Press Release in Delhi on 18 Mar 2010
This is a matter of extreme exploitation of Unit Run Canteen (URC) employees by the Chiefs of Indian Defence Forces – Army, Navy and Air Force, misappropriation of Govt money and a big scam and scandal of Military Forces. The URCs are the retail outlet shops of Canteen Stores Department (CSD). The CSD is an organization of Ministry of Defence, Govt of India. There are total 35 CSD Depots established all over the country which totally depends on the 3600 URCs for sale of its articles. In comparison of annual turn over of CSD is Rs.7255 Crore the annual turnover of URCs is Rs. 7687 Crores which generate approximately a net profit of more than Rs 400 Crore per annum. In addition to this profit Military Canteens (URCs) are also getting approximately a sum of Rs.150 Crore as Quantitative Discount (QD) from Govt of India, Ministry of Defence through CSD. There is no provision of audit of this public money by the Govt agency.
Besides the both organization are working for the interest of the Nation. The CSD employees have got the status of Govt servants and they are enjoying all the benefits of Central Govt servants. But the URC employees those who are working neck to neck the three services and meeting the requirements to the end customers are being paid very poorly and getting only basic salary of Vth pay commission. No other facilities like DA, HRA, Grade Pay, Fund, Gratuity, Medical facility and rirement benefits are admissible to the URC employees, Several times our delegation met to the Hon’ble Defence Minister and apprised him about the pathetic condition of the URC employees but no relief has been got so far. It is pertinent to mention that in accordance to the Hon’ble Supreme Court order dated 04 Jan 2001, the Secretary, Ministry of Defence has framed a set of Rules Regulating the Terms & Conditions of URC employees which have been totally violated by the three services of Indian Defence Forces. They are not even adheres the orders of the Hon’ble Raksha Mantri. The MOD is finding itself incapable to implement its own formulated Terms and Conditions and Rules regarding the Pay Scales of URC employees.
In view of the above we demand that:
(i) If profit generated by the CSD to be taken on account of Public Fund, why not the profit generated by the URCs to be treated as Public Fund as the both are generating profit on sale of same articles merely as wholesaler and retailer respectively.
(ii) Besides the both organizations are generating profit on sale of same articles why only CSD accounts are audited by the Govt Auditors. Why not the accounts of URCs to be audited by the Govt Agencies.
(iii) If the CSD employees are treated as Govt servant why not the URC employees could be treated at par their counter parts at CSD.
(iv) Why the Pay Scales of URC employees have been not revised at par their counterparts in CSD in accordance to their Terms and Conditions of services issued by the Ministry of Defence.
In view of the above it is humbly requested that a favorable action may please be taken at your end to give relief and redress the grievances of the poor employees of URCs.
URC Employees Threaten to Commit Suicide on "Labour Day" !
The URC (Unit Run Canteen) employees of Indian Defense Forces threaten to commit suicide at Parliament Gate No.11 on the coming 1st May 2010, the day celebrated as "Labor Day" all over the world, if their demands are not met by 30th April 2010. URC employees from all over India took part in a "Red Kachchha Rally" (participants were half-naked only in red shorts) on 18 Mar 10 in front of the Parliament House to demand justice from Ministry of Defence. They agitate for their meagre pay of only Rs 3000 - 5000 even after long 30 - 40 years of service with no DA, HRA or other facilities. They are even paid less than that paid to a unskilled daily wagers per day. They submitted a memorandum to Mrs Sonia Gandhi, the Chairperson of UPA, Dr Manmohan Singh the honorable PM of India and Mr AK Anthony, the honorable Defence Minister. Their main demands were:
(i) As the CSD (Wholesale Outlet), the retail outlets (URCs) should also be declared as Public Fund and the entire transactions are revealed to the Govt of India.
(ii) The recommendations of the 6th Pay Commission should be implemented with effect from 01 Jan 2006 as applicable to other Govt employees.
Will the Govt take honest step to check the utility of huge earnings from the so-called Non-Public Fund i.e. Unit Run Canteens and do justice to the poor employees and their families.
Status of Unit Canteens and their Employees
CSD is a department under the Ministry of Defence. All its employees are Government employees. The funds of this department form part of the Consolidated Fund of India and are thus Govt Funds. On the other hand the Unit Canteens are private undertakings of the Units concerned. Their funds are are Non-Govt Funds. The CSD has no administrative control over the Unit Canteens or their personnel who are employed by the Units under various terms and conditions mutually settled between the Units and the employees. They are not Govt servants and the Ministry has no control over their service conditions and has no jurisdiction over the service condition of such employees. (Reference: Govt of India, Ministry of Defence Letter No.BOCCS/00181/Q/CAN/5469/D (MOV) dated 27 October 1977 and Letter No. 96029/Q/DDGCS dated 10 Feb 1995.)
The disturbing questions in this context the Union asking answers to:
(i) Merely calling a Govt-obligatory service as Non-Public Fund, can the Ministry of Defence keep the control of Indis’s largest retail chain network (URCs) with an annual turnover of Rs.7,500 Crore as their private venture? Has the Govt ever checked the utility of huge earnings from this so-called Non-Public Fund?