Friday, September 18, 2009


Ahmedabad . Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited (ONGC), the first and only Indian Company to figure in Fortune's "World's Most Admired Companies List, 2007" has since arbitrarily revised the much- awaited Pay Scales of its executives with effect from January 1, 2007 without specifying the periodicity. The last revision ,effective from January 1, 1997, was for a period of 10 years. Decision in respect of E-6 level executives as well as on Perks and Allowances is yet to be taken.

On cursorily going through the revision order, a man of ordinary prudence would flatly term the same as a corporate fun and a classic example of ignorance, indifferent attitude and high-handedness.It is a revision minus revision. Rates of annual increment, notional increment on promotion and stagnation increment have drastically been reduced by 25 to 50%. Heavy reduction has also been effected in the House Rent Allowance(H.R.A) admissible at Projects. For fixation under the revised scales, Special Pay(SP) and Special Personal Pay (SPP), already being drawn by the executives, has neither been considered for fitment nor carried forward as a frozen amount). No benefit of predating of promotion has been allowed. As on 1.1.2007, the rate of Dearness Allowance (D.A.) was 98.6%, out of which 78.2% has been merged with the Basic Pay as on the said date by adopting 100% D.A. neutralization, thus, making the D.A. as on 1.1.2007 ZERO linked to AICPI 2001=100, which was 126.33 as on 1.1.2007.How and where the remaining 20.4% D.A. (98.6 - 78.2= 20.4) has been adjusted ? In effect, the merger of D.A. with Basic Pay in respect of the employees of ONGC became due w.e.f. 1995 in terms of clear stipulation made in the last Pay Revision as well as the guidelines of the Central Government/B.P.E., as the quantum of D.A. by that time already crossed the prescribed limit of 50% of the Basic Pay. Thus, the executives of ONGC have been deprived of the substantial benefit on this account also, whereas the said benefit was duly extended to the employees of Central/State Governments/PSUs including CSIF.

In view of the above as well as a number of other discrepancies in the revision order, a large number of executives are being paid lesser pay than what was being drawn by them immediately prior to the revision. In some cases, pay or the juniors has been fixed more than their seniors. In a good number of cases, recoveries have been effected. It is further feared by the executives that proposals are already afoot to restrict the total Perks and Allowances by a specified ceiling as well as linking the same with 50%of the Basic Pay.

It is beyond imagination ,how the highly qualified battery of senior and chief HR executives could not conclude that in no case H.R.A. has ever been paid in excess of the rate notified by the Central Government from time to time. In effect, the 'so-called excess amount' of H.R.A. was being paid at the Projects, contains the element of admissible Project Allowance merged with the respective H.R.A. of various Projects in terms of Mememrandum of Settlement (1988) signed between the ONGC and ASTO/Unions. Rather, in-spite of very clear provision in the H.R.A. rules of the Central Government, at no stage ONGC has ever allowed two H.R.As to the employees posted in the N.E.Region from outside the N.E.Region. The said rules also provide that H.R.A. is admissible with reference to the place of posting irrespective of residence. This provision is also not being complied with by ONGC, especially in the case of MRBC , Mumbai. Further, ONGC has also failed to take note of its statutory/legal obligations to ensure that a facility once granted can never be withdrawn, service conditions cannot be altered,initial pay, though fixed erroneously,cannot be reduced etc.etc.Under such provisions neither any ceiling can be imposed on total perks and allowances nor the same could be linked to any reduced percentage of Basic Pay.

Exposed to such an odd situation, ONGC' employees are completely demoralized, which would adversely effect their efficiency telling on the productivity of ONGC.Heavy exodus fro ONGC is in the offing just on reversal of the economy.

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