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Monday, June 28, 2010

Guest Post : Majors to Minors - II

The second part of BeeCee’s guest post. These are his own views :-

My post on Navdeep’s blog was more of a suggestion to stop the unseemly (in my personal view) victimhood narrative of those in (or were once in) uniform; and may be nudge the affected parties into an introspection. It was not specifically for remedying the discriminatory pay structure but to understand the problem to begin with. As far as rectifying it is concerned, I suspect that the desire to keep the issue alive is stronger than the one to resolve it, as I had hinted in my very first post on the subject. But since it has been raised by some on the blog, here goes.

Some wise man once said that there are two types of fools. Those who give unsought advice, and those who don’t take it. Since I have more than once been in the first category for the matter under discussion, I offer no advice. But I have been convinced for many years that the simplest and most beneficial solution is to ask for the same pay structure as available to other Organised Gp A Services of GOI and as laid down by the IVth and Vth CPCs. Nothing more, nothing less.

Those who have read (was a must-read in our cadet-midshipman days) John Winton’s classic ‘We joined the Navy’ may remember the direction of the President of the Admiralty Selection Board to the Members in the book. “We do not require intelligent people in the Navy. We require half-wits; the Service will supply the other half, in due course”. Since I volunteered out before the other half was due, I may be a bit of a dimwit. Hence my inability to fathom, even after a decade of discussions, why we don’t seek this obviously (to me at least) better approach.

Here are some points to ponder for those interested. Bear with me for repetition from what has been said in some posts earlier.

1. Pay structuring is not some esoteric subject. Even those not initiated into its mysteries can see through the charade if you pay a little less attention to the pay experts and read for yourself.

2. Any pay expert who cannot explain the problem coherently to the average Joe either doesn’t understand it himself / herself or is covering up somebody’s past mistakes.

3. The devil may usually be in the detail, but as long as I can remember, the Services have got themselves tied up in knots over ‘pay matters’ because emphasis has generally been on minor SDs, ignoring the larger picture. Staff College may have something to answer for.

4. Maybe because Clausewitz said, “Everything is very simple in war, but the simplest thing is difficult,” military pay experts feel that they may not be taken seriously if they don’t make matters sound more complex than they actually are.

5. We must be careful of the terminology we use. In the armed forces ‘Select- list’ in personnel matters meant those “selected” for promotion. ‘Selection Grade’ in pay matters was meant to indicate a higher pay for those “not selected” (though eligible) for promotion. There seems to have been some change to selection grade since then, but a difference remains.

6. Reading various comments in the blogosphere I still get confusing signals on Maj Dhanapalan’s case. Was the crux of the issue in his writ the ‘recognition of rank pay as basic pay’ or ‘the reduction effected in basic pay by an amount equal to rank pay’? I would think the latter is much more important than the former. In any case it still does not resolve the loss of pay and status of Lt Col, Col and Brig. Anyone using this case to highlight the damage at the IV CPC will be well advised to quote this merely as an indicator of the damage done at the time.

7. Remember even after all the self goals (this is FIFA season), the IV CPC recommended the same pay for Director, Lt Col and DIG. After protests from the police, pay of both Lt Col and DIG were increased at the time.

8. I don’t have statistical data on this, but I am fairly certain that far less time, effort and paper have been spent on discussing the ‘basic pay structure’ that would benefit all, as compared to cases of allowances/ pay of interest groups whether it is Siachen, aviatiors, submariners, re-employed officers et al. This is not to say that they are to be ignored, but that there must be a sense of proportion. Or else all effort, goodwill and most important, the available window of opportunity will be wasted away on peripherals. A case in point is the case of ‘Lt Gens not promoted to Army Cdrs…’ this time around.


Anonymous said...

The crux of the Dahnpal case was and still remains that:

In the V CPC, the rank pay was carved out of the net pay entitlement (read the report carefully) only in order to diffentiate the between the ranks. That was foolish thing to do.

It deprived the officers not selected for the the next rank in obtaining the highest pay wihin that bracket.

The MoD officials subsequently played a prank on that issue and declared rank pay not to be part of the basic pay contrary to the report of V CPC.

That might have effected fixation of pay consequent to the last pay commission if the element of rank pay was not taken into account..

The issue at stake is that the MoD officails and higher decision making organs of Bureacracy is supposed to play fair and arbritrate. If they themselves turn out to be predators then they are the ones who will lead the system to break down.

The largest casulty of the Pay Commission fiasco is not financial loss but loss of face and faith. The faith beween the Civilian elements and the Uniforms has been hit badly which is neither good for the country nor the society.

This damadge must be repaired by those who caused it!

Danny said...

"Remember even after all the self goals (this is FIFA season), the IV CPC recommended the same pay for Director, Lt Col and DIG. After protests from the police, pay of both Lt Col and DIG were increased at the time"
May I give you a few self goals of this time
1. Not agreeing to deletion of Lt Col Rank.
2. Not agreeing to DACP to AMC officers.
3. Not demanding application of VI CPC para 3.3.12 on pay upgradation 2 yrs after IAS.
4. Not demanding one pay scale fore one rank irrespective of group for PBOR.
I think the list can go on ......


Anonymous said...

I totally agree with the writer.
(a) People, by and large, get what they deserve. In the case of armed forces, all ranks have been divided into multiple ranks by the senior lots purely to garner undue advantages called priviliages. Susequently these have been sought to be institutionalised through recommendations to pay commissions, who saw through the selfish motives and turned the tables on these worthies by putting them a few notches down and after that all efforts have been directed towards getting the `status' back!

B P SINGH said...

Dear Danny,
Please correct your self
IV CPC recommended same pay for
Director,COL/Brig and Comdt/DIG.
After protest pay of Col/Brig and Comdt/DIG was increased.
Fouj kept the protest on and Ltcol was given PB4 A only for combatant duties other LTCOLs are kept in PB-3

Anonymous said...


The effect of the orders, issued on the writ petion and the subsequent writ appeal( in Maj. A.K. Dhanapalan's Case), was to the extent of restoring,by adding the rank pay, to the 'pay in the pay scale', while fixing the pay of the officer, at the instant of implementation of IV CPC recos.

In subsequent transformations from the IV to the V and from the V to the VI CPC regimes,this principle of adding the rank pay to the pay in the pay scale and then multiplying by the multification factor prescribed, was seen to be followed by the government( thus perhaps not repeating what was done when pay fixation was done in the III to the IV CPC transformation) while arriving at the pay in pay scale/band in the new scale. Rank/Grade pay as applicable in the new pay scale was then additionally given.

Thus the net effect of separately granting a rank pay (and a Military Service Pay in VI CPC), and not including that amount in the pay scale, per se, was,

1.Those who were below Capt. rank entered the new Pay Scale which is lesser by the amount of rank pay( since the pay scale was lower after the Pay Commission), when they were promoted to Capt.Thus they received lesser emoluments than what an officer who entered the new scales in a rank of Capt. with pay fixation, received.

2. On subsequent promotions too, since there was no benefit of pay fixation, the promoted officers did not get the added pay which is the equivalent difference of his/her previous rank and his/her new rank.

3.Thus the cumulative effect of, not getting an added equivalence of the rank pay and of losing a part of basic pay in the pay scale during the transformation was, a loss in 'pay in the pay scale'.

For example, this difference from the V to VI CPC, was more than Rs. 6000/-PM ( for all officers from Capt. to Brig.equi.) and it might have given rise to the introduction of another element,a MSP to the new pay structure, to neutralise that difference.

Therefore the most visible loss due to the introduction of rank pay by neutralising the 'edges' due to Special Disturbance Allowance plus higher pay scales, is the downward movement of the scales, by one or two notches, say making the grade pay of a Colonel equi. equal to that of the erstwhile NFSG, in the Civil Services.

For example, a A Lieutenant equi. at the beginning of III CPC was in receipt of Rs.830/- PM( the scale started at Rs.830/-PM) where as a new entrant to GP A Civil Services, was receiving Rs. 700/-., Rs.50/- less than a 2nd Lieut. equi. which rank is non existent now.The Lieut.equi pay( pay scale remains in the the same band ) has sild down by two notches, in course of three pay revisions.

As it stands now, bench marks have already been established by equating a Lieut. equi.pay to that of a new entrant to Gp. A Services and a Maj. Gen. pay to an SAG grade. Intermediate equivalences such as Brig. equi. to DIG are also firmly in place.

Nothing may be possible to undo this.

/Contd.in the next coment.

Anonymous said...

/Contd.from the previous comment of the same visitor.

But what is not so obvious and apparent is that the officers who enter a rank of Capt. equi. or above after the implementation of the report, will get lesser pay than those who have entered(or were holding) the pay regime with that rank at the time of implementation.

One may 'run'a pay scale of a rank, say Major and see this effect;calculate the 'pay in the pay scale' of a an officer who was promoted to Major on 01/01/2006 and the compare with the pay pay of an officer who gets promoted to Major on 01/01/2012.

The Major who was commissioned on 01/01/2006, would be receiving lesser 'pay in pay scale' !
This is not applicable to a Lt. Col equi., since the transfer to PB4 scale would neutralise all this loss.

For future, the services may ask that the MSP be treated as 'pay in the pay scale' and incremented at the same ratio as the basic pay ( like the eqivalent of multi factor 2.26, but not doubling it, like an allowance).

A reference to the case of Maj.Dhanapalan may not be necessary, since the pay fixation formulae of the V and the VI CPC have already implemented the correction, necessary.

Another, but,a bit more complex formula may be also considered for asking,to ensure newly promoted officers get the same pay as those who were promoted on the day of implementation of the pay revision.

This how I understood the pay revision.

I D Sharma said...

I am not well versed with the intricacies of Financial planning of the ministry of Finance. So long a Secretary of Min of Fin will be Secretary of C.P.C. He/She WILL ensure that Final Draft will result in minimum possible expenditure in meeting the CPC recommendations. The than Expenditure Secretary had ensured that a coma had been placed at such a place that the assurance of the VITH CPC that truncated parity of VTH CPC shall be assured had just disappeared.My hats off to her for her ingenuity. MERA BHARAT MAHAN. JAI HIND. ID