Should the GRADE PAY STRUCTURE continue in the 7th CPC too?
Once every 10 years, the Central Government revises the pay grades of its employees. It is common knowledge that the Cabinet had ordered the formation of the 7th CPC (CENTRAL PAY COMMISSION) and has also given its approval to the TERMS OF REFERENCE.
The Central Government has, until now, constituted six CPCs. The 6th CPC has the distinction of having introduced the GRADE PAY STRUCTURE. Until then, there was only the PAY SCALE. It was the 6th CPC that changed it to PAY BAND, GRADE PAY and PAY IN THE PAY BAND. It was then said that the reconstitution was made to reduce the number of categories in the PAY SCALE. They also explained how GRADE PAY was calculated.
Until then, it was difficult to immediately deduce an employee’s BASIC PAY. It was often explained on the Government’s behalf that, after the 6th CPC, the BASIC PAY would amount to the sum of GRADE PAY and PAY IN THE PAY BAND. Since the difference between each GRADE PAY was not uniform, the employees came under lot of stress. Between 1900 and 2000, the difference was just Rs. 100. But, after Rs. 2800, the next GRADE PAY was Rs. 4200. These differences continue to remain unacceptable.
‘GRADE PAY HIERARCHY’ was introduced as a crowning feature of it all. For years, each CENTRAL GOVERNMENT DEPARTMENT has its own ‘PROMOTIONAL HIERARCHY’ in place. Promotions were given only on the basis of this sequence. Based on their PROMOTIONAL HIERARCHY, in the 5th CPC, each employee was given an ACP (ASSURED CAREER PROGRESSION). ACP is a scheme under which those who didn’t get any promotions for 12-24 years were given financial upgradations. This didn’t create any big problem.
The 6th CPC introduced MACP (MODIFIED ASSURED CAREER PROGRESSION) in the place of ACP. A scheme was introduced to give FINANCIAL UPGRADATION to those who weren’t given any promotions in 10, 20 or 30 years. This was where the Government ordered that promotions should be given only on the basis of GRADE PAY HIERARCHY.
The confusion that began with implementing the GRADE PAY HIERARCHY, which was common to all, instead of PROMOTIONAL HIERARCHY for promotions continues, and remains unresolved until now. There is no doubt that most of the anomalies created after the 6th CPC related to MACP stem from the ‘GRADE PAY HIERARCHY’. Central Government employees now wonder if the ‘GRADE PAY’ method is even required in the first place.