Updated: December 4, 2018 5:29:26 pm
In a decision that will affect around one lakh Army personnel, including Junior Commissioned Officers (JCOs), the Finance Ministry on Tuesday rejected a long-standing demand of the Army for an increase in Military Service Pay (MSP). Anguished over the decision, the Army said it would seek a review of the government decision, PTI reported.
“The proposal for higher MSP for JCOs and equivalent rank of the Navy and IAF has been rejected by the Finance Ministry,” PTI quoted a source as saying. The decision will impact about 87,646 JCOs and 25,434 personnel from the Navy and the Indian Air Force.
The MSP was introduced to the services considering the range of “hardships and disadvantages” that the Army undergoes, which cannot be evaluated while assessing pay comparability. At present, the MSP has two categories — one for officers and another for JCOs and jawans.
The demand was to increase the monthly MSP from Rs 5,500 to Rs 10,000 and the total annual financial outgo would have been Rs 610 crore if the government had accepted the demand, sources said. The 7th Pay Commission had fixed Rs 5,200 as MSP per month for JCOs and jawans while putting it at Rs 15,500 for officers between Lieutenant-rank and Brigadier-rank.
The Army has been pressing for granting a higher MSP to the JCOs, arguing that they are gazetted officers (Group B) and play a very vital role in command and control structure of the force. “Since JCOs are Group B gazetted officers and also have considerable length of service, it is incorrect to grant them MSP on par with the jawans. It is very unfair,” PTI quoted a military officer as saying.
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