Armed forces treated shoddily by Modi government grievances of armed personnel cruelly ignored

Randeep surjewala Wed, 07 Dec 2016

Armed forces treated shoddily by Modi government grievances of armed personnel cruelly ignored

1. Our frontline Defence Warriors, Armed Forces have been treated shabbily and shoddily by Modi government in implementing the 7th Pay Commission. Naturally, our Defence personnel are feeling cheated and ignored leading to the wide spread discontent and demoralization.

2. Defence experts, decorated soldiers and retired Army chiefs have openly expressed their resentment. According to one ex-Army Chief, the Uniform Pay Matrix has not been implemented. The Defence Pay Matrix in 7th Pay Commission has only 24 pay levels, on the other hand, the bureaucratic pay matrix has 40 levels. Due to this, not only the salary hike gets stagnated after some years of service, but it also include the pensions; at defence personnel draw is Rs 20,000 lower than the civil employees do after retirement.

3. The demand to provide allowances at par with civilian employees has also not been taken into account. Civilian employees are entitled to a large number of allowances, which are not provided to defence personnel. For example, a CRPF DIG posted in Leh, will get Rs.57,000/- as part of allowance, whereas, an Army Brigadier posted in the same region gets only Rs.17,000/- as allowance.

4. Another demand of military employees was to increase the Disability Pension at par with the civilian employees. While an Additional Secretary would get Rs.60,000/- as disability pension, a Lt General of Armed Forces would get only Rs.27,000/-.

5. There are less than 50 allowances for military, compared to about 90 for civilian employees. Moreover, a large number of military allowances stand subsumed into a “risk-hardship matrix”, in which every military posting gets a standard allowance based on the “risk” and “hardship” profile. The Siachen Glacier, which tops the list with the highest degree of both risk and hardship, brings soldiers posted there an allowance of Rs.31,500/- per month. In contrast, a bureaucrat from the All India Services draws 30 per cent of his salary as “hardship allowance” when posted anywhere outside what officials regard as, a comfort zone. For example a senior IAS official posted in Guwahati will draw Rs.70,000/- per month as “hardship allowance”, compared to Rs.31,500/- per month to be drawn by military officers in Siachen.

Modi ji promised ‘One Rank One Pension’ for our Forces and resolution of all other issues, some of which are listed above. Armed personnel now realize that the entire rhetoric was a mere ‘jumla’.