Sheikh Aatif

Government incentives: A freaky trade-off

Government incentives: A freaky trade-off
Decrease Font Size Increase Font Size Text Size Print This Page

Recent abduction and killings of the three Special Police Officers (SPOs) in District Shopian of South Kashmir left the whole valley in shock and their families devastated. Now the situation of valley can be summed up under one idiom “To cry over spilled milk”. Post their Killings and life threats from the militant groups many Special Police Officers (SPOs) surfaced on Social Media announcing their clear resignation from the JK Police.
Soon after the news spreaded through social networking sites and then later (after confirming) through valley newspapers goverment took a step in order to stabilize the police jobs in the valley .The Jammu and Kashmir Government proposed an order seeking an increase in remuneration of Special Police Officers(SPOs) to Ministry of Home Affairs which was approved. Now the monthly Salary of the SPOs has been hiked based on the length of service they have rendered with the police so far.

As per the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) SPOs having completed 15 years of service would get Rs 12,000 while SPOs having completed 5 years of service would get Rs 9,000 per month and those having less than 5 years of service would be getting their same Rs 6,000 per month showing no increment for those. There are over 30000 SPOs working in the Police of which the highest number counts for those SPOs having less than 5 years of service which figures as 10 ,967, means 30% of the SPOs in the valley will work for their Rs 6,000 pay scale as it was earlier.

When we look at the Fatality Rate of some risky jobs from U.S Bureau of Labour Stastics, Police Annual Fatalities were the highest among all risky jobs. This, making Police Job as the toughest one.

If we take a look back to the 2016 Kashmir Unrest, it is reported that 4000 Security Personnels were injured by masses in just 6 months making it a huge number against whole of U.S non-fatal injuries which counts  27,660 for the year 2014 .

It was seen back in the 2017 that the
Security Forces Deaths increased by 72% giving a threat to every armed personnel’s life including SPO’s.

As per reports since January 37 police personnel have been killed by militants. On one side they are facing threats from Militant groups and from other side they are advised not to visit their homes during the unrest which makes their life a less secure and disordered.

Now from these reports it is clear that the life expectancy of a policeman in the valley is very less and by recruiting more lads to the police through these incentives of salary will not make any difference. Lets have a clear study about these incentives and their real gain for a cop.

The Salary Hike can be termed here as an “incentive” from the government to the Police Workers. We all know that incentive is Something that motivates an individual to perform an action. Here incentive came in the shape of Salary Hike for the SPOs.This incentive may play a dual role for Police Department i.e it may attract new recruits and it might give the existing SPOs a kind of stabillity to remain in the department beacuse of hiking bucks: as they face life threats .This second role of incentive is most important than first one because 30% of the SPOs are getting Rs 6,000 per month. They will surely opt out the decision of resignation as their salary is going to touch Rs 9000 after their 5 years of service which will improve their living standard and their status in society.

But as the conditions are violent as usual in the valley and deaths and nonfatal injuries are on the peak, Government should assure full safety to the cops of valley through proper administration. They need the safety of their lives first and incentives later. And if there are only these mere incentives from the government, let us taste the real meaning of these incentives for a cop.

This incentive from the government  creates a trade -off: which in a typical economics term means “Something that you do not want but must accept in order to have something that you want” or in simple language it means to give something to someone and recieve something in return.
Here it is the trade-off between JK Police (SPOs) and Goverment. Is it really a good deal or just a Freaky Trade -off: between life and salary? Trade-off of more bucks with less life expectancy? This question in my mind was like a bee in one’s bonnet and same thing  made me to write this article.

It is obvious that unrest and the police jobs are tied to each other but just because two things are correlated does not mean that one causes the other, citing it with more police jobs does not mean less injuries or fatalities.Yes !…there is a correlation between the two but it tells us nothing about the direction of their relationship. Let’s take Police Fatalities and Injuries as: X and Unrest factor as: Y. It is not always possible that Y causes X or X is always caused by Y. There might be some other factor “Z” which causes both factors X and Y. Let us take an example: city 1 with large police recruits have also large number of crimes and citiy 2 with less crimes having less police. Here we cannot judge the crime reports of any city by their Police population. There is always a cause of every situation. Every crime which needs to be found.

Same is the case with Valley, we need to find the cause of our problem unless knowing the cause we cannot judge any factor of the situation. We cannot put lives of thousands of policemen on stake for mere incentives. We need to come out of this bog through a rapport.

Government should take some neccessary steps to safegaurd the lives of policemen. It should implement those orders and actions which would benefit the armed personnel from all aspects and not only by these mere incentives.

Author is pursuing B.A (HONS) in economics from Aligarh Muslim University, India. He can be mailed at

Disclaimer: Views expressed are exclusively personal and do not necessarily reflect the position or editorial policy of Oracle Opinions.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *