New Delhi: The government on November 30 excluded the posts of Directors of the Intelligence Bureau (IB) and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) from the ambit of the “seniority” rule governing the pay scale of top Indian Police Service (IPS) officers serving on deputation at the centre and thus paving the way for the IB chief to get the apex pay scale.
The next day on December 1, the government issued a separate order granting the apex pay scale to IB chief Tapan Kumar Deka with immediate effect. But this was only one of the anomalies in the salary structure of the top IPS officers serving at the centre that was rectified and the rest are yet to be addressed.
For example, the chief of the Border Security Force (BSF) is retiring on December 31 but he is yet to be granted the apex pay scale. Besides him, there are around a dozen officers serving at the centre at the rank of Director General but are yet to be granted the apex pay scale.
In 2016, the government decided to grant the apex pay scale by “seniority" to 11 IPS officers who held the rank of director general, the top post for IPS officers, at the centre. It meant that if the DIB was not among the top 11 IPS officers at the centre at the time of appointment, he would not be entitled to get the apex pay scale. Before the 2016 amendment, the apex scale was tied to the posts IPS officers held at the centre. These posts included the chiefs of central police organisations like IB, CBI, CRPF, BSF, CISF or ITBP etc.
When Tapan Kumar Deka took charge as the Director of IB (DIB) on June 30 this year, he was not granted the apex pay scale because he did not figure in the list of 11 senior most Indian Police Service (IPS) officers at the centre.
Following the denial of the apex pay scale to Deka, the government decided to rectify the situation by proposing to grant a top pay scale to the chiefs of IB and the CBI at the time of their appointment and irrespective of their seniority. NewsDrum had reported about these changes in the offing on July 14.
Apex pay scale is the salary granted to top bureaucrats, secretaries or director general rank officers belonging to Indian Administration Service, Indian Foreign Service or Indian Police Service etc. The current apex pay scale is fixed at Rs 2.25 lakh per month (fixed) excluding the allowances due. The country's top bureaucrat, the cabinet secretary and three service chiefs get a higher pay scale of Rs 2.5 lakh per month (fixed).
Before the 2016 pay scale amendment, all BSF chiefs were entitled to the apex pay scale at the time of their appointment. But now under the seniority rule, Pankaj Kumar Singh doesn’t figure in the list of top 11 IPS officers at the centre and therefore cannot get the apex scale.
“By excluding two posts - the Directors of IB and CBI from the seniority rule, now the centre can effectively grant apex pay scale to 13 IPS officers serving at the centre. And around half a dozen vacant slots are available for apex pay scale now but they are yet to be filled,” said an IPS officer who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
The officer added that except for Deka none of his batchmates in the 1988 batch serving at the centre has got the apex pay scale. Even some of the officers of the 1987 batch also are waiting for a grant of the apex pay scale. Following the 1988 batch, 14 IPS officers from the 1989 batch also have been empanelled to the rank of Director General at the centre and due to the seniority rule, they will get apex pay scale only their seniors are granted the apex pay scale.
According to IPS officers, there are 15 sanctioned posts at the rank of Director General (DG) at the centre and at the rank of Special Director General, there are 10 sanctioned posts. Special Director General rank posts are also filled with DG rank officials. So, in all, at any given time, there can be a maximum of 25 IPS officers eligible to get the apex pay scale.
“Why can’t all 25 be given the apex pay scale? As of now, 13 officers are already entitled to get the apex pay scale. Only 12 more slots are to be added and the problem can be solved altogether,” said another IPS officer who also wants to remain anonymous.