Defence Civilians Raise Voice In Support Of Army Personnel
Recently the Chief of Defence Staff made an announcement of reduction of Pension for the premature Defence Retirees and increase in their age of retirement. This is a serious retrograde step and there are protests against this announcement. Many organisations have represented to the Government to reconsider its decision. The Defence Ministry is already at loggerheads with the Defence Civilian Employees by declaring Corporatisation of Ordnance Factories, GOCO Model in Army Base Workshops, closure of many Defence Units, declaring surplus of Defence Civilian Employees and restructuring etc., The Federations of Defence Civilian Employees had served a Strike Notice on the Government and the Strike has been put on hold after intervention of the Chief Labour Commissioner (C). For the Defence Civilian Employees there are Trade Unions to fight for their cause. However, for the Armed Forces Personnel, there are no Unions to fight for their cause.
www.indianpsu.com contacted C. Srikumar, General Secretary of the All India Defence Employees Federation (AIDEF) and views on the Government decision are given below for the benefit of our viewers.
The decision of the Government has a resulted in demotivation and demoralisation amongst the Armed Forces Personnel and even Ex- Servicemen. If these proposals of the Government is implemented then the young talented people who wish to join the services will be forced to reconsider their decision and it will be un attractive to the youth of our country to join the Armed Forces. The present Government always claims that they are the only Government which takes care of all the needs and welfare of the soldiers. However the present decision is a total deviation from its claim. The Military profession cannot be downgraded and degraded . Armed Forces Personnel at all the levels of rank have to be motivated and they should feel that the country will take care of them and their families, then only they can perform their assigned task during the peace time and war time. Their morale should be always at the highest levels.
If the Government’s proposal is critically analysed then its very damaging. A young officer after getting commissioning and on completion of 13 years of service becomes Lt. Col. The pyramidical structure of the Army is such that more than 60% do not reach the next rank of Col, then the question comes that for the next 23 years what will be their role and where they will be posted. One fail to understand that what is the necessity of disturbing the existing time tested structure of the Army. At present a soldier with 15 years and officers with 20 years of service are entitled to full pension. Those who wish to leave the Army will be provided with second career and allowed to retire with full pension. It is also a fact that in many countries the Military pension is more than a civilian pension. Therefore the decision taken by the Government is arbitrarily and it is not in the interest of the Armed Forces and also it will have far reaching implications on the Defence preparedness of our Country. Therefore the Defence Civilian Employees stand shoulder to shoulder with our Soldiers and appeal to the Government to not implement the proposal putforth by the Department of Military Affairs.