Monday, June 15, 2009

Why the Sixth Central Pay Commission did not make a justified recommendation in case of Veterans? Whom to blame for this?

From: prabhjot singh
Date: Saturday, 13 June, 2009, 1:12 PM

Dear Veterans……Why the Sixth Central Pay Commission did not make a justified recommendation in case of Veterans? Whom to blame for this?

Sixth Central Pay Commission was set up by Govt. of India on 5-10-2006 for revising the salaries and pensions of Central Government employees to fulfill its commitment in persuasion of advisory note given by the Fifth Central Pay Commission (CPC) in which the CPC drew a guideline for the Central Government to make permanent provision to appoint CPC after a gap of every 10 years.

The commission was comprised of following members:-
1. Chairman ………….Justices Sh. B. N. Sri Krishna
2. Member…………….Prof. Ravindra Dholakia
3. Member ………........Mr. J.S. Mathur
4. Member –Secretary...Smt. Sushma Nath
(Sh. J.S. Mathur passed away in February, 2008 before the submission of
the report to the Govt. by the Commission)

Immediately after the formation, 6 CPC circulated a questionnaire on its official Website, and invited all interested persons, including members of the public, peoples' representatives, consumers association, staff associations, State/UT governments, ministries/departments to send their views on the subject by 31st December 2006. Questionnaire had been prepared to facilitate response from Individuals/Groups on the items of specific interest to the Commission with facility for online response.
Consequent to an addition in the terms of reference, Unions/Associations of officers and employees of the Supreme Court of India were requested to submit memorandums to the Commission before 31st August 2007.
Unions and Associations of civilian officers and employees flooded the Commission with memorandums without waiting for a day whereas We, Gentlemen (Veterans) went on asking for an addition of member out of Veterans in the Pay Commission to which the Govt. did not accede.
As per the record available on the website, a total of 412 (R) 412 memorandums were submitted to the Sixth CPC (R) CPC.
Out of this total, 403 (R) 403 related to civilians (employees and pensioners) whereas only 9 (R) 9 memorandums related to serving Soldiers and Veterans which were submitted by the following NGOs and Govt. offices.

1. Air Force Association, Jodhpur
2. Air Force Association (Western Zone), Pune
3. Army War College, MP
4. Defence Services Officers' Institute, Kerala
5. Indian Ex-Services League, Punjab & Chandigarh
(Then headed by Lt. Col. Chanan Singh Dhillon Retd. with present President, Sgt. Prabhjot Singh Chhatwal PLS Retd. then working as General Secretary)

6. National Ex-Servicemen Coordination Committee, Delhi
7. 6th Pay Commission Cell (Army), New Delhi .
8. Tirunelveli District Ex-Servicemen Welfare Association Chennai.
9. Zila Sainik Welfare Office Shillong Meghalaya.

As evident from the above list, One and only One memorandum was submitted (By Indian Ex-Services League, Punjab & Chandigarh) from Punjab in respect of serving Soldiers and the Veterans. Should we not think that, to same extant, we, the Veterans, are to be blamed for this un-justified recommendation by the Pay Commission in our case.

The Commission had meetings with officers, unions and associations in 22 cities, such as Mumbai, Kolkata, Port Blair, Chennai, Puducherry, Guwahati, Gujarat, Banglore, Jummu & Kashmir, Hyderabad, Mussoorie, Ambarnath and a few other cities (from where the Commission received bunch of memorandums) apart from its New Delhi office. The Commission did not come to Punjab for meeting with the NGOS. Since there was only one (R) one memorandum from Punjab, the Commission did not give a chance of hearing to Indian Ex-Services League, Punjab & Chandigarh, which has been regularly interacting with the previous Pay Commissions i.e. Fourth and Fifth CPCs.

In spite of denial of meeting with the Pay Commission, the following demands, which were projected only by Indian Ex-Services League, Punjab & Chandigarh, in un-mincing words, in its memorandum, No. IESL/ Pay Commission/2006, dated 24 December, 2006 were acceded to and recommended, with certain changes, by the Pay Commission to the Govt.

1. The league demanded a pay scale of Rs. 12000-24000 (minimum) for the serving soldiers and a minimum Pension of Rs. 6000/- for the Veterans.

However, the Pay Commission took a lenient view for serving
soldiers but crushed the Veterans up to the Rank of Havildars.

2. League demanded the right of family pension for un-married daughters above the age of 25 years in its memorandum. But this was agreed to by the Central Govt. as a result of sustained efforts being made by the League on the administrative channels before the Commission submitted its recommendations to the Govt.

However, the Commission did take notice of it and affirmed that the
Central Govt. has already agreed to this and issued the required

3. The league demanded an increase in basic pension above the age of 65 and 75 years quoting the example of Punjab Govt. which gave an increase of 5% in pension at the age of 65 years and an other increase of 5% at 75 years.

However, the Commission gave an increase of 20% at the age of 80
years, 30% at 85 years, 40% at 90 years, 50% at 95 years and 100%
at 100 years of age. Now it is up to the Veterans to see how long they
can live to enjoy these increases in Pension.

4. The league demanded that Constant Attendant allowance be increased an made equal to the salary of class 'D' employee and DA also should be paid on this amount. The rate of this allowance was Rs. 600/-PM at that time.

However, the Commission increased this amount to Rs. 3000/-PM
and also recommended that their should be an increase of 25% in
this amount when the DA increase by 50%. It may be noted that only
this (R) this allowance has been increased five times where as all
other allowances have been doubled only.

5. The league demanded two pensions for the widow of an Ex-
Serviceman who drew two pensions during his life time.

However, the Commission made a mention of this demand by the
league but gave no comments regarding this.

6. The league demanded that Disability Pension (100%) should be
at least two times than the normal pension and be reduced proportionately for lesser percentage of disability.

However, the Commission has shown much favour to serving soldiers than the Veterans in the case of disability pension.

Barring this, all other demands projected by Indian Ex-Services League, Punjab & Chandigarh found not much favour in the hands of Pay Commission since the league did not get a chance to be heard or discuss the demands with the Pay Commission. Had the league been heard by the Pay Commission, the Veterans could have got a little more to be satisfied.

While making recommendation for serving soldiers, the pay commission depended mainly on the note submitted by the Integrated Hqs. of Armed Forces and the suggestions made by the civilian staff of the Pay Commission where as in case of Veterans, the Pay Commission based its recommendation more on the suggestive brief prepared by its civilian staff than the demand projected by the NGOs of Veterans. When the civilian staff working in the Pay Commission found that there was a special allowance i.e. Constant Attendant Allowance which was, hitherto, being paid to Veterans only and it was increased five times, the lobby prevailed upon the Chairman and the members of the Pay Commission resulting in to grant of this allowance to the civilian disabled persons also.

The Veterans must note it clearly that the cause of delay for One Rank One Pension not being granted to Veterans in spite of several promises by different Govts. is the bureaucratic pull and push which creates the hurdle.

Sgt. Prabhjot Singh Chhatwal PLS Retd.
Indian Ex-Services League,
Punjab & Chandigarh.


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