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Tuesday, June 16, 2015
CABINET SECRETARY TO HEAD PANEL ON DEFENCE PAY, PENSION
New Delhi :July 14, 2012 3:45 am(ENS)
With pressure mounting from the defence forces as well as ex-servicemens bodies,the government has decided to constitute a committee under the chairpersonship of the Cabinet Secretary to look into pay and pension related issues that have been repeatedly raised since the Sixth Pay Commission was announced in 2008.
The committee, which will include the secretaries of Defence, Expenditure, Ex-Servicemen Welfare and Personnel and Training, will also tackle the emotional issue of one-rank-one-pension (OROP) that has been taken up by ex-servicemen associations across the country.
Retired soldiers are currently categorised into two slabs for pension that depends on their retirement dates. Soldiers who retired before 2006 are in the lower slab with a considerable difference in pensions. A strong campaign has been launched for parity and an abolition of different categories for retired soldiers.
A government release said that the committee will look at matters relevant to defence services personnel and ex-servicemen and its terms of reference would include OROP,the enhancement of family pension,dual family pension and pension to mentally or physically challenged children of armed forces personnel.
The committee will be serviced by the Department of Expenditure and has the powers to co-opt any other member that may be deemed desirable. The government has directed the committee to submit its report to the Prime Minister by August 8.
The high powered committee will also examine several contentious issues related to the pay of serving personnel that have been officially raised by the armed forces several times in the past few years.
These include the demand for a common pay-scale for in-service Junior Commissioned Officers and Other Ranks and grant of non-functional upgradation to armed forces personnel. Three other points that will be examined relate to the enhancement of pay of officers initial pay-fixation of Lt Col-Brigadier equivalent,review and enhancement of grade pay and placing of all Lt Gens in HAG+ scale.