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Wednesday, 10 August 2016


Gurcharan Sidhu <gurcharansidhu1948@gmail.com>

PRABHAKARAN M <mpkaran1955@gmail.com>Tue, Aug 9, 2016 at 12:46 PM
To: Gurcharan Sidhu <gurcharansidhu1948@gmail.com>

I am sure that many of us have seen day before yesterday's Burkha Dutt anchored  discussion on 7CPC, telecast by NDTV.

The panel had many retired army officers including Gen. Mallick and Maj. Navdeep Singh, a former finance secretary, a former DG, CRPF, the chairman of the economic cell of BJP, a spokesman from Congress party, the president of IAS officers Association. Justice A K Mathur, the chairman of the 7CPC participated in the discussion through video conferencing.

Naturally the discussion centred around the step motherly treatment meted out to defence services (officers community!) by 7CPC.

There were very interesting punch points during the discussion and I thought of sharing them with you so that we all get an idea of what is in store for us as far as the 7CPC is concerned.

Former DG, CRPF: " The soldiers knew at the time of joining itself that they have to retire early; so why crib about it?"

Our  answer  is: "When many of us have joined the defence services prior to 1972 , we also knew that our pension will be 75% of the pay and not the pro rata 50% that we have eventually got on our discharge. How could the GOI reduce the benefit which was already there? Is that correct and justified sir??"

Former Chief of Army Staff:- " The defence forces constitute 30% central government employees. But they are not represented in any of the committees constituted by the GOI. How is it justified?"

Our answer is: "Thank you sir. If the defence personnel constitute 30% of the central government employees as stated by you, that means the PBORs constitute nearly 28% of the central government employees? 

Where are they represented sir? Why are they left out even in committees constituted by the MOD sir??"

A retired Col: "MSP is given because the defence people have to stay away from their families on many occasions, their wives cannot work, their children will have to study in different schools, they cannot take part in social and family functions etc.  He has also quoted his own personal experience of not able to reach his hometown in time to attend his father's funeral. They are compensated for these kind of hardships which is part and parcel of military life"

Our answer is : " Wow, what a forceful argument sir! But then why the JCOs and NCOs who are subject to same and similar situations, at times to much harsher conditions are paid less MSP than the officers and MNS staff? What is the rationale behind  different MSP sir? If the death in harness is the criteria, then more PBORs die in performing their duties than the officers. Then are we not entitled to higher MSP sir ?"

The President, IAS officers Association: " The defence personnel in Siachin gets Swiss chocolates which are  very expensive; we do not crib about it. Then why are they cribbing about IAS officers being given 55000/- as hardship allowance as against 31500/- to defence officers posted in Siachin. If IAS officers are a problem then it is better that PM takes a call to do away with the all India services."

Our reply is: " Sir, we only wish that if you can serve for a month in Siachin with double the ration of Swiss chocolates. Similarly if you all feel that defence forces is a problem then why don't you recommend to GOI to dismantle the defence forces and make the defence of the country a responsibility of bureaucracy?"

Justice Mathur, the Chairman of the 7CPC: " The defence personnel get a substantive amount as MSP  which no other services get. The hard living allowance added with MSP will be more than the hardship allowance of Civilians.  In addition they also get Pension on retirement  while the Civilians who have joined the service after 2004 are to make monthly contribution  for their pension. On account of  these two major benefits , the grievances of Defence personnel are uncalled for and the defence personnel are much better financially than their civilian counterparts."

Our answer is: "Sir, you have hit the last nail on our coffin. Thank you sir. It would have been better if the commission insisted in their report  to guarantee PBORs an assured career up to 60 years of age by not only  absorbing them in para military forces but also in other central government departments. This should have made the profile of Defence forces much younger and more efficient."

What an irony! I am sure that this being the mind set of decision makers, we cannot expect any thing more or better from the anomaly committee.

Sgt M P KARAN (Retd)
Karnataka Chapter AFVAI.

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