NEW DELHI-- The Union Cabinet today resolved two major pay and allowance issues that have been agitating the armed forces since last year – when the recommendations of the 7th Pay Commission was made public.
But four major issues are unsolved. Among them, the problem of Non-functional Upgrade (NFU)- where officers who are overlooked for the next promotion get the same financial benefits when their course mates make it to next rank, a higher entry level pay for the armed forces – has not been solved yet.
The Union Cabinet that met in New Delhi today decided that forces and civilian bureaucracy including the Police and Para-military will get the same amount of disability pension. In a surprising move and much to the annoyance of the armed forces, the 7th Pay Commission had recommended a higher disability pension to the civilian bureaucracy.
The pay commission had recommended a fixed disability pension for the military whereas the civilian bureaucracy was to get disability pension as a percentage of the last drawn salary. As a result, a soldier with 50 per cent disability was to get much lower disability pension that for instance civil servant with an equal disability.
The armed forces had objected to this recommendation. Talking to reporters, Finance and Defence Minister Arun Jaitly said that "the Cabinet had decided to restore parity".
The cabinet also decided that Major Generals and above will get "Military Service Pay". The 7th Pay Commission had observed that officers above the rank of Brigadier and equivalent in the Navy and Air Force are not involved in active combat and had therefore recommended withdrawing Military Service Pay. Thus, a Major General and equivalent was drawing less than Brigadier. "The Cabinet has decided to protect the pay and allowance of officers above the rank of Brgadier," Jaitley told reporters today evening.