ALL INDIA ASSOCIATION OF CENTRAL EXCISE GAZETTED EXECUTIVE OFFICERS Ref. No. 184/11 Dt.24.10.11
Dr Manmohan Singh,
Hon’ble Prime Minister of India,
PMO, South Block, New Delhi.
Sub: Acute stagnation in Central Excise Superintendents.
It is submitted with due regards that the Superintendents of Central Excise are retiring after getting only 1 promotion in their service career in the most of the cases after being recruited as Inspector. The Inspectors of Income Tax, Inspectors of Central Excise, Preventive Officers of Customs and Examiners of Customs are the analogous posts recruited through the same recruitment examination with same eligibility qualifications in the same Department of Revenue with same administrative hierarchy as well as same nature of job of tax collection but there exists huge discriminatory difference in their promotional avenues.
2. The Inspectors of Income tax are reaching the level of Commissioner (6 promotions), the Examiners of Customs are also touching that level while the Inspectors of Central Excise are by and large retiring as Superintendent of Central Excise merely after 1 promotion leaving behind nothing with them for motivation. Moreover, the Inspectors of Central Excise, Preventive Officers of Customs and Examiners of Customs are working in the same organization of CBEC. The Inspectors of Central Excise, Preventive Officers and Examiners of Customs are all mentioned as “Inspectors only” in the recruitments rules and other relevant documents. They get next promotion as Superintendent of Central Excise, Superintendent and Appraiser of Customs (again analogous posts) respectively at group ‘B’ gazetted level performing same nature of job and merge at the level of Asstt. Commissioner. This all proves that a single cadre has been trifurcated in totally discriminatory manner by CBEC.
3. On account of this discrimination, the officers recruited as Inspectors of Central Excise have to draw less salary (even at the peak of their career) even than the pension of other analogous counterparts and work under their juniors even by 20 years. Even the ACPS or MACPS is unable to undo this discrimination. The Central Excise executive officers are being discriminated despite of the fact that they constitute about 50% of the total strength of the organization and play the role of its backbone collecting Central Excise duty, Customs duty and Service Tax. Their analogous counterparts of Customs are only 5% of their strength and working only in Customs stream but getting all the benefits due to faulty & biased rules. But no care has been taken for the officers recruited as Inspectors of Central Excise either in the last cadre restructuring or in the ongoing one.
4. The 1992 Income Tax Inspectors as well as Examiners have already become Asstt. Commissioner while the 1972 Central Excise Inspectors are still waiting to get that level. As far as CSS counterparts are concerned, 1992 Assistants have already reached one more step above, i.e., Under Secretary (Equivalent to Deputy Commissioner). A good number of vacancies of Joint Secretary have already been made reserved for them in the latest cadre restructuring of CSS. It is also worth to mention that the counterparts of CSS, Income Tax and Customs are able to enter very well the PB-4 pay band while Central Excise executive officers have to retire only in PB-2 pay band.
5. Presently, the cadre restructuring proposal of CBEC is with the DOPT for due approval. In this regard, your kind attention is invited to the DOPT communications vide D.O.No.5/26/2010-CS.II(A) Dt. 06.10.10, No. 19/1/2008-CS.I(P) Dt. 20.07.10, No. 20/51/2009-CS.II Dt. 27.01.11, No.35034/9/2010-Estt.(D) Dt. 10.02.11etc. stipulating very clearly that the cadre restructuring process should be viewed to mitigate the stagnation of the stagnated employees. Also in the minutes of the 2nd meeting of the MACP Committee held on 15.09.10, it is mentioned vide para 2 against Item No. 3 that DOPT may instruct the Administrative departments to undertake restructuring of the cadres in consultation with the Staff Side to secure quicker promotions.
6. But very disappointingly, the cadre restructuring process in CBEC has been formulated to benefit only non-stagnated cadres including IRS, ministerial, Customs etc. officers. The required measures have not been taken for admittedly the most stagnated category of employees, i.e., the Superintendents & Inspectors of Central Excise. The CBEC has itself admitted in the minutes of Board meeting held on 12.01.11 that the fresh vacancies likely to arise as a result of cadre restructuring may not be able to resolve the problem of stagnation being faced by this category. As a result of this cadre restructuring, 100% of eligible officers belonging to the other categories like TA’s, STA’s, Stenoes, Examiners, Appraisers, AC’s, DC’s, JC’s, ADC’s etc. will get further promotions. The promotional vacancies meant for them will even remain unfilled due to the want of the eligible candidates and they will be able to get 5 to 9 promotions in the service career. On the other hand, merely 24% of the Superintendents of Central Excise would be able to get next promotion and will retire.
7. Further, the said cadre restructuring proposal has been formulated in such a manner that the direct recruit IRS officers will be promoted as Commissioner within qualifying service of 17 years and they will be able to get 9 promotions in toto. It is also worth to submit that the IRS officers got their parity with the basic entry level counterparts of CBDT in the last cadre restructuring and are going to get the parity with basic entry level counterparts of other better placed group ‘A’ cadres in the ongoing cadre restructuring.
8. The Association has no grudge against the promotions of any category including the IRS officers but it is not understandable as to why such parity can’t be ascertained for Central Excise group ‘B’ officers and they can’t be given promotions within qualifying service as prescribed by DOPT vide its OM No. AB-14017/61/2008-Estt.(RR) dt. 24.03.09. It is, therefore, requested that such opportunities may also kindly be provided to these Central Excise executive officers and they should also be promoted within qualifying service like others including the IRS officers and also given parity with their counterparts of CSS, Income Tax, Customs etc.
9. It is also worth to submit that parity portion with the counterparts of Income Tax was very well marked by Hon’ble Finance Minister in the Ref. No. 10/10 of the Association during the meeting of 21.02.10 and was sent to CBEC authorities but no heed was paid to that by them. In one another meeting of 27.07.10, his goodself was pleased to assure that no injustice would be done with our officers this time. But very unfortunately, the discrimination is continued like ever.
10. The Examiners of 2006 & Appraiser of 2009, Preventive Officer of even after 1987 & Superintendents of Customs of even after 2002 while the Inspectors of 1982 only & the Superintendents of Central Excise of 1996 only will enter group ‘A’ in 2012 as a result of ongoing cadre restructuring. Thus, all of these Examiners & Appraisers will certainly retire as Commissioner or even above (6 or more promotions) while only some of the Inspectors & Superintendents of Central Excise will be able to enter group ‘A’. It is also worth to submit that the need of equal opportunity for promotion to group ‘A’ for the entry level officers has been admitted by the CBEC itself in the minutes of Board meeting held on 12.01.11 but nothing has been done in that direction. It is very clear that the equal opportunity for promotions can never be given without bringing all the entry level officers of a particular year to the same level of promotions.
11. Not only that, the CBEC has also committed to bring the Inspectors of Central Excise, Preventive Officers and Examiners of Customs of the same year to the same level of promotions at the time of presentation of cadre restructuring made on 18.01.11 but nothing has been initiated in that direction till date. Many other things like creation of separate service like CSS, promotion of Group ‘B’ Gazetted Executive Officers directly to STS like CSS, in-situ promotion scheme, minimising of group ‘A’ direct recruitment and merit based promotion of group ‘B’ officers to group ‘A’, etc. were committed on that occasion but nothing has been done till date. It seems that our CBEC is made for direct IRS officers only and look only after their interests.
12. The Board has also said that the organization already has 9000 Central Excise audit teams (vide letter F. No. 8/B/33/O&PM/2008 Dt. 06.05.08 of the Commissioner of DOPM of CBEC). It has also been already agreed in the presentation of 18.01.11 itself that these teams would be headed by AC/DC. These audit teams have also been recommended to be headed by Asstt./Deputy Commissioner and even by Addl./Joint Commissioner in the F. No. 11013/67/2007-AdIV by the Member (P&A) of CBEC on 24.01.08. Despite of this all, the promotional avenues are not being opened for the group ‘B’ Central Excise executive officers.
13. Your kind attention is again invited to the DOPT OM No. AB-14017/61/2008-Estt.(RR) dt. 24.03.09. It is requested that the new recruitment rules may kindly be framed for the Central Excise executive officers considering the following qualifying services in consonance of that OM -
Encls: Annexure I to show the promotional hierarchies.