Answer 46 anomalies from 6th Pay Commission and 36 from 7th Pay Commission remain unresolved and there is no legitimate answer given on why their requests are being turned down. Q & A - `Armed forces discriminated against, left out in the cold by IAS, IPS ... Government must explain why, protect soldiers' On one rank one pension, nobody ever said no, except that nobody understood how to do it. It took the PM and defence minister to cut through the problems and in the end you got something. The same thing must be done now.
Despite the 7th Pay Commission's award which gave 33 lakh
government servants and 14 lakh defence personnel (with 54 lakh retirees and 18
lakh veterans) salary and pension hikes from August 1, 2016, defence forces
personnel and veterans have been angry.
Independent Rajya Sabha MP Rajeev
Chandrasekhar is a member of Parliament's Standing Committee on Defence and tells
Nalin Mehta why he thinks armed forces have been treated unfairly and why this
What are the armed forces' problems with the 7th Pay
All public servants are not the same. Those in the armed
forces who serve, sacrifice and give their lives and limbs at times are a
different kind of public servant. The angst of the armed forces, which is
slowly converting into anger, goes back to 5th Pay Commission.
It has less to do with the exact money and more to do
with the status of armed forces vis-à-vis other central government services.
This status is not like politicians understand it or about lal battis but about
status in the hierarchy of service and command.
In what way has the status of armed forces gone down?
It is a reality that over the last 15-20 years the armed
forces have slowly declined in stature and relative importance and positioning
vis-à-vis police and IAS.Most of the angst of the military serving and
veterans has to do with this. There is absolutely no doubt that IAS and IPS
because of their proximity to the political powers have over successive pay
commissions given themselves sweeter and sweeter deals and left the military
out in the cold. This is indisputable because the military has never been
represented in these pay commissions.
Any normal Indian citizen who has even the remotest
feeling of care for armed forces will ask why?
Is it true that there are allowance anomalies: like a DIG
of paramilitary forces serving in Shillong will get an extra Rs 73,000 but an
Army Brigadier there will get zero allowance?
That is precisely the point. In all these cases, they
will be serving in close proximity. In Leh for example a Brigadier and DIG
would be serving in the unified command.Why would you take a Brigadier or a
soldier and put him down in the hierarchy below what his predecessors in the
armed forces were? What is the logic?
If government has an explanation for this they should make it. If IAS or pay
commission has a reason for this why are they not putting it out in public
This is about much more than just preserving the
We in India are very proud that the military is
subordinate to the civilian and political administrative hierarchy but
subordinate does not mean disadvantaged or subservient. Why are we making this
institution of ar med forces get a feeling that they are getting discriminated
What are the national security implications?
The risk profile of our nation is only worsening. There
is asymmetric warfare imposed on us. You want a motivated armed forces not a
group of people who feel they are being done in.
There are grouses like non-functional upgrade (NFU) given
to civilian bureaucrats and three extra increments which defence forces don't
There are no answers. For every question that an armed
forces man or family asks, the nation owes an answer.The answer need not always
be yes. But we must give an answer 46 anomalies from 6th Pay Commission and
36 from 7th Pay Commission remain unresolved and there is no legitimate answer
given on why their requests are being turned down. This is something government
and ministry of defence must learn to do.
Are legitimate demands of military put aside in name of
civilian supremacy because politicians don't necessarily understand the detail?
The power of a bureaucrat to say no is not a unilateral
power with no accountability. It is okay to say no, but you have to accompany
that with a why .
Is there an appetite to find a solution?
There is an appetite to do right by armed forces in
Parliament and government. Our armed forces should not feel for one minute that
they are taking bullets despite an ungrateful nation. The occupation of armed
forces has a much higher risk profile than their peers. This should be
recognised in the pay matrix. I am sure nobody in Delhi will oppose it.
On one rank one pension, nobody ever said no, except that
nobody understood how to do it. It took the PM and defence minister to cut
through the problems and in the end you got something. The same thing must be