Deccan Chronicle

Dilli Ka Babu: No more pay panels?

Columnist| Dilip Cherian

Published on: August 17, 2019 | Updated on: August 17, 2019

The panel suggested that the pay matrix can be reviewed periodically without waiting for 10 years for another pay commission's recommendations.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

The Modi sarkar, it appears, is debating not to form any pay commission for increasing salaries and allowances of Central government employees in the future.

Apparently, this proposal has been placed before finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman to take a policy decision in this regard.

Those in the know say that the proposal is based on the recommendation of the Seventh Pay Commission headed by retired Justice Ashok Kumar Mathur back in 2014.

The panel suggested that the pay matrix can be reviewed periodically without waiting for 10 years for another pay commission’s recommendations. It also stated that the pay can be reviewed and revised by the Labour Bureau on the Aykroyd formula which takes into account the change in prices of commodities.

If the proposal is accepted, it will no longer be necessary to form a new pay commission after every 10 years for Central government employees and pensioners. Any change required regarding pay and allowances can be made after factoring in inflation. Watch this space for updates.

Kerala cop wins big
While his colleague T.P. Senkumar in Kerala was aided by the Supreme Court route to reclaim his position as state police chief, suspended vigilance director Jacob Thomas has also got a big relief from the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT). The panel has directed the Kerala government to revoke Mr Thomas’ suspension and give him a new posting. Mr Thomas was suspended two years ago for allegedly violating the model code of conduct.

Sources say that the LDF government suspended Mr Thomas after he criticised the state government at a private event. However, both police officials are known for their blemish-less service record, and many believe that they fell out with their superiors in the government for going all out against corruption in high places. The judicial opinion in both instances suggests that their suspension was an "act of vendetta" by the government.

The tribunal accepted Mr Thomas’ claim that he was targeted by the state government and took the view that Mr Thomas cannot remain suspended forever. It is now being said that the government will challenge the order.

Babu challenges lateral entry
Not everyone’s enthused about the Centre’s decision to allow lateral entry in the government at the joint secretary-level on a contractual basis. As expected, the babus are less than enthusiastic about the proposal. Now a retired IAS officer has moved the Supreme Court against the decision.

Claiming that the decision is "arbitrary", the petitioner Chandrapal, who retired as secretary in the ministry of micro, small and medium enterprises, has alleged that it would make the going difficult for bureaucrats selected on "merit" through a competitive examination.

He has also said that the selection would be influenced by political considerations and would create a "conflict of interest" by allowing persons from the private sector into the administration.

Pointing to the department of personnel and training (DoPT) notification inviting applications from private sector candidates, the petitioner has claimed that the notification does not specify any criteria for the selection of joint secretaries.

Will the move of approaching the Supreme Court impede the implementation of the new policy? The Centre can’t be too pleased about the prospect.

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