7th pay commission- Defence
7th Pay Commission disappoints armed forces. Pictured:Indian soldiers march during the Republic Day parade in New Delhi, India, January 26, 2016.Reuters

The recommendations of the 7th Central Pay Commission (CPC) have reportedly disappointed the armed forces. General Roy Chowdhury, former Chief of Army Staff, expressed anger at the Secretariat Panel for failing to do justice with the defence forces. 

The Uniform Pay Matrix has not been taken into consideration, according to General Chowdhury, India.com reported. Commenting on the changes, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar issued a statement saying "we had pushed forward their demands with full force. Some of them have been accepted. Some haven't been taken. The Finance Ministry will look into it."

The Union cabinet on June 28 approved the recommendations of the 7th CPC. Last November, the committee had submitted its recommendations, following which the central government appointed a committee of secretaries to oversee the implementation.

The pay hike as suggested in the latest pay commission report is about 23.55 percent for central government employees and 24 percent for pensioners. Retired judge AK Mathur was heading the pay commission and he had submitted the final report to India's Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in November 2015.

The financial impact of the recommendations on the government is expected to be about Rs. 1.02 lakh crore for the present fiscal. The pay hike is for 47 lakh government employees and 52 lakh pensioners. However, trade unions and central government employees have not responded to the announcement so far.

The CPC has evolved a fresh approach by integrating the grade pay and pay bands into distinct pay levels.

Given below are the highlights of the revised pay structure, pensions and other benefits for the Indian armed forces, according to the pay commission report.

  • The entry pay for various ranks of defence forces personnel, which excludes the Military Nursing Services (MNS), has been kept at the same proposition. For example: Entry pay in existing pay band + (Residency Period for promotion to Captain from Lieutenant x annual increment) + grade pay of the rank of Captain.
  • The starting point of a Sepoy (and equivalent), the entry level personnel in the defence forces, has been fixed in the Defence Pay Matrix at ₹21,700.
  • In the new pay matrix defence forces personnel will move to the immediate next pay level in the hierarchy. Fixation of pay will follow the same principle as that for a regular promotion in the pay matrix.
  • The starting pay level for officers at Group 'A' entry level is identical at ₹56,100 in the case of both civilian and defence service officers. Similarly the pay of the Major General and Joint Secretary and equivalent officers and those above.
  • The term of engagement of various ranks of JCOs/ORs are fixed and of shorter duration. Service Officers on the other hand are given time scale promotion upto the rank of Colonel and Equivalent and will therefore move, from one pay level to another, in accordance with the stipulated time frame.
  • The defence forces personnel, in addition to their pay, will be entitled to payment of Military Service Pay (MSP) for all ranks up to and inclusive of Brigadiers and their equivalents. The Commission recommends an MSP for the four categories of Defence forces personnel at ₹15,500 for the Service Officers, ₹10,800 for Nursing Officers, ₹5,200 for JCO/ORs, and ₹3,600 for Non Combatants (Enrolled) in the Air Force per month.
  • As on 01.01.2014 there were 24.1 lakh defence pensioners: 18.6 lakh defence forces pensioners and 5.5 lakh defence civilians.
  • Enhanced Ordinary Family Pension to be made admissible for a duration of 10 years after death of the individual, both in harness as well as after retirement.
  • A separate pay scale of ₹67,000–79,000 was created to address the issue of disparity in pension of pre and post 01.01.2006 pensioners at the level of Lieutenant General and equivalent in the other two services to enable them to get pension at the rate of ₹36,500.
Defence pensioners
Pie Chart showing the age profile of defence pensioners.

"All the Defence Forces who retired prior to 01.01.2016 shall first be fixed in the Pay Matrix being recommended by this Commission, on the basis of the 39 Dearness Relief of 119 percent, as effective from 1 July, 2015. Report of the Seventh CPC 419 Index Pay Band and Grade Pay at which they retired, at the minimum of the corresponding level in the matrix. This amount shall be raised to arrive at the notional pay of the retiree by adding the number of increments he/she had earned in that level while in service, at the rate of three percent. Military Service Pay shall be added to the amount which is arrived at after notionally fitting him in the Seventh CPC matrix." the pay commission report stated.

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