Recommendations of VIIth CPC:Suggestions for Performance linked Incentive Schemes

 

The  VII CPC has examined the status of performance related incentive schemes presently in practise on basis of recommendations of the VIth CPC in Chapter 15 of the report and made certain important suggestions.

Tracing the evolution of such incentives it has referred to the report of 2nd Administrative Reforms Commission which had visualised such incentives as a prerequisite for an effective governance system. The issue was taken up by Vth and VIth CPC as a tool for providing incentive for effective Administration.The Scheme formulated by VI CPC covered organisations as well as individuals.

The previous Pay Commission had made the implementation of  the Scheme optional for the various units after taking into consideration the difference in functional scope of various units of Government. The implementing Departments had to draw a roadmap of activities and harmonise the same with individual achievements. It had added the condition of Departments having prepared a Results Framework Document (RFD) for two preceding years, and also several additional measures such as developing IT based attendance and performance monitoring systems.

The recommendations had failed to make  major impact in face of difficulties in making requisite budgetary provisions, absence of clear performance evaluation parameters and aberrations such as high achievers caught in mediocre environments. The Commission has also noted the failure of earlier schemes of Performance Linked Bonus (PLB) conceived for Govt. Servants due to absence of clear, quantifiable targets and performance evaluation of any individual.

The Commission in it’s report has pointed out that in public services the objectives are not quantifiable in monetary terms like private sector organisations.The task of laying down the parameters for performance evaluation and reward for different services and Government Departments is therefore rather complex. However there are precedents in other countries where such schemes for incentivising good performers through objective criteria have been implemented with success. Some countries have evolved separate set of norms for senior civil servants and junior functionaries.

Considering all factors the CPC has observed that exercise for evolving a system for performance based rewards should be preceded by proper understanding of the system, adequate planning and capacity building at various levels.The vagaries of Govt.functions makes it impossible to devise a common performance based incentive Scheme. The Commission has suggested simple and effective schemes which should have common features for the Department. It has been suggested that the reward system should be an annual feature and should not be linked to savings effected by the employee.

In conclusion the Commission has recommended introduction of Performance Related Pay for all categories of Central Government employees, based on quality RFDs, reformed Annual Performance Appraisal Reports and broad Guidelines.The Performance Related Pay should subsume the existing Bonus schemes. The Commission notes that there could be a time lag in implementing the Performance Related Pay by different Departments.In the interim period the Ministries and Departments can review the existing Bonus Schemes and create linkage  with increased profitability/productivity with definite parameters.

Another important suggestion made by the CPC pertains to weightage to be given for in the APAR to personal attributes of the public servant in comparison to his performance in achievement of results.The Commission feels that it should be in ration of 40:60 instead of current  ratio of 60:40.

It has also strongly pleaded for fixation of definite time frame for drafting, reviewing and finalising  RFDs .It would also be necessary that these timelines get synchronised with the preparation of the APAR ..”so that the targets set under RFD get reflected in individual APARs in a seamless manner.”

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Sixth CPC Report :(i) Dearness Allowance

The Sixth Central Pay Commission (CPC) has devoted fourth chapter of the report to the subject of Dearness Allowance (DA) payable to government servants. The sanction of Dearness Allowance is at present based on calculated six monthly increase in the All India Consumer Price Index (Industrial Workers) (AICPI-IW) with base year 1982=100. At the time when the scales granted by Fifth CPC came into existence (1st Jan.1996) this index stood at 306.03.

Fifth CPC started with calculation of DA @ 0% . from 1st Jan.1996 . In the month of April 2004 the rate at which DA was admissible had crossed the figure of 50% and therefore based on recommendations of the Fifth CPC 50% DA was merged in the basic pay . This addition to basic pay was known as Dearness Pay. .Thereafter every increase in DA was calculated on (Basic Pay + Dearness Pay). It has been observed that since after the merger of dearness pay with basic pay the base for calculation of increase in AICPI was not changed the neutralization in cost of living was presently being done at a rate higher than 100%.

Commission has pointed out that the present method of calculation for increase in cost of living takes into account the price rise in a group of identified commodities. It has compared the relative merits of “chain based” and “fixed base” methods of calculation of estimated growth in cost of living. The AICPI as stated above is based on the increase in cost of a basket of identified commodities. In the fixed base method the calculations are based on the assumption that consumer would adjust his consumption needs in relation to increase or decrease in prices of the constituent commodities. The chain based method takes into account the possibilities of change in consumption pattern due to availability of wider range of consumption goods and the improvement in the quality thereof due to economic growth. The latter methodology has been considered to be more relevant in today’s economic scenario.

However the basic data for the pattern of consumption in respect of several essential commodities would have to be compiled through a detailed all India survey if this methodology is to be adopted . The previous Pay Commissions had different views on this matter. The Fourth CPC favored evolution of a separate index for calculation of cost of living for the government servants. The Fifth CPC however felt that such index would also suffer from imbalances since consumption patterns of various categories of employees would be different. The Sixth CPC has suggested a sample survey through National Statistical Commission for evolving an index based on consumption pattern of government employees. Till this exercise is completed the present methodology of calculating the increase in cost of living and calculation of DA would continue.