Sunday, 18 September 2016

Govt should form a committee with Armed Forces representation to remove 82 pay anomalies - By Brig Arun Bajpai (Retd)

Since the time Union finance minister, Arun Jaitley lost to his Congress rival and an ex-serviceman Captain Amarinder Singh - the ex-Maharaja of Patiala from the Amritsar seat in Punjab, having large number of veterans two years back, somehow the finance ministry is always putting spokes in the Armed Forces pay and allowances. It could be just a perception but it is sticking.
After only granting a diluted OROP to the Armed forces, despite ex-servicemen's agitation at Jantar Mantar, now 36 anomalies have been inflicted on them by the great Seventh Pay Commission led by a retired Supreme Court judge who was himself disgruntled from the Armed Forces because reportedly he was denied accommodation in the Cantonment area post retirement, as it was not allowed in rules.
This brings the total anomalies against the Armed Forces to 82 with 46 coming down from the Fifth Pay Commission. How can a country neglect their Armed Forces like this and still feel that it can be a super power?Agreed that Prime Minister Modi went all the way to Siachin to meet the troops which no other PM has done and he has also sanctioned construction of the Armed Forces memorial which Congress government never bothered and which is so close to the Armed Forces heart, but surely the Armed Forces' bread and butter cannot be neglected. It is important to understand that for the Armed Forces, which won four wars for the country and which is always roped in by the civilian government in aid to civil authorities, may it be floods, earthquakes or out of control internal insurgency, the forces have never let it down. Despite this sterling performance, the status of the forces is continuously been brought down by the successive Pay Commissions. In desperation and last ditch effort last month, three services chiefs have written a joint letter direct to Prime Minster Modi to sort out the grievances of the armed forces. This is a justified move. The three Chiefs have also asked the Modi Government to keep in abeyance the implementation of the Seventh Pay Commission report for the Armed Forces till these anomalies get sorted out. What is stopping the Modi government from forming a committee under able politicians with the Armed Forces representation to sort out the 82 anomalies in a time bond manner. It is worth remembering that the 33 lakh civilian employees of the central government have already begun to get their new enhanced salaries under 7th Pay Commission with effect August 2016 this year that also include arrears with effect 1 Jan this year. (Source- )

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