Disability pension for defence forces
The army has cordoned off the jungle near Assam's Tinsukia. [Representational Image].Reuters

The Defence Ministry on Thursday said it had referred the representation of the armed forces for a percentage-based system rather than a slab-based system for determining disability pension to the Anomaly Committee of the 7th Central Pay Commission (CPC).

The new move has come following criticism from the opposition parties and the defence forces over a letter issued on September 30 which had stated that a slab-based system will replace the percentage method of calculating the pension for the disability pension for the army, navy and the air force personnel. 

"Service Headquarters have represented that the percentage based system should be continued under the 7th CPC for calculating disability pension for Defence Services at par with their Civilian counterparts. The Ministry has referred the representation of the Service Headquarters to the Anomaly Committee of 7th CPC for consideration," a statement by the defence ministry read.

According to a notification issued on September 30, civilians would continue to draw pensions higher than their military counterparts. Soldiers who had suffered 100 percent disability in battle would be entitled to disability pension, which matched their last pay.

Additionally, they forces would draw a "service component" which amounted to 50 percent of their last pay. This had left the defence forces upset. 

"One one hand, the government carries out a surgical strike and on the other it reduces the disability pension, thereby downgrading their morale. Why have you thrown into dustbin the recommendations of the three service chiefs," Randeep Surjewala, Congress spokesperson was quoted as saying by PTI.

Maj. Gen. Satbir Singh (retd.), chairman of Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement, had spoken against the need to implement the slab-based pension payments. "It is downgrading the institution of armed forces. Why are there slabs for soldiers and percentage for civil employees? Why should a civil employee of same level get more salary than armed force personnel?" he had questioned.