The country has around 47 Lakh Central Govt Employees out of which there are 14 Lakh defence service personnel constituting around 30% of total strength .In the Army, the officer cadre comprises of the two functional branches viz., Arms and Services.The bulk of the officers are at the lower end of the pyramid, with significantly smaller numbers at the vertex.
The Indian Navy Officers’ cadre comprises officers from the Executive, Engineering, Electrical and Education branches.
The officer cadre in the Indian Air Force consists of Flying Branch and Ground Duties Branches (Technical and Non-Technical). The Army Medical Corps (AMC) and Army Dental Corps comprise Medical/Dental officers as well as Non-Technical officers
The Pay Commission was confronted with the issues relating to persisting shortage in the ranks of officers which is currently around 23% and the consequential need for cadre review.While considering the comparative pay scales the Commission noted that after recommendations of previous CPC the starting pay of a defence officers is about 29 percent higher than his/her civilian counterpart.This gap remains wide for first nine years of service (over 20 percent) .In fact the pay of defence service officers remains uninterruptedly higher for a thirty-two year period and only thereafter pay of defence and civil service officers are at par.
In addition to higher pay the defence service officers are better placed with benefits like (a) free rations or ration money allowance in lieu of free rations (b) tax concession available in Canteen Store Depots (c) military concession vouchers for travel in Railways and by air (d) free electricity upto 100 units each month (e) concessions on water charges.
The CPC made comparative analysis of pay structures of armed forces in USA & UK with pay scales applicable to Indian Army and noted that “…….. defence service officers and JCO/ORs in India, based on VI CPC pay scales, are placed quite well in terms of pay, even in relation to defence personnel in countries like US and UK, where the GDP per capita in PPP terms for the country as a whole is significantly higher than that of India”
Major decisions taken by the Commission are to the effect that there is no case for revision in the structure of Grade Pay by taking Rank Pay into consideration while determining the top of the pay scales of certain ranks and no change is warranted in the manner of pay fixation for Lt. Colonel/Colonel and Brigadier/equivalent.
Considering the submission that grant of NFU to Organised Group ‘A’ Services in Ministry of Defence has created command, control and functional problems the Commission had recommended for extension of NFU to the officers of the Defence forces and CAPFs (including ICG) as well.
However several suggestions made by Services in joint Memorandum such as those relating to pay fixation for re employment of officers and select promotion schemes have not been agreed to. These would remain in accordance for rules for Central Govt employees.The Commission has also not found any justification in further scaling up all Lieutenant Generals to the HAG+ grade.
For the Short Service Commissioned Officers the Commission it has been recommended that the SSC officers should be allowed to exit at any time between seven years and ten years of service instead of the existing exit option at ten and fourteen years. The option for permanent commission should be exercised in the seventh year, instead of the tenth year as it exists today. As package for those exiting the Commission has recommended Terminal Gratuity at uniform 10.5 months of reckonable emoluments, for exit any time between seven years and ten years.
In order to facilitate their rehabilitation, the Commission has recommended that such officers be provided benefit of Fully funded (a) one year Executive Programme at premier management institute or (b) M. Tech programme from premier technology institute as well as Concession towards Civil Service Examination by way of relaxation in age by five years.
For the Junior Commissioned Officers the CPC has not agreed to the demand for a common pay scale.Demands pertaining to review of pay scales of JCOs /ORs have also not been agreed to by the VIIth CPC.
Services had sought a review of pay scales of JCOs/ORs in certain select categories with the objective of enhancement of their Grade Pay with the objective of bringing them at par with their civil counterparts. This demand has been not accepted by the CPC citing the fact that the personnel already enjoy advantages such as Military Service Pay.The Commission has not agreed to disturb the relativities between sepoy and constables in CAPF.
The Commission has recommended an exercise for standardisation under which all X trades should mandatorily involve obtaining a qualification which is equivalent of a diploma in engineering (recognised by AICTE).
Several other demands such as change in packages for Havildar / Naib Subedar and modifications in MACP have been turned down.
For Honorary Commissioned Officers the Commission has recommended that the Junior Commissioned Officers on their promotion as Honorary Lieutenant or Honorary Captain shall be placed in the pay level 10 and pay level 10B respectively. They will, in addition be paid Military Service Pay of ₹15,500 per month on par with that payable to all the Commissioned officers.
Other important recommendations include benefit of of MSP for non combatants .For Air Force it recommended increase in MSP from pre existing Rs. 1000/-to Rs.3600/- per month.
Regarding Military Service Pay as indicated in previous writings it has been held that the the same will be available only to Military Service Personnel upto rank of Brigadiers and the present structure has been held to be acceptable for future also.
Lateral Movement/Resettlement of Defence Forces Personnel is another important area covered in this chapter It has been recommended that the primary focus of the Government with regard to lateral entry as far as CAPFs are concerned should be on personnel retiring from the ranks of Sepoys (& their equivalents), who may be asked to opt for continuation or lateral movement in CAPF after seven years of service . The personnel in cases of such lateral movement be given due pay protection (however MSP shall not be admissible on such lateral movement). As compensation the personnel may be given lump sum payment @ 10.5 time of last pay drawn.After serving in CAPFs they shall continue upto the retirement age and be covered in so far as their pensionary benefits are concerned under the New Pension system.
CPC has also recommended for facilitating lateral entry of retiring defence forces personnel to Defence Civilians organisations like Ordnance Factories, DRDO, Naval Dockyards, Military Engineering Service, Border Road Organisation, Base Repair Depots etc. and desired that this option should be available for all defence forces personnel, irrespective of the number of years of service.
Commission has suggested far fetching reforms in the institutional framework with use of IT in matching the available database on retiree work force with the market forces and sought synergising out put of all agencies involved in welfare of ex army personnel through intervention and control of Central Govt.