Civilians of unit run canteens of defence forces allege mismanagement

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New Delhi, Mar 19 (ANI): Civilians of Unit Run Canteens (URCs) functioning under the three wings of India's defence forces - Army, Navy and Air Force have sought parity in pay and benefits with their parent organisation, the Canteen Stores Department (CSD).

Under the banner of All India Defence Civilian Canteen Employees Union (AIDCCEU), they staged a protest demonstration to voice their demands here on Thursday.

They said that respective commanders have been exploiting the Unit Run Canteens since these operate as non-public funds, outside the ambit of the Controller of Defence Accounts (CDA) leading to no accountability.

On this count, the CSD as an entity of public funds falls under the purview of CDA.ointing out this aspect, the agitating staff noted that as for the service conditions and scale of pay unlike their counterparts employed by the CSD, they are deprived of assorted benefits despite the overall turnover being the maximum.

"We give them a profit of 500 crore rupees per annum, but not even a single money is put in for our welfare. 100 percent of money is put in for the welfare of Army, Navy and Air Force, Is it justice? We work as much equal to the Canteen Stores Department, the CSD. The CSD is a wholesale depot from where we take goods and supply to the end customers through our canteens, but the members of CSD are given government salary and we are not. I want to ask the government why such discrimination?" asked Bharat Bhushan, Secretary General, AIDCCEU.

Concurring with these views, A Rajasekharan Nair, President of AIDCCEU mentioned that even after the Defence Ministry had granted the Unit Canteen employees benefits similar to those of CSD, the Chiefs of all the three wings are yet to implement this order.

Canteens are the departmental outlets meant solely for the defence personnel and the items sold here are exempted from different taxes as such what is sold here is cheaper than the open market prices.

There are 35 CSD depots established in all over the country and over 3600 URCs procure and sell different wares from these depots. (ANI)

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