Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Wednesday said he has raised the issue of anomalies in the 7th Pay Commission report with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “Yes, there are some anomalies in the 7th pay commission and the pension…we will resolve that. But, I don’t think that can be an issue for national debate,” Parrikar said at an event here.
“I can assure the people of the country and our armed forces that I have personally taken up the matter with the Prime Minister. There are procedures of the government of India. We will complete those procedure at the earliest and see that one by one, those anomalies are removed,” he said.
Asked about the issue of disability pension, on which a draft notification on the recommendation of the 7th Pay Commission has been uploaded on the Defence Ministry’s website, the minister said: “It is just a draft now.”
The draft notification talks of replacing the present percentage-based system of pension with slab-based pension system.
“In disability pension also, there are some categories of officers, in whose cases there could be some anomaly. We will check it,” he assured.
The minister maintained: “No final order has been issued as yet, only a draft resolution has been put up on the website. We will examine and try to address all that can be addressed, and forward the same to the anomalies committee for their opinion.”
If the recommendations in the draft notification on disability pension come into effect, the disability pension for soldiers will go down substantially.
Parrikar said that misgivings are being created by “certain quarters”, similar to what was done when the demand for One-Rank-One-Pension (OROP) was there. It took time to ensure that other forces do not move the court with similar demands, he added.
“Not every one can be satisfied,” the Defence Minister said.
He informed that so far, two instalments of Rs 4,000 crore and Rs 2,000 crore have been released, with annual cost for OROP being Rs 7,500 crore.
“There are 20 lakh armed forces personnel and about 22 lakh pensioners. It is a huge number, almost a third of the government employees. Whenever you apply a principle to anyone, anomalies will surface,” the minister said.
According to the pay panel’s recommendation, for 100 per cent disability, an officer would get Rs 27,000 per month, those in the ranks of Subedar Major to Naib Subedar would receive Rs 17,000, while Havildars and below would get Rs 12,000.
At present, a soldier, who gets 100 per cent disability, is entitled to a pension equal to the last drawn salary and an additional 50 per cent as ‘service component’.
The draft notification invited criticism from ex-servicemen, who said it will affect the morale of the soldiers.