Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Staffers of the Income-Tax department wishes Justice BN Srikrishna 'Get Well Soon'


Justice BN Srikrishna

If Justice B N Srikrishna finds the postman ringing his doorbell again and again and again in the next few days, here's why: nearly 50,000 staffers of the Income-Tax department, upset by what they say is poor pay revision by the Srikrishna-led Sixth Pay Commission and inspired by Lage Raho Munnabhai, have decided to send one lakh 'Get Well Soon' cards soon to his Chembur residence to register their protest.

Their card, inspired by Sanjay Dutt's Gandhigiri towards Boman Irani, carries a graph showing the discrepancy in the salary revision for I-T officers of Grade I and other grades and simply says, in big, bold letters, "Respected Justice Srikrishna, Get Well Soon!" At the bottom, right, is a slot for every employee to write his 'name' and 'designation' before dashing off the card.

Though for now, the card will go out from members of the Income-Tax Gazetted Officers Association from Mumbai circle, who came up with the idea, the Association has also appealed to staffers in other government departments to send similar cards.

"Some staffers will present the card to Justice Srikrishna personally by visiting his residence on May 1," Rajesh Menon, all-India general secretary of the Association said.

Justice Srikrishna, who led the panel carrying out the unenviable task of recommending revised pay scales for government employees, submitted his report this month. The report has received criticism from most sections of government employees.

The I-T Gazetted Officers Association's complaint is that while the report recommends a 39 per cent to 81 per cent hike for Pay Band-4 officers of the I-T department, Pay Band-1, 2 and 3 officers have been recommended a hike of 15 to 41 per cent.

The common complaint of government staffers is that the report is skewed in favour of IAS officers.

An I-T official who did not wish to be named said, "IAS officers have got the best out of the Sixth Pay Commission as they stand to get basic pay ranging from Rs 39,000 to Rs 67,000 while all other officers right from entry to senior level are placed in a lower bracket."

Following opposition from government employees, the government has formed a high-level committee to look into the Panel's recommendations and suggest corrective measures.

But for the I-T Gazetted Officers Association, that clearly isn't enough; they want to register their grievances through the post.

The specially-   printed card that income tax staff will send en masse on May

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