award in CA reference no. 1 of 1990 as below:"Having carefully considered the material on the record and the merits of the case and having given our careful consideration to the arguments advanced by the parties representatives and having taken into account all other relevant facts bearing on the matter in issue between the parties, we give the following award:18:01:1Sub Postmaster in single / double handed post offices responsible for handling / custody of cash shall be paid the following special pay:-

Amount of cash handled on an average per days (In Rs.) 10,001 to 20,000 20,001 to 50,000 50,001 to 1,00,000 Above 100,000

Special Pay (Rs. per month)

20/25/30/35/-

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This award shall take effect from 13th Day of May 1989. Dated this the 7th Day of March 1991." 18:02 The Government accepted the award and has granted cash allowance to Sub Postmasters in single and double handed post offices vide Postal Directorate letter No. 6-4/80-PAP dated 25-02-92. 18:03 Whereas the similar allowance has not been granted to the Sub Postmasters of other SOs where there is no treasurer and the Sub Postmaster himself has to handle and function as Treasurer in addition to his own duties. The demand of the staff side for consideration of deserving demand in extending the similar benefits to other Sub Postmasters working without designated treasurer has been protracted or denied on one pretext or the other. 18:04 It is therefore suggested to consider to extend the benefits to all Sub Postmasters for handling cash at the rate fixed for cash handling allowance to cashiers / treasurers and remove the anomaly which is in existence from 1991.

CHAPTER - XIX COUNTING OF PAST SERVICES OF RTP (RESERVED TRAINED POOL)
19:00 With a view to meeting the shortage of staff due to absentees and other causes and also to manage the increased flow of traffic and also to curtail expenditure on overtime, the P&T Department has introduced the RTP (Reserved Trained Pool) Scheme vide its No.60-36/80-SPB dated 30.10.1980. (Annexure-11) 19:01 The Main criteria & condition of the scheme was as follow: "At the time of each recruitment, after the select list is drawn up, an additional list of candidates know as Part 'B' or Part II is prepared for each recruiting Unit. The Part 'B" or Part II list is meant for filling the drop outs in the main selection list'. In addition, a further list of candidates uoto 50%

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of the number of candidates in the main list, is to be drawn up which is which is called Reserved Trained Pool. 19:01:1 All these candidates will be imparted 'training and after training, they will be utilized for maximum of 8 hours per day on daily wages (on hourly basis). Their eventual absorption as regular staff will, however, be in the order of merit and they will be absorbed in regular vacancies after the absorption of the select candidates at the 'main list' of the batch. The RTPs will be given priority of absorption against vacancies for next recruitment. Thus, the main select list subsequent recruitment will be listed below the 'RTP's of the previous recruitment. 19:01:2 The P&T Department has subsequently caused orders restricting the RTP selection vide its letter No.60-31/81-SPB I dated 13.6.82 in which the additional list of RTPs to be drawn was restricted to 15% of clerical sanctioned strength of the Division. 19:01:3 Later this 'scheme' was extended to LDC and Postman cadres in August '82 and March '85 respectively. Ultimately the 'RTP' scheme was discontinued in March 1986 vide DG P&T No.60-31/91-SPB-I dated 4.3.1986. 19:01:4 Thus the P&T Dept. stood to gain by utilising the RTP services at cheaper cost though they were full-fledged trained staff and performing their duties and responsibilities on par with regular Postal Assistants / Sorting Assistants but without any other normal benefits, as for regular staff. 19:01:5 They were paid at the hourly rate for not exceeding 8 hours duly per day on monthly basis. Between 1980 and 1983, there were six half yearly recruitment. In 1983, the department has taken one policy decision of granting one Time Bound Promotion to the operative cadres resulting in reduction of 5% in the total strength of clerical and 15% in supervisory cadre with immediate effect, vide its order No. 31-26/83-PE.I dated 17-1283. 19:01:6 Similarly, the department has started abolition of running RMS sections and also concentration of mail handling in Stationary Mail / Sorting Offices

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by Day-sets, almost eliminating Night Sorting Offices in 1983, in the same year resulting surplus staff in the RMS. This resulted in reduction of posts of Sorting Assistants in great numbers. The sudden implementation of these two decisions by Government and consequent ban on recruitment, non-filling of vacancies including existing, future, retirement and promotional adversely affected the prospect of regular absorption of the RTPs for a long time. Divisions. 19:01:7 The position of permanent absorption caused to some extent in 1986 and they could be absorbed as Postal Assistant / Sorting Assistants in small numbers and final batch of about 2900 RTPs were absorbed in January 1990 on the directions of the Supreme Court. 19:01:8 In effect, such RTPs had become the victim. Most of them had become over aged and orders of the competent authority viz. DG (P) were obtained for relaxation of age limit for their appointment. 19:01:9 A random check of the Service record of the erstwhile RTPs thus appointed as Postal Assistants / Sorting Assistants will show that about 50% of them would be ineligible for Full Pensionary benefits as their qualifying service would be less than 33 years at the time of their superannuation. Consequently their family pension will also be less when it becomes due. 19:01:10 Therefore the staff side put the demand time and again and in all the Periodical Meeting to count the past services of RTP for the limited purposes of promotion and pensionary benefits which would not be detrimental to the interest of any other staff. 19:01:11 (i) The said demand is being rejected on the following grounds regularly. In the meeting held with Minister on 23-10-2001, Member (P) informed that the demand could not be accepted since the RTP Recruitments were made outside the Recruitment Rules. But they were utilised as Short Duty Staff continuously. Virtually affecting the absorption of RTPs as SAs in RMS

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(ii)

The Directorate in its letter NO. 10-7/2003/SR dated 04-11-2003, while communicating the stage of progress of various demands, it is informed that the demand of the union being contrary to the judgment of the Apex Court (S.C. Judgment dated 01-08-1997 in OA Nos 30-123 of 1996) is not acceptable and the case closed.

(iii)

In the periodical meeting of JCM (Departmental Council) held on 18-11-2003, while discussing this issue under item No. 9, the similar reply citing S.C. Judgment was given to the staff side.

19:01:12

The department has closed its mind in this issue without minding various developments taken place after the issue of Supreme Court judgment on 0108-97.

19:01:13

The Supreme Court judgment pertains mainly to the absorption of all erstwhile RTPs and against various pronouncement in CATs in favour to RTP Personnel.

19:01:14

In the said judgment the remark passed on the counting of past services is restricted to appear in the departmental examination only. There was no mention for Promotion & Pension benefits. The extract portion is furnished interalia:"In C.A. Nos. 127-130 of 1996, the RTPs who have been regularly absorbed in the year 1988 have been given the benefit of counting their service as RTPs for the purpose of their eligibility to appear for the departmental examination. The relevant rules provides that the candidates must have put in atleast 5 years continuous satisfactory service in one or more eligible cadres before they can appear for the examination.

19:01:15

The eligibility is related to five years service in the cadre. Any service which was, rendered prior to regular appointment in the cadre cannot count for the purpose of this rules because it cannot be considered as service in the eligible cadre. The Tribunal was therefore wrong in granting RTPs the benefit of service rendered by them prior to their regular

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appointment, for the purpose of their eligibility to appear for the departmental promotion examination". 19:02 It is pertinent to place before the 6th Central Pay Commission about the correct position and justification of our demand for kind consideration. 19:02:1 The RTP candidates were recruited only on observing the recruitment procedures outlined in DG P&T letter No. 60/36/30-SPB.I dated 30-101980, as applicable to regular employees and utilised as Short Duty Staff and ultimately given appointment as Postal Assistants. 19:02:2 The Apex Court's judgment in the O.A. Nos. 80-123/1996 etc. is quite different except the above observation stated in para supra and mainly dealt with the claim of all privileges as was extended to casual labourer. The above was the casual mention and not relation to main O.A. 19:02:3 Under Article 368 of CSRs (Rule 14 of CCS (Pension) Rules 1972), periods of service paid from contingencies do not count as qualifying service for pension. In some cases, employees paid from contingencies are employed in types of work requiring services of whole time worker and are paid on monthly rates of pay or daily rates computed and paid on monthly basis and on being found fit, brought on to regular establishment. In pursuance of the recommendations of the council, it has been decided that half the service paid from contingencies will be allowed to count towards pension at the time of absorption in regular employment. 19:02:4 Such being the case for contingent staff, the RTPs utilized as 'SDC' performed all the duties and responsibilities as Postal Assistants / Sorting Assistants with their duty period extended upto 8 hours per day and wages on prorata to PA cadre for the period of duty computed and paid on monthly basis, are therefore, on a much worse footing than the contingent staff, and extending the benefit of the period spent by them as 'SDC' to count for 'Qualifying Service' would be fair, reasonable and justified.

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19:02:5

Similarly extending the benefit of their duty as RTP towards qualifying service also deserves consideration on the analogy of

(i) Rule 22 of CCS (Pen) Rules 1972 (ii) Rule 48-B of CCS (Pen) Rule 1972 (iii) Rule 21 of CCS (Pen) Rules 1972

Period spent on training

3 months

On voluntary retirement

Up to 5 years

EOL on MC

Maximum at a time 5 years

(A period of shortfall to maximum qualifying service of 33 years, subject to a maximum of 5 years) 19:02:6 When Rules 48B & 21 provide periods not covered by actual performance of duty as qualifying period for pension etc., non-extending similar concessions to RTP who actually performed work of the department is against natural justice. 19:02:7 During 1960s, officials with the designation as "Learner' were recruited and subsequently regularised as Postal Clerks. Their past service as Learner were taken as Qualifying service in the department. The similar analogy may be applied to this RTP personnel also. 19:02:8 The S.C. Judgment pronounced in R.K. Pande & Others Vs. Steel Authority of India & Others (1994-4. Sec. 304) may be applied to the RTPS also by regularising their services from the date of joining. 19:02:9 Hon'ble Principal Bench of CAT ordered to extend service, pensionary benefits to the Non-Statutory Departmental Canteen employees in OA Nos. 572/96 & 2136/98. Resultantly the benefits of entire past service prior to the declaration of Departmental Canteen employees (as Government servants) for counting towards pensionary benefits have been given to them vide the Do P&T in its OM No. 12/9/2000-Dir (C) dated 08-11-2000.

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19:02:10

Such being the case, the service rendered in private canteens were taken as qualifying service, why not the service rendered as RTP when similar to Postal Assistant be extended to them for Pensionary & other benefits.

19:02:11

Hon'ble CAT, Ernakulam Bench adjudged in the OA No. 1410 of 1995 in favour of RTPs to count the period of service as Qualifying service for promotion, Pension and Back wages.

19:02:12

Even after the Supreme Court casual observation in the OA No. 127-130 on 01-08-1997 the CAT, Hyderabad pronounced a judgment ordering to count the past services of RTP for all purposes in its OA No. 798/97 & RA No. 83/98.

19:02:13

All the postal federation in order to mitigate this issue which is prolonging over one decade, has included the demand as one of the item in the charter of demands in the proposed strike w.e.f. 15-03-2005. During the conciliation meeting, the Secretary, Department of Posts agreed to reexamine the issue as per rules and also keeping in view the judgment of the Apex Court in such cases.

19:02:14

The Secretary has agreed to review their plight only in consonance with the Apex Court judgment pronounced in the favour of P & T Canteen employees and their past service in private employment has now been taken for calculation of the pensionary benefits.

19:02:15

Based on the same, the Secretary, Department of Posts has referred this matter and recommended to Department of Personnel and it was once again rejected by the Department of Personnel.

19:02:16

The extract portion of the JCM Departmental Council Meeting for the meeting held in 2004. Item No. 9:Treating the services rendered as RTP Reply:The matter was taken up with the Department of Pension & Pensioners Welfare, Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions requesting to examine the matter regarding counting of the service rendered as RTP at least for Pensionary Purpose. The

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Department of Pension and Pensioners Welfare, Ministry of Personnel and Public Grievances and Pensions has informed that it is evident that the RTP was a standing pool of trained reserve candidates for Post and RMS offices to meet short term recruitment needs relating to shortage of staff due to absenteeism and other reasons. They were engaged according to the needs subject to maximum of eight hours per day and were to be paid wages at hourly rates fixed from time to time. They were given priority against the vacancies for subsequent recruitment. In view of above, it is very clear that RTP was a pool to keep a list of candidates for short-term needs and who were paid on hourly basis. Service rendered on hourly basis cannot be equated with regular or even adhoc service. Further, these employees have already agitated their case upto the highest court of the country and there does not seem to be any case to agree to their demand, which is totally against the laid down rules, which are applicable uniformly to all employees of Government of India. (F.No. 37-19/2003-SPB.I) 19:02:17 The Department of Personnel while disposing the recommendation of department at least to include the service for pensionary purpose has not considered the various precedences, court verdicts etc. and only with the closed mind, it disposed the life of the 50% employees who could not get full pension due to want of qualifying service. 19:02:18 Having rendered service almost identical to regular Postal Assistants / Sorting Assistants but on daily wages only and ultimate lesser pensionary benefits because of such a long prolongation for their actual absorption, their cause is reasonable and justified deserving for consideration as one time settlement. 19:02:19 We request the 6th Central Pay Commission to consider and render justice to the deserving genuine case of RTPs only taking their past RTP services as Qualifying services for all purposes.

CHAPTER - XX GRANT OF SUMPTUARY ALLOWANCE TO POSTMASTERS
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20:00 The Postmasters by virtue of the post they held, have to interact and entertain VIPs representing public, professional bodies, institution & service officers for business activities in their day-to-day official life. 20:01 In order to maintain prestige of the post, it becomes very essential at least to offer a cup of tea / coffee to the visitors as a matter of courtesy and in this way, the postmasters are spending huge money ranging from Rs. 200/ - to Rs. 500/per month depending upon the size of the post office and other factors. 20:02 The postmasters are not well paid staff and and their pay and allowances are also not in consonance with the duties and responsibilities entrusted to them. 20:03 In these circumstances, it is requested to grant sumptuary allowance to the postmasters depending upon the size and grade of the office.

C, B & A Class LSG / HSG.II HSG

Rs. 300/- per month Rs. 450/- per month Rs. 600 per month

20:04 This gesture will go a long way in uplifting the morale of the postmasters in the eyes of public which is most important.

CHAPTER - XXI LEAVE RESERVE

21:00 The existing sanctioned strength of Leave Reserve Clerks for post offices to the extent of 11% is found to be quite inadequate. Consequently the inconvenience caused to the operative staff to manage the shortage of staff prevailing to the extent of more than 30% and in the matter of timely relief whenever they need leave on any kinds for even emergencies and also to the administration in arranging relief are indescribable.

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21:01 All LSG, A & B classes are kept short handed over years and the existence of leave reserve had lost its significance. This throws additional work not only on the rest of the staff but also on the postmaster and supervisory staff who are obliged to do the duties of the Postal Assistants at the counters everyday, leaving their legitimate duties to be attended to at late hours. 21:02 It is the fact to be admitted that on account of the inadequacy of the staff, the services rendered to the public cannot be maintained at the peak level of efficiency and this will ultimately result in the prestige of the department being lowered. 21:03 More and more influx of women folk in the department burdens with more and more social obligations with better environment. Availment of leave with or without pay is on the increase and natural bio composition for ladies require more absence of active work. With heavy shortage of staff, it is impossible to go for combination of duties to carry out the absentees' work. Hence there is a clear justification for increase of leave reserve to 20%. 21:04 It is most pertinent to mention that the Fifth Pay Commission in its recommendations stated that 'all the ministries having a higher concentration of women employees may consider to provide for higher leave reserve'. But this has not been carried in the Department of Posts. 21:05 The percentage of leave reserve in post offices was fixed many decades ago with the expansion of postal services and ventured various business activities and works, it is not possible to cope up with the increased workload. 21:06 It is therefore suggested that the percentage of the Leave Reserve Postal Assistants in the post offices should be raised to 20 percent.

CHAPTER – XXII

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Scrapping of Screening Committee & Restoring Recruitment Powers to the Circle Heads

22:00

The Ministry of Personnel, PG & Pensions in its OM No. 2/8/2001/plg dated 04-05-2001 stated interalia:-

"The Finance Minister while presenting the budget for 2001-02 has stated
that all requirements of recruitment will be scrutinised to ensure that fresh recruitment is limited to 1 percent of total civilian staff strength. As about 3 percent of staff retire every year, this will reduce the manpower by 2 percent per annum thereby achieving a reduction of 10 percent in five years as announced by the Prime Minister." 22:00:1 Based on the decision, each Ministry has formulated a concept of Annual Direct Recruitment plans through the mechanism of screening committees. The power to fill up the vacant posts as and when available by the Circle Head (i.e.) Chief Postmaster General, etc. has been frozen and the Head of Circles are required to submit proposals for filling up posts to the Screening Committee of the Department. 22:00:2 The Screening Committee is taking its own time and meanwhile the resultant shortage in the postal divisions exceeds 25 percent of the staff strength both in the Postal Assistant (Operative) and Supervisory cadres. 22:00:3 Though orders are there to fill up the vacancies earmarked for promotional quota in Postal Assistant cadre, most of the vacancies are not being filled up due to the tough syllabus, which the Postmen and Group 'D' officials could not compete. With a net result Postal Assistant vacancies are kept unfilled up over five years as residual vacancies. 22:00:4 Even though there is a slight decrease in the volume of mails handled, there is enormous increase in the other areas of postal operations. The work in SB & RD has been increased manifold, which the present staff could not cope up with the backlog and arrears of work, therefore become

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inevitable with an indirect impact of frauds going on undetected besides lethargic service to public. 22:00:5 Besides the existing staffs are being diverted from the Central establishment without minding the workload to attend the services of VSAT, Speed Post, Express Parcel, Mass Mail, SB LAN, Marketing Executives, E-mailing, System Manager, Project Officers etc. 22:00:6 There are several new schemes introduced in the Department of Posts in the recent past like issue of TVS hire purchase, Western Union IMT, Passport, IDBI, SBI Mutual Fund, UTI, Oriental Insurance, Payment of Pension through SB for EPF, Sale of Magazines like Vasan Publications, Kumudam, and commodities like Sri Krishna Sweets, Arockia Milk, Aravanai Payasam, Kaveri Theertham etc. Besides the Rural PLI policies were procured four times above while comparing 2000-01. 22:01 This union neither oppose the new schemes nor hesitate to work beyond the clock in the interest of the Department. However, it is the fact that the staff are over burdened and unable to carry the service with more enthusiasm. Adequate staff are not augmented so far. The proposals for augmentation of 5000 Postal Assistant posts exclusively for the RPLI work had been turned down by the Planning Commission in 1998. Unmindful of the workload and the declining efficiency of the department not even a single post has been created for RPLI work. The business against 91054.30 millions of PLI, the RPLI business has grown to the extent of 1,85,209.30 millions for which not even a single staff is augmented. 22:01:1 A sizeable number of operative staff are deputed to PLI / RPLI without creation of justified posts for this work (PLI / RPLI). Likewise for units like PSDs (Postal Stores Depots) the entire clerical staffs are drafted from other postal operative offices; in early years, clerical staff for PSDs were used to be recruited and kept with the parent division where the PSDs are functioning. By a mere executive order for drafting clerical staff from adjoining divisions, so many number of posts at all these PSDs are manned without any recruitment in any divisions.

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22:01:2

It is pertinent to submit that the Department of Posts had also informed the Ministry of Personnel & MOF about its inability in reduction of establishment as more number of posts were already surrendered for TBOP, BCR, HSG.I promotions etc. as matching savings and further deputation will deteriorate the service. This has been summarily rejected by the earlier Government and the bureaucrats. Especially in rural areas, the reduction will result closure and sometimes withdrawal of services.

22:01:3

Apart from abolition of 2 posts against 3 vacancies, MOF orders issued much earlier around 1994 for abolition of a post automatically when it is kept unfilled for more than a year is also a bolt from blue. Moreover on scrapping clerical recruitment twice in a year and irregularity in conducting departmental promotion examinations, in most of the cases, it is not practically possible to fill up a vacant post within a year.

22:01:4

A review of the demands for grants, presented in the parliament along with Budget for the year 2004-05 revealed that 14,095 staff are going to be axed in the postal department alone, whereas the total strength of CG employees taken together in all the 53 ministries under GOI is going to be reduced by 10,094 officials only. It is not out of place to mention here that in the postal department has already surrendered 20% of supervisory posts and 6% of operative posts to get the benefit of TBOP / BCR scheme. The irony is that the GOI itself has introduced two-promotion scheme under the 'ACP" on the same line with out TBOP /BCR during 1999 without any reduction of staff. Thus the staff of postal department are unnecessarily axed and reduced.

22:01:5

Further more, it is pertinent to submit that the Time factors (norms) were fixed for each items of work on scientific norms in the Department of Posts for operative posts. As such the axing of 2/3rd number of operative posts without applying any norms and without minding the existence of work will further deteriorate the services resulting drop in efficiency.

22:01:6

It is therefore requested to consider and recommend to grant exemption to Postal Department from the purview of Screening Committee /

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Reduction of Posts and lift the ban on creation etc. Adequate number of Postal Assistant posts based on the requirement be ensured by due augmentation. This will alone improve the service and relieve the personnel toiling from dawn to dusk in the absence of adequate manpower despite peak growth of postal business.

CHAPTER - XXIII SB ALLOWANCE

23:00

While commenting on functions of the Savings Bank, the Social Audit Panel headed by Justice P.N. Baghwati has observed, " After prolonged discussions on the agency functions of the postal department, more specifically the savings bank functions, the SAP recommendations that the postal department should be allowed to operate its own 'Postal Bank'. In fact, SAP wonders why, it has been hither to deprived of such a privilege with all its strength, advantages and merits which Government could allow so many others of all sorts……." The SAP complements the postal department for providing such complex agency services on such a wide scale and relatively on a least service cost basis (as compared to the nationalised banking system). The Panel feels highly about the contribution being made by the postal department with respect to the agency services like the National Savings, Public Provident Fund, Postal Insurance, and a boast of such savings, which cater to a large segment of weaker sections of public, both in urban and rural India, as well as certain tax payers. Postal System in the country today has some 100 million accounts in all the mobilise nearby Rs. 56,000 crores as savings in one form or other. This accounts to nearly

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one-third of total savings through banking system in the country. The bonus on Postal Life Insurance is even higher than what LIC pay." 23:00:1 The observation of the Social Audit Panel on Postal department is a direct compliment and appreciation of the complex work done by the Postal Assistants and Supervisors in the Savings Bank and PO Certificates, Postal Savings Bank is the higher investing institution of this country at the lowest cost. 23:02 The duties and skill of the Postal Assistants / Supervisors working in Savings Bank and certificate are of tremendous importance and responsibility. It may be worthwhile to place on record that the punishments on account of contributory factors in form of recoveries from the pay of the officials working in SB & SC branch is the maximum. The Postal Assistants / Supervisors are required to have themselves totally acquainted with the rules and procedures of different schemes being frequently introduced in the department. 23:02:1 In recognition of the special skill and responsibility required to work in Post Office Savings Bank (POSB), the department sanctioned Savings Bank Allowance to the Postal Assistants working in POSB branches in accordance with Ministry of Finance I.D. Note No. F2/23/88/NS II dated 09-03-1999. At the time of introduction, the rate of SB allowance has been fixed as Rs. 60/- & Rs. 80/- per month depending on whether a Postal Assistant is fully or partly engaged in the Savings Bank work. 23:02:2 As per the scheme, the Postal Assistants who are selected for SB work after qualifying in an Aptitude Test are entitled for such allowance. However, there is no sufficient number of volunteers who have passed the SB Aptitude Test since the benefits for shouldering such extraneous and arduous nature of job is very meagre. 23:02:3 As a result, a large number of Postal Assistants working in SB branches did not qualify in the SB aptitude test and they are not being paid with SB allowance. There is a clear discrimination and injustice caused to such officials even though they are performing the same work and shouldering

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responsibility at par with the SB aptitude qualified officials. It is most pertinent to mention that such officials unwilling to write SB Aptitude Exam are forced to work in SB branches without any remuneration. 23:02:4 Therefore the issue was earlier taken up with the department in the Departmental Council JCM and pleaded that the theme behind payment of SB allowance is strenuous and complicated nature of SB work and there is no reason to discriminate between those who have passed the aptitude test and those who have not. Further they raised that all APM incharge who perform supervision work is not paid any allowance and a great anomaly arises at time and the Postal Assistant drawing more wages than the APM. 23:02:5 The issue was remitted to 5th Pay Commission with the recommendations that either the scheme of Aptitude Test may be dispensed with so that all the Postal Assistants working in SB will be entitled to get the SB allowance or the allowance be made more attractive to draw sufficient number of volunteers to take aptitude test and qualify consequently. 23:02:6 In respect of payment of the SB allowance to Assistant Postmasters, the postal department's recommendations to 5th Pay Commission are reproduced inter alia:"The Staff Side has requested for granting SB allowance to Supervisors, who are supervising the work of the Postal Assistants. In this regard, it may be stated that prior to introduction of SB allowance scheme, Bonus Incentive Scheme was in operation. In the Bonus Incentive scheme, the supervisors were getting a quantitative allowance of Rs. 30/- p.m. and a qualitative allowance of Rs. 400/- per year which now stands discontinued. Besides, the traditional supervisory allowance which was being given in post office has been discontinued as a measure of matching savings after the introduction of Time Bound Promotion for the cadre.

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In the above context, the demand of the Staff Side to grant SB allowance to all the operative and supervisory staff in Savings Bank and SBCO may please be considered." 23:02:7 Now the department has installed 'Sanchay Post' Software in SB operations throughout the country for which the officials are being deputed for imparting training. Resultantly only the computer skilled officials are deployed in the SB / SC counters. 23:02:8 It is therefore suggested that the Postal Assistant & Supervisors working in the SB / SC department should be paid an incentive amount equal to two advance increments of their cadre. The system of aptitude tests which did not serve any useful purpose be dispensed with.

CHAPTER – XXIV

OVERTIME ALLOWANCE
24:01 Only after a century and one decade, the Government introduced the system of overtime compensation in the case of postal clerks and to other higher categories of employees in the postal branch. 24:01:1 The orders on the subject issued in 1964 impose several conditions and restrictions with the result that employment as overtime so far it concerns the postal employees, is alone very seldom. Even while passing the very few bills submitted, it is not only the quantum of work put in by the clerk claiming OT allowance but also the work of the entire office is computed with a view to reject the claim. 24:01:2 In Rule 6 of the Over Time Allowance Rules issued by the P & T Department vide DG P&T Memo dated 12-02-64 as amended reads as under:"…… wherein special circumstances, it does become necessary to perform overtime work, the competent authority may authorise such

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overtime work for good and sufficient reasons, after satisfying itself that the work is of such an urgent nature that it cannot be postponed in public interest till the next working day. The competent authority shall as far as possible, specify before hand the time upto which a Government servant may be required to perform overtime work." 24:01:3 This has been taken a ruse to deny the legitimate earning of overtime allowance for the work rendered beyond the duty hours. It is most pertinent to note that this rule does not cover the shortage of staff prevalent always in the postal department. By misinterpreting the words in the para supra i.e. 'the works of urgent nature and that cannot be postponed' against the staff, the subordinate officers of the postal department are refusing OTA since it does not mention about the shortage of staff anywhere in the rulings. 24:01:4 The Sub Postmasters including those in the Lower Selection Grade as a class have been debarred from OTA concession on the ground that their work cannot be measured and supervised. 'incharge' of offices. 24:01:5 Similarly in two handed post office, if one of them goes on leave or is on deputation to another office without a substitute being posted in his place which is a common feature in the postal arm, then neither of them is granted with OTA whatever be the workload or detention in the office to complete the work of the day as the sole man left in the office is treated as 'head of the office'. This nothing but ignoring the findings of the 2nd Pay Commission reproduced below:"For instance why should workers in the factories, telephonists, telegraphists get compensation for overtime but not Postmasters, Clerks or Typists." ………………….Para 54. Chapter XXXV 24:01:6 Meanwhile, it is most pertinent to mention that the recommendations of the overtime committee regarding the payment of 'Excess Work it is a clear injustice in denying OTA for the excess work simply because they are called as

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Allowance' in post offices had not been implemented and the gist of the recommendations is as follows:"Broadly speaking the clerical staff in the post offices have to perform extra work or to put in labour till late hours. In such cases the committee recommended that the post office clerks should be compensated by way of an 'Excess Work Allowance' to be described in the subsequent paras. (i) Detention in offices due to late receipt of mails, posting of large bulk of articles towards the close of the office, visit of a VIP, late return of postmen; (ii) (iii) (iv) (v) Working on Sundays and holidays; Usually heavy pressure of work of an occasional or seasonal character to cope with which no additional staff has been sanctioned; Absenteeism on account of casual leave or other leave; Established shortage of staff, such as, when the justification for additional staff has been accepted by the sanctioning authority pending formal appointment or sanctioned posts remaining unfilled; (vi) Work hours of a post office being in excess of the staff hours but not justifying the sanction of additional clerks." …. (Para 18 & 19) (vii) When the excess work is performed by the operative staff, the quantum of supervisory work also increases to same extent. It would, therefore, be reasonable to compensate purely supervisory staff. ………(Para 22)

24:01:7

The incidents stated above are still in existence and neither OTA nor Excess Work Allowance is granted so far for the excess work performed by the SPMs / Postal Assistants beyond their working hours.

24:01:8

There is no reason why the employees should be made to overwork and shoulder heavy burden of work beyond the average mental and physical capacities.

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24:01:9

Not only because of the understaffing but also because of situations of sudden pressures of work, absenteeism and inadequacy of the percentage of leave reserve which was reduced from 17 percent of the establishment structure to 10 percent, some expenditure on overtime is inevitable.

24:01:10

But so far as the post offices are concerned, the department has been pursuing through its subordinate officers a stringent check and review, a policy of spending as little as possible on overtime. The legitimate over time duty is not ordered and the employees are compelled to work for beyond duty hours and also the overtime bills for over time duty performed under the orders of the competent authority are being rejected without rhyme or reason. It appears that funds for overtime in respect of postal employees alone are subjected to stringent economic conditions.

24:02

The existing restrictions in the matter of overtime duty and drawal of overtime allowance should be removed so that the officials may not be deprived of their legitimate claim. Similarly, the orders of the DG P&T that the staff working in Accounts branch should not be permitted to do OTA in other branches of the post offices be withdrawn as it amounts to discrimination. The Office Assistant working in the divisional office also be granted OTA by prescribing a standard out turn.

24:02:1

The officials called upon to perform invigilation work or hall attendance in connection with departmental examinations held on Sundays and Holidays be paid only OTA for their actual hours of attendance instead of honorarium as at present.

24:01:2

It is, further, requested to consider that the overtime rates during the normal days should be double the average hourly emoluments of the employees and on weekly off, Sundays or holidays, it should be double the ordinary OTA rates.

CHAPTER - XXV
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MATTERS MERITING NOTICE OF THE PAY COMMISSION
1.Special Duty Allowance to postal employees of North Eastern & Assam circle and Andaman Nicobar Islands. Considering the all out problems including high cost of living, communication bottleneck and peculiar inaccessible geographical condition, the Government of India granted Special Duty Allowance w.e. from 01-11-1983 to Group A & B officers having All India Transfer liabilities with an animus to attract the outside officers to the region. Thus the same has been continued to be paid thereby erecting a concrete wall of discrimination between Group A & B officers being posted from outside the region and the Group C & D staff working in that region. After sustained struggles, the postal employees have been paid the SDA upto May 2002 and the same has been discontinued following a pronouncement of the Hon'ble Supreme Court. 25:01:1 However in other departments like CPWD, Metrological Survey of India, Telecom and many other Central Government departments are still paying SDA to their employees; the postal officials are alone discriminated. A justice is sought for to end the discrimination and the postal employees of NE & Assam Circles be granted with SDA with retrospective effect from June 2002. 25:01:2 Similarly the staff deployed in Government duty at Andaman & Nicobar Islands may also be granted special duty allowance considering the migration after Tsunami effect. The Special Duty allowance which was granted to the staff working in these islands were stopped from 01-09-83. After the Tsunami effect, the employees may be given an encouraging allowance for their inhabitation in the midst of risk of Tsunami threats. 25:02 2. Waival of outstanding dues / recoveries like HBA from the Family Pensioners of the deceased employees The loss of the head of the family normally upsets the balance of a family which would be engulfed with mental agony as well as financial hardship.

25:01

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Further eroding their economy through recovery of dues would further push them into doom. Taking into account of this pitiable plight of these families, State Governments like West Bengal have exempted them from the recovery from 1981 onwards and such welfare measure is in operation. In states like Tamil Nadu amount of instalment as on element of insurance to offset the outstanding loan of the deceased employee. It is suggested to extend similar concessions to the deceased officials' family by waival of outstanding dues. 25:03 3. Grant of Naxalist Threat Area According to O.M. No. 2003/5/90-E.II (B) dated 27-01-93 of Ministry of Finance, the compensatory allowance shall be paid to Central Government employees during which he serves the tribal areas and the orders shall remain in operation upto the date of withdrawal of such allowance by the State Government. Accordingly the allowance was in operation till 31-03-2002 and the postal officials were paid with Tribal Area Allowance. 25:03:1 After 31-03-2002, the State Governments like Maharashtra discontinued the payment of Tribal Area Allowance to their employees working in Chandrapur and Gadchiroli districts and granted Naxalist Threat Area Allowance at the rate of 15% of the basic pay subject to a maximum of Rs. 1500/- per month. 25:03:2 The same allowance has not been paid to the postal officials who are working in these and inaccessible forests and facing the horrified problems as in the case of State Government employees. The same is the position in respect of Andhra Circle and the areas like Guntur, Vishakatnam, West Godavari, Warrangal, Karimnagar, Nizambad, Adilabad, Mahaboobnagar, Ongole etc., the threat is visible. In respect of Jharkhand, the areas like Palamu, Singhbum, Giridih, Hazaribag, some part of Ranchi and Dhanbad should be identified as Naxalist threat area and should be granted with such allowance.

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In Orissa Circle, the areas like Sambalpur, Sundergarh, Koraput should be declared and compensated properly. 25:03:3 It is suggested that the Naxalist Threat Area Allowance which is nothing but a replica of Tribal Compensatory Allowance may be paid to the officials working in the above places throughout the country duly identifying the areas. 25:04 4. Printing of Postal Manuals & Volumes The existing manuals and volumes are printed in 1970s and no updated volumes, manuals & guides are available at the workspot duly incorporating all the corrections and deletions. This should be printed & supplied and also ensured to reprint the P&T Manuals once in every three years with updated correction for the amendments made in the rules. The officials are put into lot of inconvenience in the absence of updated Manuals & Rules. 25:05 5. PROFICIENCY PAY Now, better-educated candidates are taking up employment in the Postal Department. The promotional avenues for them are very remote. They feel disappointed that there is no recognition of their talents. 25:05:1 Therefore, proficiency pay should be granted to those who possess higher educational qualifications in the PA cadres similar to the scheme now available in many Banks and Insurance Sector.

25:06

SPLIT DUTY ALLOWANCE The 2nd Pay Commission made specific observation on Split Duty. "We, however, feel that the case of staff liable to split duty requires special consideration." The matter has been taken in the Departmental Council and after disagreement this was referred to Board of Arbitration. On the

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basis of the Arbitration Award, the split duty allowance is granted @ Rs. 50/- p.m. if the residence is beyond 5 k.m. and the break in attendance is 2 hours or more from 1990. The rate was revised as Rs. 100 after the 5th Pay Commission. The condition of living within the same municipality may be relaxed and the villages close to the cities in short, when an official brought on split duty who lives in any place for which city HRA is applicable may be construed as falling within the city / working place and split duty allowance may be paid. Split Duty Allowance may please be fixed at the rate not less than Rs. 300/- p.m. 25:07 Increment falling due on the day / date following the date of retirement shall be counted for the purpose of retirement benefits 25:07:1 In accordance with the provisions of FR-26 (a), a Government Servant earns an increment after rendering one (1) year of Qualifying Service, if the same is not affected otherwise by way of imposition of any of the statutory penalties. 25:07:2 However, it is quite unfortunate that as per the provision of the existing Rules, an increment that falls due on the day / date following the date of retirement is not taken into account for the purpose of calculation of Emoluments / Average Emoluments and other Retirements benefits. This is not only unfortunate but also technically quite unsound, as the official had already rendered one (1) complete year of service on the date of retirement from that date of last increment. 25:07:3 The increment falling due on the day / date following the date of retirement shall be counted for the purpose of retirement benefits by way of treatment the said increment 'drawn notionally' on the first day of last month of service rendered by the official. By way of this relaxation, not only the retired official is benefited by way of grant of enhanced pension, enhanced retirement gratuity, enhanced commutation value, and enhanced leave encashment amount, but also his family members will become benefited in future as the same will also result in enhanced family pension fixation.

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25:07:4

The Andhra Pradesh State Government employees are getting this legitimate benefit vide Government Order number 235 dated 27-10-1998 allowing the said concession to its employees based on the recommendation of a committee of officers appointed for the purpose.

25:07:5 25:08

It is therefore requested to consider the same and recommend. Qualifying Service

25:08:1

Currently the rule states that an employee must render 33 (thirty-three) years of qualifying service in any cadre for becoming eligible for the grant of full pension. This eligibility criteria should be reduced to 30 (thirty) years from the present status of 33 (thirty-three) years. The same is demanded in the light of following reasons:-

25:08:2

Right from 17-04-1950, qualifying service for earning full pension was 30 (thirty) years & this was increased to 33 (thirty-three) years with effect from 01-01-1973.

25:08:3

Most of the orders prescribing relaxation of age-limit for recruitment to various cadres in Central Government services like those applicable to SC / ST / OBC candidates were liberalized later on. Higher educational qualifications for appointment were also prescribed later on; on account of which such candidates will not be able to earn full pension if 33 (thirty-three) years is still kept as the (qualifying) service required for earning full pension.

25:08:4

It is reality that the present establishment of the Department of Posts contains promoted officials in majority as there is almost a ban on direct recruitment prevailing in the department since long. Majority of these promoted officials originally come from Gramin Dak Sevak (formerly ED) employ. Quite naturally, the majority of such promoted officials are only able to earn proportionate pension as they mostly fail to render 33 (thirty-three) years of service in departmental cadre (s). It is also demanded that additional pension may be granted for putting in qualifying service for more than 30 (thirty) years. The same was also recommended by the Fifth Central Pay Commission at the rate of 5% for each additional six-monthly periods of

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service rendered by the employee beyond the prescribed number of qualifying years. The same was recommended by the Fifth CPC with the contention of providing incentive for rendering additional number of years of meritorious service to the nation. 25:09 Funeral Expense This Union would like to place its demand on record that Funeral Expense amounting to one-month's pay (i.e., last pay drawn) or Rs. 5000/- (Rs. Five Thousand) only, whichever is higher, may be granted to the family members of the deceased official. The same is not only to be utilized for meeting up the funeral expenses of the deceased official but also for smooth performance of last rites of the deceased official by his / her family members. This may perhaps be granted as such kind of expense can easily be marked as an unforeseen emergent expense to be incurred by the family members of the deceased employee. This shall be granted in addition to the relief granted from the Circle Welfare Fund to the family members of the deceased official as the essence behind the grant of the said relief is to provide immediate financial assistance to the family members of the deceased official and to save the family from financial hardship. 25:10 Article 311 of the CONSTITUTION OF INDIA Removal of

Contributory Negligence Factor from the disciplinary rules 25:10:1 Vide question number 18.4 under section 18 (Performance Appraisal), the Pay Commission had sought for suggestion that----"In what manner can Government employees be made personally accountable for their acts of omission or commission, without any special safeguard? Would you recommend any amendments to Article 311 of the Constitution of India, Section 197 of the Criminal Procedure Code and Section 17 & 19 of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 and various rules relating to conduct of Government servants & disciplinary proceedings?"

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25:10:2

Article 311 of the Constitution of India provides a kind of safeguard to the Government employees that ------------"Any employee can not be removed or dismissed from Government service or reduced in rank, by any authority lower in rank than the Appointing Authority of the employee", AND

"Any employee can not be removed or dismissed from service or reduced in rank except after an inquiry in which the employee has been informed of the charges against him and given a reasonable opportunity of being heard in person in respect of those charges" 25:10:3 In spite of existence of such an inherent safeguard in our very own Constitution, we can narrate innumerable cases where the administration / disciplinary authority had acted in a biased (or motivated) and vindictive manner and imposed either of the 3 (three) major penalties detailed above, viz,, removal from service, dismissal from service and reduction in rank, without even observing the procedures embodied in the statutory rules (Rule – 14 & 15 of CCS (CCA) Rules, 1965) and thereby causing serious violation of the existing constitutional provisions. 25:10:4 Furthermore, under the provisions of the existing statutory rules (Rule 16 of CCS (CCA) Rules 1965) the ongoing practice of fixation of responsibility in cases causing pecuniary loss to the Government is not quite scientific. Though it has been detailed in relevant rules that the contributory negligence on the part of the offenders shall be fixed in a realistic manner giving due cognisance to the extenuating circumstances under which duty is being performed, we can narrate numerous cases wherein subordinate officials have been made scapegoat by the administration without such proper assessment. In case of burglaries also the SPMs / Postal Assistants are ordered with monetary recovery instead of pursuing with the police to apprehend the burglar. The practice of punishing innocents on contributory factor should be dispensed with. The Postal Department should halt such practices of resorting to disciplinary action / monitory recovery against the innocent officials who are not directly responsible for the loss sustained to the department. We

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strongly demand that rules should be framed in such a manner so as to compel the administration so as to abide by the existing statutory rules in connection with assessment of contributory negligence and the existing trend of identifying subsidiary offenders for minor lapses should be put to a halt. 25:10:5 Further, it is better to ensure the cash and stamp balances of all HOs / SOs and also the cash remittances under the insurance coverage so that the interest of both the department and the employees will be protected. 25:11 25:11:1 Performance Appraisal A kind attention is solicited once again towards the Questionnaire mentioned supra, wherein vide para 18.1, 18.2 & 18.3, the Government had sought for specific proposal on the subject matter-------"In what way should be present system of performance appraisal be changed? Should be ACR be an open documents?" (Para 18.1) "How far has the introduction of self-assessment helped in the process of appraisal?" (para 18.2) "Should appraisal be done for an entire team instead of for individuals?" (Para 18.3) 25:11:2 Our specific proposals on the afore-cited subject matter is detailed hereunder ad seriatim: In the ongoing system of performance appraisal of a subordinate official by a superior authority, the scope of natural justice is perhaps too much limited. At present the benechmark of "AVERAGE" in one's ACR is considered as an adverse entry made by the reporting authority and the official may be deprived of promotional benefits for the same. 25:11:3 In accordance with the statutory rules, a Government servant must be informed by the Reviewing Authority, in writing, regarding any kind of adverse entry made by the Reporting Authority in his / her ACR and the

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employee do have the scope of representing against any such adverse entry so made in his / her ACR to the Reviewing Authority within 1 (one) month from the date of receipt of such communication from the Reviewing Authority. Any uncommunicated adverse entry is not be considered by the DPC / Board while considering the suitability of such an employee for according promotion. 25:11:4 Currently although the ACR grading of "AVERAGE" is considered as an adverse entry and may impose negative impact in one's promotional scope, on the contrary under the framework of the existing statutory rule, the benchmark of "AVERAGE" need not be communicated to the official concerned by the Reviewing Authority. 25:11:5 We strongly presume that this kind of inherent contradiction in the existing statutory rules give rise to high-handedness on the part of the administration and is synonymous with violation of the Principle of Natural Justice. Subordinate officials are made scapegoat by the administration and they are unjustly denied of their promotions. contradiction in the statutory should be finished. 25:11:6 Furthermore, in almost all the cases, the representation preferred by the employee against any adverse entry in his / her ACR to the Reviewing Authority fails to gather sincere and justified attention. It is quite natural that in the existing system where both the Reporting and the Reviewing Authorities belong to the same administrative cadre / set-up, quite naturally they can be presumed to be like-minded. It is therefore demanded that a legal safeguard should be provided to the fellow employee by way of making necessary amendments to the Central Administrative Tribunal Act and incorporating the provision of suing the authority by the employee concerned in such a case. It should also be incorporated into the said ACT that the employee must be given the scope of notional promotion till finalisation of such a suit in the CAT Bench. The above points may please be considered and recommended. So the existing

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25:12

One Time absorption of approved RRR candidates under relaxation of Recruitment Rules

25:12:1

In the Department of Posts, there are many candidates who are the wards of the deceased postal officials working as Postal Assistants since 1994 on daily wages selected and recruited under compassionate grounds in relaxation of Recruitment Rules.

25:12:2

They are the wards of Ex. departmental employees and their applications were processed, scrutinized in the DPC and approved for the appointment. For want of vacancies, they were asked to perform duties as reserved trained pools on daily wages.

25:12:3

Suddenly, the Department of Posts had found that the waiting list of such approved candidates had been scrapped and they are not considered for regular absorption. There are more than 800 candidates throughout the country still pleading mercy and fair play requesting to absorb them in regular vacancies available.

25:12:4

It is suggested to recommend to absorb the waitlisted approved candidates in the regular departmental vacancies as one time measure and render justice.

25:13

CGHS / Medical – some general demands require consideration 1. The present method of reimbursement of medical bills at CSMA rules 1944 rates, allow only meagre amount getting reimbursed. This deprives the employees of full reimbursement. It is suggested to amend the CSMA rules 1944 to enable the employees to take treatment in Authorised Private hospitals as other employees in non-CGHS area with full reimbursement. 2. Limited specialist doctors are available in the CGHS like ENT, EYE & General Medical. The specialist doctors may be brought for heart, artho etc. atleast from recognised hospital for selected dates in the week. 3. The CGHS covered area should be expanded in metro cities and all the urban agglomeration area of the metro cities should be brought under the CGHS beneficiaries.

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4. Non supply of proper medicines is one of the problems being faced by the CGHS beneficiaries. Most of the medicines are not available & supplied. This should be taken due note of. 5. The CGHS doctors are directed to refer Government hospitals only for reference. This should be modified and there should be no restriction in referring private hospital also by the CGHS. 6. The construction of CGHS hospitals with all medical / test facilities in urban cities should be considered at par with the Railways to provide medical facilities to all the Government employees of the concerned city. 25:14 Group Insurance Scheme According to the present scheme, the Group Insurance amount has been fixed as Rs.1,20,000 for Group A; Rs. 60,000 for Group B; Rs. 30,000 for Group C and Rs. 15,000 for Group D. The amount was fixed as per the recommendations of the Fourth Pay Commission. After the lapse of twenty years, there is no improvement in the scheme. As the pay has been enhanced more than ten times and the money value has been gone down, the Group Insurance amount for Group C should be revised to Rs. 4,00,000. The subscription may also be enhanced. This may please be considered. 25:15 Pension At the outset, we request the Pay Commission to consider and restore the old pension scheme which is a social security scheme to those recruited into service even after 01-01-2004. dated 10-10-2003 from 01-01-2004. 25:15:1 Further we suggest the following for the kind consideration:At present, the calculation of pension is 50% of the 10 months average emoluments. This is insufficient to the pensioners due to their family condition, living standard etc. Atleast pension to the extent of 75% last pay drawn may be considered upto 65 years and thereafter 50% may be restored. The present commutation factor was determined more than three decades back. The commutation factors should be revised. The concept of Defined Pension scheme has been withdrawn by the notification issued by the Government

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The pensioners have also to incur more amount towards House Rent and as such a percentage of HRA / CCA may also be drawn and paid to them. 25:15:2 Since the National Council JCM Staff Side will elaborate all other pensionary benefits, we restrict with the above and conclude with the demand to scrap the new pension scheme for the entrants after 01-012004 also.

CHAPTER – XXVI

SOME SUGGESTIONS FOR THE IMPROVEMENT OF SERVICE

26:01

STRENGTHENING THE INSURANCE OPERATIONS

In the new contexts of entering into the insurance sector by all service, the postal department should also be developed to the level of competition with improved expertise and knowledge of insurance business. Already the RPLI and PLI have been partially decentralised with no efficient back office work and after sales service and no specified posts for such services have been created. If the RPLI and PLI business are strengthened by providing adequate personnel and ensuring efficient back office work, it will be number one in the insurance field. 26:01:1 Similarly the agency function for other insurance organisations like Oriental Insurance etc. may be dispensed with and all the non-life insurance policies like Motor Vehicle Insurance, House Insurance, Fire Insurance etc. may be introduced with due permission & licence from IRDA. 26:02 TAKE OVER OF TOTAL CONTROL OF POSB The Postal Department which is one of the largest Savings Bank in the country has no control over finances. This situation should change and the POSB should be brought under the total control of the Postal Department.

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The proposal for opening Postal Bank should be expedited. The POSB can serve as a full-fledged bank with all banking transactions with the infrastructure available at present and without more expenditure. 26:02:1 The issue of Demand Draft for SB accounts holder may also be considered which will earn a good revenue for the POSB. When Savings Bank Act is amended for entering into these privileged arena by other commercial banks will normally invite a competition. The existing organisation of Savings Bank should be upgraded into that of a fullfledged commercial banking system with independent profit and loss and balance sheet. Regarding the accounting system with the proposed set up of Postal Bank, the accounting system upto the level of SO or till its incorporation in the primary accounting unit (i.e) HO may continue to be on single entry system as at present and at the primary accounting unit. 26:02:2 The entire transactions may be accounted for under double entry system on the lines of commercial accounting and the primary accounting unit should also prepare P & L Account and Balance Sheet. 26:02:3 This will enable the POSB to handle huge sums of money which can be lended at nominal rates to implement Government of India welfare measures. Now the phenomena of entering into financial service exists in all postal systems throughout the world. Hence it is right time to go for conversion of POSB into a full fledged banking system. 26:02:4 When the department go for full fledged banking activities by POSB the department may expand the activity to cover:(i) (ii) (iii) (iv) (v) Financing the House construction; Handling loans on securities like National Certificates; Micro Credit loan to the organisations like Self Help Groups; Lending personal loans to the officials for restricted purposes; Crediting of salaries of employees into POSB account;

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26:03

NO NEED FOR SEPARATE BUSINESS DIRECTORATE – SHOULD BE CARRIED OUT BY POSTAL DIRECTORATE With the decline of traditional mails, the postal department is now introducing various premium services which are brought under Business Directorate. The existing Business Directorate may be carried out the function by the Mail Directorate only with independent Budget and in their case of deficit it may go for subsidy in accordance with the policy of the Government to have unbroken rural communications and maintain the national security with full statehood. At present, the part played by the existing staff and the cost of establishment for carrying out the new business activities are not taken into account while computing the revenue and the entire cost burden is still retained with over all other activities of the department eating away the profit sector of Savings Bank & Insurance.

26:04

REVENUE STAMP – BECOME PART OF POSTAL STATIONERY With the recent controversy between postal and state governments over the settlement of commission for selling revenue stamps, the same may be got entrusted to the Department of Posts and after paying agreed commission to the Department of Posts, the Central Government may itself appropriate the sale proceeds to the states concerned. The work may be well handled at the circle / regional existing stamp depots without any additional / extra manpower.

26:06

SALE OF STAMP PAPERS THROUGH POST OFFICES The recent scam throughout the India should open the eyes of everybody and now every state is after formulation of new system of imposing stamp duty. As the existence and usage of stamp papers for conveyance for property etc., it is a time tested and well established usage among all people of India, it is very difficult to switch over to any new unified or uniform procedure throughout India.

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Hence, it may be suggested to make over the receipt, stocking & sale of stamp papers by the Department of Posts and the people of the country will also feel very convenient to avail the facility. 26:07 DEVELOPMENT OF ESTATES The department possesses many prime lands in various cities and locations across the country as assets. The book value of these vacant lands are very huge and high. 26:07:1 With more liberalisation in granting HBA and availability of loan in open sources form private / public sector housing finances, keeping the sites acquired for construction of staff quarters with no performance becomes a dead asset. In coveted cities / towns, we may go for BOLT system (Build –Operate- Leave – Transfer) through HUDCO so that the department cannot go for investing or dumping any capital for building. Ultimately it will be in a good return over the unutilised assets available today.

26:08

NABARD LOANS THROUGH POST OFFICES Micro Credits to farmers though NABARD may be introduced with suitable transaction fee to the department. This will earn a good revenue since the postal network is spread over the villages of the country.

26:09

REPLACE INDIAN POSTAL ORDERS BY DEMAND DRAFT The Indian Postal Order system may conveniently be converted into Demand Draft system for which the required permission from the Ministry of Finance be obtained. This will capture the business around 50% of these kinds of transactions now available to the tune of 2200 crores volume of DD market.

26:10

PUBLIC UTILITY – APPROPRIATION BETWEEN POSTAL & TELECOM

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After the bifurcation of Department of Telecom, lately the BSNL, the post offices are keeping phones by paying same rent and phone charges as applicable to the individual customers. And also in the case of acceptance of telegrams or public calls through phone suffered a lot inviting criticism by the public in the floor of parliament. 26:10:1 The suggestion of BSNL to retain such facilities by paying due rent and floor minimum charge by the Department of Posts is not a viable one as in many places the revenue may not justify to continue the system by the Department of Posts. Since this type of activity is a social commitment by the Government, the Department of Posts should not be allowed to suffer a loss. For this, either the BSNL itself should establish their own outlet to cover to the needs of the public or else the entire cost burden as was available prior to separation may be borne by the BSNL by paying due commission or remuneration to the Department of Posts.

26:10:2

Alternatively, the Department of Posts may be licenced to have its own system of phone communication not to speak of Reliance, Airtel etc. Taking away the phone facilities, previously called service phones from many sub offices is not justified. (i) With modernisation / computerisation, phone is essential instrument not only for oral transmission but also for Data Transmissions like IMT, Cell One Agency Services and proposed E-Correspondence (i.e.) for any electronic transmission of information from retailed establishments likes SOs and HOs and other administrative offices, the phone is very much essential. Commission. Hence it is suggested to get licence for running our own services from DOT / DTS or Telecom

26:11

AS THE MANAGER OF THE ELECTORAL ROLLS IN INDIA The postal organisation with its route down to all villages and hamlets is a better organisation to carry out all census activities like statutory for every

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ten years for electoral rolls and its updation, verification of ration cards, vehicle licences, phone concessions etc. By this way the Central and State Government can save a lot of manpower and establishment by relieving the teachers and revenue officials from the above activities and potentiality of the Department of Posts may be well exploited and the decadence of postman system can be rather improved a lot. 26:12 MERGER OF PLI & RPLI It is suggested that the PLI & RPLI may be merged with a unified name may be Postal Life Insurance with extension of service to all public on the lines of Life Insurance & General Insurance. So also, the proposed scheme may go in for non life insurance activities (i.e.) vehicle insurance, cattle insurance, house insurance, fire insurance etc. instead of tying up with Oriental Insurance which is not commercially viable or profitable. 26:13 LICENCING SERVICES Now Parliament has passed an Act to expand cellular phone services to rural areas with due subsidy to cellular companies. Instead of covering the entire rural postal communication with full cost subsidy, the whole loss is burdened upon the department, unmindful of hard earnings in non-rural areas. Hence linkage rural pockets either electronically or paper communication is to be viewed on the lines of national integration of political and cultural perspectives, a necessary evil not be looked upon in commercial orientation. Geographical security cannot be ensured by mere military presence alone but with total involvement and integration of mind of the people; this the postal system has historical assurance. 26:13:1 On another look to the matter is when so many private companies are licenced to play cellular operations, what prevents similar licencing to the Department of Posts to run such services. Till 1985, only postal officials catered to the telegraphic communications. Now with two PSUs (MTNL, BSNL) other private players like Airtel, Reliance, Hutch are allowed to carry out cellular services, the Department of Posts also with its vast DEPARTMENT OF POSTS TO RUN CELLULAR

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infrastructure and postal network can very well compete in the field of electronic communications. And this will also fully offset the decline in paper communication, a universal phenomena.

26:14

ACCORD OF AUTONOMY TO POSTAL SERVICES BOARD

The Social Audit Panel headed by the former Chief Justice Shri P.N. Bhagawati appealed to the Government to allow freedom and flexibility to the postal department so that it could restructure itself and operate competently. 26:14:1 It further stated that the Postal Services Board should be renamed as "Postal Operation Board" and be accorded the same status as the Railway Board or Telecom Commission. There is a need to give functional autonomy and financial independence to the postal department and in turn the postal board should function in a lot more cohesion and with better coordination then at present. 26:14:2 The Social Audit Panel reports further that the new status and nomenclature to the Postal Services Board would give it operational freedom in such a way that it would be able to decide its own personnel policies and expansion plan. 26:14:3 With the introduction of fiscal deficit act operational from 2007 onwards and taking up complete management of PLI / RPLI besides more and more financial activities by the Department of Posts it is the right thing to accord a status of autonomy to the Postal Services Board. 26:14:4 With the proposed full-fledged banking activities with separate budgeting & control by the Department of Posts, the establishment and administrative control of the department may be delinked with the impact of Ban on Creation of Post / Screening Committee by the Finance Ministry. As in the long run the Department of Posts will run on its own legs with own resources, there may not be any necessity to impose such imposition by the Ministry of Finance.

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26:14:5

The Department of Posts should be left with its own requirement of manpower and the establishment to commensurate with its activities. At present despite introduction of many new services, the ban on creation and abolition of the posts by 2:1 is really counter productive and the quality of service has really deteriorated on account of these reasons alone. The over burden work of a Postal Assistant is a real cause for not keeping of the commercial quality of service. The RPLI and decentralisation of RD / MiS work are the eye's example and there are many arrears heaped up with never ending process of clearance.

26:14:6

It is therefore suggested once again to exempt the postal department from the purview of ban on creation of post and abolition of posts for onward march of the organisation.

CHAPTER – XXVII UNIQUENESS OF DEPARTMENT OF POSTS
27:00 The terms and references of all Central Pay Commissions including the Sixth Central Pay Commission covers the whole Central Government establishments whose employees have full tenure and security of services with pensionary benefits. But in the Department of Posts, historically unique and secluded work force forming more than 50% of the total workforce of the department branded as Extra Departmental Agents (Gramin Dak Sevaks) with meagre amount of allowances. At periodical intervals various committees were formed to look after the revision of their services and allowances. committee appointed so was under Justice Talwar. 27:01 These GDS officials serving in the nook and corner of Indian villages are the backbone to the postal services. Recently their services are very much pressed into mobilisation of RPLI and popularisation of financial services. With utter disregard of these major chunk of employees, the fiscal deficit act of 2003 has been introduced and made applicable to Department of Posts. And the Department of Posts is time and again branded us loss-making department. As Of late, after every Pay The last Commission, a separate committee for ED agents were appointed.

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everybody knows, a major portion of loss is on account of maintaining these rural communications, If the fiscal deficit act is applied in letter and spirit in the Department of Posts, a tendency of closure of all loss-making rural establishments of communication will prevail. 27:02 A start has already been begun at various levels of our organistion to close as many post offices as possible under pretext of loss-making. Hence our union suggests:(i) To maintain rural communications with full subsidy in order to strengthen national integration, treating this as second line of defence, as at present no other mechanism exists to strengthen united India;

(ii) Or else, the Department of Posts may be accorded with full state of autonomy to
run any or all of the following services:(1) Traditional postal communications; (2) Take over of total control of POSB, PLI & RPLI (3) Digital communications like cellular phones etc. as in the line of Airtel, Reliance etc. (4) Any other retail services as decided with requirement of time. 27:03 In the alternative situation, as suggested above, the Department of Posts will meet its own resource of capital and there will be ample chances of making all these part time services done by GDS officials as full time services. For these a required corpus fund may be created with existing accumulation of savings fund reserves with the Finance Ministry, duly supplemented any deficit fund by the Finance Ministry and a period of 8 to 10 years may be allowed to stand on its own leg. 27:04 Though the above suggestion does not fall directly under the terms and references of Sixth CPC, since these part time employees form roots and trunks of the department of communication any improvement in other cadres of the department cannot stand in isolation. Hence our union suggests a note of recommendation may be made by the Sixth CPC notwithstanding any other committee to be formed by the Government into the welfare of these ED agents.

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CHAPTER – XXVIII COMPUTERISATION AND TRAINING
28:00 The Department of Posts is a first entrant of a Government department into electronic operation by way of:(i) (ii) Introduction of multi-purpose counter machines for booking of registered letter, money orders etc. Computerisation of back office work of Savings Bank control organisation. 28:01 Since, 1998 while HOs Savings Bank activities have been computerised with Sanchay Post Software developed by Data Net Corporations, Meghdoot Software (Later Rechristioned as Meghdoot Millennium) developed for mail operations of booking and delivery etc. by Postal Trailing Centre, Mysore. 28:02 Under 10th Plan the Government has also decided to computerise offices. quite a

number of sub post offices besides all circle accounting and administrative Hence by and large the Department of Posts is moving towards electronic operations of all its functions. To meet the future challenges we also requested graduation at entry level of clerical cadre who should be capable enough to meet such challenges. So, the department has also opened work place computer training centres in all regional Headquarters. But there is no standard pattern of training prescribed for all these centres. Qualifications for trainers / instructors and training allowances as in the case of PTCs are yet to be decided. 28:03 Module wise suggestions for training are detailed below:1. INDUCTION LEVEL TRAINING (i) In general the training programme should be modified based on the requirements working in computers & imparting practical knowledge. The theoretical part which is now given more importance in induction training should be minimised. The solutions for the practical problems arising infield level should be given due importance. (ii) Atleast a period of one week on New services / Financial products may be earmarked so that the officials deployed in various posts may have the knowledge of new services and it will motivate them.

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(iii)

Training on MPCM software may be imparted for a week, which will enable the candidates to work in counters with thorough knowledge about MPCM. A basic working in all the modules of Meghdoot Software may be covered.

(iv) (v)

Introduction of minimum working level on SB software may be added. The trainers should have the practical knowledge of working in post offices.

28:03:01 (i)

2. OPERATIVE General – Traditional level and computer training on all software may be integrated. The morning session may be 'Theory' and afternoon session may be on software. (ii) SBCO—A minimum period of 21 days may be fixed for integrated training on theoretical & computerised level (b) Supervisory level—1. General: With provision of supervisory modules, the existing theoretical orientation may be integrated as in the case of operative staff. (iii) (iv) The trainers should have the knowledge of both computers and theoretical. The practical difficulties in systems in particular the trouble shooting should be given due credence in the training for both PAs / Supervisors. (v) During training, the officials should be motivated for the improvement of services rather than differing them on cadre basis right from PA to officers.

28:03:02 (i) (ii) (iii)

3. IMPROVEMENT OF WORK PLACE COMPUTER TRAINING Besides infrastructure, the level of trainers should be as applicable to regular postal training centre. They may also be considered for 15% training allowance at par with the instructors working in Postal Training Quarters. The training requirement of work place computer centre should be commensurate with the areas of computerisation in the particular region. Depending upon of percentage of computerisation in the division/region, the training should be imparted.

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(iv) (v) (vi)

Atleast at circle level, the training modules should be uniform. Now it various from region to region. Training modules & study materials should be at uniform level. As and when new services or products are introduced, a very short term training for two to three days may also be arranged at WPCT before commencement of the service and after the commencement of the service on need basis.

(vii) (viii) (ix)

Training regarding departmental software packages should be given due importance. The two days training now being conducted at regional level does not fulfil the purpose as the duration is too short to cover the packages. As at present, the IPOs/ASPOs are expected to impart work spot training at HO level, whereas the concept still remains at the consumptive level without any practicability. Instead of this, we may consider to develop a core group of trainers at divisional level by imparting training to System Administrators/System Managers for effective integration of theoretical and computerized knowledge for working at post offices. They may be paid 15% training allowance at par with PTC.

(x)

The GDS officials should also be given more training to motivate them for new business developments, RPLI etc. they should be properly compensated for such training period. Rural potential should be utilized in optimum.

(xi)

Training programme may be charted well in advance. In many cases the officials imparted training are again deputed to impart the same course.

28:03:03

4. TRAINING PROGRAMME TO SUPERVISORS / POSTMASTER, NEED TO CHANGE MANUALS & TRAINING NEED ON THE WORK SPOT (I) For Postmasters / Sub Postmasters, the introductory knowledge of all existing and new services and electronic working of the various services may be important. (II) Training on inventory control of computer & other electronic peripherence, maintenance of R &D and AMC and contacting the service personnel's in case of fault may also be important.

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(III)

The existing postal manuals are not fully compatible with existing software and practical working of the software. In respect of computerised office, only software rules the roost, completely brushing away the manuals and procedures. This results in difficulty in case of fixing accountability and responsibility.

(IV)

All the clarification of the orders received from the Directorate are suitable only for manual working. Very frequent change of rules and procedures affecting financial and monetary transactions are issued unmindful of provisions in the software. A lot of time is consumed at the working spot despite all tall claims of computerisation and reduction of work.

(V)

The recent orders on service tax could not be easily carried out due to non modification in the software. Therefore a monitoring cell may be created at Directorate level to man the work on software compatible with the orders then and there.

(VI)

The practical difficulties at field level may be attended by a monitoring cell at regional / divisional level to address the problems then and there. A mobile unit consisting of knowledge system administrators may be created and they may interact with the officials at the work spot to clear their doubts / problems.

28:03:04

5. PERSONNEL NOT COVERED BY INSTITUTIONAL TRAINING (I) In respect of circle office & SBCO staff, the institutional training on basic services of the department may be imparted for one to two weeks. Followed by this on the job training focusing on administrative nature of work at Circle / Regional office may also be imparted for another one to two weeks. (II) (III) In service training as & when new services are introduced may be imparted wherever & whenever required. At present level no institutional training is required for postmen.

28:03:05

6. QUALITY OF SERVICE

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(i) (ii)

Quality of service may be linked with adequate man power and man management and field requirement etc. Each Head Office & bigger office may be provided with full set of rules & volumes & orders issued thereon for use as reference requirements while discharging duties to the public.

(iii)

The officials deployed in the front office should be somewhat efficient & knowledgeable with a minimum requirement of service.

(iv) (v) (vi)

In selected areas, for quality and quick service, Postmen may be provided with two wheelers at Departmental Cost. The services of the PRI (P) should be utilised for the purpose for which the posts were created. Multi media projectors may be supplied to all divisions so that the system administrator can carry and explain the functioning of the system at work spot.

(vii)

Some high and course were outsourced to computer centres. Instead the work may be entrusted to the well qualified officials available in the department.

(viii)

As to maintain quality & also to avoid health hazards of the personnel working hours in the computer should be reduced to six hours from existing 8 hours.

(ix)

While launching any new scheme or product, the unions may be consulted to have better results.

28:04 Training materials / study materials on standard pattern may be prepared either by the software developers in the case of departmentally developed software and in the case of software developed by private vendors, such materials may be prepared by our own group of trainers. 28:05 Additional Increments for working on Computers The general understanding at the time of introduction of computers was that the officials handling the modern technology would get certain additional monetary benefits like advance increments besides having lesser time of work on computers than on manual operation. The agreement reached at the time of introduction of AMPC in Mumbai is an example.

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28:05:01

As we are not completely switching over to electronic based work and a major part of work is still being carried out manually, a lot of time is consumed daily to complete the day work. As frequent troubles arises in the electronic devices time and again like hanging, non working of printers, frequent power failures, provision of low capacity of UPS etc. more than 50% of the work in the computerised offices are still carried out manually. This situation creates stress among the staff and many of them leave offices in the nights. Though these kinds of troubles are to be met in the transition period, officials are not suitably compensated.

CHAPTER – XXIX SAVINGS BANK CONTROL ORGANISATION
29:00 The working group of the Administrative Reforms Commission on the Post and Telegraph department suggested that the P&T should become monitor of its finances and also take over all the accounting functions so that a healthy approach is developed to the problems of management and a commercial outlook. 29:01 Earlier to this, the audit work of the Savings Bank was taken over in 1964 by organising Savings Bank Control Organisation in important Head Post Offices and by organising Central Control in the offices of Heads of Circle for smaller Head Offices. 29:02 Therefore, the entire control was delegated to all the Head Post Offices under the administrative control of the respective divisional heads. 29:03 At the time of formation of these organisations, the staff rendered surplus in the Branch Audit Offices (Offices of the Director of Audits and Accounts, P&T) were transferred to the extent of willing hands and the

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shortage was made good by the promotion of post office clerks as UDCs and recruitment of LDCs. Therefore, the organisation has established itself. 29:04 After 1991, the LDC & UDC pattern has been withdrawn and the Assistants working the SBCO are termed as PA (SBCO) and they have also been accorded with TBOP & BCR promotions. Resultantly, their higher position than the Postal Clerk since 1964 has been sidelined and they are equated with the Postal Assistants even though they perform accounting / auditing work of the Savings Bank. 29:05 Their duties are most responsible and arduous in nature. The PA

(SBCO) has to exercise general check of the vouchers, check the transactions in the HO and its sub offices, verify ledger balances, check non-cash transactions and the entries in the register of ledger balances, and also make entries in the consolidated Journal of Deposits and withdrawals. They have to maintain various registers prescribed by the department. They must also see that the objections raised by them are satisfactorily settled by the Savings Bank branch. Preliminary the LDCs are expected to examine the list of transactions, maintain the register of ledger balances, register of non-cash transactions and the register of transactions office wise, prepare the list of ledger balances for verification and also work as machinist in the preparation of ledger balances and interest statements. 29:06 At the time of decentralisation of Audit & Accounts & formation of SBCO, it was assured to reduce the work hours as 7 hours at par with the Audit & Accounts staff. However, this has not been carried out. The SBCO staff are brought on duty daily 8 hours whereas their counter parts are brought only 7 hours. Thus the SBCO officials are performing 365 hours extra every year for which they have not been compensated. 29:07 As per the transfer is concerned, they are liable to be transferred from division to division in the circle and facing a lot of inconvenience in settling their families. The SBCO officials are shouldering more work

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while comparing the Audit Staff whereas they have been paid lower than the Postal Accounts & Audit.

29:08

We suggest the following:1. If the identity of Audit is to be maintained, the staff of SBCO should be treated at par with Audit Staff and they may be equated with Accounts / Audit Staff and granted the pay and promotional avenues at par with them. or 2. If they should be treated as a Postal staff, the cadre may be amalgamated with the Postal Assistants and allow them to work in SB branches as Postal Assistants and the work may be carried out by granting suitable special pay to the Postal Assistants deployed in these sanctioned posts.

29:09

Apart from the above, the following may also be considered and recommended accordingly:1. At present, the PA SBCO are not permitted to appear in the IPO examination and also for the PSS Group B promotion even though they are declared as Postal Assistant (SBCO) and also deprived of their promotional avenues of Audit Office. This should be clarified and the PA SBCOs should be allowed to appear in all the departmental examinations of the Postal Department. 2. Since the PA (SBCO) is categorised under Group 'C', they should be allowed to remain member of any union pertaining to Group C in the Department of Posts. They should not be compelled by the department to remain as separate cadre union despite the unwillingness of the employees. 3. The honorarium fixed for the works are decades old. They should be reviewed and the honorarium be granted based

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on the time factor involved and with the proposition of OTA. It is requested to revise the same.

CHAPTER – XXX PROBLEMS OF WOMEN EMPLOYEES
30:00 Based on international Labour Conference decisions of 1919, the Govt. of India reviewed the problems in depth and suggested its opinion before ILC in 1921. 30:01 Pursuant to the decision of Royal Commission Recommendations of 1930, Maternity Benefits Act was promulgated in our country. There after the Govt. Of India extended certain benefits to working women employees. Now a days, the percentage of women employees have been increasing steadily in Govt departments by virtue of their merits and qualification. 30:02 The following recommendations of the Fifth CPC providing special facilities to women employees were not so far been considered by the Government so far. (a) "Introduction of a voluntary system of option for serving women employees to work half time for a maximum period of six years in a career when the children are young and family commitments are of the maximum. This half time working may be accompanied with half of the Pay and Allowances but not detract from other benefits like housing, LTC, Pensionary entitlements etc. The Government should work out the scheme in detail." (b) "The Government have set up day-care centres and crèches in some places but their number is far below the requirement. The Government should consider to set up more day-care centres on Government land, construction of building being financed by Government Welfare Funds. More crèches in offices or major residential areas may be set up by the Government. (c) "The age of recruitment for women employees may be enhanced to 35 years." (d) "Government may earmark funds separately for construction of more single women's hostel. There should also be some scheme to assure housing for married women employees."

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(e) "Arranging charted 'ladies-special' buses in bigger cities." (f) "Where husband and wife are both Government employees the creation of an earned leave bank to be availed of by either spouse may be considered only for period needed for rearing very young children (such period not exceeding six years in all), provided the women employee has exhausted the earned leave at her credit and there is earned leave to the credit of her husband" (g) "The ministries having a higher concentration of women employees may consider to provide for higher leave reserve." 30:03 Most of the above-said recommendations are not implemented. We request to examine and reiterate the recommendations for implementation. 30:04 LEAVE RESERVE: Due to availing maternity leave and leave availed for pre and post-natal care, there is a greater degree of absentism among women employees which is unavoidable. Sanction of enhance percentage of Leave Reserve strength to the extent of 20% is inevitable. Thereafter this is inconsonance with the recommendations of the 5th Pay Commission also.

30:05 CRÈCHES: The Department has issued orders to subordinate offices to provide Crèches under certain condition. There require liberalization. However the number of employees is small, the Department may on payment, enter into arrangement with crèche houses opened by other Department like Telecom etc. to enable the Postal Women employees to leave their Children under the care of trained matrons when they proceed to work. 30:06 30:06:1 TRANSFERS: Though Government have issued orders that women employees should be transferred to the stations where their husbands are serving etc., at field level, there appears to be much delay to concede their request. This should be avoided.

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30:06:2

The women employees should not be posted where basic facilities are lacking.

30:06:3

It is further requested to entertain transfer cases to their native places as requested in respect of unmarried women employees and to the places where their husbands are working in respect of married employees without putting any restrictions, reservations or rejections.

30:07 HOSTELS:

Keeping in view that woman employees both married and unmarried have to serve away from home-stations due to circumstance beyond their control, the suggested. 1. That women hostels may be constructed if the number of women employees is large and 2. Rooms may be reserved for women employees in hostels which may be constructed in other Department of Government. 3. Allotting staff quarters earmarking for women employees who are working in those places out of their native places. following is

30:08 RETIREMENT BENEFITS: Many senior women employees confronted with many family problems are desirous of seeking early retirement. But they desist to do so due to loss of retirement benefits. It is suggested that they may be granted 100% retirement benefits if they serve 20 years of service. 30:09 DEPUTATION: In the case of Leave Reserve period, the women employees are indiscriminately subjected to deputations to single handed offices and other offices where basic amenities are not available and offices which are beyond 8 KM radius resulting in change of Head Quarters. This should be avoided.

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30:10 GRANT OF SPECIAL LEAVE: A large number of the women employees are facing problems like removal of uteruses, etc.after attaining age of 40 or more which requires special rest. The women employees may be granted one month special leave in case of removal of uteruses etc. The above suggestions on the working women Postal Assistants may please be considered and recommended accordingly.

CHAPTER – XXXI CONCLUSION
31:00 The Postal Assistants and Supervisors of the Department of Posts render social and welfare activities of the state by their hard work with risks and responsibilities. They are remaining as the neglected class of the organisation and they are denied of their dues and deprived their rights despite their devotion, hard work etc. by construing the department as a loss-making organisation. This has been taken as a ruse all along. 31:01 The objectives of the job evaluation is to provide definite, scientific and factual assessment of relative work of the job and to determine a wage and salary structure which is just and fair in comparison to employees working in similar establishment. Their case should be considered on the basis on principles of job evaluation and rating and fixing wages according to the arduous nature and pecuniary responsibilities shouldered. Equity, Justice and fair play, we pray before the pay commission and request that the wages of Postal Assistants, supervisors (LSG, HSG.II, HSG.I etc.) be fixed in consonance with the rating of their jobs on a rational evaluation. 31:02 The excerpts from various committee reports, courts, Central Administrative Tribunals cited in our memorandum will justify our reasonable aspirations on demands. 31:03 We fervently believe and also are confident that the sixth pay commission will analyse and evaluate the duties, skill, responsibilities of the Postal Assistants, Supervisors and others and prescribe suitable pay scales besides perks and concessions,

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With profound regards,

K.V. SRIDHARAN GENERAL SECRETARY

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