SINGH seems to have again proved that he is the KING. After winning the confidence vote in the Parliament and having firmed up his grip on the Government PM Manmohan Singh managed to steer the Sixth Pay Commission Report through the Cabinet seemingly with benefits for everyone. While detailed report on the final decisions is yet to trickle down, the first reports indicate that the matter was tackled in a humanitarian spirit and some harsh suggestions from FM Chidabaram were overruled (including the suggestion for locking up 60% of the arrears in the GPF till retirement).
At this hour when Central Para Military Forces are engaged in tough operations at more than one place in the country and the hardships involved are reportedly taking a heavy toll on the morale of the security forces , the decision to give benefits to Jawans over and above the recommendations of the Central Pay Commission (CPC) and a handsome Military Service Pay to officers was the most sensible decision to be taken by the Govt while considering the report.
Increase in annual increment rate to 3% (against 2.5% recommended by the CPC ) and a higher fitment benefit is another decision which will take the sting out of one major criticism of the report and shall be giving a reason for cheer to everyone.
The reshuffling of various categories of employees to Pay Bands higher than the ones recommended by the CPC would also take care of the wide ranging dissatisfaction in middle level officers who had complained about the benefits for top level functionaries being much higher than those of others. Special mention needs to be made about opening of the PB-4 for middle level officers- a move which shall ensure that PB-4 shall not be an exclusive domain for top civil servants .
One decision which may appear retrograde to progressive minded mangement experts however stands out. That decision is to discard the recommendation of the CPC for ending further recruitments for the Gr.D category staff and upgrading the peons and khallasis to semi skilled Gr. C staff. The Govt. could not agree on that and so the humble relics of medieval ages shall hang around for a decade or so, till some Govt. understands the need for dispensing with this organ of governance.
For the Forest and Police Services there are a few benefits in addition to what the CPC had sought to give , such as the creation of Posts of Principal Chief Conservator of Forests and Director General Of Police for every State. But these have apparently not gone down too well and some officers gave vent to their frustration in media over the unfair deal which successive pay commissions have meted out to them.
The Indian Media as usual wants to paint the Pay Commission benefits as monstrous assault on national economy.On the other hand there was a tough looking guy on the TV who used this opportunity for being projected in national media, for IAS bashing saying that all officers are unworthy of the service !