Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee president Amarinder Singh on Sunday supported the objections raised by the three services chiefs over the anomalies in the pay scales of the defence personnel in the Seventh Pay Commission.
“There is a brazen and blatant discrimination with the defence services in the pay scales which is disgusting and condemnable,” the former Punjab chief minister said in a statement issued here.
He hailed the stand taken by the three services chiefs on the issue.
“The pay commission recommendations, obviously scripted by the bureaucrats, have shown brazen and blatant bias against the defence services,” he alleged, adding instead of the defence services getting a better deal for the hostile conditions they are made to work, they have been subjected to “a raw deal”.
“Just because our soldiers are disciplined and dedicated to serving the nation should not mean that they should be discriminated against,”, he warned adding, “We owe our peace and peaceful lives to those guarding our borders and taking bullets on their chests and hence we must have a fair sense of gratitude towards them”.
“Nobody among the bureaucrats knows about the hostile conditions in which our soldiers are made to work and that is the reason there is such a bias against the defence forces,” he said.
“I have been seriously suggesting to the Defence Minister that the bureaucrats who have habitually been creating hurdles and hindrances in providing better pay to the defence personnel should be made to serve in Siachen for at least a day so that they realise what a soldier goes through”, he claimed.
He asked Defence Minister to “stand by the soldiers and get the anomalies removed at the earliest”.
Amarinder said this is not only an issue of salary to the defence personnel but their “status” vis-à-vis other civilian services, including the police and the administrative.
He said the Defence services have constitutionally be put “higher” to the civil and police services.
“Once their salaries are less than those in corresponding ranks in the civil and police services, their status will get lowered down which is not in the national interest,” he said.
“If the Seventh Pay Commission recommendations are accepted as such, what will happen in a situation like Kashmir where army is assigned the job as a last resort, will it be asked to work under the local police and administration?” he asked.
The PPCC president said, “The issue was beyond the scope of the Defence Minister and the Prime Minister must intervene personally since it directly concerns the security of the nation”