Monday, November 23, 2015

Paramilitary forces unhappy with 7th CPC recommendations

The seventh pay commission has largely made the central government employees cheerful but central paramilitary forces officials are not really happy with some of the recommendations. 

ToI spoke to several central paramilitary - ITBP, CRPF, SSB, BSF and CISF officials in different ranks who expressed displeasure with the fact that they have not been given special allowances on the lines of 'defence' forces even though they work in tougher conditions and round the clock. 

The central paramilitary forces (CPMFs) have reportedly grown to a strength of 9.80 lakh personnel from 7.66 lakh since sixth pay commission and are likely to take over army's strength (of close to 12 lakh) in coming 5 to 7 years, but officials argue that they have still been placed in the "civil" category even though their work profile ranges from guarding the border, managing tense situations, fighting the naxals and insurgent groups in different areas on the tough terrains. 

Subsequently, they are engaged throughout the year in duties like elections, crowd control, rescue operations, VIP arrangements and other internal security duties. "For defense personnel, the commission has mentioned the words 'trained for war like situations' while for CPMFs it has not narrated any such words. Forces like ITBP and BSF are placed as nation's first line of defense round the clock on most inhospitable terrains ahead of army - at almost all forward locations apart from Siachen. They are also earmarked for deployment along with army in hot war situations but we are still placed in 'civil' category straight way like office babus and other similar civil jobs which is an abuse to the difficult service conditions of these forces," said an official of Indo Tibet Border Police Force. 

On not being given allowances on the lines of 'armed forces', CPMF officer said, "There are about 38,000 officers in army while paramilitary forces have 16,000 men at officer rank as on 2014. A single army unit, has four companies while one paramilitary battalion has more than six companies and officers of CPMFs have to command more troops than that of an Army officer. But we are still paid less in terms of allowances". 

Another aspect, an officer of largest Central Reserve Police Force said, ignored by the Commission is 'Contributory Pension Scheme', which was initiated for all those joining after January 1, 2004. The CPMFs have been asking for pension on the lines of armed forces. 

"There are 4, 65, 959 (almost 45 percent of entire CPMFs) personnel inducted to these forces who are now contributing for pension from their salaries. We had expected that Pay Commission to correct this but it has been ignored. This will down the morale of paramilitary forces," said the CRPF official. 

A senior officer at the rank of Commandant also raised that while deciding the new pay matrix, the central pay commission has also not considered putting second in command (officers) of the CPMFs in the pay band 4 on the lines of Lt Colonels of the army. The MHA had opposed the move on the ground that it will create 'command and administrative" issues. "There are usually six to 10 Lt Colonels in an army unit while a CPMF unit has only one second in command officer. How does it create a command issue?" asked the officer. 

When contacted, DG ITBP Krishna Choudhary told Times of India, "We had asked for several things, some we have got, some we haven't. A final decision will be taken by the government now".

BSF DG D K Pathak could not be reached for his comments.

Source : Times of India

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