“1:2200000 Ratio” Discriminations done against JCOs & NCOs – Part II.
The 7th CPC is expected to submit its report shortly. Every pay commission has invariably been unfair to the POTOs. The reasons are the same: there is none to speak for them and present their points of view. The JCMs put forth the demands of every section of the central government employees; our officers always manage to put forth their requirements and demands. But POTOs have no mechanism or opportunity at all to project their concerns and demands. Who will care to feed the baby which does not cry? Above all the cruel 1:2200000 Ratio always plays its negative role .
We cannot expect the 7th CPC recommendations are going to be any different. The status and salary structure of POTOs are likely to be further lowered.
If we look back into the history and examine the recommendations of the past pay commissions we can get a fair idea as to how systematically our status and salary levels have been lowered by one pay commission after the other.
REDUCTION IN PENSION IN 1973:
Everyone of us knew what happened to the pension rates of POTOs in 1973, under the third pay commission. The pension was reduced from 73% to 50% in clar violation of the principles of natural justice; those who were affected adversely were neither asked nor consulted. The decision was thrust down their throat.
I don’t think that the GOI would ever venture to reduce the pension of any civilian employees without their concurrence and without adequately compensating the loss they would incur on account of such reduction. But the then government could get away easily without even a murmur after reducing our pension by 23%, speaks volumes on how shabbily the jawans are treated in this great nation of ours!! Our officers who are now shouting from the roof top about this drastic reduction of pension have also kept mum then and did pretty nothing about it.
CONTINUOUS LOWERING OF STATUS:
In 1987 when I got discharged after 15 years of service as a Gp-X sergeant, we were eligible to join as Technical Assistants in central government departments and organisations. We were treated as equals and the posts carried the same pay.
In 1996, under 5th CPC the X group Diploma holding sergeants were placed in the pay scale of 5000-6500, while their civilian counterparts, the technical assistants, were placed in the pay scale of 5000-8000. Although both these scales are supposed to be equal, the maximum of our scale was was kept at 6500, so that we are paid less pension since the pension of POTOs was calculated @ maximum of the scale. Is this the effect of 1:2200000??????
Again, placing X group non- Diploma sergeants in the lower scale of 4670-**** , than the sergeants with Diploma was also is in violation of the law. The law is: “same work, same pay”. I don’t think that Sergeants with a Diploma do different higher job than the Non- Diploma sergeants. No doubt the Diploma holders must be given a higher initial pay or even higher rank (they used to be recruited directly as LACs) at the time of initial recruitment. But the distinction cannot go beyond initial appointment.
The important question here is: how many defence officer’s or civilian official’s pay of the same rank/grade have differently been fixed with reference to their qualifications during their promotions?
Then why is it done only in the case of JCOs & NCOs?
Again the effect of Ratio 1:2200000!!
This anomaly was corrected on 24.09.2012 by the committee of secretaries. But we were denied the retrospective benefit from 01.01.2006, perhaps once again due to 1:2200000 Ratio. However the recommendations made in the case of our officers by the same COS were made effective retrospectively from 01.01.2006. The case in point is enhancement of stagnated Major’s pension who have retired between 01.01.1996 and 31.12.2005 to that of Lt. Cols. Consequently, those Majors will get substantial benefit under PCDA circular 548 also.
Does not the argument of legal experts like Maj. Navdeep Singh that only those whose minimum fitment table was calculated on the minimum of pre-2006 scale of the rank are eligible for arrears from 01.01.2006 to 23.09.2012 under 547 & 548 hold good in the case of these majors? It appears that “minimum” is more important. It does not matter even if the minimum is of the next higher rank! What an irony!!
DIFFERENT PAY SCALES OF THE SAME RANK:
In fact the pay scales should be based on the rank or post held, as in the case of defence officers and civilian officials. A Major of Artillery and a Major of Technical branch are placed in the same pay scale. However the technical branch officers are given some additional allowances commensurate with their qualification and skill, which normally does not count for the purpose of pension with the exception of NPA in the case of Medical officers. The situation is similar in the case of civilian officials. But unfortunately it is not so in the case of JCOs & NCOs. The sergeant of a Y group is placed in a lower pay scale (4320-5595) than that of an X group sergeant. (5000-6500).
The pertinent question here is: why the officers of administrative branch are NOT placed in a lower scale than the technical branch officers?
POST 6TH CPC:
The adverse effect of this “less maximum” in the same scale of pay applicable to same posts and different pay scales for the same rank, is grave, to say the least.
The Diploma holding sergeants were placed in Pay Band 1 , 5200 – 23020 with a grade pay of 2800 and X group pay of 1400. Their minimum fitment was calculated @ 15500/-.The non- Diploma sergeant was placed in the same PB with same grade pay of 2800. But his minimum fitment was 14890/- wef 01.01/2006 under 6th CPC.
On the other hand the technical assistants in the civil side who were equivalent to group X sergeants were placed in PB-2 with a grade pay of 4200/-.
Subsequently, the GOI issued an order classifying the posts carrying Grade Pay of 2800 as “Group C” while those posts carrying Grade Pay of 4200 as “Group B”. Alas, We have been pushed down by ONE group in comparison with our counterparts in civil by 6th CPC.
What did the the serving officers, who fought a tough battle to the extent of refusing to implement the 6th CPC recommendations for defence forces until the Lt. Cols and their equivalents are included in Pay Band 4 do to rectify the much harsher down grading of the ranks of JCOs & NCOs?? A BIG ZERO!
This is much worse and pathetic in respect of Y group sergeants who were treated equal to the clerical/ admin assistants in civil side, were placed in PB-1, @ minimum fitment pay of 10840 (excluding MSP) The civilians were placed in PB-2 with a minimum fitment pay of 13500/-.
All other ranks of JCOs & NCOs have suffered similar reduction of their status and salary scales. I have just given an example of sergeants to emphasise the point.
NO STRUCTURED CIVIL CADRE OR SERVICE WITH WHOM JCOS & NCOS CAN COMPARE THEMSELVES:
Defence officers most of whom join the defence academy after their 10+2, compare themselves with the IAS officers and get the same benefits under every pay commission. Unfortunately, the JCOs & NCOs have no structured civil service or cadre with whom they can compare themselves. It is appropriate that we have one such cadre and the suggestion is as follows:-
Lower Division Clerk. – Gp Y LAC
Upper Division Clerk. – Gp Y Cpl
Superintendent – Gp Y Sgt
Section Officer. – Gp Y JWO
Asst Works Manager – Gp Y WO
WM(Selection Grade) – Gp Y MWO
The X group personnel will also placed in the pay scales as above and they will additionally be paid X group allowance @25% of the pay.
The Z group personnel could be treated at par with the “Isolated Posts” of Central Civil Services and the Drivers at par with “Staff Car Drivers”.
This will enable us to compare ourselves with the equivalent civil posts and ensure that we are also benefitted equally under every pay commission.
REDUCTION IN PENSION FROM 2006:
A drastic reduction in the pension of JCOs & NCOs was again effected in 2006 under 6th CPC. Till 31.12. 2005, the pension of JCOs & NCOs was computed @ maximum of the scale held by them. However with the implementation of 6th CPC on 01.01.2006 the pension of POTOs is computed on the basis of last pay drawn. A drastic cut, indeed! However the anamoly was corrected from 01.07.2009 by the COS. Again we were denied the retrospective benefit of this correction from 01.01.2006. The negative impact of the so called 1:2200000 Ratio!
DIFFERENCE IN MSP:
The 6th CPC introduced a new concept of MSP for both officers and JCOs & NCOs. However the officers are paid an MSP @ 6000/- per month while the JCOs & NCOs are paid a meager 2000/- per month. Three times higher MSP to officers defies logic. What are the grounds upon which their MSP was fixed at 6000/-? If someone could convince us of the reason(s) behind such increased MSP to officers, we would accept it.
Is it because of the living conditions in hard living and forward areas? If so then the conditions are not better or more comfortable to JCOs & NCOs. The reality is the other way.
Is it because the officers contribute more towards national security and defence of the country than JCOs & NCOs? Does that mean that the sacrifices of JCOs & NCOs are less important? If one looks at the statistics of those who have martyred in defending this country, we are sure that the percentage of JCOs & NCOs will be higher than the other two groups of personnel. Is there a greater sacrifice than giving one’s own life for the sake of one’s country?? Even in other two wings of defence viz Navy and Air Force, the JCOs and NCOs have a tougher and harder living & working conditions than the officers.
What is the greater sacrifice done by MNS officers than the JCOs & NCOs that they are paid higher MSP than the later??
The higher MSP for serving officers also has helped all the retired officers irrespective of their date of retirement to get an increase of Rs 3000/- per month in their pension, while we are benefited only by Rs.1000/- per month and that too pro rata. 85% of us are benefited only by 636/- per month.
Again all these are probably the negative impact of now famous 1:2200000 Ratio.
ALL DEFENCE PERSONNEL, BOTH OFFICERS AND POTOS SHOULD BE PAID THE SAME AMOUNT OF MSP
A disturbing aspect of all these discriminations is that they are vicious in nature and have chain effect and reaction. One discrimination led to another; third one to fourth and so on and so forth. Ultimately we are in this state.
One thing is amply clear. We have been exploited mercilessly by the MOD and our own officers. They were always looking for the ways and means to somehow deny and reduce what was due to us. They have so far been successful in taking advantage of our helplessness. Now it is time that we made them know that we had seen through their games and we would no longer be silent. We will fight for our legitimate justifys and dues with all our might and strength.
So , join AFVAI in thousands and make it as your representative to take up all these issues with GOI. If you miss this opportunity, perhaps you would miss it for ever. Come and join us in this battle for justice!
AFVAI, Karnataka Chapter.