FROM THE PRESIDENT VETERAN. PRABHJOT SINGH CHHATWAL
Monday, 28 September 2009
PATIALA: Indian Ex-Services League, Punjab & Chandigarh has sought a better deal for Havildars and Sub Majors from the Centre Govt. Prabhjot Singh Chhatwal, president of league in his memorandum faxed to Defence Minister, A.K. Antony, has asked the govt. to change the Pay-Band for Havildars and equivalent ranks from PB-I to PB-II and for Sub. Majors and equivalent ranks from PB-II to PB-III since the Sixth Pay Commission have not done justice with these ranks.
League stressed upon the govt. that the soldiers of the rank of Havildar form the real back-bone of Defence Forces and Sub. Major acts as a Chief executor of the strategy in the war. These two ranks have been virtually crushed by the partial recommendations of Sixth Central Pay Commission and further faulty implementation of the recommendations regarding their pay scales. The Havildars have been virtually equated to class-IV civilian such as Peons, Chowkidars, Mali and Dhobi etc. in respect of pay.
League has further asked the Minister to release immediately the orders for promised ONE RANK ONE PENSION for Junior Commissioned Officers, Senior Non-Commissioned Officers, Non-Commissioned Officers and other ranks which was announced by Finance Minister in Union Budget on 6 July 2009, and then by the Minister him self in the Parliament and finally by Prime Minister on Independence Day but the order regarding the same has not not been issued so far.
League has also reminded the Minister that the govt. has also promised to give pension to soldiers up to the rank of Hav. @ 70% and to JCOs @ 60% of the last pay drawn to compensate for their early compulsory retirement, but to the great disappointment of the soldiers, these orders have also not seen the light so far whereas orders regarding change of Pay Band from PB-III to PB-IV for the Lt. Col. have been issued long ago although these recommendations were made by the same group of ministers in the same report. With this partial treatment given to lower ranks, a great resentment is prevailing in the Defence Forces and among the veterans which is not good for nation’s security.
League has further demanded two pensions for the widows of ex-servicemen who drew two pensions during their life time. Because of early compulsory retirement, most of the soldiers have to seek employment in civil depts. to compensate their meager pension which they draw by virtue of their service in the Defence Forces. Such veterans draw two pensions after their retirement from civil depts. but their widows are not entitled for second pension as per the present pension policy of the govt.
Along with this, League has gone further to demand befitting alternate re-employment for the soldiers up to the age of 60 years like their civilian counter parts since about 90% among the soldiers are compulsory retired prior to their superannuation to keep the forces young.
League has vehemently stressed upon the govt. to fulfill the demands of veterans at the earliest lest they may come on the roads like civilian counter parts and the govt. will be in a critical position to handle that volcanic situation.
Last but not the least, the league has forcefully demanded of the govt. not to use the term PBORs for Junior Commissioned Officers, Senior Non-Commissioned Officers, Non-Commissioned Officers and other ranks as they feel much humiliated by being referred as such.