Six years after framing policy, NHAI rejigs hiring of consultants, advisors
According to the SoP, besides various details like monthly remuneration, the proposals should contain ‘detailed justification for extension’.
NEW DELHI: About six years after the policy was introduced to engage consultants or advisors as ‘external’ and ‘young’ professionals, the National Highways Authority of India has come up with a standard operating procedure (SoP) to streamline extension of tenure, acceptance of premature resignation and enhancement of remuneration.
For grant of extension of tenure, the reporting officer will need to forward the proposals along with recommendations from the units concerned and annual performance report at least three months prior to the expiry of their term of engagement. According to the SoP, besides various details like monthly remuneration, the proposals should contain ‘detailed justification for extension’.
The proposals of external professionals (EPs) will be put up before the chairman of NHAI and requests related to young professionals (YPs) will be placed before the member (administration) for approval. Extension to EPs beyond three years will only be considered and accorded approval in ‘exceptional cases’. The NHAI has been engaging EPs and YPs with an objective to create an additional resource base of quality professionals for various purposes such as project design, procurement, monitoring, land acquisition, performance management, greening of highways, legal cases, finance and accounts. EPs are retired officers who have served in Government offices, public sector undertakings, or autonomous bodies.
The contract period will get automatically terminated as the end of contract unless specifically extended in writing by the competent authority. “In no case, the services of EPs or YPs should be continued or availed beyond approved period of contract…All proposals for acceptance of premature resignation of EPs/ YPs should be forwarded to the concerned administration division for seeking approval of member (administration) or chairman, as the case may be, at least 30 days before the proposed date of relieving,” read the SoP.
There is also a provision in the SoP for waiver of notice period. “In case of proposals requiring waiver of notice period of one month, the justification of should also be provided for the same,” it states. The existing policy for engagement envisages five percent enhancement of remuneration every year. However, the NHAI has decided that in case of extension of fresh term, 5% increase will be given based on the emolument of previous year or term.
‘Detailed justification for extension’
According to the SoP, the proposals should contain ‘detailed justification for extension’. The proposals of external professionals will be put up before the chairman of NHAI and requests related to young professionals will be placed before the member for approval.