Friday, October 3, 2014
IESM MEETING WITH 7th CPC ON 24 SEP 2014
Date: 01 Oct 2014
1. IESM delegation consisting of the following met the 7th CPC for over an hour on 24th Sep 2014.
(a) Maj Gen Satbir Singh Chairman IESM
(b) Maj Gen PK Renjen Vice Chairman IESM
(c) Gp Capt VK Gandhi Gen Sec IESM
(d) Maj Gen AJB Jaini Member Gov Body
(e) Hony Lt K Pandey Member Gov Body
2. The following members and the officials of the 7th CPC were present:-
(a) Justice AK Mathur Chairman 7 CPC
(b) Sh Mudit Mittal Director 7 CPC
(c) Sh DK Rai Director 7 CPC
(d) Ms Meena Aggarwal Secretary 7CPC
(e) Sh Sameer K Sinha Jt Sec 7 CPC
(f) Sh Rajeev Misra Advisor
(g) Sh Y Shukla Advisor
(h) Sh Mohinder Singh Advisor
(i) Km Vandana Sirvastava CGDA
3. Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement (IESM) Chairman Maj Gen Satbir Singh, SM (Retd) had met members of the Commission earlier in May 2014, wherein recommendations by the IESM in brief were discussed. (Details attached at Appendix A attached).
4. A detailed Memorandum to 7th CPC was forwarded by IESM vide our letter dated 11 Aug 2014 (Appendix B att.)
5. During the meeting with the 7th CPC on 24 Sep 2014 the following major issues were discussed:-
(a) Start of Down-gradation of Defence personnel in 1973 3rd CPC. It was highlighted by the IESM Delegation that the down-gradation of military persons started with 3rd CPC when they were clubbed with the civilian employees. Till 1973, military persons had their own pay and pension regulations wherein, pensions were regulated based on the rank and the years of service. Pension of JCOs/OR were based on 75% of the last pay drawn and officers’ pension was 50% of the last pay drawn, whereas the pensions of civilian employees were worked out based on 33% of the last pay drawn with max Rs 416.50. The pension of the highest rank of defence forces was Rs 1000 pm. The 3rd CPC increased the pensions of civilian to 50% of the last pay drawn and reduced the pensions of JCOs/ORs from 75% to 50%. This resulted in reduction of pension of the defence personnel. It was here onwards that the down-gradation of military personnel started. Rajya Sabha Petition Committee on OROP Chaired by Mr. Bhagat Singh Koshyari in 2011 opined that the decision to club the defence personnel with the civilian employees in 1973 was not a considered decision. IESM emphasized that the 7th CPC should correct the injustice by restoring the pension differential that existed in 1973.
(b) Integration of OROP in 7th CPC. The delegation asked the members of 7th CPC that OROP, which has already been sanctioned by the Govt and not yet implemented, should be fully integrated in the 7th CPC. One of the Directors with the 7th CPC Sh. DK Rai brought out that the OROP has relief of only few rupees to the OR/JCOs. The IESM delegation strongly countered the statement and brought out that as per accepted definition of OROP, a Sepoy with 17 years of services stands to gain Rupees 3150 in his basic pension plus DA and not a few Rupees. It was brought out by the Chairman IESM, Maj Gen Satbir Singh that a Sepoy with 17 years of service and Pre 2006 retiree gets a pension of Rs 5,196 pm. With the implementation of OROP, he will get Rs 8350 pm basic plus DA additional. IESM delegation emphasized that 7th CPC must fully integrate OROP, while arriving at the pension of 7th CPC.
(c) Pension of Widows. It was brought out by the delegation that there are 6.45 lacs defence widows in the country and 85% of them are the widows of OR. Majority of them draw only Rs 3500 pm basic. It was strongly recommended that service pension of the ESM and the family pension should be same. If the spouse dies, the ESM continues to draw his/her pension, but when ESM, dies the pension is reduced to 60% of the ESM pension. Thus, the defence widow is left to fend for herself with her woes increasing many fold. This segment of the defence fraternity suffers the most. 7th CPC was requested to consider this sympathetically and enhance the family pension to the pension of the ESM. A question from Chairman 7th CPC justice AK Mathur that the other services would also demand this increase of family pension, was replied by Maj Gen Satbir Singh that the two cannot be compared. Defence families suffer while the spouse is serving due to the service conditions and continues to suffer more when they are widowed early.
(d) Defence Personnel Retire Early and also Die Early. The age expectancy of government employees was studied by a government agency in the 5th CPC. The following age expectancies were arrived at:-
a) Civilian Services 77 Yrs
b) Railway Employees 78 Yrs
c) Defence Personnel
i) OR (up to Hav) 59.6 – 64 Yrs
ii) JCOs 67 Yrs
iii) Officers 72.5 Yrs
It is seen that ORs die approximately 20 years, JCOs 15 years and officers 7 years earlier than their civilian counterparts. There are a number of reason, the most important being body wear and tear during service and stress and strain of life after retirement when their responsibilities are maximum. It was strongly recommended by the delegation, that this aspect must be kept in mind by the 7th CPC while arriving at the pension scales of the defence personnel. This also adds to the logic of award of enhanced percentages of pensions to the defence personnel as existed in Pre 1973.
(e) Disability Pension. It was recommended by the delegation that “The present disability pension in cases of discharge/ superannuation/retirement with a disability is authorized only to those personnel who have a disability of 20% or more whereas in cases of discharge on medical grounds, the 20% stipulation stands abrogated. All individuals irrespective of the percentage of disability should be granted compensation. Disability pension needs to be paid in ALL cases of disability and broad-banding of percentages of disability be extended to all (and not just invalided personnel as is the case at present) as the concept of broad-banding is to offset medical subjectivity and mistakes and arbitrary percentages awarded by medical boards and has no connection with the manner of exit from service. Moreover, all disabilities arising during military service, including while on authorized leave, should be deemed as ‘attributable or at least aggravated’ by service unless caused by the person’s own misconduct as is the system prevalent in all major democracies (See Rule 105 of United States Code 38). It may be pertinent to point out that the Rules already provide for such a stipulation (See Rule 5 of Entitlement Rules, 1982) and even the Hon’ble Supreme Court has already ruled in favour of disabled soldiers in this regard in Dharamvir Singh Vs UOI, civil appeal 4949/2013 decided on 02nd July 2013. Only condition to deny disability pension would be if the disability is a result of any misconduct or criminality. There should be a separate'Defence Services Pay Committee' (as promised by the former Prime Minister) comprising members from Defence Services/ veterans and judges from SC/ HC.
(f) Common Pay Scale of JCOs and ORs. IESM recommended that common Pay scales should also be extended to JCOs/OR so that they get benefited for the pension.
(g) Rank Pay Case. The Govt of India approved the 4th CPC Recommendations of Rank Pay to be added to the basic Pay of officers ranks Captain to Brigadier. This would have had cascading effect on even Maj Gen & Lt Gen and would have, in turn impacted on the pensions of defence officers. Despite the above approval, in the execution stage, this advantage was neutralized by a bureaucratic manipulation, by first deducting and then adding rank pay. This resulted in the basic pay being lowered from the earlier level and had a detrimental effect on each rank with relative equation to other services being lowered. This further had cascading affecting on successive Pay Commissions. After the SC judgment in favour of defence personnel, the Govt has still not fully implemented it. The revisions of pay scales of 4th, 5th and 6th Pay Commissions have not yet been carried out. IESM delegation emphasized that 7th CPC should arrive at the base figures after taking into consideration the complete implementation of the SC judgment and the same be suitably integrated in the 7th CPC recommendations.
(h) Rank Pay For JCOs and ORs. Rank Pay should also be extended to JCOs and ORs.
(j) Third Assured Career Progression for the Sepoy. Third Career progression authorised to all central government employees by the 6th CPC is not available to the Sepoy of armed Forces since he is retired after 15/17/19 years of service whereas the third promotion is authorised after 24 years of service. It was recommended that this disadvantage be removed by the 7th CPC. Either, he be given promotion after 5/10/15 years of services or he should be given pension of the 3rd promotion.
(k) Pensions of Pre 2004 retiree Majors and Selection Grade Lt Cols.IESM brought out that as on today, Armed Forces Officers are not retiring as Majs&selection grade Lt Cols since a time bound promotions up to Lt Col have been introduced. It was recommended that pensions of these categories of officers should be fixed as under:-
(i)Major should be given pension of Lt Col with grade pay of Majors.
(ii)Selection grade Lt Col should be given pension of Colonel with grade pay of Lt Col.
(l) Performance Related incentive scheme (PRIS). This scheme was accepted by the 6th CPC, that is 1/3rd of the population of employees can be granted 20% of basic pay as enhancement on account of PRIS. While the scheme has been implemented for the civilian employees and DRDO, the same has not yet been implemented for the defence personnel.
It was recommended that the same should also be extended to defence personnel.
(m) Dynamic Assured Carrier Progression (DCAP) For Medical Officers. Medical officers in the central government with 13 years of service and 20 years of service have been granted a grade pay of Rs 8,700 and Rs 10,000 respectively. While the scheme has been implemented for the civilian Doctors, the same has not yet been extended to the medical officers of the Army Medical Corps (AMC). The same was recommended to be implemented for Military doctors also.
6. In addition the 7th CPC was requested to sympathetically consider all other recommendation mentioned in our Memo. Important of these recommendations are:-
(a) All anomalies of 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th CPCs be resolved to arrive at the base figures for the 7th CPC.
(b) The Basic Pay and Pensions of Defence Personnel should be year-wise 25% higher than their civilian counterparts. Introduce a Common Pay Scale for all Govt of India employees, incorporating an year-wise increase. There will be two tables of basic pay scales one encompassing PB1 and 2; and the other PB3, 4, HAG, HAG+, and Fixed Grade. These would thus cover All Grades from the lowest to the highest. This will bring in simplicity in concept and implementation (Graph Refers).
(c) MSP should be as was recommended by the 6th CPC ie 64% of basic pay for JCOs and ORs and 52% of basic for officers.
7. Copy of the updated Memorandum was handed over to the Chairman and members of 7th CPC.
8. The aim of the Govt and in turn the 7th CPC, as far as the Defence Forces are concerned, is to so package the compensation in term of pay, pensions, allowances and other service conditions that the most suitable youth is attracted to the profession and shortages of over 14000 officers is made up at the earliest to give the required leadership punch at the cutting edge of the Defence Forces.
9. The meeting was held in a very cordial environment and all the members and the staffs of the 7th CPC were very responsive and positive to the issues discussed. IESM thanked the Chairman 7th CPC and members for affording us the opportunity to discuss our recommendation and suggested that IESM will be privileged to answer any query and come again for any discussion.
Maj Gen (Retd) Satbir Singh, SM
Chairman Indian ESM Movement
Mobile: 9312404269, 0124-4110570
(Source-BC Vasundhara blog)