Lateral Movement of Defence Forces Personnel
Monday, November 24, 2014
A comprehensive paper on Lateral movement of Defence Services Personnel into other Central Govt departments written by Lt Col HKL Anand (Retd) and addressed to the Hon’ble Minister of Finance
Shri Arun Jaitley,
Hon’ble Minister of Finance and Defence,
132c, North Block
NEW DELHI 110011
1 .While watching BIG FIGHT discussing budget proposals on NDTV on 12th Jul i heard almost every panelist saying that the Finance Minister should raise more money. Therefore I submit a recommendation of the 6th Central Pay Commission which is expected to result in a yearly saving of Rs 800 Crores to start with and growing cumulatively save Rs 7,800 Crores, yearly, at Constant price index, in 13 years period in addition to many other advantages. It is the lateral movement of Defence Forces Personnel to Central Police Organisations [CPOs], Central Para Military Forces [CPMFs] and civilian posts in the Ministry of Defence. Although it is in the best interests of the present and future Defence-Forces-Personnel, will solve the ever-existing problem of their resettlement, attract capable young men to the Defence Forces, provide well-trained / disciplined /mature personnel to CPOs / CPMFs / Defence Civilian Organisations and save app Rs 7800 crores annually ,yet it has not been accepted by the Govt. Despite the Pay Commissions convincing replies to the objections of Home Ministry officials, selfish interests of CPOs, CPMFs etc have prevailed and the welfare of Defence Forces Personnel/huge financial benefits ignored. This proposal can be taken as an Off Setting Measure for The Expenditure On One-Rank-One Pension. I am, therefore, writing to you to spearhead this recommendation of the pay panel because I consider this recommendation to be the Biggest/ Best Ever Step Taken for the Welfare of Defence Forces Personnel.
Lateral Movement of Defence Forces Personnel
Lateral Movement of Defence Forces Personnel
2. Hon’ble 6th Central Pay Commission have dealt with the LATERAL MOVEMENT OF DEFENCE FORCES PERSONEL to Central Police Organisations CPOs], Central Para Military Forces [CPMFs] and Defence Civilian Organisations in Sec 2.4 of their report.. Although equation of various grades of Civilian Govt. Servants with various ranks of the Defence Forces Personnel in terms of designation was established by 3rd Pay Commission it is the 6th Pay Commission who have made the equation in terms of Grade Pay making the rank pay equal to Grade Pay. In sec 2.4 pay commission have explained that this step has established identical or at least similar pay scales for civilian as well as defence forces personnel without which absorption of defence forces personnel I.e. ,Short Service Commissioned Officers [SSCOs] , JCOs ,NCOs and other ranks at appropriate levels will not be feasible.
3. Pay commission have, in their report, referred to their recommendation of LATERAL MOVEMENT OF DEFENCE Forces Personnel while making a number of other recommendations. They have also reported that they have discussed this scheme with Home Ministry officials as well as Defence Forces Officers. Whereas they found Defence Forces Officers welcomed it and were generally agreeable to the proposal, Home Ministry officials had some reservations/objections. These reservations/objections are reproduced below as an extract from the report. Pay Commission have rebutted them with sound and convincing reasons. In the present system of re-employment of Defence Forces Personnel in civil/CPO services, Military Service Pay (MSP) is discounted. But in this scheme the Pay Commission have recommended adjustment in pay fixation so that the Defence Forces Personnel are NOT put to any financial loss.
4. This scheme provides longer service to Defence Forces Personnel.. Hence superior to the present system of their re-employment and should be pursued vigorously. Due to a miniscule reservation of vacancies in their re-employment outside accepting a service below their status in the Defence forces becomes a compulsion for Defence forces Personnel so that they can look after their dependents. .A CHM [Company Havildar Major] was seen serving as a PEON in an office in DELHI. A Daffadar of 9[Deccan] Horse is presently serving as a Chowkidar in Moti Lal Nehru School of Sports, RAI [HARYANA}. A Havildar and a Naik are serving in Delhi Police as Constables..This scheme will stop such denigration of JCOs and NCOs.
5. Considering the problems created by the short tenure of the Defence Forces Personnel eg resettlement, resultant burden of pension on the government, acting as disincentive for young and capable persons for joining defence forces visa vies the requirement of CPOs, CPMFs and Civilians in the Ministry Of Defence and the recommendations of 5th Central Pay Commission, Honble 6th CPC have analysed this ,made their recommendations and explained the benefits of their proposal as reproduced below:-
AN EXTRACT FROM 6th CENTRAL PAY COMMISSION REPORT
2.4.5 The recommendations of the Fifth Central Pay Commission are even more relevant today and need to be further extended so that all posts in different CPOs are filled by lateral shift of Defence Forces personnel. A similar dispensation needs to be extended for filling up the civilian posts in Ministry of Defence which should also be filled by lateral shift of the Defence Forces personnel. The average yearly discharge from the Defence Forces personnel is approximately 40,000. Assuming that majority of these personnel would opt for lateral shift around 35000 posts would be required annually to accommodate these personnel in CPOs/defence civilian organizations. The size of the various CPOs is approximately 7,00,000 .The number of defence civilians in Ministry of Defence is around 4,00,000. The total number of average annual vacancies in CPOs and the various cadres of defence civilians would be around 35,000. Thus, the potential to allow lateral shift of nearly all Defence Forces personnel to CPOs and various cadres of defence civilians exists.
2.4.6 The Commission therefore is of the view that a scheme needs to be introduced for lateral shift of Defence Forces personnel to CPOs (including CPMFs) and defence civilian organizations. It is, accordingly, recommended that in future, all recruitments to the posts of Short Service Commissioned Officers and Personnel Below Officers Ranks in the Defence Forces, CPOs and various defence civilian organisations should be made with the selected candidates serving initially in the Defence Forces for some period before being laterally shifted to CPOs/defence civilian organizations. The lateral shift of the Defence Forces personnel to CPOs shall be operationalised in the following manner:-
i) Common recruitment shall henceforth be made to all the posts in Defence Forces, CPOs and defence civilians in Ministry of Defence.
ii) The recruitent shall be made by Recruitment Boards in Defence Forces.
iii) All the successful candidates recruited by this Board will initially render minimum 7 years of service in the Defence Forces. The span could, however, be extended to 17 years depending upon the vacancy position in CPOs/defence civilian organisations as well as the requirement in Defence Forces.
iv) On completion of the tenure in the Defence Forces, the personnel shall be laterally shifted to an analogous post either in any of the CPOs or in one of the defence civilian organisation. The lateral shift to a specific CPO or a defence civilian organisation will depend on the availability of post as well as the choice and medical fitness of the concerned Defence Forces personnel.
v) During the lateral shift the pay fixed in the pay band and the grade pay of the employee shall be protected. Once the lateral shift is made, the military special pay will no longer be payable. However, while fixing pay in the corresponding pay band and grade pay on the civilian side, the Military Service Pay will also be taken into account so that there is no drop in the salary.
vi) The lateral shift, whether in CPOs or in one of the defence civilian organisations, will be to a post carrying same pay and grade pay as being drawn by the concerned person in the Defence Forces at the time of lateral shift.
vii) The Defence Forces personnel would have the option not to opt for the lateral shift. In such a scenario, the personnel shall retire at the stipulated age prescribed for the rank held by him/her in the Defence Forces. Pension as per the normal pension rules will then be payable. Since life time appointment would be offered under the scheme, no special pensionary benefits that were being given to compensate for the short tenure in the Defence Forces would henceforth be available.
viii) The seniority of the concerned personnel on being laterally shifted to CPOs/defence civilian organisations will be determined on the basis of the date on which they were appointed in that specific pay band and grade pay in the Defence Forces. Thus, the seniority shall be fully protected during the lateral shift to CPOs/defence civilian organisations. In accordance with the extant rules, the Defence Forces personnel laterally shifted to the CPOs/defence civilian organisations will continue to be governed by the pension scheme which governed them during their tenure in the Defence Forces. Consequently, they will fall outside the purview of the New Pension Scheme.
Benefits of the proposed scheme
2.4.7 This scheme will not only make available sufficient number of trained manpower for CPOs CPMFs and defence civilian organisations but will also curtail the pension bill of the Government significantly. It is estimated that the Government spends nearly Rs.100 crore per annum on recruitment and training of personnel for CPOs and defence civilian organisations. This expenditure will be completely saved. Further the Government will have to pay pension to the retiring Defence Forces personnel only after 30/33 years of service as against 17 years of service at present. This will result in a further saving of Rs.700 crore per year. These savings will grow cumulatively for a period of 13 years. Therefore, at the end of 13 years the annual savings on this account will be to the tune of Rs.7800 CRORES at constant price index. Government will also not have to provide for special measures and find means of providing rehabilitation of ex-Defence Forces personnel. This will have other side benefits because the trained manpower of the Defence Forces will be engaged in a life time employment and no subversive elements will be able to misguide them for anti-social activities.
6. Hon’ble Pay Commission have, however, not brought out a very important advantage which COMRADRY brings with it. Security Apparatus consists of Defence Forces, C POs/CPMFs and Police Force. CPMFs deployed on border are placed under command Army Unit Commanders. Civilians in Defence Services are employed in peace establishment and the nodal offices at headquarters of services and Min Of Defence .Erstwhile colleagues try to maintain old relations and, therefore, while working in these departments, they will continue old relations which is likely to improve efficiency in inter-organisational working.
7. LATERAL movement will NOT affect employment because Defence Forces personnel will become un-employed if not moved laterally. Their lateral movement will result in saving of the amount of their pension as brought out above. The money thus saved can be used to employ extra people on new welfare projects, thus reducing un-employment.
8. This scheme has far-reaching Financial, Social and Employment benefits. The pay Commission has allayed the fears of the Home Ministry Officials very satisfactorily. Although the Pay Commission have concluded that this scheme should be implemented in its entirety without delay yet it is 6 years past since the report was submitted and nothing appears to have moved for implementation of such an important scheme. Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Social Justice and the Defence Forces are the main stake holders in this scheme. Whereas the Finance Ministry will have a sizable amount of money for welfare schemes, a reasonable social justice would be done by providing employment to all the retiring Defence Forces Personnel. As all the Defence Forces Personnel will be retiring at the age of 60 years, but for those discharged from service due to some disability, there will be no requirement of resettlement. Retirement/discharge from service early is one of the distractions for capable young men from joining the Defence Forces. With guaranteed service up to 60 years of age due to these scheme capable young men will be attracted to the Defence Forces.
Reservations expressed against the Scheme and analysis thereof
2.4.8 The issue of lateral shift of Defence Forces personnel in CPOs was discussed by the Commission with officials from Ministry of Defence as well as Ministry of Home Affairs. Whereas the former were generally in favour and in fact welcomed the scheme, the Ministry of Home Affairs had expressed several reservations. The Commission has analyzed these reservations of MHA as under:-
i) MHA argument – The age profile of the CPOs will be hit adversely by this lateral shift. Analysis – – Presently the average age of recruitment in Defence Forces is 19 years. As against this, in CPMFs personnel up to the age of 26 years are recruited. After that such persons have to be trained. This on an average takes one year. If the recruits in Defence Forces are laterally shifted to the CPOs after a stint of 7 years, their average age at the time of entering the CPOs will be around 26 years. Moreover, they will be fully trained. As such, the age profile of CPOs will not be hit adversely by this lateral shift.
ii) MHA argument – The training of Defence Forces personnel is different from that of CPOs. Defence Forces personnel are trained to kill whereas police forces personnel are trained to control and not kill. Therefore, lateral shift of Defence Forces into CPOs will lead to operational problems.
Analysis – It is fallacious to assume that training procedure of Defence Forces will not be effective for rendering service in CPOs. In fact, Defence Forces are highly disciplined and are trained to take action as per the orders given and as per the demand of the situation. This is evident by the fact that Defence Forces are now being used in a major way in all the counter insurgency operations which earlier were being carried out by the CPMFs and CPOs. Defence Forces are increasingly being used for various kinds of duties in the interior of the country which are far removed from protecting the borders from the attack of foreign enemies. The ex-Defence Forces personnel are also given employment in State Police and CPOs. In fact there is a 10% reservation for ex-Defence Forces personnel to the post of Assistant Commandant in CPOs. Nobody has every complained that the ex-Defence Forces personnel recruited in various police forces/CPOs have not performed as well as any other CPMF personnel. The argument, therefore, is not sustainable on facts.
Analysis – It is fallacious to assume that training procedure of Defence Forces will not be effective for rendering service in CPOs. In fact, Defence Forces are highly disciplined and are trained to take action as per the orders given and as per the demand of the situation.
This is evident by the fact that Defence Forces are now being used in a major way in all the counter insurgency operations which earlier were being carried out by the CPMFs and CPOs. Defence Forces are increasingly being used for various kinds of duties in the interior of the country which are far removed from protecting the borders from the attack of foreign enemies. The ex-Defence Forces personnel are also given employment in State Police and CPOs. In fact there is a 10% reservation for ex-Defence Forces personnel to the post of Assistant Commandant in CPOs. Nobody has every complained that the ex-Defence Forces personnel recruited in various police forces/CPOs have not performed as well as any other CPMF personnel. The argument, therefore, is not sustainable on facts.
iii) MHA argument – The scheme will curtail the available employment opportunity.
Analysis – This argument will need to be seen in the light of the fact that the scheme will provide life time employment to the successful candidates who will serve for a few years in the Defence Forces and thereafter be laterally shifted to CPOs/defence civilian organisations. Presently, persons recruited in the Defence Forces get a service of only 17 years. Consequently, re-employment has to be found for them once they are discharged from the Defence Forces. The new scheme will resolve this problem effectively. Therefore, no real loss in employment opportunities will occur due to implementation of this scheme.
iv) MHA argument – There will be problems about career progression of existing recruits who are directly inducted in the CPMFs because Defence Forces personnel on lateral shift to CPOs/defence civilian organisations will retain their seniority and will, therefore, become senior to these personnel.
Analysis – This problem will exist for some of the existing personnel who are recruited directly in CPMFs. However, the current scheme of running pay bands and the modified assured career progression scheme will ensure that none of the existing direct recruits in various CPOs/defence civilian organisations stagnates at any point in his/her entire career. Further, the problem will not exist for a very long time because eventually all the recruits in CPOs/defence civilian organisations will come through the Defence Forces personnel which will automatically resolve this problem.
v) MHA argument – It will be difficult to establish one to one parity between different posts in Defence Forces and CPOs/defence civilian organisations.
Analysis – While it is true that no clear-cut parity had existed in Fifth CPC pay scales between different posts in Defence Forces and CPOs/different defence civilian organisations in the revised scheme of running pay bands and grade pay being recommended, a complete one to one parity has been established between posts in Defence Forces vis-à-vis those in CPOs/other civilian organisations. Hence, the problem has been effectively addressed in the revised scheme of running pay bands being recommended by the Commission.
9. This Pay Commission comprised of Mr .Justice BN Srikrishna, Chairman, Professor Ravindra Dholakia and Shri JS Mathur, Members and Smt. Sushma Nath, Member Secretary. The Secretariat of the commission consisted of 2 Joint Secretaries, 1 Advisor, 1 OSD, 2 Directors, 1 Deputy Secretary, 1 SPS to the Chairman, 4 Undersecretaries’, 2 Personal Secretaries and 3 Assistants. Commission comprised of eminent/expert personalities and the secretariat of all Central Civil Service. There was NO Defence Forces person. The recommendation of Lateral Movement of Defence Forces Personnel by this commission is unique because it is for the first time in the history of Indian Defence Forces that such a solution to the biggest and ever-existing problem of the Man- Management of Defence forces personnel has been thought of. This recommendation is in the interest of the country/nation in a big way because this scheme aims at looking after the welfare of a big chunk of population in addition to a saving of Rs 7800 Crores per year. Pay Commission had expected that this scheme will take 13 years for full implementation. They submitted their report in 2008.It would have been 5 years old if the scheme had been implemented even in 2009. We would have been able to practically evaluate this highly nationalistic recommendation of the Honble Pay Commission and see it fructifying. Opposition to this recommendation is really NON Nationalistic and selfish.
10. I am sure that you will be remembered not only by the presently serving Defence Forces Personnel but also by the future such personnel
Lt Col HKL ANAND [Retd]
Copy to :
1.General DS Suhag, PVSM,UYSM,AVSM,VSM,ADC
Honble. Chief of the Army Staff.
2. Admiral RK Dhowan, PVSM,AVSM,YSM,ADC
Honble. Chief of the Naval Staff
3.Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha, PVSM,AVSM,VM,ADC.
Honble Chief of the Air Staff
4. Air Marshal PP Reddy,VM,
Honble Chief of the Integrated Defence Staff