The armed forces seems to be unhappy with the cabinet approval of the Seventh Pay Commission recommendations saying the anomalies that they had highlighted has not been taken care of.
Defence minister Manohar Parrikar admitted that “some” of the recommendations that he had strongly pushed on behalf of the armed forces have “not” been accepted.
We are still awaiting finer details to come out but on the look of it there are “not bright spots” as of now, defence sources said.
They said that the fact that the government has set up a committee to look into anomalies arising out of implementation of the Commission’s report is itself an indicator that their concerns have not been taken into account.
The only good feature is that instead of creating one committee like all previous government’s have done, this government has set up multiple ones to look into anomalies, allowance and others, the sources said.
Sources said the demand for uniform pay matrix has not been taken into account and that the allowances have not been brought at par with civilian employees.
Non implementation of common pay matrix means that defence pay matrix will be restricted to 24 pay levels even though the bureaucratic pay level is 40.
Another issue of concern is the non-implementation of Non Functional Upgradation (NFU) which would have allowed armed forces personnel to get upper grade of salary even when not promoted like their civilian counterparts.
One of the main grudge that the armed forces have is with regard to risk-hardship matrix. The officers say that a soldier posted in Siachen Glacier, which has the highest degree of both risk and hardship, gets 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 will draw much more as “hardship allowance”, compared to the Rs 31,500 per month drawn by military officers in Siachen.