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Representational Image (Picture Courtesy: Rediff.com)

Indian government today rejected the demand of the armed forces of higher Military Service Pay including Junior Commissioned Officers (JCOs). According to reports, around one lakh service personnel including 87,646 JCOs and 25,434 personnel from the Navy and the Indian Air Force will be affected by the decision. The United Progressive Alliance (UPA) in 2008 promised to create separate commission for the armed forces, with appropriate participation from the forces. However, till now, no separate commission, or military representation, including in the secretariat, and among consultants hired by the 7th Central Pay Commission.

The MSP has two categories – one for officers while other for JCOs. The seventh Pay Commission had fixed Rs 5,200 as MSP per month for JCOs and jawans while the MSP for officers between Lieutenant-rank and Brigadier-rank is Rs 15,500. In 2016, Chief of three wings of Defense forces met the then defense minister Manohar Parrikar during the naval fleet held in Vishakhapatnam and raised their concern over the recommendations of the 7th pay commission and the effect on the moral of the defense forces.

As per seventh pay commission, an army officer is getting Rs. 42,500 for serving in Siachin and a JCO is getting Rs. 30,000 for the same, whereas an IPS officer is getting additional one-third of his/her basic salary, which amounts to Rs. 75,000 for serving in cities like cities as Guwahati or Leh. For armed forces, Siachin glacier is considered as the hardship area, where as for the IPS or the IAS officers, areas like Guwahati, Andaman and Nicobar islands are termed as ‘Hardship Area’, where the armed forces personnel get zero allowance.

Meanwhile, In the United Kingdom, Pay Commission is “An independent Body which provides advice to the Review Body (AFPRB), Prime Minister and the Secretary of State for Defence on the remuneration and charges for Service personnel”. Whereas, the United States, has a far more evolved Military Compensation system. In the US the military compensations are reviewed after every four years.

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