Shri. K Ragavendran Review Comments
Department of Posts had issued an OM on 6.9.2021 about clarification of MACP Scheme. Different understanding among the members exists on the OM’s effect. It is important to clarify the prevailing wrong understanding that this OM is for granting 3 MACPs to all Promotees. The review is not final. This review is made after discussing with many experts and with the DPA Chennai. This is a review made by the AIPRPA CHQ for facilitating a discussion:
1. All should clearly understand the concept of MACP system. It is to grant financial upgradation on completion of 10, 20 and 30 years of service to an official if he could not get his regular promotion before 10, 20 and 30 years. If a government servant does not get his first promotion within 10 years, he or she will be granted 1st MACP on completion of 10th years. If he or she do not get the second regular promotion within 20 years. then 2nd MACP on completion of 20 years will be granted. Similarly, if the Government servant is not getting his or her third regular promotion within 30 years of service, then the 3rd MACP will be given on completion of 30 years of service.
2. Next, we should understand that the MACP system and TBOP/BCR system are different. Under TBOP or BCR system the Government servants were granted the higher scale on par with their promotional hierarchy available to the cadre. Actually, it was equal to the ACP system, in which also the promotional hierarchy was taken into consideration. But under MACP system, only the Grade Pay hierarchy was granted to Government servants which is inferior to the promotional hierarchy. If the Grade Pay hierarchy and the promotional hierarchy were accidentally same as in the Department of Posts at that time, it is only accidental.
3. Para 2 of the OM dated 6.9.2021 says that the OM is not applicable for TBOP and BCR. Therefore, the understanding that this OM is for grant of 3 MACPs to Promotees also who earlier got their TBOP and BCR seems to be wrong. In short, all the Promotees are not going to get any benefit out of this OM dated 6.9.2021. But those Promotees like the Group D employees whose pay scales were amalgamated by the 6th CPC and from 1.1.2006 were brought under 1800 Grade Pay (as spelt out in the Illustration Number 2 of the OM); and the Postman Official whose pay scale was upgraded to 3200-4900 from 1.1.1996 (as spelt out in the Illustration Number 3 of the OM) are ignored with their earlier TBOP promotions because of these amalgamation or upgradation factors. The above type of Promotees only stand to benefit by this OM dated 6.9.2021. For example, take the case of the present General Secretary of AIPRPA who was recruited as Postman in 1970 and became a Postal Assistant through the competitive exam in 1974. He got his TBOP in 1990 and BCR in 2000. Though he retired in 2010, well after the implementation of MACP system in 1.9.2008, he is not granted the 3rd MACP. Therefore, this OM does not solve the basic issue of all Promotees.
4. The Promotees like those entered as Group D or Postman and promoted to Postal Assistant before 1.1.1996 and brought on to the MACP system from 1.9.2008 are not eligible to the above benefit mentioned in the OM dated 6.9.2021. This is because of the fact that the PA/SA pay scale was not amalgamated with the TBOP scale as in the case of MTS from 1.1.2006. Therefore, the Postal Assistant Promotion is counted against the number of MACP upgradations in the service. Therefore, he will be granted only two more upgradations under MACP scheme after becoming the Postal Assistant. He will not get 3 upgradations like other direct recruits.
5. The OM dated 6.9.2021 narrates how an official who has already got 1st MACP and later promoted to a cadre (which got the element of direct recruitment) with the higher grade pay and pay level, [like Postman/MailGuard or PA/SA or IPOs] is to be fixed in the higher scale of pay during both the occasions. Similarly, the OM explains if he is due for his second MACP after his promotion then how his pay to be fixed while granting him his next MACP.
6. The purpose of 6.9.2021 OM is to say that MACP upgradation will be with fixation of pay of 3% increment + GP hike under FR 22 (i) (a) (i) and while getting regular promotion in the hierarchy no fixation benefit and only Grade Pay jump if that is there. This will be subject to the minimum of direct recruit pay w.e.f. 01.01.2006 in terms of D/o Expenditure 0M No. 8-23/2017-E.IIIA dated 28.09.2018 as clarified vide DoP&T 0M No. 35034/3/2015-Estt. (D) dated 08.09.2020. Further in 7th CPC pay structure, the pay cannot be less than the first stage of the relevant level to which promoted as provided vide Department of Expenditure 0M No. 1-6/2016-IC dated -3.08.2017.
7. If the promotion is to the post where direct recruitment element is available, then GP jump alone will be permissible and no fixation of pay through 3% increment will be granted. But if the promotion is to a post without element of direct recruitment like PSS Gr.B or AAO, then there will be both GP jump and 3% fixation subject to a minimum of scale allowed to the direct recruits.
8. Illustration 2 in the OM dated 6.9.2021 is granting the Group D Promotees the benefit of 3 MACPs in cases explained therein. For example, consider a Group D employee is recruited on 1.8.1990 in the pay scale of 2650 – 4000 and also got his TBOP after 16 years on 1.8.2006 in the pay scale of 2750 – 4400. After the implementation of 6th CPC pay scales from 1.1.2006, the Group D cadre was converted into MTS cadre along with the amalgamation of pay scales of entry and TBOP cadres to place it in 5200-20200 with the Grade Pay of 1800/-. Such cadres are granted with the 1st MACP from 1.9.2008 by ignoring their earlier TBOP Promotion and granted the pay scale with 1900 Grade Pay. Thereafter these employees are considered under MACP system as per the rules of MACP viz., 2nd and 3rd MACP on completion of 20 and 30 years if they could not get their 2nd and 3rd regular promotions by that time. Therefore, the Postman regular promotion on 1.9.2009 was placed in the Grade Pay 2000 without pay fixation under FR 22 (i) (a) (i) but granted only the Grade Pay jump of 100/-.This promotion to Postman was considered as their first regular promotion obtained after 1st MACP. They got their 2nd MACP with pay fixation benefit on completion of 20 years of service on 1.8.2010. When they got promoted to Postal Assistant cadre through the competitive exam from 1.9.2013, that was considered as their 2nd regular promotion. Therefore, they were granted with their 3rd MACP on completion of their 30 years of service with pay fixation benefit. Their further regular promotion to IPO cadre was considered as their 3rd regular promotion and the pay was fixed without any pay fixation benefit but only the Grade Pay benefit.
9. Take the Illustration in Number 3. Here it is explained that a Postman joined in service on 1.1.1985 was granted the pay scale of 825-1200. The 5th CPC had elevated the pay scale of Postman to 3050-4590 from 1.1.1996. He got his TBOP from 1.1.2001 in the pay scale of 3200 – 4900. In that TBOP promotion, he was given the benefit of pay fixation under FR 22 (i) (a) (i). (We should remember that the Postman Pay Scales were upgraded into 3200 – 4900 from 1.1.2006 by the 6th CPC). He got the Postal Assistant regular promotion on 1.9.2002 and was granted with the pay scale of 4000 – 6000. Since this regular promotion was before 1.9.2008, pay fixation benefit under FR 22 (i) (a) (i) was granted at that time. Then on 1.9.2008, when the official completed his 20 years of service and he was not granted with any 2nd regular promotion, he was granted with the 2nd MACP from 1.9.2008 to the pay scale with 2800 Grade Pay with pay fixation. Thereafter, he got his LSG regular promotion from 1.1.2009 but no pay fixation was allowed. On completion of 30 years of service, he got his 3rd MACP from 1.1.2015 to the pay scale with 4200 Grade Pay with the benefit of pay fixation. Then he got his regular promotion to HSG-2 from 1.3.2015 to Grade Pay 4200 but without any pay fixation benefit. If he got his regular promotion to PSS Group B or AAO he would get the pay scale with Grade Pay 4800 with pay fixation benefit under FR 22 (i) (a) (i) because the PSS Group B or AAO are not having any direct recruitment element.
10. As per the Illustrations 2 and 3, the Promotees are made eligible to 3 MACPs like the direct recruits, only because either the pay scales of entry and TBOP Cadres were amalgamated or upgraded by the Pay Commissions as like the MTS and Postman from 1.1.2006 and 1.1.1996 respectively.
11. MACP upgradation is for grant of fixation benefit of 3% increment in the Basic Pay + Grade Pay and placement in the next higher slab of the higher scale if no equal slab is available. (FR 22 (i) (a) (i)). This is subject to the minimum of the pay granted to the direct recruits of the same cadre.
12. While the official is granted with the regular promotion after the grant of MACP, he or she will not be eligible for fixation of pay but only eligible to any increased Grade Pay available to the promoted cadre. They are not to be given pay fixation under FR 22 (i) (a) (i) after 1.9.2008.
13. After the earlier confusion by the DoP, the subsequent withdrawal of 3% fixation benefit to officials who are getting the Postmaster Grade -I promotion or the Inspector of Posts promotion under competitive examination, both on the grounds that these posts are in the hierarchy of promotion to PA/SA cadre and not to be considered as direct recruitment is to be understood as emphasising the point of treatment of regular promotions without the fixation benefit.
14. The grant of 3% fixation benefit for the promotions to AAO and PSS Group B on the grounds that there is no direct recruitment provision to these posts is also emphasized. Incidentally, the Postmaster Grade-I posts too do not contain any element of direct recruitment as all the posts are filled up only by competitive departmental examinations like the AAO. But the AAO post is carrying pay fixation but the Postmaster Grade-I post is not. Is this not an anomaly? Therefore this issue is to be taken up with the DoP.
15. The Court battle yielded different results in different courts. The case is still pending final disposal before the Supreme Court. Meanwhile, a case filed in Chennai CAT has been referred and is being heard by the full bench headed by the Chairman Principal CAT Delhi in Chennai CAT Court. The Government is not yet reconciled to grant MACP by ignoring the promotions through competitive examination to all Promotees. This vita issue is therefore is still pending.
(Comrades are encouraged to interact with the AIPRPA CHQ through email@example.com with their considered views on this OM. It is advised that Whatsapp may not be used for this discussion as it may not receive the due attention – KR GS AIPRPA)