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Q. Annual increments for civil servants: Comment on Government’s recent decision to make annual increments for civil servants conditional on their performance.
Jul 28, 2016 Related to : GS Paper-2

Ans :

Introduction-

Recently government of India has decided to make make annual increments for civil servants conditional on their performance. Recently issued 7th pay commission notification makes civil servants accountable and will withhold annual increments of nonperformers besides tightening the benchmark for promotion.

Is it sound principle?

In current system there is no link between pay and performances. Till now the work horse as well as the work shirker, the outstanding performers as well as the dismal, run-of-the-mill officer all are treated equally with regard to the pay, allowances and the perks.

  • Such system discourages good performers to take risky jobs, because they won’t get reward and treated them with equally those have dismal performance with respect to pay.

  • Hence there must be work culture and the institutional process, which encourage the best professionals to take responsibility for the key tasks. For that the best performers must be duly rewarded and laggards must be eased out

  • In any system the quality of public servants is critical in determining outcomes. Hence a civil servant would get a higher variable pay for outstanding performance and a negative variable pay for insipid performance.

  • In this direction government’s decision to make annual increments for civil servants conditional on their performance is welcome move. This is sound in principle, provided there is a rigorous and credible mechanism to evaluate performance.

Suggestion-

  • Reforms in civil services have to go beyond linking pay to performance. Beyond a level, length of service should cease to determine promotions.

  • There must be open recruitment to all senior posts, career civil servants, regardless of cadre or branch, and others being eligible.

Conclusion-

Civil servants plays critical role in the development of any nation. Hence there must be system to encourage best performers. Other than promotion, salaries and perks are one of the important medium for moral boosting. Hence there must be pay system, which is linked to performance of civil servant. Hence recent decision of government of annual increment based on performance is mush needed sound principle.


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