Thursday, 30 June 2016

7th Pay Commission: Armed forces treated shoddily by Modi government, says Congress

DNA CORRESPONDENT | Wed, 29 Jun 2016-11:35pm , dna

Defence experts, decorated soldiers and retired Army chiefs have openly expressed their resentment, the Congress said. In a statement release by Congress on Wednesday, spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had promised One Rank-One Pension for the forces and resolution of all other issues armed forces personnel now but this entire rhetoric was a mere "jumla" (gimmick).

"Our frontline defence warriors, armed forces have been treated shabbily and shoddily by Modi government in implementing the 7th Pay Commission. Naturally, our defence personnel are feeling cheated and ignored leading to wide discontent," Surjewala said.

The statement released by Surjewala also said— "Defence experts, decorated soldiers and retired Army chiefs have openly expressed their resentment. According to one Ex-Army Chief, the Uniform Pay Matrix has not been implemented.

The Defence Pay Matrix in 7th Pay Commission has only 24 pay levels, on the other hand, the bureaucratic pay matrix has 40 levels. Due to this, not only the salary hike gets stagnated after some years of service, but the pensions which defence personnel draw is Rs 20,000 lower than civil employees after retirement. "The demand to provide allowances at par with civilian employees has also not been taken into account. Civilian employees are entitled to large number of allowances, which are not provided to defence personnel.
For example, a CRPF DIG posted in Leh, will get Rs 57,000 as part of allowance. Whereas, an Army Brigadier posted in the same region gets only Rs17,000 as allowance. "Another demand of military employees was to increase the Disability Pension at par with the civilian employees. While an Additional Secretary would get Rs 60,000 as disability pension, a Lt General of Armed Forces would get only Rs 27,000.

"There are less than 50 military allowances, compared to about 90 for civilian employees. Moreover, a large number of military allowances have been subsumed into a "risk-hardship matrix", in which every military posting gets a standard allowance based on the "risk" and "hardship" profile.

The Siachen Glacier, which has the highest degree of both risk and hardship, brings soldiers posted there 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 what officials regard as a comfort zone. For example a senior IAS official posted in Guwahati will draw Rs 70,000 per month as "hardship allowance", compared to Rs31,500 per month drawn by military officers in Siachen.

"Modi ji promised one Rank One Pension for our Forces and resolution of all other issues, some of which are listed above. Armed personnel now realize that this entire rhetoric was a mere 'jumla'."

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