In a rare move, the three service chiefs — Army Chief General Dalbir Singh, Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha and Navy Chief Admiral Robin Dhowan — have sent a joint memorandum to Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar expressing concern about the Seventh Pay Commission’s recommendations. They have sought an expert committee, with representatives from the armed forces, to redress the grievances identified by the defence services.
Defence ministry sources said Parrikar has already had an informal interaction with the three service chiefs, and a detailed presentation on all the issues raised in the joint memorandum will be held this week.
The memorandum, sent last week, follows another complaint made by the armed forces to the defence ministry last month on military personnel who seek premature retirement being excluded from the ambit of One Rank One Pension (OROP) scheme.
The pay commission cells of the three defence services have listed some common grievances after a detailed study of the 900-page report. Members of these cells said that prima facie, the report has used incorrect and irrelevant data, leading to wrong analysis and skewed interpretation.
They claimed that almost all proposals submitted to the pay commission through a joint services memorandum have been rejected without providing any justification, or without even mentioning them. They pointed out that the pay commission, on the other hand, has mentioned the proposals of all other categories of central government services, analysing and commenting on each of them in detail.
“The Seventh Pay Commission has glossed over the core anomalies of the Sixth Pay Commission, which had put military personnel at a disadvantage. Those have not been resolved, making the situation worse,” said a senior military official.
Wrong pay fixation of military officials, particularly in the ranks of Lt Colonel, Colonel and Brigadier, at a scale much lower than their civilian counterparts, has been identified as a major issue because a bulk of military officers serve in these three ranks for the longest part of their career. The services also believe there is a disparity in grant of allowances to military personnel vis-à-vis civilian officials.