MACP-An Unsettled Issue Of Sixth Pay Commission Recommendation
MACP is said to be the abbreviation of Modified Assured Career Progression Scheme, but many central government employees feel that it is Meaningless Assured Career Progression Scheme. The main objective of introducing ACP scheme was to grant financial benefits for the govt servants, those who are not getting promotions due to lack of promotional avenues. Before the introduction of ACP scheme in 1999, many central government employees retired from service without getting even single promotion in some departments. The worst part of this story is, apart from not getting promotion, they were not even been granted annual increment for many years until their retirement, as they reached the maximum of their Pay Scale. Working without any promotion and increment until the retirement is pathetic. It was the prevailing situation till the date of introducing ACP scheme.
Financial up gradation under ACP Scheme
Upon introduction of ACP scheme, central government employees were granted two financial up gradation on the completion of 12 years and 24 years of regular service respectively in the same post. According to the ACP Scheme, the central government employees were to be granted next higher pay scale of their Promotional Hierarchy as financial up gradation under ACP Scheme. So the pay equalant to the promotional post had been ensured under ACP scheme for the government servants after completion of 12 and 24 years of regular service if they were not granted regular promotion. Many central government employees were benefited by this scheme where there were no promotional avenues available for them.
Modified Assured Career Progression Scheme (MACPS)
The Sixth CPC recommendation on ACP scheme and government’s decision gave all the central government employees surprise and shock both. The Sixth Central Pay Commission in Para 6.1.15of its report, has recommended Modified Assured Career Progression Scheme (MACPS). As per the recommendations, financial up gradation would be available in the next higher grade pay whenever an employee has completed 12 years continuous service in the same grade. However, not more than two financial upgradations shall be given in the entire career, as was provided in the previous ACP Scheme. The Scheme will also be available to all posts belonging to Group “A” whether isolated or not. However, organised Group “A” services will not be covered under the Scheme
The Government has considered the recommendations of the Sixth Central Pay Commission for introduction of a MACPS and has accepted the same with further modification to grant three financial upgradations under the MACPS at intervals of 10, 20 and 30 years of continuous regular service. The surprise was that, government’s consideration for modifying the ACP scheme to grant three financial up gradation for central government employees on completion of 10,20 and 30 years of regular service. But its decision to grant immediate next higher Grade Pay in the hierarchy of Grade Pay instead of Promotional Hierarchy is the shock for everyone.
The MACP Scheme envisages merely placement in the immediate next higher Grade Pay in the hierarchy of the recommended revised Pay Bands and Grade Pay. For example, if a govt servant appointed as LDC in the grade pay of Rs.1900/-, he will be granted Rs.2000/- Grade Pay as first MACP after completing 10 years of regular service though this Grade Pay is not in the promotional hierarchy of the individual concerned. Whereas the first financial up gradation to be granted under ACP Scheme will be Rs. 2400/- Grade Pay on completion of 12 years of regular service as ACP was granted on the basis of promotional hierarchy. As a result of this the Modified ACP Scheme has not served the purpose that it was supposed to. So the Modified Assured Career progression Scheme needs to be modified again. The financial up gradation has to be granted on the basis of Promotional Hierarchy of posts instead of hierarchy of Grade Pay.
The decision of Joint Committee of MACP Scheme
The Staff Side of National Anomaly committee also reiterated their demand in the last meeting of the Joint Committee of MACP Scheme held on 15.03.2011 under the Chairpersonship of the Joint Secretary (Estt), DOPT that the financial up-gradations under the MACP Scheme should be granted in the promotional hierarchy of posts instead of the Grade Pay hierarchy. The Staff Side stated that the erstwhile ACP Scheme was implemented on the recommendations of the 5th CPC and, as such, has become a part of the service conditions of the employees. The Staff Side, therefore, contended that the Government cannot impose the MACP Scheme thereby altering the service conditions to the detriment of the employees.
In this regard the Judgment of Hon’ble Central Administrative Tribunal, Chandigarh has been upheld by the Honble High Court of Punjab and Haryana at Chandigarh. In a separate case filed in CAT, Principle Bench, New Delhi, to grant next promotional Grade Pay under MACP Scheme, the Honble CAT gave its Judgment in favour of applicants based on the judgments of above cases. The appeal against the judgment of Honble High Court of Punjab and Haryana has been dismissed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court. Almost all the Federations have demanded the Central Government to issue necessary instructions for granting financial up gradation under MACP scheme on Promotional hierarchy as per the Court Order. So it is high time for the government to come forward to issue the necessary order to grant financial up gradation under MACP scheme in Promotional hierarchy to make this scheme serve its purpose and avoid confusion.