By Pradip R Sagar Published: 15th May 2015 06:00 AM The New Indian Express
NEW DELHI: Drawing flak for its decision to cut a day’s salary of all its staff for donations to the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund, the Army headquarters is now in the process of collecting consent letters for the same from each of its personnel.
Express was the first to report on January 18, 2015 that several of the officers were upset with the decision of Army chief General Dalbir Singh Suhag in ordering a day’s pay cut to contribute Rs 100 crore to the PM’s Relief Fund to help the flood-affected people of Jammu and Kashmir.
Subsequently, some of the officers even wrote to the Controller of Defence Accounts (CDA), not giving approval for any deduction from their salaries. Realizing the discontent among its officers, the Army headquarters approached the office of the Controller of Defence Accounts, which eventually advised them that a consent letter was required from every Army person for deduction of salary.
“It has been intimated by the agency concerned that no amount on account of contributions from salary of any Army personnel has yet been donated to the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund. The matter is under consideration,” Army Central Public Information Officer Lt Col Rajiv Guleria said in reply to an RTI query filed by activist Prabhu Dandriyal, based on the Express report.
“We are in the process of collecting consent letters from everyone. It is purely on a voluntary basis and the amount will be deposited in the PM Relief Fund soon,” said a senior officer of South Block. Interestingly, the photos of the 67th Army Day event posted on the website of the PMO show Army chief Dalbir Singh Suhag presenting a cheque titled ‘one day’s pay of all ranks of Indian Army’, to Narendra Modi, in the presence of Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar.