New Delhi: The Narendra Modi government on Wednesday notified the pending implementation of the 7th Central Pay Commission (CPC) recommendations for the 14-lakh armed forces.
The government has agreed in-principle to address three major grievances of the armed forces relating to their salary structure including providing pay protection to those getting promotion from the rank of brigadiers.
As per media reports, the government has conveyed to the armed forces that the remaining anomalies are likely to be addressed separately.
After a meeting of the Union Cabinet, Defence Minister Arun Jaitley also assured that the government was addressing the demand of extending pay matrix from 24 years to 40 years and carrying out rationalisation of pay Lt Colonels and Colonels.
"There are three concerns of armed forces which government has accepted -- two before the Cabinet and one an executive decision...," the Finance Minister said.
"One relates to the pay matrix -- increasing it from 24 to 40; second is an index of rationalisation for Colonels and Lieutenant Colonels from 2.57 to 2.67; and third, pay protection to those who are protected from Brigadier rank upwards because they lost the military service pay. Obviously you can`t get promoted and be paid less," he said.
The armed forces had demanded that defence pay matrix should be brought in sync with the civilian pay matrix. The defence pay matrix in the 7th Pay Commission has only 24 pay levels, while on the other hand, the civilian pay matrix has 40 levels.
The Cabinet also approved the retention of percentage-based regime of disability pension implemented post 6th CPC, which the 7th CPC had recommended to be replaced by a slab-based system.
The issue of disability pension was referred to the National Anomaly Committee by the Ministry of Defence on account of the representation received from the Defence Forces to retain the slab-based system, as it would have resulted in reduction in the amount of disability pension for existing pensioners and a reduction in the amount of disability pension for future retirees when compared to percentage-based disability pension.
The decision which will benefit existing and future defence pensioners would entail an additional expenditure of approximately Rs 130 crore per annum.
The government was under attack from the opposition parties as well as the military establishment over slab-based system following which the matter was referred to the National Anomaly Committee by the Ministry of Defence.
The armed forces felt the new system would result in reduction in the amount of disability pension for existing as well as future retirees compared to percentage-based disability pension.
The military personnel were upset as civilian pensioners were to be paid pension according to the earlier percentage system.