Immediately after the announcement of Finance Minister on 12/10/2020 about the Festival Advance and LTC Cash package for Central Government Employees, the Govt. employees organization expressed their unhappiness about the LTC Encashment package since it is not going to be beneficial for them, since they have to spend 2/3rd of the money whatever Govt. is giving from their purse. Moreover they are forced to purchase items which are levied more than 12% GST which they have to pay of their own. The first out burst came from the All India Defence Employees Federation, followed by other Central Govt. Employees Organisations. Now the Apex Organisation of the Central Govt. Employees, the National Council(JCM) which consists of all the Recognised Central Govt. Employees Federations and Associations, has now taken up the matter with the Cabinet Secretary who is the Chairman of the National Council(JCM). Shiva Gopal Mishra, Secretary/Staffside of National Council(JCM) has now written to the Cabinet Secretary with copies endorsed to Expenditure Secretary and DOP&T Secretary conveying their demands on the above two issues and also about their pending demands.
www.indianpsu.com has obtained a copy of the Letter dtd. 14/10/2020 and the contents are given below for the benefit of our readers.
At the outset we register our protest and unhappiness about the announcement the above mentioned decisions of the Government arbitrarily without any discussion with the Staff Side of the National Council (JCM). Neither we were consulted nor any discussion has taken place with the Staff Side before Government taking such a major policy decision. This is against the spirit of the JCM Scheme itself and it defeat the bilateral consultation process and the norms and conventions of ILO with regard to collective bargain.
Festival Advance :
After the Government accepting the recommendations of the 7th CPC scrapping various interest free advances including festival advance available to Central Government Employees for more than 5 decades, the Staff Side of the National Council (JCM) represented against the same and have demanded that one month basic pay of the employee may be given as Festival Advance to be recovered in 10 Easy installments. The demand of the Staff Side was not yet considered by the Government. In this situation the Government has suddenly taken a decision that an amount of Rs. 10,000 as a package will be paid as advance to the Government employees and that the employees will be released through preloaded Rupay card from SBI and that this package will be available for any important festivals upto 31-3-2021. If the intention of the Government is to enable Government servants to meet expenses relating to festivals and to encourage spending to boost economic activities then it cannot be restricted only upto 31-3-2021. Festivals are a recurring events in our country. Therefore the restriction of 31-3-2021 may be removed and festival advance may be made as a permanent interest free advance equal lent to one month basic pay available to the Central Government Employees payable once in 10 months without imposing any conditions.
LTC Special Cash Package :
In the name of LTC special package according to the Government order dated 12-10-2020 one has to spend Rs.2,94,015 and reimburse Rs.1,34,015 in lieu of LTC. Moreover one has to purchase items / avail services which carry minimum 12% GST and the purchase has to be made from registered vendor through digital mode and obtained the voucher indicating the GST number and GST paid. It is also mentioned that TDS will be recovered from the LTC , Earned leave encashment. This is not at all an attractive scheme and in the present situation the Central Government Employees are not so economically sound to spend 2 /3rd from his pocket and to get reimbursement of 1/3rd amount spend for purchasing items with 12% GST. It is therefore proposed that the LTC special package should be to make cash payment equivalent to his / her eligibility and Leave encash amount without any conditions and restrictions. This may motivate the employees to avail the benefit and utilise the money for spending / purchase of items required for him / her. The scheme may be simplified to avoid unnecessary complications and submission of documents etc.,
You are aware that the Government employees and pensioners are already subjected to unnecessary financial hardship due to the decision of the Government to freeze 3 instalment of DA due to them, even though DA is not a ex gratia or a bounty. DA is given only to compensate the price rise based on the consumer price index. The Central Government Employees are already a de moralised lot due to the following reasons:
1. Corporatization and privatisation of Government Departments, thereby changing the status of employees who are recruited as Central Government civilian employees through All India Competitive Examinations under the various constitutional provisions.
2. DA Freeze by the Government.
3. Continuation of NPS in which no minimum pension is guarantee.
4. Non settlement of the 7th CPC demands which was agreed to be considered by the Group of Ministers in 2016.
5. Non implementation of Supreme Court Judgements on MACP issues and Grant of Notional increment to the employees who are retiring on last working day of June and last working day of December every year.
6. Undue delaying revision of the insurance and saving benefits from CGEIGS.
7. Continuing with 5% ceiling limit on compassionate appointment.
8. Non sanction of quarantine leave / special casual leave to the employees who are tested COVID-19 positive.
9. Non sanction of special casual leave due to non availability of public transport during the COVID-19 lock down period.
10. Non settlement of Departmental related demands including that of Railways and Defence.
11. Non functioning of the JCM councils both at National, Departmental and Regional / 3rd level and 4th level councils.
12. Arbitrary abolition of posts .
13. Non settlement of issues discussed in the National Council (JCM ) Meeting and Standing committee Meetings.
14. Issues related to Medical Treatment of employees and pensioners.
15. Payment of NDA in 7th CPC pay scale without any Basic Pay ceiling limit.
16. Implementation of 16 pending Arbitration Awards given by the Board of Arbitration under the JCM Scheme.
Sir, it is responsibility of the Government as a model employer to take care of the welfare and genuine expectations of the Central Government Employees who are working day and night even in the worst crisis period of COVID-19 pandemic spread. If the Government of a welfare state fail in its duty then it will have a far reaching implication on the performance of the employees which will ultimately reflect on the Governance of the country and the service to the people. Therefore time has come for the Government of India to consider all the above mentioned issues raised by the Staff Side in its true perspective and to take remedial action in the interest of the country and its citizens.