7th Pay Commission: The High Court has responded to a petition filed by a serving army officer over the 7th pay panel proposals. The petition demanded inclusion of the defence forces in the panel set up to examine their grievances with regard to the proposals of the 7th Central Pay Commission (CPC). HC’s direction to the Narendra Modi government has come as a relief to the 14 lakh defence personnel and 18 lakh ex-servicemen of our country.
The Central Government announced the anomaly committee on 12 September. The committee was made of 22 members that’ll include representatives of the government as well as the employees. It’ll be headed by the secretary, department of personnel and training (DoPT). Being under-represented, the three service chiefs decided to make a representation before the Empowered Committee of Secretaries on March 11 but without result.
The issue came to notice only when the service chief put the implementations of the commissions on hold. Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar talked to the Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee (CoSC) Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha that lead to the HC notice.
“The 7th Pay Commission anomalies in respect of the Armed Forces were discussed with the Hon’ble Raksha Mantri in detail by the Service Chiefs and the members of the Armed Forces Pay Commission Cell. The Hon’ble Raksha Mantri is seized of all the issues and has assured to resolve them at the earliest. The Services are satisfied with the response,” the defence ministry said in a statement on September 12.
The two things that were highlighted in the petition was the issue of negligence by the government and need for an alternative in forming associations for making representatives.
The 7th Pay Commission has raised baseline military salaries by about 15%, taking the pay of a lieutenant (the entry grade for officers) to Rs 56,100 per month and that of a sepoy (the entry grade for ratings) to Rs 21,700 per month. This is significantly lower than the 40% hike of the Fifth and Sixth Pay Commissions. Besides this a great resentment is towards the dilution of status, that places the Indian Administrative Service, Indian Foreign Service, Indian Police Service and Indian Forest Service, above the military.