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Monday, September 17, 2012

Copy of representation sent by Shri AR Ram Mohan, retired Stenographer to the Minister of State.

                                                                                        September 3,2012
Hon'ble Minister Sir,
Sub: Pay parity for stenographers working in non-secretariat offices with Central Secretariat stenographers' services.
Ref: Reply letter dated  July, 2012 of Hon'ble Minister for State, Prime Minister's Office, Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, addressed to Shri Kodikunnil Suresh, Hon'ble Member of Parliament.

1. This letter is in reference to the quoted subject and I join issue as the undersigned is also from the stenographers' cadre.

2. I am afraid the Hon'ble Minister has been misinformed by the official machinery in the above matter, who are on denial mode to grant parity for staff, especially stenographers, working in non-secretariat offices on the premises of ill-founded theory of direct recruitment in secretariat services. The Sixth Central Pay Commission constituted for examining the revision of pay scales for various cadre has categorically declined to accept this theory noting that "equal emphasis has to be given to the field offices in order to ensure better delivery"
(para 1.2.18). The Commission has nowhere recommended preferential treatment for Assistants and their counterpart Stenographers in Central Secretariat Service, on any consideration, as claimed in the memorandum dated ie" November, 2009 quoted in reply letter to the Hon'ble Member of Parliament.
3, The Hon'ble Minister would be surprised to know that unlike Assistants in Central Secretariat Service who are recruited on graduate level, the prescribed qualification for recruitment of stenographers both in Central Secretariat and in field offices (non-secretariat organizations) is only +2 or equivalent with knowledge in stenography, vide Notification No. 437 dated August, 5, 2010 published in Gazette of India Extraordinary, Part II-Section-3-Sub-section (i) and model recruitment rules notified under DoPT orders dated 10-03-2010 and 24-01-2011. Further, the notification of model recruitment rules for stenographers working in non-secretariat organizations mentions that posts carrying G. P. ~
4,600/- will be Group 'B' gazette status with rider, giving undue leverage to ministries/departments concerned to interpret the conditions it would apply to the post. It is amusing that even after development of communication technology,initially ushered in by former Prime Minister, Late Shri Rajiv Gandhi, the officialdom like to qualify a service in government departments on quantity basis rather than on quality.
4. The Sixth Central Pay Commission had recorded in its report, vide para 1.2.19, of noting that 'anomalies in majority of cases were caused by upgradation of specific individual posts or grant of certain allowances by the earlier Central Pay Commissions or the Government. In some cases the upgradations had to be extended to comply with specific directions of various courts".
5. In para 1.2.20 of the report, the Sixth Central Pay Commission envisaged to settle the anomalies and wherever considered necessary on specific conditions, recommended upgradation of certain posts.
6. In para 2.2.19 (vii) of the report, the Sixth Central Pay Commission has categorically mentioned that pay scales (as per V CPC) of ~ 5000-8000, ~ 5500-9000 and ~ 6500-10500 have been merged to bring parity between field offices, the secretariat; The Commission has also noted therein that 'a large number of anomalies were created due to the placement of Inspectors/and Assistantsl Personal Assistants of CSSICSSS in scale ~ 6500-10500. The scales of ~ 5500-9000 and ~ 6500-10500, in any case, had to be merged to resolve these anomalies" .
7. In para 2.2.21 (v), the Sixth Central Pay Commission, has again pointed out on the proposed merger of pre-revised pay scales of ~ 5500-9000 and ~ 6500-10500.
8. In para 3.1.8 and 3.1.9 of the report, the Commission has recommended upgradation of entry scale of only Section Officers in Central Secretariat and not that of Assistants who were given only a replacement scale of PB-2 with GP of ~4,2001-.
9. In para 3.1.14 of the report, Recommendation for non-Secretariat Organizations, the Commission has recommended merger of scales of ~ 5000-8000 and ~ 5500-9000 and placing them in pre-revised pay scale of ~ 6500-10500 and to give replacement pay scale in PB-2 with G.P. of ~ 42001-, as recommended for Assistants of Central Secretariat services, vide table under para 3.1.9.
10. The Commission has also recommended to cease further recruitment of steno cadre exclusively both in Secretariat and in non-secretariat offices and advocated recruitment in unified cadre as Executive Assistant whose qualifications as well as method of recruitment shall be as prescribed for Executive Assistants in the Secretariat.
11. The Commission in its report, vide para 1.2.25 'on implementation of recommendations' judging the minds of officialdom has said that lengthy and elaborate documents are liable to be quoted out of context and hence, the report has been kept concise. Further it said that 'all the recommendations are interconnected and need to be treated as an organic whole.......... The Report would, therefore, need to be treated in a holistic manner and the
recommendations considered as a package".
12. It is not out of place to point out here that the Hon'ble Central Administrative Tribunal, Hyderabad Bench, in its judgment on OA no. 1276 of 2004 by stenographers working in South Central Railway vs the Secretary, Railway Board, etc., has recorded that 'In the light of the above discussions we find a lot of force in the pleadings made by the applicants for parity in the pay scales of Stenographers working in the Zonal Railways on par with that of
obtaining in the Railway Board as also in the Central Secretariat Stenographers Service, New Delhi. ... .. ... In any case, since there appears to be merit in the demand made by the applicants we feel it is necessary to give a direction to the Railway Board to examine the matter by treating this OA itself as an application and then take a decision having regard to the fact that the other Government of India Departments have implemented the same parity of scales in respect of their Stenographers be in a regular Department or subordinate offices or autonomous bodies
13. The Government has acknowledged having accepted the recommendation of the Sixth Central Pay Commission that - "Parity between field offices and secretariat has been proposed, as in Commission's view, equal emphasis has to be given to the field offices in order to ensure better delivery" (para 1.2.18) - and granting parity between field offices and the secretariat, vide Memorandum dated ia" and 16th November, 2009, issued by Ministry of
Finance.
14. The Government claims to have established parity by introduction of a pay scale on non-functional basis in Central Secretariat Service against a pay scale on regular basis in non-secretariat organizations. All these years (more than two decades), the stenographers working in non-secretariat organizations have been demanding for parity in pay scales with those stenographers working in Central Secretariat and not the other way round.
15. It is fundamental that a pay scale introduced in Central Secretariat service on non-functional basis do not become equal to pay scale on functional/regular basis in non-secretariat organizations.
16. In the light of the above, the undersigned wishes the Hon'ble Minister of State to intervene in the matter and remove the disparity created by the memorandum dated is" and is" November, 2009 and restore parity as envisaged in the Report of the Sixth Central Pay Commission, to the stenographers working in non-secretariat offices by merging the pre-revised pay scales of ~ 5000-8000, and ~ 5500-9000 with pay scale of ~ 6500-10500 and place them in PB-2 with Grade Pay ~ 4,6001- with retrospective effect from 01-01-2006.
Thanking you,
Yours sincerely,
(A.R. Ram Mohan)