Monday, May 23, 2016

Humor in Uniform – “CTC” aka “Cost-to-Company”

“CTC” aka “Cost-to-Company” 

WHAT IS THE PAY OF A DEFENCE OFFICER...?

How much pay does a Army Captain get?” a gentleman asked me.

“Why do you want to know?” I asked.

“We have a marriage proposal for our daughter from an Army Captain,” he said.

“Well an Army Captain would be in Pay Band 3  where the Basic Pay ranges from 15600 to 39100 – so – if he is at the centre of the pay band  he would be getting about Rupees 25,000 per month,” I said.

“That is his Basic Pay – what about DA...” he asked.

“Well – if you add 100% Basic Pay as DA – you can add another 25,000 – so that makes it around 50,000 Rupees per month,” I said. 

“What about other allowances – and value of perks – I want to know the “CTC” of an Army Captain,” he said. 

A Military Veteran added: “And now – after the implementation of the 7th Pay Commission – the Pay – and – more importantly  the “CTC” will surely become more attractive.

The moment I heard the term “CTC” – I remembered the story of the “CTC” Lieutenant

So – Dear Reader – let me delve deep into my Humor in Uniform Archives and pull out this hilarious “memoir” for you to enjoy  have a laugh  and think about.

This story happened more than 38 years ago  in the late 1970s.

I had first posted this hilarious Naval Yarn on my Blog almost 3 years ago in September 2013.

Read on:

THE STORY OF THE “CTC” LIEUTENANT
Hilarious Memories of My Wonderful Navy Life
A Spoof
By
VIKRAM KARVE 

THE “CTC” LIEUTENANT – a spoof by VIKRAM KARVE

“How much pay do you get?” the man asked me.

“1100,” I said.

Well  this story happened around 38 years ago  in the 1970s. 

I was a newly promoted Lieutenant in the Navy (Equivalent of an Army Captain or Air Force Flight Lieutenant)  and  those days  our pay scale was Rs. 1100-50-1550

Yes  those days  Lieutenants started off with a basic pay of Rs. 1100 with an increment of Rs. 50 every year  and we remained Lieutenants for 8 long years. 

After this long wait  we became Lieutenant Commanders with a pay scale of Rs. 1450-50-1800

Of course  now  with the Ajai Vikram Singh (AVS) Cadre Review bonanza in 2006  promotions are much faster and the junior-most rank has been abolished.

At the time of this story  as a newly promoted Lieutenant  I had started off in the pay scale of Rupees 1100-50-1550.

The gentleman had asked me how much pay I got.

So  I told the gentleman my ‘Basic Pay – which was 1100 Rupees a month.

“Do you know Lieutenant ‘G’...?” the gentleman asked me.

“Of course I know Lieutenant ‘G’ – he is my course-mate and is serving on a ship of my squadron,” I said  and I named the ship.

“Yes. Yes. It is the same person,” the gentleman said.

Then he paused for a moment and said to me, “Your friend Lieutenant ‘G’ – how much pay does he get?”

“Well  he must be getting 1100 Rupees too,” I said.

“Are you sure Lieutenant ‘G’ gets only 1100 Rupees a month? Lieutenant ‘G’ told me that he gets much more pay that that – are you sure he doesn’t get more?” the man asked.

“How can he get more pay than me? Sir, I told you that Lieutenant ‘G’ is my coursemate  and like me  Lieutenant ‘G’ is also a recently promoted Lieutenant. In fact  Lieutenant ‘G’ got promoted two months after me since I gained more seniority in our Sub Lieutenant training courses – so surely  Lieutenant ‘G’ cannot get more pay than me.”

“That’s strange,” the gentleman said, “your friend Lieutenant ‘G’ told me that his pay is 5000 rupees per month.”

5000 rupees per month? That is just not possible,” I said, “Even an Admiral does not get that much.”

“Maybe  Lieutenant ‘G’ gets some additional pay,” the man said.

“That is not possible. He cannot get more pay than me. Lieutenant ‘G’ is in the surface navy like me. And even aviators and submariners don’t get the amount of pay that he is saying,” I said.

“So Lieutenant ‘G’ is telling lies?” the man said.

“Well – I may not call it telling lies – but obviously – Lieutenant ‘G’ is exaggerating his pay quite a bit,” I said.

“He told me all lies,” the man said again, looking downcast.

I looked at the man and asked him, “Sir – please tell me  why are you asking me all this about Lieutenant ‘G’?”

“There was a marriage proposal for my daughter,” he said.

“There is a marriage proposal from Lieutenant ‘G’ for your daughter?” I asked.

“His parents approached us. Or rather  we approached his parents when someone told us about Lieutenant ‘G’ – that he was a suitable status match for our daughter. Well, we live up-north  and we really don’t know much about the Navy. There was some business work in Pune  so I decided to come myself  rather than send my manager – well – I thought it would be a good idea to go via Mumbai and have a look at the boy Lieutenant ‘G’ before progressing matrimonial matters further,” he said.

The Deccan Queen started its climb up the Western Ghats  and soon we reached Lonavala  where I got off the train.
                                                                
A few days later I ran into Lieutenant ‘G’ at a party.

“So – I believe that you are planning to get married?” I asked him.

“Not really  why?” he said.

“Well  I met your prospective father-in-law,” I said  and I told him about the gentleman I had met on the Deccan Queen.

“Oh, that? It’s just in the first stages. I’ll see the girl when I go home on leave next month,” Lieutenant ‘G’ said.

“Why did you tell him that your pay was 5000 rupees a month?” I asked.

“He told you that?”

“Yes.”

“And what did you say?” asked Lieutenant ‘G’ – with an anxious look on his face.

“Well  the gentleman asked me my salary – and I told him it was 1100 rupees a month,” I said.

“Are you crazy?” Lieutenant ‘G’ exclaimed.

“Why? Isn’t our pay 1100?” I said.

“1100 is our bloody basic pay. That’s the problem with you Maharashtrians – you guys always undersell yourselves,” he said.

“But how can you say that your pay is 5000 Rupees? Even if you add the DA  and all other allowances  your pay will not be more than 1500 Rupees  isn’t it?” I said.

“What about the monetary value of all the other benefits and perks we get?” Lieutenant ‘G’ said.

“Other benefits and perks?” I asked.

Lieutenant ‘G’ looked at me and said, “We get so many things. Let’s take married accommodation – do you know the market rent of the houses we get in prime localities? And what actual rent do we pay?”

“So you added the difference between market value of rent and the rent we are charged while calculating your total pay?” I asked.

“Of course,” he said, “and there are so many perks and facilities we get – CSD canteen, LTC, medical treatment, membership of clubs, duty free liquor…”

“Duty free liquor? Booze? But you are a bloody teetotaller – you never drink liquor. Don’t tell me you included the difference in the cost of booze?” I asked, aghast.

“Of course I did  the differential between market value and what you pay is tantamount to notional salary  isn’t it?” he said matter-of-factly.

“So have included the so-called money value of each and every thing when you calculated your salary as 5000 rupees?” I asked.

Lieutenant ‘G’ looked at me said, “Obviously I did. I considered the notional value of all benefits, perks, facilities, subsidies – everything – and came to a figure of 5000. You see  1100 rupees may be our basic pay  but 5000 rupees is our notional pay.”

I wanted to have the parting shot, so I said to Lieutenant ‘G’: “Since you are so money-minded  instead of the Navy  you should have joined the Army.”

“Army? Why?” he asked me.

“In the army you would have got the additional perk of a batman, a sahayak – and you could have added his ‘notional cost’ of the sahayak to your pay. What is the pay, the perks, the notional cost of a soldier – 1000 Rupees? 2000 Rupees? – just imagine – you could have told your prospective father-in-law that your pay was 7000 rupees instead of 5000 rupees!”

“You have a point. How come I never thought of that?” Lieutenant ‘G’ said.

“And unlike in the Navy  where you have to use your own vehicle  in the Army you get free transport. Think of the cost of the petrol...” I said.

“That is true too...” Lieutenant ‘G’ mumbled.

As I walked away I noticed a curious expression on his face – as if Lieutenant ‘G’ was busy calculating something in his mind.

Maybe  Lieutenant ‘G’ realized  that  with the Army giving so many extra perks – like sahayaks  transport  et al  he would have been better off as an Army Officer  rather than a Naval Officer.

I was sure that Lieutenant ‘G’ was regretting that he had joined the Navy instead of the Army.


EPILOGUE

It was much later while I was doing my management course  that I learnt of the concept of “CTC” or Cost-to-Company.

It was only then that I understood what Lieutenant ‘G’ was talking about.

Yes  Lieutenant ‘G’ was way ahead of his times.

Later  in his illustrious Naval career  Lieutenant ‘G’ distinguished himself as a successful “Businessman in uniform.

VIKRAM KARVE
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Disclaimer:
1. This story is a spoof, satire, pure fiction, just for fun and humor, no offence is meant to anyone, so take it with a pinch of salt and have a laugh.
2. All Stories in this Blog are a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the stories are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

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