India’s armed forces are likely to have their own pay panel for the first time since independence.
This comes as the government prepares to set up the seventh Pay Commission to decide on salary hikes for the 50 lakh central government employees, ahead of state polls and national elections due by May. The pay panel’s recommendations are expected to be implemented from January 2016.
All three military chiefs had written to the Defence Minister last year, asking for pay parity with civilian employees. The armed forces have also been demanding the one rank one pension and one rank one pay rule.
They are also pushing for fixing rank pay and fixing pay structure for jawans and junior commissioned officers (JCOs).
In June last year, Defence Minister AK Antony had reportedly written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on “growing discontent among the services personnel due to the anomalies in payment and salaries.”
Mr Antony had said that service personnel, ex-servicemen and pensioners were “equally agitated” and suggested that corrective action be taken or “things may take a bad turn.”
A month later, the PM set up a four-member committee of secretaries, headed by the Cabinet Secretary, to look into the demands. The armed forces had then objected to the absence of military representation on the committee. Later, some of the anomalies were corrected, and the government had promised a separate pay commission for the armed forces.
Government salaries had been substantially hiked under the sixth pay commission headed by Justice BN Srikrishna. The revised pays fixed the salary of the Cabinet Secretary at Rs. 90,000 a month and Secretary at Rs. 80,000 per month, while making Rs. 6,660 as the minimum entry level salary.