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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

GS writes to Secretary (Posts) for Merger of ASP cadre in to PS Gr. B cadre--- Proposal regarding.

No. GS/AIAIASP/Merger-ASP/2013                                      dated          20/11/2013.
Ms P. Gopinath, 
Director General,
Department of Posts,
Dak Bhavan, Sansad Marg,
New Delhi 110 001.  

Subject: Merger of ASP cadre in to PS Gr. B cadre--- Proposal regarding.

Respected Madam,  

This Association would like to bring to your kind notice that Directorate has constituted a committee under the Chairpersonship of Member (Personnel) vide memo No. 1/1/2011-SR dated 9/9/2011 and accordingly, first meeting was held on 18/10/2011, followed by another meeting on 3/11/2011.  

(A)         During the course of meetings, it was brought to the notice of the Department about the stagnation being faced in the cadre of IPs/ASPs and the long span of service running up to 26 years which IP/ASP have to put in, before getting promotion to PS Gr. B.  The issue of restructuring of IPs /ASPs cadre was also discussed in the meeting but it did not materialize. The issue of parity of GP and promotional prospects of IPs in the Department like Income Tax and Central Excise etc was also discussed at length and department has not considered this also. Chairperson brought to the notice of this Association that it is the difference in the hierarchical structures between Department of Posts and other Departments like Income Tax and Central Excise as also Central Secretariat. While in other Departments, Inspectors get promotion direct to PS Gr. ‘B’ but in the Department of Posts there exists an intermediary grade of ASPs having Gazetted status. The response of the Ministry of Finance, Department of Expenditure was also informed in the matter of raising the Grade Pay of Inspectors from the existing Rs. 4200/- to Rs. 4600/- so as to bring them on par with Inspectors in other Departments. While discussing the possibility of upgrading certain posts in the Circle Offices and other field formations to Gr. B so as to accelerate the promotional prospects of IPs/ASPs, it has been informed that Department of Expenditure has not favoured it unless the gazetted status of ASPs has foregone so as to have single level in the cadre as it may facilitate raising the grade pay of IPs from the existing Rs. 4200/- to Rs. 4600/- and may pave way for speedier promotion due to upgrading of certain posts to Gr. B.  In the said meeting, this Association has assured that the proposal of foregoing the gazetted status of ASPs will be discussed in the next CWC meeting of this Association and revert back to the Department with a final proposal.  

(B)         This Association had their 37th All India Biennial Conference in Bangaluru on 28/1/2012 and 29/1/2012 in which the issue of merger of ASP cadre into IP cadre was discussed in depth and the august house passed a unanimous resolution detailed here under:-

    “This Association is against the merger of Inspector Posts and Assistant    Superintendents Posts cadre. Inspector Posts should be granted Grade Pay   of Rs. 4600/- with effect from 01/01/2006 at par with Inspectors of   CBDT/CBEC in tune with directions of the Hon’ble CAT, Ernakulam Bench”.  

          The decision arrived at AIC was forwarded to Member (P) by name under letter No. CHQ/IPASP/1/2012 dated 22/2/2012. But till date neither any reply has been received from Directorate nor this Association was called for further discussion in the matter. Thus, the vital issue still remains unresolved. Therefore this Association has requested Directorate to relook in to the issue of merger of Inspector Posts and Assistant Superintendents Posts and clarify the following points sought for vide Association letters dated 17/7/2012, 20/9/2012, 1/10/2012, 11/1/2013, 14/6/2013 and 19/8/2013. It is obvious that these letters were also not given the much desired attention.

1.            What would be the nomenclature of the merged cadre without Gazetted status.

2.            At present, IP/ASP cadre is having separate Appointing / Disciplinary Authority i.e. DPS is the Appointing Authority for IPs and Chief PMG for ASP cadre. Powers for imposition of minor penalties on IP cadre vests with Divisional Head while for ASP cadre, the authority competent is DPS. For major penalties, DPS is the competent authority for IP cadre and Chief PMG for ASP Cadre. Hence it may be clarified as to who will be the Appointing Authority and Disciplinary Authority for the merged cadre.

(C)         This Association would like to indicate that 5th CPC in para 32 of Appendix 1 of volume 3 stated that cadre review has become part of cadre rules and they are to be mandatorily held once in 5 years. It has also been observed that holding of cadre review itself is a justifiable matter. However, the department has not taken any further effort to implement the accepted recommendations of second cadre review committee and also to review the promotional prospects of this cadre once in 5 years as recommended by the 4th CPC and also accepted by the Govt. In view of the stagnation faced by the Inspectors and Assistant Superintendents Posts and ever increasing span of promotion, we have made repeated requests to the Department to constitute third Cadre Review Committee and we have also suggested re-organisation of postal sub divisions as a possible outcome of the cadre review. But the Department has not constituted any such committee so far nor has the Department initiated review of the promotional prospects of this cadre on its own.  

(D)     The duties and responsibilities of the Inspector Posts / Assistant Superintendents Posts are laid down in Chapter III Rule 260 to 302 and 320 to 335 of Postal Manual Volume VIII. However, this does not give the clear picture about the actual duties performed in particular by Sub Divisional Inspector / ASP. The duties and responsibilities attached to Inspector Posts / Assistant Superintendent Posts has undergone a major change. Apart from duties prescribed in the above quoted rules, they perform many more functions, which are not specified in the rules. Broadly, they can be classified as follows:

·         Mandatory inspections of sub post offices, branch offices & submission of IR within stipulated time

·         Visits / second inspections

·         Investigations in loss & fraud cases/ past work verification of all passbooks of all types of SB schemes in case of fraud in HO/ SO/ BO.

·         Sanction of leave/ paid leave to GDS & acting as appointing authorities of GDS & disciplinary authority of GDS.

·         Achievement of targets in r/o PLI/ RPLI & marketing of different premium products and supervision & after sale service.

·         Credit verification in r/o RPLI premium collected by BOs

·         Est-2 verification (to ensure justification of existing PO & creation of new PO)

·         Verification of statistics relating to work load of PAs, SAs ,Postman, MTS GR-C, Branch PM, GDS etc.

·         Invigilation duties in r/o departmental exam.

·         Settlement of pending SBCO objections / minus balance cases.

·         Heavy cash withdrawal verification

·         SB/NSC claim verification

·         RPLI incentive bill verification

·         RPLI death claim verification & processing of papers.

·         Collection & verification of Pension papers of PA, SA, Postman, MTS etc.

·         Collection of relaxation appointment papers & verification.

·         Functioning as IO.

·         Functioning as PO.

·         Functioning as Ad-hoc disciplinary authority.

·         Verification of mark lists submitted by the officials.

·         Preparation of special report for departmental selection committee.

·         Franking machine checking.

·         Checking of passbooks/ money order payments

·         Attending court cases (CDRF/CAT/High Court) & meetings with AGP/PP/Govt. Counsels.

·         Checking of punctual clearance of letter boxes by Posting “Test letters”

·         Periodical mail survey

·         Initial and final verification of house building cases

·         Being the member of checking squads for detecting the leakage of revenue or any other specific purposes.

·         Imparting training to GDS / Postman/ MTS Gr-C/ PA/ SA.

·         Monitoring of Project Arrow post offices- sending of DET file daily.

·         Checking of delivery status of concerned Project Arrow POs daily.

·         Cash conveyance to BOs/SOs/HOs with or without escorts.

·         Conveyance of State Govt. Public Service Commission / SSC / UPSC examination materials in postal bags to respective head quarters under police protection /escort.

These are not exhaustive and still there are many functions the Sub Divisional Inspectors / Assistant Superintendent Posts are required to perform. Though many of the new additions are major in nature, the relevant rules have not been amplified to include the entire gamut of work performed by the Inspector/Assistant Superintendent Posts. It will not be wrong to say that the total responsibility for successful implementing the various innovative schemes launched by department are virtually devolved on the IP and ASP but department had have never taken care of the demands of the cadre, may it be GP issue/ cadre review or anything  

(E)     The 4th Central Pay Commission noticed that the pattern of Recruitment for posts of Inspector in other Central Government Organizations like Customs and Central Excise and Income Tax provides for direct recruitment through Staff Selection Commission at the level of Inspector. However, in the Postal Department, there was no direct recruitment above the level of Postal and Sorting Assistants, or at Group-B level.   In the interest of efficiency of service, it was felt necessary to introduce an element of direct recruitment at the level of Inspectors through the Staff Selection Commission in the Department of Posts.  The 4th Central Pay Commission recommended for introduction of direct recruitment to that level under the Department of Posts to rectify the anomaly and suggested that the two cadres of IPO/IRM and ASPO/ASRM cadres can be merged, and accordingly, the Government was advised to examine what scale of pay will then be suitable for these posts.          

          The 5th Central Pay Commission reiterated its recommendation that Inspectors of Post Offices and RMS should be merged and upgraded to Rs. 1640-2900 (Rs. 5500-9000 revised) and filled 33.1/3rd% by direct recruitment from the Inspectors' Grade examination of Staff Selection Commission. The scale of pay of Inspector of Post Offices/ Inspector of RMS was revised to Rs.5500-9000 with effect from 01-01-1996 as recommended by the 5th Central Pay Commission as per Office Memorandum dated 06-04-1998. It is submitted that the scale of pay of Rs.5500-9000 granted to the Inspector of Posts was equivalent to the scale of pay granted to the Inspectors and analogous posts in CBDT/CBEC and Assistants in CSS.

          Accepting the recommendations of the 4th and 5th Central Pay Commissions in regard to introduction of direct recruitment at the Inspectors level, the President in exercise of the powers conferred by the proviso to Article 309 of the Constitution and in supersession of the Posts and Telegraphs Department (Inspectors of Post Offices, Inspectors of Railway Mail Service and Inspectors (Uniforms)) Recruitment Rules, 1997 promulgated Department of Posts, Inspector of Posts (Recruitment) Rules, 2001 introducing direct recruitment to the grade of Inspector of Posts and Inspector of R.M.S.  Column 11 of the Schedule appended to the Recruitment Rules, 2001 provides that 33.34% posts of Inspector shall be filled by Direct Recruitment through Staff Selection Commission and 66.66% by promotion through Limited Departmental Competitive Examination.  

          The introduction of direct recruitment at the level of Inspector under the Department of Posts, the Inspectors of Post Offices are brought on par with Inspectors of CBDT/CBEC without there being any perceptible functional differences, in the matter of duties and responsibilities or in the hierarchical status.  

          The pay scales of the post of Income Tax Inspectors under Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) and Posts of Inspector of Central Excise were revised from Rs.5500-9000 to Rs. 6500-10500 as per Office Memorandum dated 21-04-2004. The pay scale of the analogous posts of Assistants/PA's in Central Secretariat Service (CSS) and Central Secretariat Stenographers Service (CSSS) was also upgraded  from Rs.5500-9000 to the scale of Rs. 6500-200-10500 w.e.f 15.09.2006 as per Office Memorandum dated 25-09-2006. However, the pay scale of the Inspector of Post/Inspector of RMS under the Department of Posts has not been upgraded to the scale of Rs. 6500-200-10500 without any justifiable reasons.          

(F)    This Association would like to enclose herewith a chart showing the sanction strength of IPs/ASPs circle wise and post wise. The consolidated chart shows the total wing wise sanction strength.         

          This Association is not in favour to merge the ASP cadre into IP cadre. The decision arrived at AIC Bangalore was already communicated to Directorate and now it has been decided to go for merger of ASP cadre into PS Gr. B cadre, as ASP cadre have already been conferred Gazetted status in 2005. All the post of Sub Divisional Heads presently manned through ASP cadre i.e. 627 to be downgraded to IP and remaining posts of ASPs i.e. available in DO/RO/CO etc would be upgraded to PS Gr. B level.  

1.    Total ASP Sub Divisions (Postal)       : 596

2.    Total ASP Sub Divisions (RMS)         :   31

              Total (1+2)  ......                            : 627

         3.    Total ASPs                                      : 1824 (As per revised RRs)

4.    After down gradation of ASP sub Divisions to IP Sub Division there will not be any change in the number of sub divisions. Only ASPs posts will be reduced and IPs posts will be increased.
i.e. Total ASPs would be                   : 1824 – 627 = 1197  

5.    Total PS Gr. B posts as on date         : 866 + 10 = 876

6.    After merger of ASP to PS Gr. B        : 876 + 1197 = 2073
                  i.e. Total PS Gr. B would be 
7.    Total IPs                                        : 2187 (As per revised RRs)
Matching Savings :

As on date GP of above three cadres are as under :

a)    Inspector Posts (IP)                    : Rs. 4200/-

b)   Assistant Supdt. Posts                 : Rs. 4600/-

c)    PS Gr. B                                    : Rs. 4800/-

 a)    The difference of GP between PS Gr. B and ASP is Rs. 200/- only.
     Net effect including DA, HRA etc. would be Rs. 425/- only.

     If ASP cadre merged with PS Gr. B cadre then additional expenditure would be as under:

     1197 x 425   = Rs. 508725/- per month

     Rs. 508725/- x 12 = Rs. 6104700/- per annum (Rs. 61 lacs)  

b) The difference of GP between ASP and IP is Rs. 400/- only.
     Net effect including DA, HRA etc. would be Rs. 850/- only.

     If 627 ASPs Sub Divisions are down-graded to IPs, reduced expenditure    comes to as under :

     627 x 850 = Rs. 532950/- p.m.

     Rs. 532950 x 12 = Rs. 6395400/- per annum (Rs. 64 lacs) 

Apparently net saving as worked out is Rs. 3 lacs per annum.

The number of resultant sanction strength would be as under:

IPs          : 2187 + 627          =       2814

ASP         : Nil                       =       Nil

PS Gr. B   : 876 + 1197          =       2073 

Conclusion: Since last 33 years no cadre review has taken place for IP cadre whereas all other cadres had managed to get benefits in their favour periodically. Only one cadre review was taken place for IP cadre whereas 5 cadre reviews have already been carried out for IPoS cadre and 6th cadre review is presently under consideration. Last year this Association was called for to attend meeting in connection with Organizational Restructuring in Department of Posts and in the said meeting it was discussed about up-gradation of Class II divisions to Class I division and in each division there would be 2 PS Gr. B officers. In view of the said meeting, the upgraded posts of ASPs to PS Gr. B may be placed in division/RO/CO. 

We are waiting for positive response and if required meeting may be held with our Association for detailed discussion/clarification.

Yours sincerely,

(Vilas Ingale)
General Secretary 

Copy forwarded for information and necessary action to :  

1.    Shri S. Sarkar, Member (P), Department of Posts, Dak Bhawan, Sansad Marg, New Delhi 110001.

2.    Shri V. P. Singh, DDG (P), Department of Posts, Dak Bhawan, Sansad Marg, New Delhi 110001.

3.    Ms Trishiljit Sethi, DDG (Estt), Department of Posts, Dak Bhawan, Sansad Marg, New Delhi 110001 ADG (SPN) letter No. 137-89/2013-SPB-II dated 11th October 2013.

4.    Shri Arun Malik, Director (SR), Department of Posts, Dak Bhawan, Sansad Marg, New Delhi 110001 w. r. to his letter No. 01/01/2011-SR dated 25/8/2011, 14/11/2011,  6/9/2012, 4/10/2013, letter No. 02/02/2012-SR dated 17/4/2012 & letter No. 10-9/2013-SR dated 27th August 2013, 30/9/2013.

Note:- CS, Odisha Circle has communicated the view of Odisha Circle Branch to the GS in favour of straightway accepting merger of Inspector Posts and Assistant Superintendent of Posts cadre with Head of the Circle as appointing authority for merged cadre vide letter dated 29/10/2013. To view the letter please Click Here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

the calculation of matching saving is not correct. If GP of all IPs is proposed to be raised to Rs. 4600, how can there be net saving of rs. 3 lacs?