CGST officers stage protest for pending demands

ST CORRESPONDENT
Wednesday, 9 January 2019

The Central Excise, Central Goods and Service Tax (CGST) officers held a protest to press for their pending demands on Tuesday. Their protest started during the lunch hours will continue till Wednesday.

Pune: The Central Excise, Central Goods and Service Tax (CGST) officers held a protest to press for their pending demands on Tuesday. Their protest started during the lunch hours will continue till Wednesday. The protesters said they were aggrieved that the Central Board of Indirect Taxes (CBIT) and Customs, New Delhi was turning a deaf ear to their genuine and bonafide demands. 

According to the statement released by the officers, they demand at least five promotions in a career-span along with commensurate higher pay grade levels. As on date, an officer who joins as an inspector retires with one promotion in a career-span of 30-35 years. The promotional avenues are so pathetic that few (around 5 per cent) get a second promotion on the verge of retirement and that too as a temporary assistant commissioner. 

“In stark contrast, the officers on the Customs side and the Direct Class-I officers enjoy a minimum of 6 to 7 promotions, every four-six years with huge financial up-gradations. Hence, the Group B officers of Central Excise (now CGST), who do over 90 per cent of the revenue work feel let down. Adding insult to injury is the fact that due to one-sided and biased policies adopted by the CBIC, officers who were recruited as inspector (examiner) in a later year through the same exam conducted by the Staff Selection Commission have been made superior to the inspector (Central Excise) who were recruited in an earlier year. The junior inspectors (examiner) have been promoted to the rank of assistant/ deputy/ joint commissioners, whereas the senior inspectors of Central Excise continue to languish as superintendents and have to work in humiliation under their juniors. Thus, though the inspectors of Central Excise are actually far senior in recruitment, the CBIC has made them subordinate to their natural juniors inspectors (examiners) by adopting biased policies. The disparity is close to 16 years and this is very disturbing and humiliating to the inspectors of Central Excise,” reads the statement.

The officers also demanded easy instalments for paying healthcare bills as CGHS cashless facilities are withdrawn for serving employees. And thus they have to depend on their savings or have to withdraw from their provident fund.

“The officers are also seeking an 'All India Seniority in Inspectors' Cadre' so as to resolve intra-cadre disparities and reintroduce inter-commissionerate transfers. They also demand an 'Organised Group B Cadre service' so that on the basis of their base cadre seniority as an inspector they could be assured of at least 5 promotions in a career span of more than 35 years and ensuring a lateral entry into the All India Service at the joint commissioner level. The officers demand a rollback of the 'New Pension Scheme' and want the old pension scheme in place for all those who joined government service after January 1, 2004,” the statement said.

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