he government has a Diwali gift for India’s soldiers — an interim payment even as the government and defence chiefs try to sort out a dispute over new pay grades for armed forces.
ET has reviewed an October 10 order in which the Manohar Parrikar-led defence ministry says “pending issuance” of the pay commission notification, the President has sanctioned payment of arrears on ad hoc basis. Arrears will be 10% of the current drawn pay (including dearness allowance) for all soldiers, calculated from January 2016.
This would mean, roughly, every soldier getting one month’s salary as a sort of a bonus. Efforts are on to ensure that soldiers get this before Diwali, which is on October 30. Unlike the civil service, armed forces have not yet received arrears arising out of the pay commission order, neither have new salary scales been applied.
The delay is due to three service chiefs’ strong intervention seeking correction of what they see as ‘anomalies’ in the commission’s compensation structure for forces.
Services chiefs have said that till ‘anomalies’, including those related to disability pay and pensions, are resolved, pay commission recommendations will not be implemented.
serving and retired armed forces personnel were disappointed at the prospect of receiving no additional pay before the festive season. ET has also reported that the government was exploring the option of a one-time disbursement of dues.
“The pay being drawn as on January 2016 would be reckoned for calculating of arrears. The amount so paid will be adjusted against the final computation of arrears on the revised pay scales,” the order sent to the three armed forces reads.