The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has approved the first Cadre Review of Indian Posts & Telecommunications Accounts and Finance Service (IP&TAFS) with the following salient features:
(a) Reduction of the total strength of the cadre from 420 to 376.
(b) Creation of one Apex level post of Controller General of Communication Accounts (CGCA).
(c) Creation of one additional HAG+ level post taking the grade strength to 2.
(d) Creation of two additional HAG level posts taking the grade strength from 6 to 8.
(e) Creation of 18 additional SAG level posts taking the grade strength from 37 to 55.
(f) Reduction in JAG level posts from 111 to 90.
(g) Reduction in STS level posts from 198 to 86.
(h) Creation of 21 JTS level posts taking the grade strength from 67 to 88.
(i) Creation of 46 Posts to be operated as Reserves
Indian Posts & Telecommunications Accounts and Finance Service Group “A” was constituted in 1972 and caters to the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) and the Department of Posts (DoP).
In Department of Telecommunications, the IP&TAFS performs the functions of assessment and collection of license fee/ spectrum usage charges, spectrum auction, USO scheme monitoring and subsidy management, exchequer control, budgeting, accounting, pension disbursement, internal audit and finance advice. In the Department of Posts, the IP&TAFS is entrusted with the functions of finance advice, budgeting, tariff and costing, accounting and internal audit.
There has been a paradigm shift in the role of Department of Telecommunications as well as the Department of Posts in recent years. In the Telecom sector, the role of the Department of Telecommunications has transformed from primarily being a Service provider, Regulator and Policy maker into the present structure whereby the Department is primarily responsible for Policy making, Licensing and Universal Service Obligation. Receipts from Department of Telecommunications, primarily License Fee, Spectrum Usage Charges and Spectrum Auction Value constitute one of the largest source of non-tax revenue for the Government of India.
Similarly, the bundle of services offered by Department of Posts has undergone a quantitative and qualitative change and the Department has ventured into areas of retailing, banking, insurance, digitizing operations etc. Further, the audit mechanism in both the Departments needs to be strengthened.
These facts coupled with the stagnation in various grades of the service necessitated a review of the structure of IP&TAFS.