Service chiefs to express concerns over shortcomings of the 7th Pay Commission with Defence Minister

New Delhi: The three Service chiefs will soon meet Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar to express the forces' concerns over "shortcomings" in the recommendations of the 7th Pay Commission.

The armed forces are of the view that if the Pay Commission is implemented in its present form, it will position them much below their civilian counterparts in terms of salaries, facilities and status.

One of the main grudges that the armed forces have is with regard to the risk-hardship matrix.

The officers say that a soldier posted in Siachen Glacier, the highest battlefield in the world which poses great risk and hardship, will get an allowance of Rs 31,500 per month.

In contrast, a civilian bureaucrat from the All India Services draws 30 per cent of his salary as "hardship allowance" when posted anywhere outside the "comfort zone".

Under the new scale, a senior IAS official posted in a city in northeast India will draw much more as "hardship allowance" when compared to the Rs 31,500 per month that military officers posted in Siachen are to receive.

A total of 869 Indian soldiers have died in Siachen since 1984 due to various factors, including the hostile conditions there.

Navy chief Admiral RK Dhowan was the first among the three service chiefs to officially comment on the Pay Commission report.

"Whatever we feel are the shortcomings are being taken up by the three services with the Ministry of Defence to see that whatever we feel is necessary for our men, our officers, our civilians, is made available to them," Dhowan had said in New Delhi. Another point of contention for the Services is that the Pay Commission has not recommended free ration for defence personnel at peace stations.

The services argue that in peace tenures, the troops are as it is ready for war and are constantly preparing to move at short notice for their operational tasks.

"A jawan is training for the same, which involves daily training as well as training at operational locations for up to 3-4 months in the year," defence sources said.They added that ration authorisation for defence personnel followed the logic of giving a uniform quantum of calorie intake to maintain the desired and mandatory physical fitness across the armed forces.

"Does the jawan, when posted in peace areas, not be physically fit for an operation or for carrying out aid to civil and disaster relief authorities," the sources asked.

A large number of personnel in the armed forces are also upset with the recommendation of the Pay Commission for OROP for all.

"The government is literally haggling with the veterans for OROP citing economic conditions. So, OROP for all is sound logic?" they further questioned.

The personnel are also upset with the Commission's recommendation for reverting to a slab-based system of disability element instead of existing percentile-based
disability pension system.

They argue that that the entire spectrum of disability pensioners cannot be targeted for the actions of a minuscule few.

"The disabilities which are attributable to military service needs to be addressed adequately. An increase in the number of disabled soldiers should be a cause for concern and should be an indicator as to the difficult conditions and circumstances in which a soldier performs his duty," the sources said.


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Comments on O.R.O.P. :: 50% of last pay drawn is the quantum pf pension as per the accepted version of the sixth pay commission recommendation.This can be addressed by means of issue of a supplementary Army Instruction for implementation.The real issue is 50% of Rank Pay is taken into account for determining the eligibility criteria so far which is leading to anomalies all round.This has to be rectified by means of enhancing the fitment formula to ensure uniformity from existing to 2.57%.!!! converting the existing grade pay into 50% is the key area where loss in existing pension will be the concern for the pensioners under the category between 01.01.2006 to 31,12.2015,who will be deriving monthly pension alone from 01.01.2016.What is required is to permit full grade pay for arriving at uniform monthly pension on civil side...
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