Monday, September 1, 2008

Disparities in 6th Pay Commission has left armed forces unhappy

By Khabrein.Info Correspondent,

New Delhi, Sept. 2, 2008: The disparities in 6th Pay Commission has left officials in armed forces very unhappy. It is not just junior level officers who have been voicing discontent over the anomalies and disparities between civilian and armed forces pay package, even top echelon of armed forces has come forward to voice concern regarding the anomalies.

There are news that armed forces bosses are so much worried over the disparities that there is talk as to whether armed forces should accept implementation of new pay package for armed forces officers.

The bosses in armed forces are worried that disparities between them and their counterparts in the bureaucracy and paramilitary forces will discourage young people from joining the armed forces including army, navy and air force.

Reacting to the government's notification of the new pay packages Monday, sources said the Chief of Staffs Committee had taken the matter seriously and apprised defence minister A.K. Antony about the disparities.

Officers in armed forces are concerned over the raw deal given to Lt-Colonels and their equivalent ranks in IAF (Wing Commander) and Navy (Commander). They are the mainstay of the fighting forces and a small mistreatment can make them feel neglected.

Earlier Air Chief Marshal Fali H. Major in a letter addressed to Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee and the Indian Navy chief had said, “The finance ministry is introducing yet another anomaly by lowering the extant of parities of officers of the armed forces, of the Lt. Col. (and equivalent), by retaining them in pay band-3, while raising similarly placed civilian and paramilitary officers to pay band-4”.

IAF chief had said that “It is reliably learnt that civilian and paramilitary officers in the extant pay scales S-24 (Rs.14,300-400-18,300) and S-25 (Rs.15,100-400-18,300) will be placed in pay band-4, whereas the same is being denied to the armed forces officers (Lt. Col. and equivalent) who were already in S-25”.

Former armed forces chief General (Rtd) NC Vij had criticized the original Sixth pay recommendations calling it inadequate. In a letter written to Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Sigh he had said, “ As a former chief, I feel morally duty-bound to bring this fact to the notice of the Hon'ble Prime Minister in my personal capacity. I take heart from the fact, that it is under your leadership, that, in my tenure, the government went for a major improvement in the 'operational posture by sanctioning South Western Command and 9 Corps HQs with full complements and also for some restoration of self esteem of the young officers through addressing their delayed promotions-cum-service conditions, by approving Part 1 of Ajay Vikram Singh Committee report'…If this had been followed up, through a balanced PCR and implementation of Part II of the 'AVS Report', things would have reasonably improved, but unfortunately the very opposite has happened.”

Stressing on the plight of army personnel he further said, “Sir, you yourself hail from a state, which has traditionally produced soldiers. You would have often wondered, as to why a supremely fit jawan/JCO who retires at the young age of 42-48, ages and grows old so fast. It is because he has no resources to fall back upon to ensure a decent living for his family after his early retirement. This problem gets further accentuated with the constraints of even poor farming conditions. Why should a soldier retire at this early age (other services serve upto 60 years) and why this man who has served the Nation so valiantly not be given a second career by way of 'lateral transfer', which alas will never come about”.

Reports say that out of total 54,770 officers in the armed forces, almost 19,000 are Lt-Cols. These include 11,187 in the Army, 4,216 in IAF and 3,528 in Navy.

No comments: