The government has formed a committee under the Cabinet Secretary to look into pay-related issues of the armed forces and the long-pending demand of ‘One Rank-One Pension’ of the exservicemen.
The six-member committee under Cabinet Secretary Ajit Seth has been asked by the government to finalise its recommendations and submit its report to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh by 8 August, the Cabinet Secretariat said in a statement.
“It has been decided to constitute a committee under the chairmanship of the Cabinet Secretary to look into pay and pension-related issues of relevance to defence services personnel and the exservicemen,” it said.
For the serving defence personnel, the committee will look into the issues of having a common pay scale for serving Junior Commissioned Officers (JCOs), placing all Lt Gen-rank officers under the higher pay scale grade of Higher Administrative Group Plus (HAG+).
A number of presentations have been made by the defence forces in the recent past seeking redressal of the anomalies which had emerged soon after the Sixth Central Pay Commission recommendations were implemented in 2008.
For the large community of exservicemen, the government has tasked the committee to consider the issue of One-Rank-One-Pension which has been the main demand of the services personnel and has seen a lot of them returning their service and gallantry medals to the President in the last few years as a mark of protest.
Though the government has so far not agreed to fully accept the demand, it has taken several steps to address the issue.The exservicemen have been asking for equal amount of pension to people retiring from same rank and with same length of service irrespective of the timing of their retirement.
Right now, people who retired before 2006, get lesser pension that their counterparts who have superannuated after the implementation of the 6th Central Pay Commission. The other issues of exservicemen to be looked into by the committee include enhancement of family pension, dual family pension and granting family pension to mentally or physically challenged children of the armed forces personnel on marriage.
The other members of the committee include Principal secretary to the Prime Minister Pulok Chatterjee, Defence Secretary Shashikant Sharma, Secertary Exservicemen Welfare S Chatterjee and Secretary (Department of Personnel and Training) and Secretary (Department of Expenditure).