Armed Forces’ Wait For Salary Hike May Get longer

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New Delhi: From IAS officers to peons, 33 lakh central government civilian employees will get enhanced salaries with arrears on September 1 under the seventh central pay commission (CPC). But the 14 lakh strong armed forces are likely to be left twiddling their thumbs with unrevised salaries.

Defence ministry sources say the three Service chiefs have also sent a representation to PM Narendra Modi to underline the widespread dismay in the armed forces over the implementation of the 7th CPC without apparently resolving most of the “core issues” raised by them.

Despite being contacted by TOI , the defence ministry refused to comment. “Once the notification for the armed forces is issued, it will have to be followed by the drafting of the separate Army, Navy and IAF instructions. They, in turn, will go to the Controller General of Defence Accounts for detailed calculations. All this will take time,” said a MoD source.

This delay comes close after Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha, in his capacity as the chairman of the chiefs of staff committee and backed by General Dalbir Singh Suhag and Admiral Sunil Lanba, wrote to the PM that at least “four main pay anomalies” were yet to be resolved for the armed forces despite several representations.

“The letter to the PM was followed by another one to defence minister (Manohar Parrikar),” said the source. The armed forces have a deep-seated grouse over successive pay commissions eroding their “status, parity and equivalence” as compared to their civilian counterparts.

The recent letters, for instance, raises the “artificial suppression of entry-level pay in each rank” for the armed forces. Another major point is the denial of higher military service pay (MSP) for junior commissioned officers (JCOs). The armed forces also have “a huge problem” with the approach to calculating disability pension for their personnel, which has reverted to the earlier “slab based” system from the “percentage based” one brought in by the 6th CPC.

The refusal to grant the non-functional upgrade to military officers denied promotions due to the lack of vacancies in the steeply-pyramidal structure of the armed forces also remains a major heartburn.

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