Thursday, April 19, 2007

The Army's Pay Commission Demands!

The slide to the right is from the 82-slide presentation made by Army General J.J. Singh to the Defence Ministry today (click to enlarge). The slide shows what the Army demands from the Sixth Pay Commission, one of the most discussed topics on military forums now. It was part of a special show we did on Headlines Today tonight with guests Maroof Raza, former Cabinet Secretary TSR Subramaniam and former IAS officer Harsh Mander. What follows is my script of the special report:

By Shiv Aroor

Embrace austerity, serve with simplicity. This was the seemingly odd-timed advice from Defence Minister AK Antony to the Army this week. What he probably hadn't bargained for was the inspired presentation the Army chief made to the Defence Ministry this morning demanding never-before pay hikes for Army officers and soldiers as part of the upcoming 6th Pay Commission.

A copy of the General Singh's comprehensive 82-page presentation, made available to Headlines Today, is in one sense a desperate one. Ignored for decades by successive pay commissions that have tipped the balance in favour of the civil services, and labouring on with a shortage of a staggering 5,200 officers, the Army has finally had enough and decided to pull out all the stops this time.

For example, while the starting pay in the Army is currently a quite uncompetitive 8,250 Rupees in the Lieutenant rank, the Army now wants its boys to start off on a decidedly plush 43,650 rupees per month under the new system, a good deal better than start-up packages even in the IT industry. A Colonel, who takes home a modest 17,000 rupees today should rake in 90,550 rupees a month, the Army demands, and a three-star General a cool 1.2 lakh rupees a month, instead of 22,400 rupees he earns today.

Even those in the Army admit that their demands for a five-time increase in pay is indulgently wishful thinking. And yet, after being shortchanged by successive pay commissions for years coupled with booming salaries in the private sector, it's probably reasonable that the Army is aiming so high.

The attractiveness of the armed forces as a career has steadily waned, and shows no signs of letting up. Officers still leave in droves. And yet, no one will reasonably doubt the honour and nobility of volunteering to guard the country with your life.

Apart from a the Army's recommendations to the government today that all personnel get a five-fold jump in pay, they have also for the first time put into focus that unidentifiable something that makes military life so completely different from anything else. The Army wants special risk-related allowances, a separate military incentive pay and, interestingly, what it actually calls X-Factor pay. This of course has a huge number of dimensions.

Personnel deployed in field formations, especially in the North East and Jammu & Kashmir are constantly in danger of bodily harm. Those who patrol the unforgivingly cold and hostile heights on the Saltoro ridge and Sikkim have other enemies to plough through. Helicopter pilots, like the two who were killed last week, have to brave blizzards in tiny metal machines. The element of risk and the X-Factor of walking a thin line for most of your life, is something the Army now wants quantified, and rewarded well.

Armed forces personnel always complain in private that bureaucrats in the civil services persistently flush down hopes of salaries that would put the military on par with not just the private sector, but other services within the government itself... like the IAS or the police.

This time around, the IAS has demanded a pay scale revision of just over three times from the sixth pay commission, which is probably why the armed forces have aimed at a five-fold increase in compensation to bring in at least some semblance of parity. So if junior to middle rung officers of the IAS are hoping for revised salaries of between 35,000-57,000 rupees, defence officers of corresponding seniority are looking at adjustments that will allow them to take home between 43,000 and 90,000 rupees. Cynics in uniform will always affirm however, that the past seldom passes.

The armed forces history with pay commissions is a dismal one. For the third pay commission in the 1970s, the services were barred from making recommendations by a government that was afraid it would affect discipline. To the astonishment of everyone in uniform at the time, the commission actually decided that advantages of a military career outweighed the downside. In the fourth pay commission, another rude shock was to follow. The promising rank pay introduced for officers uptil the rank of Brigadier was quietly deducted from their basic pay, a decades old goof that has hoardes of retired officers now thronging the civilian courts for redressal.

They won't admit it out loud, but most in the Army feel they've been shortchanged all along by apathetic governments and the civil services lobby eager to keep inflated revenue expenditures all for itself. There's no reason to believe this time will be any different, but there's little left to do for those in uniform but hope for a sympathetic ear. And as they're saying in the forces these days, no matter how much the economy booms, peanuts will only attract monkeys.

©Copyright 2007 TV Today

5 comments :

anon29 said...

And what of the Jawans- the heart and soul of the Indian Army? They too need to get their dues.

Unfortunately, the IA has a officer bias... look at gallantry awards- most are won by the COs and officers. Look at newspaper reports when someone dies in Kashmir. if its an officer, theres a whole report on him & his career and family, but if its a jawan, just a number- 3 soldiers were killed, 5 soldiers, including a major..... no names.

And their pay.. the less said the better...

Its time the government start paying the Armed forces, especially the JCO and enlisted soldiers, their dues.

pay scale for army officers said...

ARMY AN OPTION FOR YOUTH?
NO…….. NEVER ……………
WHY?
To get the answer read the lines below very carefully and seriously.
In an organisation where 80 percent of officers get superceded at the service of just 16-17 years It means that 80 percect get no promotion after the age of around 38/39 years and start waiting for retirement till their age is 54 years. Not only this, once they get superceded at the Rank of Lt Col (at the age of 38/39 years) they are forced to stay in the pay scale of 15100—18700.Now in this pay scale they reach at the maximum of this pay scale at the service of just 22 years (it means at the age of 43/44 years).
Now just imagine when this lot of officers interact with young boys in civil do you expect them to give a good image of army? This superceded lot which is increasing every years at the rate of approximately 500/600 will impact much more than any other advertisement campaign by army.
This country is not giving army officers even equal to what any other class one job officer is getting (just forget IAS /IPS for a moment)the calculations in support of this fact is given at the end of this article.
In IMA the first thing is taught is that “WHEN RAPE IS ENEVITABLE ENJOY IT” that is what all army men who are forced to stay in army due various reasons are doing it. No amount of disscussion can bring the realities of army life. Mind you it is worse than your imagination.
If you want to do something for army at least put them equal to other class one job. Do not try to make Brigadier of General just give them the minimum basic pay scale which is being given to any other class one job.
For example in any other class one job all officers who are directly selected and start with the pay scale of 8000 –13500.
100 percent of them achieve the pay scale of 16400—22400 at the service of 15/16 years . At least give this much to army also. At present only 20 percent ( colonel rank)go into that pay scale that too upper limit is just 19350 for them
It is suggested that put all Lt Col in pay scale of 16400—22400 at the service of 15/16 years and forget about there promotions. Also let them serve till the age of 58 years.
SHORTAGE OF OFFICERS IN ARMY
ATLEAST PUT THEM EQUAL TO OTHER CLASS ONE JOBS
THE TABLE GIVEN BELOW SHOWS THE PAY SCALE OF FEW CLASS ONE JOBS IN INDIAN GOVERNMENT
IAS IPS UNIVERSITY
LECTURERS ARMY
THE PAY SCALE INCLUDES THE
RANK PAY
8000-13500 0 YEARS 0 YEARS 0 YEARS 0 YEARS (8250-10050)
1000-15200 4 YEARS (10650-15850) 4 YEARS 4 YEARS 4YEARS (10000—11800)
12000-16500 9 YEARS(12750-16500 9 YEARS 9 YEARS 9YEARS (13125-16050)
14300-18300 13 YEARS (15100-18300) 13 YEARS DOES NOT EXIST 13 YEARS (15100-18700)
16400-20000
DOES NO EXIST 14-16 YEARS
RANK–DIG
(100 PERCENT OF DIRECT IPS OFFICERS REACH UPTO THIS LEVEL) 17 YEARS
100 PERCENT OF LECTURERS REACH AT THIS LEVEL 17-18 YEARS (17100-19350)
(ONLY 20 PERCENT OF DIRECT COMMISIONED ARMY OFFICERS REACH AT THIS LEVEL)
18400-22400 16 YEARS
(100 PERCENT OF DIRECT IAS OFFICERS REACH UPTO THIS LEVEL) —– —– ——-
THE CONCLUSION
1. THE INDIAN ARMY OFFICERS ARE NOT EVEN EQUAL TO ANY OTHER CLASS ONE JOB OF INDIAN GOVERNMENT.
2. EVERY XYZ WHO JOINS ANY CLASS ONE JOB IN INDIA IS SURE SHOT TO REACH THE PAY SCALE OF
16400—22400.
3. ON JOINING INDIAN ARMY A YOUNG BOY CAN NOT EVEN HOPE TO GET THE WHAT OTHER CLASS ONE JOB OFFICERS GET.
4. ONLY 2O PERCENT CAN HOPE TO GO BEYOND THE RANK OF LT COL IN ARMY . IT MEANS ONLY 20 PERCENT OF YOUNG BOYS WHO JOIN AS AN ARMY OFFICER CAN HOPE TO GET THE PAY SCALE OF 16400—22400 OR MORE ( NOTE THE POINT HERE THAT IN EVERY OTHER CLASS ONE JOB ALL XYZ OFFICERS WHO JOIN INITIALLY GETS THIS PAY SCALE).
5. THE ABOVE POINT INDICATES THAT 80 PERCENT OF ARMY OFFICERS (WHO HAS MORE THAN 17 /18 YEARS OF SERVICE ARE REJECTED AND DEJECTED
6. NOW A REQUEST TO PAY COMMISSION
ARMY OFFICERS NEVER HOPE TO GET WHAT IAS GETS. BUT KINDLY GIVE THEM WHAT OTHER CLASS ONE JOB OFFICERS ARE GETTING. THAT MEANS THE PAY SCALE OF 16400—22400.
THE SOLUTION
1. THERE IS A SIMPLE SOLUTION FOR THIS PROBLEM.
JUST PUT THE LT COL IN THE PAY SCALE OF 15100—22400 INSTEAD OF 15100—18700
AND THIS WILL ENSURE THAT ARMY OFFICERS GET ATLEAST WHAT OTHER CLASS ONE JOB OFFICERS ARE GETTING

achintya said...

sir,
I want only for jawans upto havilder or equivalent ranks. The total salary must be in five figures. because after retirement they are not maintain their family members expenditure only in pension amount. which is too burden for their families and as a result they are commit to suicide after retirement. In service they are looking other central government employees, who are getting too much benefit in service and also getting five figure salary. Its a very much disappointing for army jawans when they are come home in two months leave, not match with other civilian employees. therfore the status not match with their salaries. so please look the matter seriously and save to jawans from their suicide attitude.
thanking you
achintya mukhopadhyay

Anonymous said...

The fauj...just like any other job or situation has different perspectives. And within each perspectives different standpoints. I have several perspectives but enough time to just share one. So please do not assume i have nothing good to say about fauj, just that a system cannot improve just by praising it. Identifying the fault is the first step in improving a person or a system. The second step is accepting it and so on. Alas, fauj and fauji's do not espouse the first step itself. And then they want to parity, respect, standing etc. Fortunately for the internet we do manage to here voices of some concerned individuals and victims (not cribbers as few fool hardy intoxicated succesful faujis may label them).
One blogger has so rightly pointed out a fact and prognosis thereof. Stagnation at a young age with a conditioning of mind to enjoy the rape. Such minds interact with the civil world in extreme behaviours - bombastic (this is life!) or with resignation to fate. The prognosis of this is clear but if anyone cares to correct this other than their packages and post retirmement appointments is another question.
Because those in power are those who never showed a spine and hence earned good numbers in Annual Confidential Reports (now you know that confidential reports are not good but bad in the long term). These are the people who do not let their own young officers fly by air on leave even though officers in other cadre of same pay scales do so. This has something to do with appropriation of a limited budget. These are the folks who have plush guest rooms in messes reserved perennially, whereas a young officer may have to face refusal for the ordinary dilapidated when his/her parents are visiting their child's establishment. And i do not know where the funds come for parties thrown by Senior officers for other visiting senior officers. This proud and satisfied individuals also interfere as autocrats when they refuse to let young officers retire early. Funny, just because you liked the power and facilities doesn't mean you should have such unquestionable authority and that too in peace time over any other citizen or individual! They screw the life of such youngsters, unless of course he is well related or connected. Somebody should demand sharing of information on released officers and investigate the way they got released. Less than 20 years, when you have to surrender all benefits and pensions you are not allowed to go the moment you want to. You are made to languish around as a frustrated soul or a licking soul looking for that one last favour and then they let you go a few years later, so much closer to 20 years. So you loose precious time and still not get any benefits. Sedistic, no? These people are asking for their rights, ha! Do they deserve to be looked after? I should stop this blog for i have better things to do so that i can make up for time i was made to loose...i wish all the best to families who still send their children out of penury or patriotism. For you send your children to slavery in uniform or goondaism in uniform with the hope that he one day will be a senior badmaash.

Kamal Tomer said...

Problem of armed force is not civil babus but officers of force.They themselves do not respect their PBOR's.For ex:

Why they are silent on the difference in MSP of Officers & jawan?After all it is an allowance & should be equal for all.Everyone knows that even during field,the life of a jawan is tougher than an officer by all means.

Why the jawan's are forced to work as slaves in their houses?

Why various other allowances are different for PBOR's & Officers?