The pay panel has not given in to the demands on graded rates for military service pay (MSP), incentives for select ranks from Colonels to Lt Generals and inclusion of Lt Generals in higher income group. The commission was divided on the contentious issue of non-functional upgradation (NFU) for defence officers.
According to the report, Chairman A K Mathur felt that “NFU should be extended to the officers of the defence forces and CAPFs (Central Armed Police Forces)”. The report, however, recorded that members Vivek Rae and Rathin Roy “have not agreed with the views of the chairman” and were “of the considered view that NFU till SAG (senior administrative grade) and HAG (higher administrative grade) level, granted to Organised Group ‘A’ Services, should be withdrawn.”
While accepting that the nature of duties of the armed forces is unique and calls for retention of MSP, the commission rejected the demand of the service headquarters to implement “graded rates for MSP as a percentage of pay in the pay band and grade pay” against the existing fixed MSPs corresponding to ranks.
According to the report, the services have sought a select promotion incentive equivalent to five per cent of the pay, to be granted to all select ranks from Colonels to Lt Generals. The commission disagreed with the demand, stating that there is no need to create a separate incentive scheme for a “certain category” of officers.
The commission also rejected the demand to place Lt Generals and equivalent officers in the higher income — “HAG+ — category”. The services had also sought four financial upgradations under modified assured career progression scheme at 6, 12, 18 and 24 years of service, which the commission expressed its inability to recommend.
The report noted that the shortage of officers in the Army has declined from over 27 per cent to 23 per cent in June 2014. Responding to the demand to make Short Service Commission more attractive, the panel recommended that SSC officers be allowed to retire anytime between seven to 10 years of service.
On the demand for lateral induction of armed forces personnel in CAPF, the commission recommended that the government should focus on providing jawans such opportunities.