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CSS officers protest delay in promotions, threaten peace march

New Delhi: Scores of Central Secretariat Service (CSS) officers protested outside the North Block here on Monday, March 4, over a delay in the submission of reports by a cadre review committee, which has hampered their promotions, officials said.

The protest was held during lunch, they said.

Later, a delegation of the CSS Forum, an association of CSS officers, submitted a letter to the Secretary of the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) in support of their demand.

The CSS officers would carry out a peace march if their demands were not met by the government, the letter said.

The Central Government constituted a high-level cadre review committee (CRC) on October 27, 2022, to assess the rising demand for manpower across various ministries and departments, keeping in view the increasing number of schemes and projects of the government, and to suggest steps for better cadre management and smooth career progression of the staff members of the Central Secretariat.

“As per information available with us, the deliberations of the committee have been completed long ago; however, the matter is still pending with the government,” said the letter by Ashutosh Misra, general secretary of the CSS Forum.

It said the forum has pursued the matter at every level, “however we are yet to receive any positive outcome from the government.”.

Such kind of treatment with CSS officers, who are considered the backbone of the Central government’s work, is very disappointing and frustrating, Misra said in the letter.

“Accordingly, it has been decided by all CSS officers unanimously that to attract the attention of the government on the cadre review of the Central Secretariat Service, all CSS officers will do a peace march in different bhawans at lunchtime,” he said.

The officers’ body said that the peace march would be held on March 7 at Shastri Bhawan, on March 11 at Nirman Bhawan, and on March 13 at North Block between 1 pm and 1.30 pm.

Further, it has also been decided that “if the government does not wake up from its deep slumber on the cadre review matter, a full-fledged non-cooperation movement will be started,”  the letter said.

The sanctioned strength of the CSS officers is 13,016, according to the latest data.

In recently held meetings, the CSS officers expressed their anguish that even after more than one and a half years of cadre review committee formation, its report has not been submitted, and “officers eligible for promotion are retiring every month without getting promotion due to inadequate posts and suffering financial losses in the pension,”  the letter said.

“As per information available with us, at least 20 departments of the government of India have sent requisitions for more than 2,500 additional posts. The number will be huge if the data of all the departments is considered,” it said.

Due to the delay in the submission of the report of the cadre review committee, these departments are crippled by a shortage of manpower, which is also hampering official work, it said.

“There is also stagnation in almost each grade of CSS, due to which officers are distressed and dismayed,” the letter said.

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