Saturday, October 18, 2008

Pay panel: Central police forces against raising Lt Col rank above commandant

Continuing their tug-of-war on recommendations of the Sixth Pay Commission report, central police organisations (CPOs) have strongly opposed some of the demands being made by the Armed Forces, including a proposal to elevate the rank of a Lieutenant Colonel above that of a commandant in central paramilitary forces (CPMFs).

In a memorandum submitted to Minister of External Affairs Pranab Mukherjee, who heads the committee to look into the grievances of the Armed Forces on the pay commission recommendations, the CPOs have argued that the demand of the Armed Forces was entirely unjustified and would result in operational difficulties if acceded to.

A delegation comprising officials from BSF, CRPF, ITBP and CISF met Mukherjee on Wednesday and explained why they were opposed to certain proposals, sources said. The delegation told the minister that the Armed Forces were using pressure tactics to get their demands met.

The Armed Forces have openly expressed their dissatisfaction with the pay commission recommendations and one of their demands has been to elevate the rank of a Lt Colonel above that of a commandant in a central police force. Both Lt Colonel and a commandant are placed as the commanding officer of a battalion but during times of joint operations, the Armed Forces commander takes precedence. The Armed Forces have used this to argue that a Lt Colonel should be treated as a higher rank.

However, the CPOs have pointed out a number of discrepancies in this argument. Sources said the delegation brought to the notice of the minister that while there were usually more than one Lt Colonel in a battalion — with the senior most being the commanding officer — only one commandant was present in a CPMF battalion.

The delegation argued that the work profile of a commandant was completely different and his promotion was based on his performance unlike that of a Lt Colonel who gets time-bound promotions. Sources said it was only after considering these that the Sixth Pay Panel had recommended a higher rank for the commandant but the Armed Forces want it reversed.

Source : Indian Express


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