CLARIFYING the Army’s position on the issue of Non-Functional Upgrade (NFU) with reference to the recently notified 7th Pay Commission, Chief of Army Staff, General Bipin Rawat, on Saturday urged the defence personnel not to compare themselves with civil service officials on that factor. Rawat also said the NFU will be implemented by the Army in its own way.
The Army chief was addressing defence personnel and veterans at a rally organised by the War Wounded Foundation, for war-disabled personnel from all Western states. The rally was held at the Dhanwantri Auditorium of the Armed Forces Medical College (AFMC), Pune on Saturday.
The NFU factor entitles officers or personnel of a batch to get the salary and grade pay of the batch’s senior-most officer, after a certain period. The Sixth Pay Commission had given NFU to almost all the Group A officers of the civil services but not to the military and paramilitary officers and personnel. The defence forces since then have been demanding a one-time NFU to ensure comparable pay.
Speaking on the occasion, Gen Rawat said, “The recommendations of the Seventh Pay Commission have been notified for the Armed Forces on May 3. There has been a misunderstanding, that because NFU has been granted to our counterparts in civil services, the status of military services has been downgraded. But as a clarification to this notion, a letter from the Government of India states that NFU will be purely financial upgrade and it will not bestow any right to the officer to claim promotion or designation for the higher post. Further, the Sixth Pay Commission has made observations in the past about the status of the Armed Forces. It says the edge enjoyed by the defence forces over the civilian services is reflected in the separate element of Military Services Pay.”
Rawat added, “The Sixth Pay Commission report further states that the military personnel are required to work in the extreme circumstances of the complex nature. They are trained for warlike situations. Also, the superannuation of the defence personnel specially of the Other Ranks at the younger age is a factor that has been considered, thus the Military Services Pay is given. This factor for jawans has been raised from Rs 2,000 to Rs 5,000 now. So as of now, some lacunae in the pay commission recommendation has been removed, some are still there. The government has given us assurance about them.”
He further said, “The only thing now remaining is the NFU, which I feel we should implement in our own way. But if try to relate ourselves to the civil services counterparts, we would be downgrading our of status. The pay commission will also be accordingly applied for the pensions. There are also some rumours going around on how the Pay commission recommendations will be implemented for pensions. I would urge veterans to spread awareness about this issue.”
Along with Gen Rawat, Southern Army Commander Lt Gen PM Hariz was also present for the rally. General Rawat and Lt Gen Hariz jointly honoured the war-disabled personnel and very seriously injured soldiers of the paraplegic Rehabilitation Centre (PRC) present for the rally. A special feature of the rally was presentation of motorised wheelchair scooters to needy war-disabled personnel by the Army chief. The two top generals also presented donation cheques to the War Wounded Foundation.