BENGALURU: The foot soldiers of Karnataka’s police force—constables —are a demoralised lot. Although the Raghavendra Auradkar Committee report on payscales for the state police was implemented, it did nothing for constables who have spent years as a part of the state’s law and order machinery.The state government implemented new payscales for several ranks of police staff, but the higher salaries only apply to those recruited after August 2019.
“Let the newly recruited staff get a good salary. We are not against that. But those who have been working in the force for more than 10 years are earning almost the same salary as them, and still following the old pay-scale with the old increment. At least for the years of commitment that they have done in service should be acknowledged,” a police constable told The New Indian Express.
The Raghavendra Auradkar Committee report was submitted in 2016. The full report, however, has not been accepted, with personnel of the ranks of police sub-inspector (PSI), deputy superintendent of police (DySP) and Class V employees (followers and Jamadars) being left out.With a sanctioned strength of over 63,000, Police Constables (PC) were expected to be the biggest beneficiaries of the Committee’s recommendations. However, the new pay scales do not apply to a majority of them.
“I have been a Head
Constable for eight years but our basic pay continues to be the same with no benefits. Two months ago, our hardship allowance was also scrapped as they said those working in special units will not receive it from November last year,” said an officer working with the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB). There are 22,000 sanctioned posts for head constables.Under the new pay-scale a new police constable would start with a salary of Rs 23,500 which can go up to Rs 47,650 through annual increments. Those recruited before August 2019 continue to receive pay as per the old pay scale which is fixed between Rs 11,600 and Rs 21,000.
“The Auradkar committee recommendations should have been implemented. If aspects of the report needed greater examination, they could have been deferred. The rank and file waited eagerly for the implementation of the report and they are be a disappointed lot. If there are anomalies such as new recruits earning more than a senior, it has a serious demoralising effect. The Karnataka pay structure is also lesser than that of neighbouring states,” former DG&IGP ST Ramesh told The New Indian Express.Constables of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana earn a basic pay of Rs 40,000, 26 per cent higher than their Karnataka counterparts. Raghavendra Auradkar who headed the committee declined to comment.