Tuesday, October 28, 2008

SCPC: Pay hike controversy not good for the nation

Respect and Honour the Status and Rank of Armed Forces Personnel

The Sixth Pay Commission fiasco revealed the purposeful machinations of MoD- bureaucrats to lower armed forces’ status, yet again. When the Chiefs protested, newspapers, once renowned for fearlessly frank journalism, carried explicit threats. Thankfully, many TV channels and intrepid journals defied MoD and exposed how babus tried to degrade two crucial ranks while ignoring A.K. Antony’s explicit orders. This had immediate ramifications in security-sensitive Kashmir at police chiefs’ and Corps Commanders’ levels.

In 1982, this writer was in Jammu and Kashmir, with a formation holding defences on the LoC. Two low-threat sectors were held by BSF battalions. The Commander had called an operational conference of all COs – then Lieutenant Colonels. However, BSF COs arrived late, sporting full-Colonel type rank-badges with attendant blue collar-tabs. Only the Commander’s tact and Army COs’ maturity prevented disharmony from affecting the LoC defence. Imagine the morale-impact on 3000 Army troops in this one brigade — replicated all across Jammu and Kashmir and Northeast. Clearly, defence of the Republic is inconsequential; only ‘putting-the-Army-down’ counts.

Not only degraded status and unchecked violation of warrant of precedence erodes the nation’s security. Defence officers in Services’ HQs are soul-destroyed by deliberate, humiliating delays in defence procurements and other decisions. Petty functionaries are encouraged to pose frivolous questions for delaying cases. During Narasimha Rao’s prime ministership, babus invented the perfect catch-22 situation. Service HQs had submitted the 5-year modernisation plan, but supremely insolent, MoD neither accepted it, nor offered any objections.

Then, modernisation cases were rejected, stating “the Plan was not approved”. Even cases to meet emergent operational developments were turned down, stating that “it is not included in the Plan”. Crucial capability-voids built up for 10 to 30 years. Later, most proved key deficiencies leading to 1999 Kargil LoC violations – and snuffing out 700 valiant young lives. Sadly, no bureaucrat or the Defence Minister has ever been held accountable for such lapses.
Read the full article: Sapped from within National defence in the hands of amateurs by Maj Gen Pushpendra Singh (Retd)

Pay hike controversy not good for nation
NDTV Correspondent
The armed forces have vigorously protested against the implementation of Sixth Pay Commission’s report citing gross discrimination.

They say the civil servants are misleading the government about the armed forces’ genuine representation. The lieutenant commanders (Lt Cols and Lt Gens) are placed at lower pay band while equivalent civilians are placed in higher pay band.

The argument put forward by them is quite strong that a force that undertakes most challenging tasks is highly underpaid due to which the officials as well as the lower staff feel cheated and humiliated.

Also, their attempts to equate with civilians have always been given cold shoulders. To make their voices heard, the armed forces have tried out all available options. They rebelled, threatened and even pleaded.

One wonders if the entire turn of the events bode well for the nation?
Pay hike controversy not good for nation

"The pay anomalies issues are currently with the Cabinet and I am sure it will take care of it. Whatever it decides, it will be for the good of the country and the armed forces," Vice-Chief of the Army, Lieutenant General M L Naidu, said on the sidelines of an Army Postal Service Awards ceremony here on 15 Oct 2008.
Any decision on pay hike to be good for country: Army

Voice of Veterans: We need a fast track Blue Ribbon type of Commission to bring to an end the Pay Commission injustices, controversies and anomalies introduced to degrade the honour, rank and status of Armed Forces Personnel. The ESM right to "One rank one pension" must be implemented forthwith.

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