Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Sixth Pay Commission relief on August 15? Don't count on it...

The government's final word on the 6th Pay Commission for the armed forces is to be announced by the Prime Minister on August 15, though nobody's really holding their breath. Never before has a single Commission of any sort inspired such a sense of widespread -- if mostly understated -- mutiny among our men and women in uniform. Indeed, it has gone on to spawn semi-organised opposition activities, like the formation of the Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement (its abbreviation, IESM, is gaining acceptance) by Major General Satbir Singh and a few others. A mail from him yesterday reads:
"Since govt has shown no positive concerns towards the Defence Forces, the Military veterans pan India have decided to intensify Nation wide Movement against the 6th PCR. They have decided hold a Think Thank Meeting of Veterans on 13 August 2008 starting at 11 AM at Community Centre Sector 37 NODIA to deliberate and decide on the future course of action plans to intensify the Movement. The representatives from the states will take part."

That a movement of this sort was found necessary to engender is itself tragic (Admiral Arun Prakash has written about this tragedy eloquently here). I've spoken to a lot of the retired officers who find themselves compelled to hold dharnas at India Gate, and court arrest by flouting security regulations at Vijay Chowk. And one question always resounds -- what have we become, that our veterans, many of them former participants in wars and conflicts who should be sipping lassi now with their legs up and playing with their grandchildren, are forced to cast aside retirement and clamour at the doors of the executive for fairplay?

Because, let's not kid ourselves. Too many believe that the backlash from the armed forces is just a lot of noise -- the "they'll never be happy with anything" syndrome. Yet, a cursory examination of the current lack of parity between the uniformed and civil services in terms of pay structures and benefits is not just alarming -- it's a crime. The problems of youth not joining the armed forces, officers leaving service in droves and the generally pervasive sense of resentment are not ambiguous or indefinite maladies -- these are clear, real and present afflictions, and they're unfolding with untold swiftness. Also, they're dangerously contagious.

Sadly enough, maybe the only way for the armed forces to really get their due is to become one enormous politically-astute electoral votebank. There will be no end to whey they can ask for then.

Photo ©Shiv Aroor/LiveFist (A jawan stands guard at the Army's Red Horns Division in Rangiya, Assam)


Anonymous said...

kudos. you should take up this issue with greater strength.

Anonymous said...

the govt is paying 30% increase after 10-12 years,whereas pvt co.s are hiking pay by 30%-40% every year. is it an increase? why people are grudging. let the govt also increase pay of its employees 30% sothat there would be no burden on govt

Anonymous said...

If private companies are paying well, why aren't people joining those companies. All over the world there is a disparity between Govt and private salaries. If people want more salary they have to quit govt service and join private. It is not fair to burden the Govt for everything.

Thiagharajan said...

if every talented individual joins the private cos.,(private concerns recruit only the efficient and hard working people, mind you) then how to run the govt. Already the govt. sector is bogged down by the indifference shown by the administration to their cream of talent.

yamkochi said...

Talented sincere people are not respected in Govt Oraganisations. A good percent of people who left Govt research and other Orgaisations are not for salaray. But for respect and job satisfaction. Inteligent people are a threat/block for the hidden ajenda of top people who came to the spot through not by their contribution to the cause of the oraganisation. The only way to fix this big cats is to fix responsibilty. Ask them to do it within a time frame else to quit.
Give them full financial freedom and to freedom to hire manpower.
If they fail to perform they must be removed from service. No excuses whatever. Let the Govt save the Research organisations, save fund,save poor people.
I love india and its every citizen.

Anonymous said...

The 6th pay commission report is not a joy for every one. My husband is in the Navy and everyone in his rank has been degraded. The 5th pay commission had given us the privilege to travel by 2nd AC but now we are entitled for 3rd AC. During 4th pay commission period Artificer I, II & III were in three separate pay scales which was merged in the 5th pay commission and now they all are placed in one pay band with a grade pay of RS 3400 instead of Rs 4200, unlike their counter parts (As per the report published in March). Moreover there is also a discrepancy in fixing TA/DA, Transfer Grant, Baggage entitlement etc. Not only this, Charge Certificate Allowance payable to them have been reduced from 24.24 % of basic pay in 1960 to around 4.3% now