In a move that will affect over 31 lakh serving central government employees, the Department of Personnel & Training (DoPT) has changed the minimum qualifying service criteria for promotion as per the 7th CPC Pay Matrix and Pay Levels. It may be noted that as per government data, there were over 31.91 lakh employees under the central government as of 01.03. 2020 against the sanctioned strength of 40.78 lakh and approximately 21.75% of the posts were vacant.
In an Office Memorandum issued on September 20, 2022, by the DoPT and signed by the undersecretary to the Government of India, the department said that the office memorandum dated 9.8.2016 had advised all ministries/departments to change pay structure as per the recommendation of the 7th pay commission.
It said that the DoPT reviewed the instructions related to the pay matrix and promotions in consultation with the UPSC and ‘decided to revise the norms prescribing minimum eligibility service required for promotion, as per 7th CPC Pay Matrix and Pay Levels’.
It further directed the concerned departments to incorporate the revised norms prescribing minimum eligibility service required for promotion as per the 7th Central Pay Commission Pay Matrix and Pay Levels. “All the Ministries/Departments are, therefore, requested to effect necessary amendments to the Recruitment Rules/Service Rules, in this regard, after following the due procedure,” said the DoPT.
The DoPT said that the decision was taken as instructions revising the minimum qualifying service required for promotion, as per the 7th CPC Pay Matrix was not issued till September 20. “Though the levels in Revised Pay Matrix as per 7th CPC Pay Matrix, generally correspond to the pre-revised Grade Pays/ Pay Scales (6th CPC), however, a need was felt to prescribe minimum qualifying service for promotion as per Pay Levels in the Revised Pay Matrix,” it said.
Below are the revised norms as laid by the DoPT.
The ministry further noted, “The Recruitment/Service Rules are of statutory nature. Moreover, any amendment in these Rules generally has a prospective effect. Therefore,…..wherever required, suitable ‘protection clause’ may be incorporated into the amendment proposed in the Recruitment/service for existing incumbents holding the feeder posts on regular basis, where the eligibility service for promotion prescribed in the existing rules is being enhanced and where the change is likely to affect the promotion of these incumbents.”
The DoPT asked the ministries and departments to initiate necessary action to complete the revision of the rules in the case of Group A and Group B posts within six months.