Friday, December 28, 2007

POSTS IN CBEC SANCTIONED FOR SEZ

Posted by Secretary General on 12:15 PM with No comments
As requested by the AICEIA the Ministry of Finance has sanctioned posts for 63 Special Economuic Zones and ordered for encadrement of the same in the CBEC. The details of the said allocation as per F.No.A.11013/4/2007-Ad.IV of CBEC dated 13.11.07 is as below:
Deputy Commissioner - 63
Appraiser - 69
Superintendent of Customs - 61
Preventive Officer - 199
The Number of posts for each zone are as below:

D.C Supdt. Appraiser P.O
Vadodara 6 4 12 28
Kolkata 1 1 1 3
Patna 1 1 1 3
Kerala 2 2 2 6
Bangalore 13 13 13 39
Mumbai 5 5 5 15
Bhopal 4 4 4 12
Hyderabad 15 15 15 45
Chennai 10 10 10 30
Lucknow 3 3 3 9
Delhi 2 2 2 6
Chandigargh 2 2 2 6

The posts are to be filled up by the Cadre Controlling authorities under whose jurisdiction the SEZs are falling.
AICEIA had written to the Finance Minister that when the manufacturing tax is expected to come down and service tax potential may also depend upon the GST, refusal of the Ministry to man the SEZs should be reconsidered.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

CHARTER OF DEMANDS OF AICEIA

Posted by Secretary General on 4:01 PM with 2 comments
ALL INDIA CENTRAL EXCISE INSPECTORS’ ASSOCIATION

CHARTER OF DEMANDS



DEMAND 1: GRANT IMMEDIATELY

(A) RECOGNITION FOR AICEIA

In spite of this Association complying with the requirements of the CCS(RSA) Rules 1993, and even after submission of the AO (DD0) certificates as per the request of the Board to evidence the strength of the membership of the association, which as per the rules was to be ascertained by the administration itself, and even after submitting the said forms on 15.03.07, and after repeated reminders and pleadings, Recognition has not been granted to this association as per the new Rules. It gives an impression to the members that the administration is deliberately delaying the matter endlessly to ensure that the largest work force of the department does not get a legitimate collective hearing.

(B) PROPER ALLOWANCES FOR UNIFORM, RUMMAGING, RISK AND LOCAL TRAVEL EXPENSES.

The following legitimate requirements are required to be met in the interest of the department’s morale and in terms of equality:
1. Grant of proper equipment and maintenance allowance for three sets of uniforms for personnel in Customs.
2. Grant of Rummaging allowances for Officials posted in Customs area on par with the Officials of Customs.
3. Grant of Local Travel Expenses for Inspectors on par with the Inspectors of Income Tax.
4. Grant of Risk Allowance for Inspectors of Central Excise considering the risks attached to their duties and responsibilities.


DEMAND. 2: REMOVE IMMEDIATELY


(A) STAGNATION IN INSPECTOR CADRE.

Even after the restructuring of the department in 2002, the level of stagnation in the cadre of Inspectors of Central Excise has not reduced. This is inspite of the fact that one of the stated objectives of the restructuring was to take care of stagnation. Even today there are Inspectors who have completed 20 years of service as Inspectors and have not yet got even the first promotion in their career. Considering that the promotion of an Inspector as Superintendent itself is nothing substantial in one’s career given the fact that only one increment would be difference after such a long innings, the non-availability of even such a small change in one’s social ladder has not been addressed. The regional imbalances within the Central Excise Zones and between Central Excise and Customs are alarming that they would evidence total neglect of personnel management in the CBEC.


(B) CONTROL RAJ MIND SET BY ABOLITION OF CONTROL ROOMS AND UNIFORM IN C.EX AND SERVICE TAX.

In spite of preaching of an assessee friendly approach and change in mind set of the staff of the department, the CBEC itself firmly stands rooted to its colonial past. After the liberalization of excise and customs laws there is absolutely no justification to maintain Control Rooms and that at a very high cost. Similarly Uniform in Central Excise has become irrelevant and more of a mockery after the liberalization of Excise laws and introduction of Service Tax as the main base for indirect inland tax.


DEMAND-3: ORDER IMMEDIATELY

(A) REVISION OF PROMOTION QUOTA BETWEEN SUPDTS OF CENTRAL EXCISE AND SUPDTS OF CUSTOMS TO POSTS OF ASSISTANT COMMISSIONERS AS PER PRESENT CADRE STRENGTHS.

The ratio or 6:1:2 for promotion of Superintendents of Central Excise, Customs and Appraisers to the cadre of Group ‘A’, was fixed much before the 2002 restructuring of the department. Due to the change in the composition of the cadres after the re-structuring the ratio ought to have been revised.


(B) MERGER OF EXCISE AND CUSTOMS.

A policy decision to merge the Group ‘B’ and ‘C’ cadres of Excise and Customs was taken by the CBEC in the year 1996 itself. But till date it has not been implemented. The non-implementation of the Board’s own decision even during the re-structuring in 2002 has served to give only a bleak picture. Hence the merger has to be effected with effect from 1996.
In the event of the above not being implemented from the date of the decision, in order to bring down the disparities in promotional avenues within the Excise zones and between Excise and Customs in CBEC, the feasibility of making amendments to the Group ‘A’ Recruitment Rules to make the total length of service from the cadre of Inspector as the criteria for promotion to the cadre of Superintendents (since the post of Superintendents are 100% by promotion alone) has to be examined.

DEMAND-4: RESTORE IMMEDIATELY

(A) INTER-COMMISSIONERATE TRANSFERS.

Inter-Commissionerate transfers had been abolished by the CBEC thus prohibiting citizens in Government Service from opting to serve in any other part of India. Recruitments after 1997 are being done only on the basis of All India Ranking in the SSC Exam and postings are done to various parts of the country. In such a situation revival of inter-commissionerate transfers on request or alternative mechanism instead of the deputations as at present to enable persons to get transferred to any place in India due to personal problems has to be envisaged. It has also to be emphasized that initial postings should be done on the basis of the residential addresses of the candidates to ensure least difficulty due to the All India posting. To enable this the requisition for dossiers may be made by the CBEC itself once in six months.


(B) JCMS AT COMMISSIONERATE LEVEL.

Hearing the grievances of the staff is a fundamental requirement for a proper administration. An open discussion with the representatives of the staff would itself ensure the wholehearted participation of the staff in achieving the targets of the department. Apart from that, only a transparent administration would ensure that vested interests do not control the administration. It was with these requirements in mind that the three tier JCM set up was envisaged by the Government. But the meetings of the JCM are not properly held in many of the Commissionerates. This has created a divide between the administration and the staff in such Commissionerates. Hence the JCMs should be ordered to be held periodically in all Commissionerates.

DEMAND – 5: ISSUE INSTRUCTIONS FOR

(A) TRANSPARENT TRANSFER POLICY.

Guidelines for proper transfer policies, in the light of changes effected over a period of time and to ensure transparency in administration, are required to be issued at various levels. Towards that, the CBEC is required to issue broad Guidelines to its formations so that, at the Commissionerate levels and zonal levels, transfer policies are evolved by the local administrations in consultation with the staff representatives.


(B) TRANSPARANCY AND UNIFORMITY IN ALLOTMENT OF DEPARTMENTAL GUEST HOUSES.

Non-incorporation of the staff representatives in the management of the accounts of the Customs Welfare Fund gives room for various misgivings among the members of the department. Even in respect of the maintenance of guesthouses of the department, for which funds are released from welfare fund, in very many places there is an unwritten code that the guest house is not to be allotted to non-Group ‘A’ Officers or even if allotted gets cancelled at the last moment due to a subsequent accommodation of ‘Senior Officers’. Such practices demoralize the members of the staff and their family members due to such discriminatory treatment. The CBEC should issue strict instructions that allotment of Departmental Guest Houses should be made in a transparent manner and on a first come first served basis without relation to the class/cadre of the seeker.
Instructions also should be issued to ensure participation of Staff representatives of all Cadres in the CBEC in the management of the Customs Welfare Fund.


( C ) ISSUE OF UNIQUE GPF ACCOUNT NUMBERS.

Allotment of unique GPF account numbers to persons serving in the CBEC to avoid the problems of missing credits during transfers from one PAO zone to another.


DEMAND-6: INTRODUCE TO SAVE DEPT

(A) SEPARATE ORGANISATIONAL SET UP FOR ATTENDING TO QUESTIONS UNDER THE RTI ACT.

Numerous petitions are filed every day by various persons requiring information from the department, under the Right to Information Act. It is extremely important to give the correct information and only the correct information in every case. Since the RTI Act is a new one and decisions are coming out daily, separate formations may be envisaged to assist each Public Information Officer so that the correct position in law could be adhered to, while making available the desired information. Such a formation with willing and trained officers would ensure that unscrupulous elements do not take advantage of the Act to create nuisance to the department or to thwart investigations and adjudication of cases.


(B) MECHANISM AT COMMISSIONERATE LEVEL TO INTER-CHANGE DATA RELATED TO DIRECT AND INDIRECT TAXES TO INVESTIGATE IN PROFESSIONAL METHOD.

A machinery/mechanism to inter-change data pertaining to Indirect taxes and direct taxes at the level of Commissionerate level offices would enable broad based investigations in the department.

DEMAND-7: PROVIDE FOR FUNCTIONING

(A) INFRASTRUCTURE FOR FORMATIONS.

Provisions for proper infrastructure like furniture in offices, vehicles for executive work and computers to enable smooth implementation of computerization are required to be made.
In the light of the transfer liabilities, the satisfaction limit in the case of executive officers in respect of residential accommodation should be made as 100%.


(B) PERIODICAL TRAINING ON ALL FIELDS OF ACTIVITIES.

Periodical refresher courses and training programmes are mandatory for enabling a change in the mindset as well as effective implementation of the ever-changing laws.


( C ) DUTY LIST FOR ALL OFFICIALS SERVING IN CBEC.

Clear demarcation of duties to each cadre is required, in the light of changing laws and cadre compositions, and also in the light of the study undertaken at the instance of the VI Pay Commission regarding the feasibility of introducing Performance Related Pay in the department.
Though the oft-repeated excuse for not having a duty list is that every one should be prepared to do any work in an organization, the actual practice of a no-man’s land would lead to utter lawlessness and perpetuate feudalism.










Notice for CEC Meeting

Posted by Secretary General on 3:57 PM with No comments
Date : 26.12.07.

Notice for Central Executive Committee (CEC) meeting
At Kozhikode, Kerala on 8th February, 2008.

Notice is hereby issued for the meeting of the Central Executive Committee of the All India Central Excise Inspectors’ Association. The meeting is scheduled to be held on the 8th of February 2008 at ‘Hotel Span, Jail Road, Kozhikode, Kerala’ .

The meeting is scheduled to commence at 9.00 am.

Agenda

1. Reading and confirmation of the minutes of the CEC held at Bangalore on 24th and 25th of May, 2007.
2. Report of the Accounts by the Treasurer from the date of the last CEC meeting.
3. Tabling of Action Taken Report by the Secretary General and discussion.
4. Discussion on the agitation programmes.
5. Discussion and amendments if any to the Constitution of AICEIA.
6. Any other items with the permission of the chair.

Note:
1. Since the meeting is only for a single day, the reports of each branch/circle on their performances and participation in the calls by the AICEIA, C-O-C and Confederation and details of the accounts of each branch/circle may kindly be sent to the SG by e.mail before 20.01.08 in order to enable incorporation of the same in the report to be presented by the S.G.
2. Confirmation of attendance along with details of the to and fro journey may be made to any one of the following and to the SG, AICEIA by e-mail:

(1) Com. Arun Zachariah.P. (09447037011) [e.mail id: arun_zach@yahoo.com. ]
(2) Com. C.J.Thomas (09847020730)
(3) Com. K.P.Manoj (09387528650)


(R.Manimohan)
Secretary General

To
All members of Central Executive Committee of AICEIA.

PAPER ON LTU

Posted by Secretary General on 3:53 PM with No comments
THE FORMATION OF LARGE TAX PAYER UNITS
AND IT’S LIKELY IMPACT ON REVENUE

(Presented at the All India Conference of COC of Revenue Fedns/ Assns at Chennai on 6.10.07 by R. Manimohan, Secretary General,
All India Central Excise Inspectors’ Association)

Introduction.

It is the simplest issue which requires reiteration most often. One such fundamental issue is that the essence of all economic activity is to be happy at home. But we see that all so called economic developments are at the cost of the fabric of the economy, social and family structures and even against the health of individuals employed for the activities.

The other simple point is that no traffic signal serves its purpose in the Indian context without a police man around. This theory regarding traffic management holds good in respect of traffic of money and goods as well.

Conception of LTU

The very Finance Minister who recognized this principle and introduced the concept of 100% mandatory penalty in Central Excise in 1997, to put the fear of God in the minds of the assessees tempted to evade, goaded by the liberalization, has now made a turn around in envisaging a ‘soft’ body called Large Tax Payer Units (LTU) taking a cue from economies like Pakistan, Bangaladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka.

The scheme is to bring under a single window all big assessees who pay Central Excise, Service Tax, Income Tax and Corporate Tax and that for all their transactions through out India. On paper it is stated that there will be no audit controls for the units coming under the scheme and selective audit based on ‘risk assessment’ is to be conducted in consultation with the tax payers themselves. Jurisdictional Officers will not have controls except under specific instructions for specific purposes from the LTUs and the units under the scheme will be free to move their inputs, semi-finished goods, capital goods and finished goods between their units any where in India without payment of any duty.

Questions on the concept.

LTU is an ad-hoc measure intended to be implemented through executive orders for short-term gains sacrificing the long-term gains of not only revenue productivity but also economic growth of the country.
In the words of Dr. Parthasarathi Shome, “…it would be the responsibility of the tax administration to fully apply the tax law without issuing executive orders to create simplistic administrative constructs that may facilitate its operations in the short run but would tend to divert the tax system from its principles of efficiency and equity. These principles must remain the tax system’s central premise if long run economic growth and, in turn, robust revenue productivity, are not to be hampered.” (IMF; STI Lecture – ‘Tax Administration and the Small Taxpayer: Concepts, Concerns and Corrections’)

The concept of LTU has been recommended for developing countries ‘as a potential Trojan horse for reform in tax administrations that have become seriously dysfunctional or, worse, completely captured by corrupt administrators.’ (McCarten (2004); South Asia Region, World Bank, p.2).

The serious question begging an answer from the Finance Minister and his bureaucracy is whether the above condition for introduction of this scheme in the Indian economy is accepted.

The stated and the practice.

One of the stated objectives of the scheme is to bring down the compliance cost. At the outset it would sound ridiculous to state that the large business houses suffer due to a high compliance cost and are to be provided relief even as their counter parts in the medium and small scale sector are not provided with the same sort of relief. Moreover, automation launched in the tax sector is understood to have already sufficiently reduced their ‘Compliance Costs’ as found by Dr. Sridharan in his paper “ What It Costs to Operate the Indian Customs and Central Excise Duties?” (1998) published in Management and Accounting Research (July-September 1998).

Another serious question requiring an answer before getting into the scheme is that when all India growth in respect of Central Excise and Service Tax revenue in the past three years is not buoyant, as compared to the buoyancy in industrial growth, why such new sops are added by the Government?

Strangely when the scheme paper claims that it was introduced after consultations with the trade, in the field we know that a lot of pressure is exerted to bring units into the LTU. Such a laisez-faire approach should have been enough to lure any sane assessee. Still there is a great effort undertaken to bring them into the scheme. So what could be the fear of the trade?


Janus face

The single window concept brings under the control of a small organization, around 80% of the large business houses answering to IT, Corporate Tax, Central Excise and Service Tax separately now. A small ill-manned organization like LTU, with the risk of its head being brought from outside market without any accountability to the Parliament or enactments of the Parliament can very rightly be expected to become a blood hound organization with sky high powers to make or break a business house itself. The enormous powers of discretion that would be available when all acts of direct and indirect taxes are put together, focused at a single point and the power to draw executive strength at will, for operation at a single stroke through out India, are fundamental threats for a transparent and equitable tax administration.
The only group of large business houses who can dare this trouble are those multinationals from abroad who would have the facility of dealing with only a single office in the entire country and who cannot be cowed down by the clout of the organization in what ever form they may be. But the larger question comes then: is the reduction in ‘Compliance Cost’ aimed at benefiting these tycoons and does not the economy face the risk of becoming a prey to the cartels of these huge business houses, which then can dictate the very policy of revenue?
If on the other hand, the Government is really intending to enforce such a free-trade zone within the economy, it requires to be kept in mind that the lack of preventive and audit controls due to lack of proximity to the location and premises of the assessees would hamper conducting risk analysis on the basis of intelligence gathered locally and would seriously affect revenue augmentation. Further, due to differences in the state government policies on the manufacturing sector, and the existing exemption regime, the proposed policy of remote control will have to counter several obstructions, but for which revenue is at stake.

At any rate provision for special facilities for the large business houses in comparison to the medium and small scale sector would prove to be the death knell for the local industries. Only to replay the East India Company episode and prove that history repeats.

Conclusion.

Thus, whether the LTU could become a blood hound body suiting the needs of the political masters or whether it will cater to the requirements of the rich and mighty at the cost of the small and medium scale tax payers, it is the economic sovereignty and security of the nation that is at stake.

CIRCULAR - 8

Posted by Secretary General on 3:38 PM with No comments
CIRCULAR- 8/07 Date: 11.12.07

Dear Comrades,

Kindly find enclosed the copy of the letter sent by this association to the Chairman and other Officials seeking urgent intervention in settlement of our various demands. These letters are towards launching agitations as planned in the Bangalore CEC. But before embarking upon the agitations, it is desirable to consider the level of participation in the following agitations at the level of each Branch and Circle. An agitation programme is to show our strength to the Administration based on which alone we can expect a decent deal.

1) The National One-day strike on 30.10.07.

2) The lunch hour demonstrations on 30.11.07.

If the agitations are bound to show luke-warm reactions even from the membership, the administration cannot be expected to take the charter seriously.

In this regard, the circular of the C-o-C of Federations/associations in the Department of Revenue is also enclosed.

All Office bearers of the Association at the All India level and at the Branch/Circle levels are requested to urgently respond to this circular.

Fraternally yours,

(R.Manimohan)

Encls:
1) Letters to Chairman during Vigilance awareness week.
2) Letter to Chairman enclosing the seven-point charter of demands.
3) Circular of the C-O-C dated 11.12.07.

Ref.No. AICEIA/VIG-AW-WEEK/01/07 Date: 12.11.07

To
Shri. S.K.Shingal,
Chairman,
Central Board of Excise and Customs,
North Block, New Delhi.

Sir,

Sub:- Vigilance Awareness Week, 2007 – Point No. 1 – reg.

With regard to the Vigilance Awareness Week, the CBEC, in consonance with the directives of the Central Vigilance Commission is in the process of sensitizing the members of the department regarding the necessity to provide a clean and transparent tax administration.

In this regard this association would like to take this opportunity to point out that one of the basic requirements of any administration desirous of achieving its targets is to have a healthy interpersonal relationship within the organization. The Government, appreciating this rudimentary principle envisaged the Joint Consultative Machinery set up, to ensure a transparent administration, to better the serving conditions and enhance the staff morale by mutual consultation between the administration and the staff representatives.

In order to ascertain as to who are the real representatives of the staff, the Recognition Rules were introduced in 1994. All other departments have provided recognition to their staff associations under these rules after conducting the verification of membership under the prescribed check-off system and have been conducting business in their respective JCMs at the Departmental and regional levels.

In the CBEC alone, in particular on the Central Excise side, no association has been granted recognition as on date, even after the associations have complied with the said rules. Due to this, there is a gaining impression that there is a conscious decision in the Board to keep away the staff associations. This is a serious threat to transparent administration. It is human experience that wherever collective wisdom is not heeded to, there is lurking danger for the system itself.

However, this association has found during its interaction with your good self that you are a person intending to provide a clean and transparent administration.


Hence we request you at this juncture to issue immediate instructions to the concerned, to complete the process of granting recognition to the staff associations in CBEC, including this association, since they have complied with the rules of recognition and that JCMs be conducted at Commissionerate levels also, if not conducted now, so that vested interests and corrupt practices could be thwarted by a transparent administration.


Yours truly,


(R. Manimohan)
Secretary General

Copy to
(1) The Hon’ble Prime Minister of India, New Delhi.
(2) The Hon’ble Union Minister for Home, New Delhi.
(3) The Hon’ble Union Minister for Finance, New Delhi.
(4) The Revenue Secretary, Government of India, New Delhi.
(5) The Central Vigilance Commission, Satarkta Bhavan, Block A, INA, New Delhi – 110023.
(6) The Member (P & V), CBEC, North Block, New Delhi.
(7) The Secretary General, Confederation of CG Employees and Workers, New Delhi.
(8) All Sister Associations in CBEC.


Ref.No. AICEIA/VIG-AW-WEEK/02/07 Date: 13.11.07

To
Shri. S.K.Shingal,
Chairman,
Central Board of Excise and Customs,
North Block, New Delhi.

Sir,

Sub:- Vigilance Awareness Week, 2007 – Point No. 2 – reg.

With regard to the Vigilance Awareness Week, the CBEC, in consonance with the directives of the Central Vigilance Commission is in the process of sensitizing the members of the department regarding the necessity to provide a clean and transparent tax administration.

We in the CBEC as a community feel the pain of the negative publicity in the media. Every year during the Vigilance Awareness Week, our department has been taking steps to project a cleaner image of the department. In this connection this Association has the following suggestion to make for your esteemed consideration:

No taxman can be liked by the public at large. Even if tax collection is done with the precision, passion and perfection of a bee collecting the nectar, the general public is equally intelligent and aware of the Kaudilyan law, that any strain on their pockets would be protested against. Hence, instead of fighting the negativity as such if a positive side is built in, the department would have a better image.

In this context, we are given to understand that the Canadian Customs has undertaken a social obligation of finding out lost children thus endearing themselves to the society.

Considering the network of the department in the Central Excise and Service Tax areas in India, it is proposed that the department could maintain a help-line service round the clock to locate blood donors within their jurisdictions for the needy. Towards this, the currently functioning PRO units in the Commissionerate Headquarters may be mandated to collect the data regarding the staff of the department in different stations willing to donate blood, their blood group, phone numbers and addresses and also similar data from all other industries and offices within their jurisdiction which could be computerized and made available online as well as on phone. For this purpose a cell phone number may be provided to the PRO at the cost of the Government and the number may be widely publicized.

Such a major decision may require the consent of the Ministry. But in the overall interest of the tax administration of the Government, we are sure that the Ministry will consent to this proposal. We are equally sure that your name would go down in the history of the department for getting the Ministry’s nod for this proposal.

If the announcement of this scheme could be made on Excise Day, 2008, the image of the department would definitely go up in the public eye. The self-esteem of every officer in the department will also go up.



Yours truly,


(R. Manimohan)
Secretary General

Copy to
(1) The Hon’ble Prime Minister of India, New Delhi.
(2) The Hon’ble Union Minister for Finance, New Delhi.
(3) The Revenue Secretary, Government of India, New Delhi.
(4) The Central Vigilance Commission, Satarkta Bhavan, Block A, INA, New Delhi – 110023.
(5) The Member (P & V), CBEC, North Block, New Delhi.



Ref.No. AICEIA/VIG-AW-WEEK/03/07 Date: 14.11.07

To
Shri. S.K.Shingal,
Chairman,
Central Board of Excise and Customs,
North Block, New Delhi.

Sir,

Sub:- Vigilance Awareness Week, 2007 – Point No. 3 – reg.

With regard to the Vigilance Awareness Week, the CBEC, in consonance with the directives of the Central Vigilance Commission is in the process of sensitizing the members of the department regarding the necessity to provide a clean and transparent tax administration.

One key area emerging as an instrument for asserting the rights of the citizens to ensure transparency in administration is the Right to Information Act. Numerous petitions are filed every day by various persons requiring information from the department. On one hand the work load of the field officers increases multifold in responding to such requirements within the specified time frame and on the other hand it becomes extremely important to give the correct information and only the correct information in every case.

Since the RTI Act is a new one and decisions are coming out daily, it is suggested that separate formations may be envisaged to assist each Public Information Officer so that the correct position in law could be adhered to while making available the desired information. Such a formation with willing and trained officers would ensure that unscrupulous elements do not take advantage of the Act to create nuisance to the department or to thwart investigations.

Yours truly,


(R. Manimohan)
Secretary General

Copy to
(1) The Revenue Secretary, Government of India, New Delhi.
(2) The Central Vigilance Commission, Satarkta Bhavan, Block A, INA, New Delhi – 110023.
(3) The Member (P & V), CBEC, North Block, New Delhi.




Ref.No. AICEIA/VIG-AW-WEEK/04/07 Date: 15.11.07


To
Shri. S.K.Shingal,
Chairman,
Central Board of Excise and Customs,
North Block, New Delhi.

Sir,

Sub:- Vigilance Awareness Week, 2007 – Point No. 4 – reg.


With regard to the Vigilance Awareness Week, the CBEC, in consonance with the directives of the Central Vigilance Commission is in the process of sensitizing the members of the department regarding the necessity to provide a clean and transparent tax administration.

One critical ingredient for a transparent administration is accountability and impartiality.

In this context it has been painfully noticed by this association that due to non-incorporation of the staff representatives in the management of the accounts of the Customs Welfare Fund, there are misgivings among the members of the department as to what all purposes the funds are allotted for, apart from medical treatment. Even when funds are released from the said fund for maintenance of guesthouses of the department, in very many places there is an unwritten code that it is not to be allotted to non-Group ‘A’ Officers or even if allotted gets cancelled at the last moment due to a subsequent accommodation of ‘Senior Officers’. Such practices demoralize the members of the staff and their family members due to such discriminatory treatment. The CBEC should issue strict instructions that allotment of Departmental Guest Houses should be made in a transparent manner and on a first come first served basis without relation to the class/cadre of the seeker.

Yours truly,


(R. Manimohan)
Secretary General

Copy to
(1) The Revenue Secretary, Government of India, New Delhi.
(2) The Central Vigilance Commission, New Delhi – 110023.
(3) The Member (P & V), CBEC, North Block, New Delhi.



Ref.No. AICIEA/CBEC/24/2007 7.12.2007


To
SHRI. S.K.SHINGAL,
Chairman,
Central Board of Excise and Customs,
North Block, New Delhi.

Sir,

Sub:- Charter of demands of AICEIA – intimation – reg.


Kindly find enclosed a charter of demands of this association.


The Central Executive Committee of this Association has felt that the points in the charter are pending solution for quite a long time and has therefore been forced to launch agitations through out India to invite attention to the plight of our cadre.

Before the launch of such agitations, it is felt that we should bring them to your notice for any redressal possible to avoid agitations.

Yours truly,
Encl : Seven point Charter of Demands.
(R. Manimohan)
Secretary General

Copy to
(1) Shri. P.V.BHINDE, Revenue Secretary, North Block, New Delhi.
(2) Shri. A.K.RAHA, Member (P&V), CBEC, North Block, New Delhi.
(3) Shri. K.K.N. Kutty, Secretary General, Confdn. Of CGE&W.
(4) All Office Bearers of AICEIA and Branch/Circle Secretaries. ( for information and preparations as per the CEC decisions at B’glore)


ALL INDIA CENTRAL EXCISE INSPECTORS’ ASSOCIATION

CHARTER OF DEMANDS



DEMAND 1: GRANT IMMEDIATELY


(A) RECOGNITION FOR AICEIA

In spite of this Association complying with the requirements of the CCS(RSA) Rules 1993, and even after submission of the AO (DD0) certificates as per the request of the Board to evidence the strength of the membership of the association, which as per the rules was to be ascertained by the administration itself, and even after submitting the said forms on 15.03.07, and after repeated reminders and pleadings, Recognition has not been granted to this association as per the new Rules. It gives an impression to the members that the administration is deliberately delaying the matter endlessly to ensure that the largest work force of the department does not get a legitimate collective hearing.

(B) PROPER ALLOWANCES FOR UNIFORM, RUMMAGING, RISK AND LOCAL TRAVEL EXPENSES.

The following legitimate requirements are required to be met in the interest of the department’s morale and in terms of equality:
1. Grant of proper equipment and maintenance allowance for three sets of uniforms for personnel in Customs.
2. Grant of Rummaging allowances for Officials posted in Customs area on par with the Officials of Customs.
3. Grant of Local Travel Expenses for Inspectors on par with the Inspectors of Income Tax.
4. Grant of Risk Allowance for Inspectors of Central Excise considering the risks attached to their duties and responsibilities.


DEMAND. 2: REMOVE IMMEDIATELY


(A) STAGNATION IN INSPECTOR CADRE.

Even after the restructuring of the department in 2002, the level of stagnation in the cadre of Inspectors of Central Excise has not reduced. This is inspite of the fact that one of the stated objectives of the restructuring was to take care of stagnation. Even today there are Inspectors who have completed 20 years of service as Inspectors and have not yet got even the first promotion in their career. Considering that the promotion of an Inspector as Superintendent itself is nothing substantial in one’s career given the fact that only one increment would be difference after such a long innings, the non-availability of even such a small change in one’s social ladder has not been addressed. The regional imbalances within the Central Excise Zones and between Central Excise and Customs are alarming that they would evidence total neglect of personnel management in the CBEC.


(B) CONTROL RAJ MIND SET BY ABOLITION OF CONTROL ROOMS AND UNIFORM IN C.EX AND SERVICE TAX.

In spite of preaching of an assessee friendly approach and change in mind set of the staff of the department, the CBEC itself firmly stands rooted to its colonial past. After the liberalization of excise and customs laws there is absolutely no justification to maintain Control Rooms and that at a very high cost. Similarly Uniform in Central Excise has become irrelevant and more of a mockery after the liberalization of Excise laws and introduction of Service Tax as the main base for indirect inland tax.


DEMAND-3: ORDER IMMEDIATELY

(A) REVISION OF PROMOTION QUOTA BETWEEN SUPDTS OF CENTRAL EXCISE AND SUPDTS OF CUSTOMS TO POSTS OF ASSISTANT COMMISSIONERS AS PER PRESENT CADRE STRENGTHS.

The ratio or 6:1:2 for promotion of Superintendents of Central Excise, Customs and Appraisers to the cadre of Group ‘A’, was fixed much before the 2002 restructuring of the department. Due to the change in the composition of the cadres after the re-structuring the ratio ought to have been revised.


(B) MERGER OF EXCISE AND CUSTOMS.

A policy decision to merge the Group ‘B’ and ‘C’ cadres of Excise and Customs was taken by the CBEC in the year 1996 itself. But till date it has not been implemented. The non-implementation of the Board’s own decision even during the re-structuring in 2002 has served to give only a bleak picture. Hence the merger has to be effected with effect from 1996.
In the event of the above not being implemented from the date of the decision, in order to bring down the disparities in promotional avenues within the Excise zones and between Excise and Customs in CBEC, the feasibility of making amendments to the Group ‘A’ Recruitment Rules to make the total length of service from the cadre of Inspector as the criteria for promotion to the cadre of Superintendents (since the post of Superintendents are 100% by promotion alone) has to be examined.

DEMAND-4: RESTORE IMMEDIATELY

(A) INTER-COMMISSIONERATE TRANSFERS.

Inter-Commissionerate transfers had been abolished by the CBEC thus prohibiting citizens in Government Service from opting to serve in any other part of India. Recruitments after 1997 are being done only on the basis of All India Ranking in the SSC Exam and postings are done to various parts of the country. In such a situation revival of inter-commissionerate transfers on request or alternative mechanism instead of the deputations as at present to enable persons to get transferred to any place in India due to personal problems has to be envisaged. It has also to be emphasized that initial postings should be done on the basis of the residential addresses of the candidates to ensure least difficulty due to the All India posting. To enable this the requisition for dossiers may be made by the CBEC itself once in six months.


(B) JCMS AT COMMISSIONERATE LEVEL.

Hearing the grievances of the staff is a fundamental requirement for a proper administration. An open discussion with the representatives of the staff would itself ensure the wholehearted participation of the staff in achieving the targets of the department. Apart from that, only a transparent administration would ensure that vested interests do not control the administration. It was with these requirements in mind that the three tier JCM set up was envisaged by the Government. But the meetings of the JCM are not properly held in many of the Commissionerates. This has created a divide between the administration and the staff in such Commissionerates. Hence the JCMs should be ordered to be held periodically in all Commissionerates.

DEMAND – 5: ISSUE INSTRUCTIONS FOR

(A) TRANSPARENT TRANSFER POLICY.

Guidelines for proper transfer policies, in the light of changes effected over a period of time and to ensure transparency in administration, are required to be issued at various levels. Towards that, the CBEC is required to issue broad Guidelines to its formations so that, at the Commissionerate levels and zonal levels, transfer policies are evolved by the local administrations in consultation with the staff representatives.


(B) TRANSPARANCY AND UNIFORMITY IN ALLOTMENT OF DEPARTMENTAL GUEST HOUSES.

Non-incorporation of the staff representatives in the management of the accounts of the Customs Welfare Fund gives room for various misgivings among the members of the department. Even in respect of the maintenance of guesthouses of the department, for which funds are released from welfare fund, in very many places there is an unwritten code that the guest house is not to be allotted to non-Group ‘A’ Officers or even if allotted gets cancelled at the last moment due to a subsequent accommodation of ‘Senior Officers’. Such practices demoralize the members of the staff and their family members due to such discriminatory treatment. The CBEC should issue strict instructions that allotment of Departmental Guest Houses should be made in a transparent manner and on a first come first served basis without relation to the class/cadre of the seeker.
Instructions also should be issued to ensure participation of Staff representatives of all Cadres in the CBEC in the management of the Customs Welfare Fund.


( C ) ISSUE OF UNIQUE GPF ACCOUNT NUMBERS.

Allotment of unique GPF account numbers to persons serving in the CBEC to avoid the problems of missing credits during transfers from one PAO zone to another.


DEMAND-6: INTRODUCE TO SAVE DEPT

(A) SEPARATE ORGANISATIONAL SET UP FOR ATTENDING TO QUESTIONS UNDER THE RTI ACT.

Numerous petitions are filed every day by various persons requiring information from the department, under the Right to Information Act. It is extremely important to give the correct information and only the correct information in every case. Since the RTI Act is a new one and decisions are coming out daily, separate formations may be envisaged to assist each Public Information Officer so that the correct position in law could be adhered to, while making available the desired information. Such a formation with willing and trained officers would ensure that unscrupulous elements do not take advantage of the Act to create nuisance to the department or to thwart investigations and adjudication of cases.


(B) MECHANISM AT COMMISSIONERATE LEVEL TO INTER-CHANGE DATA RELATED TO DIRECT AND INDIRECT TAXES TO INVESTIGATE IN PROFESSIONAL METHOD.

A machinery/mechanism to inter-change data pertaining to Indirect taxes and direct taxes at the level of Commissionerate level offices would enable broad based investigations in the department.

DEMAND-7: PROVIDE FOR FUNCTIONING

(A) INFRASTRUCTURE FOR FORMATIONS.

Provisions for proper infrastructure like furniture in offices, vehicles for executive work and computers to enable smooth implementation of computerization are required to be made.
In the light of the transfer liabilities, the satisfaction limit in the case of executive officers in respect of residential accommodation should be made as 100%.


(B) PERIODICAL TRAINING ON ALL FIELDS OF ACTIVITIES.

Periodical refresher courses and training programmes are mandatory for enabling a change in the mindset as well as effective implementation of the ever-changing laws.


( C ) DUTY LIST FOR ALL OFFICIALS SERVING IN CBEC.

Clear demarcation of duties to each cadre is required, in the light of changing laws and cadre compositions, and also in the light of the study undertaken at the instance of the VI Pay Commission regarding the feasibility of introducing Performance Related Pay in the department.
Though the oft-repeated excuse for not having a duty list is that every one should be prepared to do any work in an organization, the actual practice of a no-man’s land would lead to utter lawlessness and perpetuate feudalism.











**********
COORDINATING COMMITTEE OF FEDERATIONS/ ASSOCIATIONS
IN THE DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE
Manishinath Bhavan, A-2/95, Rajouri Garden, New Delhi 110027
Phone : (011) 25105324, 09811048303

CIRCULAR
11.12.07.

Dear Comrades,

Please note that the following decision was taken at the National Convention of the C-o-C at Chennai on 6.10.07.


1. Holding of Lunch Hour Demonstration on 30 November 2007 to oppose LTU and to extend support to the movement of Customs and Central Excise Gr. D and Ministerial officers for amendment/ notification of Recruitment Rules.
2. Holding of Conventions in all other Metro Cities as per convenience of the local (State) Revenue C-o-Cs.
3. Signature campaign in support of Revenue C-o-C demands in December 2007 with an aim to collect minimum 50000 signatures.
4. Half day walk-out on the next Union Budget Day (2008).

As per the above decision, a lunch hour demonstration was to be held on 30.11.07. Similarly, during this month signature campaigns are to be undertaken apart from trying to organize similar conventions in other metro cities. The agitation programmes require urgent attention against the backdrop that the Government has gone ahead with constitution of the next LTU also at Chennai on 1.12.07.

Hence, to assess the situation and decide on the further course of action, an urgent report may be sent by each one of the constituent organizations in the C-o-C regarding the participation of its members in the lunch hour demonstration on 30.11.07.



(K.K.N. Kutty) (Rajesh Menon) (Sougata Chakraborty)
Joint Convenors

Copy to:
1. Income Tax Gazetted Officers Association; 2. Income Tax Employees Federation; 3. All India Association of Central Excise Gazetted Executive Officers; 4. All India Central Excise Inspectors’ Association; 5. All India Federation of Central Excise Executive Officers, Nagpur; 6. All India Central Excise & Customs Ministerial Officers’ Federation; 7. All India Customs & Central Excise Gr. D Officers’ Federation; 8. All India Customs Preventive Services Federation; 9. All India Customs Appraisers Officers’ Federation; 10. All India Customs Preventive Superintendents’ Federation; 11. All India Customs Ministerial Officers Federation; 12. All India Customs Group “D” Officers’ Federation; 13. All India Federation of Central Excise & Customs Telecommunication; 14. Customs Departmental Canteen Association



CIRCULAR - 7

Posted by Secretary General on 3:35 PM with No comments


CIRCULAR- 7/07 Date: 29.11.07
Dear Comrades,

Conduct demonstrations on 30.11.07 against LTU


Please recall the decision of the Convention of the C-o-C of Associations/Federations in the department of Revenue, held at Chennai, conveyed to all through the previous circular. The first decision of the forum is reproduced below:

Holding of Lunch Hour Demonstration on 30 November 2007 to oppose LTU and to extend support to the movement of Customs and Central Excise Gr. D and Ministerial officers for amendment/ notification of Recruitment Rules.

As per the above all Branches and Circles are hereby called upon to conduct demonstrations tomorrow (30.11.07) during lunch hour ALONG WITH OTHER CONSTITUENTS OF THE COC WHEREEVER AVAILABLE and pass resolution on the above lines and communicate the same to the administration apart from sending a copy to this association.

Demand on Bonus ceiling

Apart from the above demands, the demand in respect of making the amendment to the Bonus Act in respect of ceiling, applicable to the CG Employees also, as per the Confederation’s call reproduced below:

Dear Comrades,

As you are aware., the Government took the decision to raise the bonus ceiling for the purpose of computation from Rs 2500 to Rs 3500 after more than a decade. As per the Press Information Bureau release, this decision of the cabinet is applicable to the bonus payable to the workers for the FY 2006-07 onwards. The Adhoc and productivity linked bonus in the case of CG Employees were declared and paid in Sept. Oct. 2007.
Confederation has taken up this issue with the Government. The Secretary of the Staff Side of the JCM National council had also written to the Secretary, Expenditure and Secretary Personnel, indicating the need for making this applicable to the CGEs. for the year 2006-07 and revise the orders issued in respect of PLB and adhoc bonus. We have been informed by the Officials in the Finance Ministry that the proposal is awaiting the approval of the Finance Minister. Perhaps this may require the sanction from the cabinet too as that has been the procedure adopted in the earlier occasion. Since the matter is being unduly delayed for no ostensible reason as the Finance Minister was party to the earlier cabinet decision for raising the ceiling limit to Rs 3500,the Confederation desires that Demonstration/Dharna should be organized in front of all Offices and sendm the following telegram/Saving gram to Shri P. Chidambaram, Finance Minister, Govt. of India, North Block, New Delhi- 110 001. The programme of action may be carried out immediately on receipt of this letter by the Units of all affiliates. The affiliates are requested to kindly convey the decision to their branches and units so that the programme will have wider participation and create sanction to compel the Govt. to take an expeditious and positive decision in this matter. We are sending this communication through our e-mail and copy of the same has been placed in our web-site. Programme may be carried out as and when the message is received by the State/Divisional/Branches. Confederation has also sent SMS to all the National Executive Members.
*Text of Telegram*
KINDLY EXTEND THE BENEFIT OF THE DECISION TO RAISE THE BONUS CEILING LIMIT FROM 2500 TO 3500 TO CENTRAL GOVT. EMPLOYEES.
With greetings,
Yours fraternally,
K.K.N.Kutty, Secretary General.

National Executive of the Confederation

The National Executive of the Confederation is scheduled to meet at Bangalore on 9.12.07 to assess the one-day national strike on 30.10.07 and chalk out programmes for the future.
Pl ensure that the programmes stated above are followed scrupulously.
Fraternally yours,
R.MANIMOHAN,
SG, AICEIA.

CIRCULAR - 6

Posted by Secretary General on 3:31 PM with No comments


CIRCULAR-6/07 Date: 22.10.07

Dear Comrades,

Congratulations to the newly promoted Superintendents

AICEIA Congratulates all Inspectors who were promoted on 15.10.07 against the newly created posts. Among the newly promoted are Com. Tirthankar Pyne our former S.G and Co-Convenor of COC representing our Cadre, Com. M.B.Jain, Joint Secretary (West Zone), Coms. Vothob and Sivalingiah, Officer Bearers at Karnataka, Coms. S.Periasamy and Jesu Chandra Bose, Office Bearers at Tamil Nadu apart from several other former Office Bearers and active members of the Association. AICEIA wishes them all the very best and we look forward towards better relations with the Association representing the Gazetted Promotee Officers of CBEC with the active participation of these new entrants.

Convention on LTU at Chennai

As intimated in the earlier Circular the Convention of the COC of Fedns/Assns in the Department of Revenue was held at Chennai on 6.10.07. Officer Bearers of almost all constituent organizations participated in the massive Convention. The minutes of the Convention is enclosed. The paper presented in the Convention by this Association is also enclosed for circulation among members to create awareness on the issue. We have also emphasized in the Convention that the Government which vouches by the Socialistic principle should extend the same single window benefit to all small and medium scale manufacturers/service providers if the real intention is only to reduce the compliance cost of the trade as stated in their scheme for LTU. The future course of action decided in the Convention is as below:
1. Holding of Lunch Hour Demonstration on 30 November 2007 to oppose LTU and to extend support to the movement of Customs and Central Excise Gr. D and Ministerial officers for amendment/ notification of Recruitment Rules.
2. Holding of Conventions in all other Metro Cities as per convenience of the local (State) Revenue CoCs.
3. Signature campaign in support of Revenue CoC demands in December 2007 with an aim to collect minimum 50,000 signatures.
4. Half day walk-out on the next Union Budget Day (2008).

All of us are required to keep the above agenda in mind and conduct the programmes as per schedule.

Revision of the Charter of Demands of the COC

As decided in the COC Convention at Chennai, the following fresh points have been sponsored by AICEIA to the COC for consideration for inclusion in the revised Charter.
1. Grant recognition to all Associations in the CBEC that have complied with CCS(RSA) Rules.
2. Abolish Uniform in Central Excise and Service Tax and grant proper equipment and maintenance allowance for three sets of uniforms for personnel in Customs.
3. Abolish Control Rooms in Central Excise and Service Tax.
4. Declare duty list for each cadre in CBEC.
5. Constitute a machinery/mechanism to inter-change data pertaining to Indirect taxes and direct taxes at the level of Commissionerate level offices to enable broad based investigations to be set up.
6. Revive Inter-Commissionerate transfers.
7. Declare Broad guidelines for proper transfer policies to ensure transparency in administration.

The above points are in addition to the existing ones. Some of the issues involving the Customs have been omitted due to the platform being a combined one. Some departmental issues are also to be pursued separately by AICEIA.

Meeting of Office bearers of AICEIA at Chennai

On the sidelines of the Convention of the COC, the Office Bearers of the AICEIA met at Chennai on 6.10.07 morning and analysed the events subsequent to the CEC at Bangalore. The meeting took stock of the situation as had emerged subsequent to the CEC and approved of the decision to sponsor the LTU issue to the COC along with the issues related to revision of pay scales w.e.f 1.1.96. It was also decided to go along with the COC on common issues and that the agitations planned in the CEC held at Bangalore be re-scheduled after re-drawing the charter accordingly and fixing dates after the COC Convention’s decisions. The revised charter of demands and the schedule for AICEIA’s agitations will be circulated in the next circular after the COC charter is finalized.

Mobilize for the strike on 30.10.07

It is once again reiterated that the one-day token strike on 30.10.07 under the aegis of the Confederation of CG Employees and the Confederation of State Government Employees and PSUs pressing the charter of demands circulated vide our earlier circular has to be observed without fail. It needs no reiteration that not only this will be a self assessment of our organizational commitment as well as the commitment for our own rights, but also will be a yardstick for the administration to gauge our mood and strength. This will have a telling effect on our long pending demands including the recognition of this Association. Hence all Officer bearers are requested to mobilize massively in co-ordination with the local C-o-c of CG Employees and make the call a cent-per-cent success.
Fraternally yours,
Encls: 1) Minutes of COC Meeting
2) Paper presented by AICEIA
(R.Manimohan)
Secretary General

CIRCULAR - 5

Posted by Secretary General on 3:27 PM with 2 comments
CIRCULAR-5/07 Date: 17.09.07

Dear Comrades,

SERVE NOTICE FOR STRIKE ON 19.09.07.

As has been intimated by the earlier circular, notice for a one-day national strike is to be served on all the Heads of Departments and Heads of Offices on 19.09.07 positively by all the Associations in the Confederation as well as by the Branches/Circles in such Associations.

The format for the notice is found in the web site of the Confederation. It is being enclosed for easy reference.

All Branches/Circles are to ensure that the said notice is served on their local heads of Offices after conducting a lunch hour demonstration on 19.09.07. After the notice is served, a copy may be sent to me positively. A report regarding the demonstration and serving of notice may please be sent by e-mail so that the Confederation headquarters could be intimated.

On no account may there be a failure in serving of the notice on the stipulated date. It may please be kept in mind that there is ample time for mobilization and if any problem is perceived in mobilizing members of any branch/circle for participation in the strike on the 12 point charter, the same may be intimated immediately so that the AICEIA Office bearers will reach the areas to mobilize the cadre.

CONVENTION OF COC AT CHENNAI ON LTU

Again as intimated in the earlier circular, a convention is to be held at Chennai on 6.10.07 to create awareness about the dangers of the LTU. The Convention under the banner of the C-o-C of Revenue Federations/ Associations is to be held from 2 pm on 6.10.07 at Income Tax Auditorium, 121, Nungambakkam High Road (Uthamar Gandhi Salai), Chennai – 34. A meeting of the Office Bearers of the AICEIA is to be held at 11 am at the venue to be fixed by the Chennai Branch of the AICEIA. All Office Bearers of the AICEIA are requested to make themselves available on 6th morning itself at Chennai. All Branch/Circle Office bearers in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka are requested to participate in the Convention positively. Similarly, Office bearers of Branches/Circles where next LTUs are slated are also requested to attend the Convention so that it will enable them to mobilize at their regional levels.

Com. Venkatakrishnan, General Secretary, Chennai Branch (09840746290) may be contacted regarding stay and arrangements. The respective Branches/Circles may bear their respective expenses. Confirmation regarding attendance may be intimated to me by e-mail./telephone.

The Office Bearers OF AICEIA (J.S and V.P) representing each zone may ensure that the message in this circular is received and adhered to by each and every branch/circle in their respective zones.


Encl: Draft Notice of strike
Fraternally yours,

R.Manimohan
Secretary General


FORMAT FOR STRIKE NOTICE
To
……………..(Head of the Deptt)/Head of office,……………….(Address)
Sir,
The Confederation of Central Govt. employees and workers, to whichthe ALL INDIA CENTRAL EXCISE INSPECTORS’ ASSOCIATION is affiliated have decided to organize a day's strike on30th October, 2007 in pursuance of the following demands andaccordingly have served the notice for the strike on the Government.
I in my capacity as ……………(post held by the signatory to this letter)Iam to inform you that the employees of ………………..department who are members of ………………….(Name of the Union/Association/Federation) will be on strike on 30th October, 2007.
Thanking you,
Yours faithfully,
Encl : Charter of Demands
……………….(Name)Name of the post held by the signatory
Charter of Demands

1. Scrap the PFRDA Bill and Cancel appointment of the Pensionfund Managers; Introduce statutory pension scheme for the newrecruits;
2. Grant full Trade Union rights including the right to striketo all Government employees through appropriate legislation;
3. (a) Stop downsizing the Government departments, privatization and contractorisation/ casualisation of Governmental and teaching functions. Stop contractual appointments of teachers and workers, regularize all daily rated, casual and contingent employees(b) Lift the Ban on recruitment and fill up the existing vacancies of all Government departments, educational institutions and State undertakings; Provide job to jobless
4. Grant Interim relief of minimum of Rs.1000/-/ to all CentralGovernment employees. Implement the 6 th CPC recommendation with effect from 1.1.2006.
5. Bring down the abnormally rising prices of essentialcommodities and strengthen subsidized public distribution system.
6. Merge of 50% DA with basic pay with all consequential benefitsand release of all DA instatements to the State Govt. employees.
7. Withdraw the 5% cap and other restrictions on compassionateappointment. Restore the compassionate appointment scheme wherever it stands abolished.
8. Stop the proposal to replace the CGHS by Medicare insurance scheme.
9. Implement all pending awards of the Board of Arbitration.
10. Remove the quantum ceiling on Bonus and grant bonus to all.
11. Set up a Judicial Committee for wage revision of Grameen Dak Sewaks in replacement of Nataraja Murthy Committee.
12. Increase GPF& Small Savings' interest rates and restore to its early level.

CIRCULAR - 4

Posted by Secretary General on 3:11 PM with No comments
CIRCULAR-4/07 DATE : .8.07

Dear Comrades,

On agitations as decided by the CEC at Bangalore

This circular has been delayed for the main reason that we have been waiting to launch agitations as planned in the Central Executive Committee Meeting held at Bangalore.

However, in an attempt to make the agitations broad based, we decided to approach other sister organizations in the revenue so that a combined agitation could be launched. Basically, the issues pertaining to LTU, pay scale revision, compassionate ground appointments and atleast three promotions in the career are common to all the organizations in the C-O-C of Revenue Federations/Associations. In respect of revision of the promotion ratio of A.Cs vis-à-vis the Customs, we have common ground with the Superintendents. By going ahead with an agitation on such demands, it was felt that we will be foreclosing the opportunity for other organizations to join, because we would have advanced on our own.

Towards this objective we have approached the C-O-C of Revenue Federations/Associations. The meeting of the C-o-C could be held only on 4.8.07 at Delhi. But even in that meeting most unfortunately the representatives of the Superintendents Cadre and the Ministerial cadre from Central Excise were not present.

With great effort we have been able to arrive at a decision that there would be a national convention of the C-O-C at Chennai on 6.10.07 to create awareness among our own members and to build public opinion against the ‘policies of the Government affecting revenue’ (mainly LTU).

All members of the CEC are requested to attend the above convention at Chennai on behalf of AICEIA. A short CEC meeting of AICEIA also could be conducted on the side lines of the Convention (on the day before or on the next day) provided the Chennai Branch could make arrangements for the same at the same venue of the Convention, so that we would be able to re-assess the situation and decide on the further course of action. ( All Officer Bearers and members of the CEC are requested to send their suggestions regarding when such a meeting of our CEC could be held).




One day strike on 30.10.07

In a grand convention of Central, State Government, State PSUs Employees and Teachers held at New Delhi on 13.08.07 more than 1000 Government Employees’ representatives participated from all parts of the country. The Convention unanimously decided to have a National Token Strike on 30.10.07 pressing for the 12 point Charter of demands. The Declaration adopted in the meeting and the charter of demands are appended.

AICEIA participated in the Convention and the subsequent Confederation National Executive meeting on 14.08.07.

The following points require specific focus and hence have to be highlighted to our members:

· Due to non-availability of any legislation on pensions for those who have joined after 1.1.04, a situation has been created where by 10% of the income deducted towards contributory pension but could not be repaid in cases where some deaths or resignations have occurred.
· Same type of pension scheme with the contribution amountncapable of being pumped into the stock markets, is being envisaged for the existing employees as well as former employees (pensioners). It is apprehended that the number of years for which a pensioner would be entitled for pension may also be restricted.
· There are indications that the existing medical re-imbursement facilities and the CGHS facilities are to be tampered with and in their place private medical insurance cover is to be suggested, thus undermining the health security of millions of Government employees. Due to this not only the 26 cities enjoying the CGHS facilities, including in-patient treatment, even after retirement would be withdrawn, the present re-imbursement facilities also would go and every one would be at the mercy of private medical insurance agencies.
· By non-payment of interim relief, what is at stake is the effective date of the implementation of the 6th CPC report since the 5th CPC had clearly stated that the next Pay Commission should take effect from 10 years of the implementation of the 5th CPC recommendations.
· Control over prices, increasing the interest rates in GPF and small savings are the basic requirements for the Government servants who belong to the middle class.
· Stopping privatization, contractorisation, lifting ban on recruitment, removing the cap on compassionate ground appointments, filling up of all existing vacancies, etc are demands which have a direct impact upon the working conditions of each one of us.
· Removal of quantum ceiling on bonus is very particularly applicable to our members.
· The restoration of right to strike is a fundamental requirement for the democratic functioning of the Government departments and to ensure that minimum levels of personnel management is resorted to atleast to the levels of profit seeking private employers though not to reach standards expected out of a ‘model employer’.
· The basic democratic set up for negotiated settlement also has been eroded by non-implementation of the arbitration awards in blatant disregard to the JCM regulations.
· The other demands in the charter are essentially humanitarian and merit attention from any sensitive government.

Hence members may be sensitized regarding the seriousness of the issues and may be mobilized to participate in the strike for which formal notice will be issued by us along with all other organizations on 19.09.07. Since the call for the strike emanates from a Group ‘C’ & ‘D’ platform, we need not expect the Superintendents to join the agitation. Efforts are on to mobilize the other Associations in CBEC also to join the Strike. However, not depending upon other cadres, we shall be fully prepared to strike work on 30.10.07 along with all other Central Government, State Government, State PSUs Employees and Teachers all over India. Wherever any difficulties are felt to mobilize the members for the strike, the Central leadership may be informed so that Central Office Bearers would assist the Branch/Circle Office bearers facing the difficulty.

All Circle/Branch Office bearers are once again requested to be in constant touch with the C-o-C of C.G Employees at the local levels and participate in all their programmes with full vigour.

Let us impress upon each and every member of our Association that it is not fair to expect other employees with lesser salaries and worse working conditions than ours, to fight for our benefits.


Developments related to the Cadre

The major development within the department has been that for the first time after implementation of Service Tax more than 10 years ago, some posts are being allocated for management of the new area of tax. Thanks to the efforts undertaken by this Association, (then Federation) the memorandum submitted to various agencies and Members of Parliament and the power point projections made in 2004 and 2005, the posts which had been created as per a decision of the Cabinet is understood to have been allocated by the Board in its meeting on 6.07.07.

The zone wise allocation of posts of Superintendents of Central Excise as understood is given below:

Zone C.Ex Cus Total State total
Kolkata 82 82 82
Lucknow 25 25 51
Meerut 26 26

Patna 15 10 25 25
Pune 29 29

Mumbai 90 12 102 131
Nagpur 28 28 58
Banglore 60 20 80 97
Mysore 17 17

Kochi 16 16 16
Delhi 88 21 109 109
Chandigar 30 30 30
Chennai 66 7 73 115
Coimbtore 42 42

Jaipur 16 16 16
Bhopal 30 30

Hyderabad 25 25 42
Vizag 17 17

Shillong 10 10 10
Bhubneswr 27 27 27
Ahmedbad 78 40 118 156
Vadodara 38 38


855 110 965 965

The remaining 145 posts out of 1110 have been allocated to Customs Preventive. However there have been objections from certain zones that the service tax and work load potential of those zones have not been taken into consideration in the above allocation. The AICEIA has addressed the Board on the above concern. It is learnt that the allocation has been made basically taking into consideration of the projections made by the local/zonal heads.

This is a repeat situation of the restructuring of 2001-02 where again proposals were finalized only based on the reports of the Chief Commissioners, who in turn, in most of the zones had submitted reports without consulting with the staff representatives or even against the proposals of the staff associations. The pattern appears to be deliberate so that the local associations could be kept under control by the local authorities. This trend of the CBEC being at the mercy of local satraps could be ended only with a strong unified organization with an all-India outlook. Let us be conscious of this factor in the building of the organization.

(Just as this Circular is to be issued it is understood that the Notification of the allocation of posts has been signed on 16.8.07 and promotions are to be made before 15th October 2007. Further details are awaited).

Another good thing that has happened for the benefit of the department and the cadres is that the necessity to abolish a certain number of posts for creation of the above has been done away with.


Developments related to Recognition of AICEIA

The representatives of this Association have twice met with the Joint Secretary (Admn), CBEC on the issue of delay in processing of our file related to the recognition. He has assured that the issue would be settled in a short span of time and is under his monitoring. It is learnt that along with our case, the case of the Gazetted Executive Officers Federation is also getting processed.


Agitations by Sister Organisations within CBEC

The Associations/Federations representing the Group ‘D’ of Central Excise and Customs and the Ministerial of Customs have embarked upon a mass rally and fasting with Dharna at New Delhi from 21st August 2007 on a charter of demands insisting for publication recruitment rules for Aos, DOS, change of RR for Sepoys, pay parity between the executive and non-executive, filling up of vacant posts, release of ministerial quota for promotion to posts of Appraisers, regularization of services of casual labourers as per directions of the Supreme Court, etc,.

As per the decision of the C-o-C of Revenue Federations/Associations, all Office Bearers of the Branches and Circles are to send telegrams to the Chairman, CBEC in support of the charter of demands on which the Group ‘D’ and Ministerial Officers of CBEC have been forced into agitations and calling for immediate negotiated settlement on the issues raised by them. The Telegrams may be issued on 21.08.07 or on 22.08.07 positively.

A report of confirmation of such a telegram having been sent may be sent to the undersigned by e-mail. A copy of the post copy of telegram may be handed over to the local office bearers of the concerned Associations (which are on agitation).

Mass middle year transfers in Hyderabad

The administration has once again indulged in mass transfers out of a station in the middle of the academic year, in breach of the guarantee against such moves given by the local Chief Commissioner. The events in Hyderabad which have been inviting our attention for quite some time now, on which the CEC at Bangalore also had passed a resolution, does not appear to be coming to a halt in spite of intervention at the level of Honourable Members of Parliament. The administration at Andhra appearing to be indulging in the very old game of divide and rule by pitting one set of members against others. AICEIA has called for urgent intervention by the Chairman to halt the current transfer orders whereby 22 Officers have been shifted out of Hyderabad this week to destinations approximating 600 K.ms. If such instances are left unchecked, uncertainty will become the hall mark of staff administration every where.

Fraternally yours,

Encl: Copy of the Declaration of 13.08.07 convention.
(R. Manimohan)
Secretary General
National Convention 13-08-2007

The National Convention, under the auspices of the Confederation of CGEs. All India State Govt. employees Federation and various teachers federation was held at MPCU Auditorium, Gujarathi Samaj Marg, Delhi on 13-08-2007. Presidium consisting of the following comrades conducted the proceedings:
1. Com. C.C.Pillai {Confederation)
2. Com.R.G.Karnik(AISGEF)
3. Com.Kartik Mandal(STFI)
4. Dr.V.K.Tewari(AIFUCTO)
5. Com.Sailo Bhattacharya (AIDEF)

Com.Sukomal Sen, General Secretary, AISGEF, presented and proposed for the adoption of the declaration. He proposed to call upon the employees to organize a day's strike on 30-101-2007. Com.S.K.Vyas, President, Confederation who seconded the proposal explained in details to why the date of strike had to be fixed on 30th October, 2007. Com.M.K.Pandhe, President, CITU inaugurated the convention. Com.Tapan Sen, MP., Com.Sailo Bhattacharya, Gl.Secy., AIDEF, Com.V.A.N.Namboodiri, Secy.Genl., BSNL Emp. Union, Com.Rajesh Menon, Secy.Genl., Confederation of Central Govt. Gazetted Officers Organisation were the leaders who accepted our invitation and addressed the delegates. 858 delegates representing various organizations of State and Central employees participated in the deliberations at the convention. The deliberation was finally summed up by Cpm.K.K.N.Kutty, Secy.Genl., Confederation of CGE and Workers. Earlier Com.M.S.Raja, Secy., Confederation had moved a resolution for the consideration of the house condemning the Indo-US nuclear agreement. The declaration with amendment and additions and the resolution moved by Com.M.S.Raja were approved by the house unanimously. Copy of the declaration and the resolution are enclosed.
The house decided to call upon all participating Federations to organize joint campaign and mobilization fortnight between 10 th Sept., 07 to 25th Sept., 2007 by holding joint convention/meetings etc and serve the strike notice on 19th September, 2007 on all heads of offices/Department after a massive demonstration eliciting the participation of all employees.

National Executive Meeting
The National Executive of the Confederation along with the Secretaries of the COC met today. While endorsing the decision of the Convention, the house discussed the various steps to be taken to make the strike slated for 30th October a grand success. It was decided that the COCs will be given the list of all affiliates; the CHQ will give them the list of organizations which have served the strike notice on 19th; the copy of the circular of the affiliates will be made available to all the COCs; the Secretaries of the State COCs or the COCs of the State capital to chalk out campaign programmes in the respective states to cover all employees working in moffusil stations; leaflets and posters would be printed and circulated by all the COCs on the basis of a centrally issued format; steps would be taken to get in touch with Defence and Railway organizations for eliciting solidarity and support action wherever possible; the need for interim relief and the ramification that might emerge from its denial would be explained to the employees in detail; the extreme danger that emanates from the decision to introduce the new contributory pension scheme would be explained as also the necessity to set up judicial committee for GDS; etc.
The Confederation CHQ in consultation with the AISGEF shall chalk out campaign programme and shall communicate the same to all affiliates/COCs. The affiliates and COCs will take necessary steps to organize the joint convention on the dates specified by the CHQ. On the conclusion of the campaign fortnight, the COCs will chalk out tour programme for mobilization to all moffusil station in the respective States.

With greetings,
Yours fraternally,
K.K.N.Kutty,
Secretary General


Declaration adopted at the National Convention of Central, State Government, State PSUs employees and Teachers to be held at MPCU Shah Auditorium, Delhi On 13th August, 2007

This National Convention of Central, State Government employees, teachers and State Public Sector Undertakings being held today, the 13th August, 2007 at Delhi while taking into account various burning issues confronting them adopts the following declaration:
2. At this moment the most dangerous issue that is confronting the employees in the government sector is the conspiracy to foist the IMF-World Bank dictated New Pension Scheme on them and denial of Interim Relief to the Central Government Employees pending final recommendation of the 6 th CPC as had been the practice on all earlier occasions.
The Central Govt. employees, the State Government employees teachers and the workers in the Central and State Public Sector Undertakings particularly, and the working class in general, had been the victims of severe economic offensive of the successive Governments that came into existence in the country ever since the new economic policies were ushered in 1991. While the Government of India had been modulating these policies on the advice and direction of the triumvirate viz. IMF/World Bank and WTO, the State Governments had been curtly directed to adhere to these policies. Some of the State Governments followed it willingly; whereas others under various pressures exerted on them.
Systematic downsizing and closure of Government departments and PSUs;; drastically amending the labour laws to facilitate the new entrepreneurs to indulge in hire and fire, lowering interest rate of GPF and other small savings like EPF, Postal Savings Schemes etc.; curtailing the social security benefits available for the Government employees; allowing the foreign and domestic monopoly capital to loot and plunder the indigenous resources; etc. had been the hall marks of these policies over the years. Acting upon the Expenditure Reforms Committee's recommendations, the Governments both at the centre and the States could close down many Governmental undertaking throwing thousands of workers surplus and redundant.
The Sponsoring Committee of Central Trade Unions and the National Platform of Mass organizations were spearheading the resistance against these ill advised economic policies. The Confederation of Central Government Employees and workers and the All India State Government employees Federation and most of the Federations of the Government employees, teachers and PSU workers were working closely with the Sponsoring Committee of Trade Unions and the NPMO and had been the participants in all the Strike actions organized against these economic policies.
In view of the continuing and unabated offensive unleashed by the Government of India and various State Governments and especially in the background of (i) doing away with the existing statutory defined benefit pension scheme;(ii) the denial of interim relief despite the setting up of the Pay Commission,(iii) the continued contractorization of regular employment in the Governmental Sector, (iv) reduction of interest rates of the Provident Fund accumulations despite the rising market rates of interest,(v) the refusal to fill up the existing vacancies in various departments of the Governments despite the increasing unemployment;(vi) the refusal of many State Government to merge the DA with basic pay (vii)the spiraling inflation, the Central and State Government employees, teachers and workers of some of the State owned PSUs have jointly decided to mobilize the employees and workers for a decisive action and to hold a convention to discuss and deliberate upon the issues confronting them.
To bring about the so called pension reforms and make available the pension funds for stock market operations had been one of the significant directives of the World Bank. In December, 2003, the then NDA Govt. notified the new contributory pension scheme to replace the existing statutory defined benefit scheme of pension for Central Govt. employees who join service on or after 1.1. 2004. Almost all State Governments adopted the new scheme enunciated by the Govt. of India. In order to give statutory effect to the said notification of the NDA Govt, the UPA Govt. brought about an ordinance in December, 2004, which was later replaced by the PFRDA Bill. However, the Bill could not be made into an Act, due to the principled objection of Members of Parliament belonging to the Left Parties. The Conference of the Chief Ministers and State Finance Ministers convened by the Prime Minister on 22 January, 2007 also met with stiff resistance to the contemplated pension reforms. However, this did not deter the Finance Minister of the UPA Govt. to go ahead with the Pension reform process in a most undemocratic manner. The new Pension Scheme was rejected by the West Bengal, Kerala and Tripura Left Front Finance Ministers. On the strength of the support rendered by the other State Governments, the UPA Govt. has now appointed the Fund Managers and has also decided to make available 5% of the accumulated contributions from the employees recruited on or after 1.1.2004 to the Stock market for which there is no legal sanction.
The very concept of a defined adequate pension ( being a deferred pay) capable of providing socio-economic justice to the employees at their old age, as proclaimed by the Supreme Court of the country, now stands dismantled as Pension under the new dispensation would be a fluctuating or vanishing phenomenon, dependent upon the vagaries of the Stock market. The terms of reference of the study group set up by the 6th Pay Commission to go into the pension structure amply indicates a possible migration of the existing employees to the new contributory pension regime.
Moreover, overzealous with the motive of aiding profit generation of the International and Domestic finance capital, the Central Government has allowed the PSUs to invest upto 30% of their surplus cash in equity of mutual fund resulting the flow of about Rs. 70,000 Crores to the share market
It was in the face of the Supreme Court decision in August, 2003 denying the right to strike to the working class and especially to the Government employees the All India State Government employees Federation and the Confederation of Central Govt. employees jointly took the decision to organize a one day strike on 11 th Feb. 2004, which was shifted to 24th Feb. 2004 at the instance and insistence of the Central Trade Unions to make it a much bigger trade union action against the atrocious judgment. What was the most disturbing aspect of the apex court decision was the iniquitous and democratically unsustainable position taken against the internationally recognized basic right to strike for the workers. It was absolutely in contrast with the International Labour Organization's conventions on "Freedom of Associations and Protection of the right to organize ( No.87) and the application of the principles of the right to organize and bargain collectively (No. 98) neither of which India has unfortunately ratified. To bolster the demand for making the right to strike an invaluable and legal right through an Act of Parliament under the provision of Article 309, ( which the Parliament and the State Legislatures were ordained to do so) a memorandum signed by the 40 Million people was submitted to the Speaker Lok Sabha by a delegation of the Central and State Employees organizations. In response to several queries that were raised in the Parliament later, the UPA Govt. took the condemnable position that the right to strike is uncalled for as the Govt. employees are highly protected and have ample scope for effective bargaining.
In a bid to intensify the downsizing and privatization and outsourcing of Governmental functions, the UPA Govt. Continued with the Policy of ban on recruitment and abolition of posts imposed by the NDA Govt. in 2001. In November, 2006, they have further introduced a total ban on recruitment to be operative for the next three years. The Central Govt. health scheme is on the anvil of being replaced with the Medical Insurance scheme for the benefit of the multinational corporations. All catering, watch and ward, scavenging related jobs have been contractorised in almost all the Departments of the Central and State Governments. The faculty members of the Educational Institutions are now contract workers. Even the sovereign functions of the Govt. viz. Tax collection, mint and printing currency notes are either privatized or outsourced.
Many State Governments who follow the Central pattern of DA have not merged 50% of DA, though such a decision was taken by the Government of Indian as early as in April, 2004. Some of the State Governments are yet to make payment of various instalments of the Dearness allowance to their employees.
In departure to the conventions and principles, the UPA Govt. did not sanction the Interim Relief in October, 2006, when the notification was issued setting up the 6 th CPC, but referred the same for the consideration of the Commission itself of the need and desirability of Interim Relief. The 6th Pay Commission declined to submit any report on the grant of Interim Relief. It is, therefore, incumbent upon the Government of India to immediately announce the grant of interim relief to all Central Govt. employees at the rate of 15% of Pay + DP subject to a minimum of Rs.1000 with effect from 1.1.2006, a demand the Central Government employees raised.
The other issues included in the charter of demands appended to this declaration viz. setting up of Judicial committee for GDS; removing the 5% cap on compassionate appointments; regularization of contingent, daily rated, casual workers; implementation of Board of Arbitration awards; raising the ceiling on bonus; hiking the interest rates on provident fund accumulation on par with the prevailing market rates etc. had been the subject matters of discussions with the Government for the past 3-4 years without reaching settlement.
This National Convention, therefore, demands the Central and State Governments to withdraw the New Contributory Pension scheme, halt downsizing operations and other anti-employee and anti people moves and initiate actions to settle the demands included in the charter of demands.

Charter of demands
1. Scrap the PFRDA Bill and Cancel appointment of the Pension fund Managers; Introduce statutory pension scheme for the new recruits;
2. Grant full Trade Union rights including the right to strike to all Government employees through appropriate legislation;
3. (a) Stop downsizing the Government departments, privatization and contractorization/ casualisation of Governmental and teaching functions. Stop contractual appointments of teachers and workers, regularize all daily rated, casual and contingent employees
(b) Lift the Ban on recruitment and fill up the existing vacancies of all Government departments, educational institutions and State undertakings; Provide job to jobless
4. Grant Interim relief of minimum of Rs.1000/-/ to all Central Government employees. Implement the 6 th CPC recommendation with effect from 1.1.2006.
5. Bring down the abnormally rising prices of essential commodities and strengthen subsidized public distribution system.
6. Merge of 50% DA with basic pay with all consequential benefits and release of all DA instatements to the State Govt. employees.
7. Withdraw the 5% cap and other restrictions on compassionate appointment. Restore the compassionate appointment scheme wherever it stands abolished.
8. Stop the proposal to replace the CGHS by Medicare insurance scheme.
9. Implement all pending awards of the Board of Arbitration.
10. Remove the quantum ceiling on Bonus and grant bonus to all.
11. Set up a Judicial Committee for wage revision of Grameen Dak Sewaks in replacement of Nataraja Murthy Committee.
12. Increase GPF& Small Savings' interest rates and restore to its early level.
This National Convention urges upon all organizations of the Central and State Government employees and the teachers to unite and mobilize the employees for a sustained struggle and organize a countrywide national strike on 30th October 2007 in order to realize the demands.
This Convention calls upon the Central and State Government employees and the teachers to jointly organize campaign fortnight between 10th and 25th of September, 2007 by holding joint conventions, meetings etc. It also appeals all organizations to observe 19th September, 2007 as Strike Notice Serving Day by holding massive demonstrations and meetings in front of all offices and serve strike notice.
This National Convention strongly urges upon the Central and State Governments to Scrap the New Contributory Pension Scheme and settle the Charter of Demands immediately failing which the Central and State Government employees, teachers and others will be constrained to resort to more vigorous agitations including indefinite strike action.