Sunday, 20 May 2012
Com. P. Pandurangarao, General Secretary, AIPEU GDS (NFPE) presented a Memorandum to Hon’ble Minster of Communications Sri. Sachin Pilot, on 16.05.2012, demanding Departmentalization of GDS
MEMORANDUM SUBMITTED TO HON’BLE STATE MINISTER OF COMMUNICATIONS
With due respects and regards, We the All India Postal Employees Union – GDS (NFPE) is submitting the following issues for your kind and sympathetic consideration and favourable decision in mitigating the genuine demands the downtrodden and poor GDS employees working in the Department of Posts.
1. DEPARTMENTALISATION OF RURAL POST OFFICES AND ALSO GRAMIN DAK SEVAKS:
The Supreme Court in its judgement delivered on 22.07.1977 held that the ED employee is not an agent, not a casual labourer, and not a part time worker but he is the holder of civil post outside the regular civil service and therefore declared that Article 311(2) of the constitution of India is attracted.Except conduct and service and application of disciplinary provisions, no other benefits available to the Departmental employees are extended to the ED employees. The question of departmentalisation of ED agents remains pending for long and is denied continuously on one pretext or the other.
In the present set up of the social - economic structure of rural areas, the daily wage for an agricultural labourer has been fixed much above the daily rate of an ED agent. Resultantly, the ED employees are not able to meet the family expenses and have one square meal a day.
The declaration of Justice Talwar that “95.70% joined the Postal Department as ED agents hoping to get full time absorption and only 4.08% took it as a side occupation is the real fact still prevailing and they are solely depending upon their wages for their livelihood”. In rural areas, still many of them are underpaid and lesser in the standard of living while comparing the NREGS beneficiaries.
With the hope of departmentalization at one day, they are prolonging their life with more expectation of their future. Their hopes can be considered by introducing various new services in the rural areas with the cooperation's of the Human resource ministry and other developmental activities.
The Post office alone has such a vast network and infrastructure and it can be fully utilized by providing various new services to rural public through post offices by its own saving bank scheme to distribute the Govt welfare measures as if we are doing under the NREGIS Scheme.
We may attempt with the following to provide more services to public as well as departmentalise all the existing BOs.
1. The works like pension payment, sale of certificates, direct booking of money orders, SB operations with maintenance of independent ledgers may be assigned to the departmentalized branch office so that the existing branch postmasters will be with entrusted more work.
2. If the proposal of full computerization of BOs is materialised in the ensuing year as proposed, there is every possibility for introducing all kinds of bill works like acceptance of Electricity bills, land revenue, panchayat taxes etc., under the business activities of the Postal department or tie up with such governmental organizations.
3. Large scale expansion of telecom can be explored through the branch offices and acceptance of all telephone bills, mobile bills may be entrusted. The Department of Posts may also consider in taking licences for running telecom services in rural areas with subsidiary rates to cater the requirement of rural public as if in vogue in many foreign countries.
4. Since all the BOs are proposed to be provided with computers and decided to introduce various new services, it is possible to maintain the following works also in the BOs very efficiently with the manpower available in abundance.
a) Collection, maintenance and modifications of any of the work related to census in rural areas.
b) Maintenance, Verification and preservation of records pertaining to the Citizens identity card issued by the Govt of India directly by the Dept of post.
c) Extension of MG NREGS work through post offices by providing work norms for the work instead of incentive as at present extended.
d) Enhance the working hours for eight hours and introduce various new works at village level with the cooperation of other Govt and public sector organizations.
e) Ensuring that all various new schemes introduced by the Govt as policies will be reached to the village level through our network spread over the nation.
It is pertinent to mention that there are more than 10% of the existing BOS having the work load for more than five hours. In accordance with Marathe time test under para 93 (iv) and para 114 (i) if a single handed post office is having 11 hours’ workload, the second PA can be augmented. On the similar analogy such BOs having more than five hours workload can be straight away departmentalized. Further whenever any vacancy arises in the GDS cadre, the duties can be merged for making the office as a departmental office. The recommendations of the Justice Talwar Committee to freeze the GDS system in order to departmentalize all the existing GDS should be given a due consideration.
In order to departmentalize the GDS, the department should consider for fixing the norms for the following works immediately.
1. Work related to NREGIS payment.
2. Work related to verification of Electrol& Election work.
3. Work related to collecting statistics for census etc.
4. Work related to verification of mobile phone connections of BSNL & others.
5. Work related to acceptance of Electricity bills, water bills & telephone bills.
6. Work related to business activities, social security schemes introduced in various circles.
If time factors for all the work performed by the GDS is formulated, certainly it will pave way for the regularization of many GDS who are actually working for more than six hours but not availed the benefits of departmentalization. We don't want any incentives or perks denying our regularization.
The Honble Minister of Communications & IT Sri Kapil Sibil has sought the department about the feasibility of regularization of all the GDS and to departmentalise all the BOs for which the department has furnished that it will cost some exorbitant amount. We sincerely place our abundant thanks and respects on record to the Minister's desire to departmentalize the GDS and his initiatives but as usual the blocks were placed without really considering the realities and the position existed at field level.
If all the GDS are departmentalized by scrapping the existing GDS system with eight hours work and each official is assigned with various new works to improve the functioning of rural post offices in order to make it more remunerative, that will overcome the financial problem. This vast infrastructure will really be an invaluable asset to the department in this era of e-commerce and e-governance and not at all a liability. If post offices are kept open for more hours by introducing more new items of work, there is every possibility of increasing the workload.
We further express our sincere gratitude to the Hon’ble Minister for the positive steps being initiated by the department with regard to (i) full protection of TRCA (ii) revising the cash handling norms (iii) with drawl of 25% outside recruitment condition in Postman cadre (iv) relaxing the conditions for compassionate appointment (v) parity in bonus ceiling. We hope that positive orders will be issued in all the issues raised by us earlier.
It is humbly requested to kindly consider the above and cause action to departmentalise the rural post offices and improve the rural postal network.
Dated – 16.05.2012
Place – New Delhi