The 900-page long Seventh Central Pay Commission report is riddled with dissent notes, with two of the panel’s members —Vivek Rae, a former IAS officer and Rathin Roy, director at the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy — crossing swords on a number of recommendations, including on the contentious issue of the removal of financial edge for the Indian Administrative Services.
On the panel’s recommendation of removal of financial edge for Indian Administrative Services vis-a-vis Indian Police Services and Indian Forest Services —in the form of two additional increments of 3 per cent each in the proposed pay matrix — Rae, in his six-page long dissent note has justified the need for continuing with the financial edge for IAS and IFS, saying the removal may weaken the command and control mechanisms at the field level.
“To make a case for parity on grounds of fairness or legitimate expectations is, therefore, not tenable. The principle of equality of opportunity cannot be stretched to mean “equality of outcomes,” Rae has said in his dissent note.
Roy, on the other hand, has stated that there exists no compelling reason to give an edge to any specific All India Service or Central Service. He has asserted that if there has to be a financial edge for any service, then there should be a different recruitment mechanism for establishing specific competencies. “If the primus inter pares position of the IAS, IFS or any other service has to be reflected in superior financial remuneration, then their recruitment, too, must be conducted separately…if the recruitment system is not to be altered then a purely financial edge cannot be justified …,” Roy said.
On the abolition of the two-year edge for Non-Functional Upgrade and empanelment in the Central Staffing Scheme, Rae has disagreed with the views of the panel’s chairman. Roy, has disagreed regarding NFU but agreed on the panel’s recommendation regarding empanelment under the Central Staffing Scheme.
In the report, the chairman has found no justification for according the two years gap to IAS, saying the Indian bureaucracy has come of age and various central services are now discharging distinct and valuable functions in the overall governance of the country. The recommendation of raising the retirement age to a uniform 60 years for all personnel in Indian Coast Guard and Central Armed Police Forces has been supported by the chairman and Roy. Rae, however, has disagreed with the recommendation.
Citing view of Ministry of Home Affairs, Rae has differed, saying the age for superannuation cannot be raised from existing 57 years to 60 years for all ranks as force personnel up to the rank of Commandant have operational/combat roles in the field, which require higher physical fitness and efficiency than the higher ranks of DIG and above in these four central armed police forces that are more supervisory and administrative in nature and do not require physical fitness of the level required in field units.