Pay panel proposals widen civil-military gap

In the military fraternity, already peeved over discrepancies in the implementation of the one rank, one pension (OROP) scheme, recommendations of the Seventh Pay Commission have raised hackles.

After analysing the pay structures of civil and military officials, the commission observed in its report that, “In fact, the pay of defence service officers remains uninterruptedly higher for a 32-year period. Thereafter, pay of defence and civil service officers are at par.”

However, several officers pointed that the recommendations are based on the pay of the officer cadre who constitute 3-4 per cent of the 1.3-million-strong Army. The allowances given to military personnel number 50 as against 90 to civilian officials.

Special duty allowance

Hardship allowance is paid to the former serving in forward locations and extremely hard conditions. The maximum of Rs. 31,500 a month is paid to those serving on the Siachen glacier, the world’s highest battlefield.

Civil servants posted in Jammu & Kashmir and North-east India are paid a special duty allowance (SDA), which was recommended at 30 per cent of their basic pay for postings, which are mostly in district headquarters.

A colonel posted at Siachen gets a fixed allowance of Rs. 31,500, while a person of equivalent rank in the civil service, a director-level officer, draws upwards of Rs. 50,000. Also, the SDA increases over time as it is a percentage of the basic pay.

“Disadvantages to defence forces are directly attributed to the absence of military members in the commission,” said Maj.Gen. Satbir Singh (retd.), Chairman of the Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement.

‘Disadvantage to Defence forces due to absence of military members on the panel’

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