Fixation benefit on promotion

In this connection, the following orders may be referred to.
           
            1.DOPT OM 35034/3/2008-Estt(D) dated 19.5.2009 and Annexure I
            2.Min. of Finance OM 10/02/2011-E.III/A dated 7.1.2013
            3.Min. of communications no 20-27/2015-SPB-II dated 20.8.2018
            4.Min. of communications no 20-27/2015-SPB-II dated 15.10.2018  
            5.Min. of communications no 2-12/2013-PCC(Pt) dated 23.10.2018
            6.CCS (RP) Rules, 2008
1. This is regarding the fixation of pay on promotion. Consequent on the implementation of MACP scheme w.e.f. 1.9.2008, there are huge confusion in the fixation of pay. There are cases of denial of benefits on fixation and also some cases of recoveries consequent on the fixation. This is regarding the consequence of MACP on regular promotion.
2. It is a fact that every official has the inclination, intelligence and hard work to participate and achieve in the promotional examinations. It is the ambition of every official to climb up in the promotional ladder. But due to various social economic conditions, most of the officials are unable to do so. A section of employees who have determination participates and succeeds in the promotional examinations. I congratulate those officials who met with success especially those officials who succeeded in the recent AAO examination.

3. It is the bound duty of the department to honor those officials who burnt their mid night oil for those promotions. Their work is to be compensated by grant of financial benefits, so that more officials would come to appear for those examinations. It is good for the department too.
4. While honoring those officials the sincerity, hard work and the sweat and blood of those officials who earned their promotions by virtue of their seniority should also to be encouraged and suitably compensated by financial benefits. They should also to be treated on par with those officials who are promoted through examinations. They deserve such a treatment.
5. Only considering the aspect as stated in para 4 above, the scheme of MACPS is introduced with effect from 1.9.2008 to offer financial upgradations for those officials who stagnated in a grade for 10 years. It is purely based on the stagnation in a cadre and not on functional basis. Also it is personal to the official and no stepping up of pay is available. They continue to perform the same duty and will have the same amount of responsibility. The benefit for MACPS is derived from the benefit for regular promotion from one cadre to another cadre involving higher duties and responsibilities. This scheme of MACPS should in no way stand in the way of regular promotions on functional basis.
6. Regular promotions earned by the officials are counted against MACPS as there is no question of stagnation. But MACPS should not prevent any official to earn the benefits on promotion after getting the benefits under MACPS. Also there is no rule in the MACP scheme that an official who is awarded MACPS would be posted against a norm based post which carries the same grade pay that of the MACPS already awarded to the official. Hence, promotion to a higher post on functional basis is not a lateral movement to that post consequent on the MACPS. If it is so, all the higher posts on functional basis should be filled strictly by seniority based on their grade pay in the present cadre of Postal Assistants. To cite an example, if any HSG I post is vacant, the senior most official with grade pay Rs. 4600 should be posted against this post on functional basis. But the recruitment rules for HSG I do not permit this. As per the recruitment rules, the senior most HSG II official with minimum required service in HSG II should be posted against this HSG I posts. Hence, a regular promotion is on functional basis from one cadre to higher cadre which deserves fixation benefit.
7. Those officials who are promoted to PM Gr  I by examination, after getting MACP were denied the fixation benefit. This promotion is clearly from the cadre of Postal Assistants to the higher cadre PM Gr I on functional basis, as per the orders for promotion. As per order cited 4 above, those officials who are promoted to PM Gr I are now entitled for the fixation benefit. This is the first correct step in the right direction. In a similar manner, for promotions from PM Gr I to PM Gr II, PM Gr II to PM Gr III also, the officials are entitled for such fixation benefit since all these promotions are from one functional level to higher functional level with higher duties and responsibilities. The grade pay or level of those officials at the time of promotion is immaterial. FR 22 (I)(a) (i) requires higher duties and responsibilities only for fixation benefit and did not consider the present pay/grade pay/level of the official. After issue of this order, those officials who are promoted to PM Gr I, even after getting MACP III are eligible for fixation benefit. Congratulations to them. I hope, the department will issue orders for their future promotions also.
8. In the above orders, it is stated the reason for the fixation benefit is that those officials are promoted through a LDCE. This is a mini classification, which shatters the equality as guaranteed under Article 14 and Article 21 of the Constitution. As per the recruitment rules of PM Grade, those posts were carved out from the corresponding selection grade posts. That is to say, PM Gr I from LSG, PM Gr II from HSG II and PM Gr III from HSG I. Also, it may be noted that at the first phase, those officials who were working against LSG, HSG II and HSG I were offered a chance to switch over to the corresponding level of posts, viz. PM Gr I, PM Gr II and PM Gr III respectively. From the above, it is clear that those posts under PM grades are equivalent those posts under the selection grade posts of LSG, HSG II and HSG II. Hence, those officials who were promoted to LSG after getting MACP also eligible for this fixation benefit, as both the PM Gr I official and LSG official perform the same duties and have the same amount of responsibilities. Hence they should not be classified differently, in the name of LDCE. I hope the department will issue orders early in this regard. For promotions and fixation benefit on promotions the cadres and the fact that the involvement of higher duties and responsibilities should be the criteria and not the mode of promotion.
9. On the same analogy, those officials who are promoted from LSG to HSG II, HSG II to HSG I should be granted the fixation benefit since all these promotions are from one functional level to higher level involving higher duties and responsibilities. Those officials deserve fixation benefit in the light of the provisions of FR 22 (I) (a)(i). The grade pay of the officials at the time of promotion is immaterial as already discussed.
10.  The order cited against 5 above allows fixation benefit to those officials for their promotion from Inspector Posts to Asst. Supdt. Posts, even though both the cadre are on the same grade pay of Rs. 4600. The reason stated for extending this benefit is “higher duties and responsibilities”. The order states that the promotion from Inspector Post to Asst. Supdt. Post involves higher duties and responsibilities and hence the fixation benefit is extended. This is the correct reason. This consideration is squarely applicable to the above cases of promotions in the PM Grades and also in the selection grade levels viz. LSG, HSG II and HSG I. It may be noted that the post of ASP is in the promotional hierarchy for IPO and the cadres are not merged. The benefits are extended without insisting the conditions stipulated in the orders dated 7.1.2013. This relaxation should be applied to all officials on the same footing.
11. Equals are to be treated equally and not otherwise. If a section of employees promoted to a particular post on examination are awarded and those officials who are promoted to the same cadre by virtue of their seniority are frustrated, it is a clear case of discrimination, which is against the equality before law as assured by the Constitution. Also it may lead to much chaos and it will shatter the principle of “equal pay for equal work”.
12. Hence, even though the fixation benefits ordered vide communications cited against 3, 4 and 5 are absolutely correct, the reason stated in 3 and 4 are not acceptable as they discriminate the officials.
13. The post of Supdt. of POs/RMS is filled by ASP on promotion as well as through examination. If the criterian of examination for fixation is applied, there will be two sets of SPOs one through examination will get the fixation benefit and the other promoted through seniority will not get the same amount of benefit. Both the officers will perform the same amount of duties and responsibilities.
14. In the light of the above, the regular promotions are entitled for financial benefits irrespective of the present grade pay/level of the promoted employee on MACP. In the following cases, the officials should be extended the fixation benefit as done in the above orders 3,4 and 5.
1. PA-PM Gr I-PM Gr II-PM Gr III
2. PA-LSG (FTP)-HSG II-HSG I
3. PA-LSG (Seniority)-HSG II-HSG I
4. IP-ASP-SP (seniority/examination)
15. I hope the department will consider this and will issue orders for the above cases early. I appeal the trade union to take up this case at appropriate level and cause issue of orders for the benefits.
Article by:
R.Hariharakrishnan
Manager,
Postal Stores Depot,
Tirunelveli 627002

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