The current impasse over the implementation of the 7th Pay Commission award for the three armed forces will be resolved soon, Raksha Mantri Manohar Parrikar has asserted.
Speaking to BharatShakti.in, Mr. Parrikar in his first public comments over the deadlock said: “I am aware of the anomalies and shortcomings in the award for the military. The Service Chiefs have also briefed me again. I have assured them that I am confident of resolving issues very soon,” he said in a brief chat this evening.
Mr Parrikar said the three Service Chiefs raising the issue with him is not being viewed as defiance. “I only told them that we care for the forces and all concerns raised by them will be addressed by taking them up with the Prime Minister and the Finance Minister,” he added. The only way to find a solution to these issues is discussion, Mr Parrikar said. “The Service Chiefs know that I am using all the strength at my command to find a way out. You must understand that I got the gazette notification announcing the 7th Pay Commission amended to make sure the military retains its edge over the Central Armed Police Forces. Such a step has never been taken ( to amend a gazette notification),” he pointed out.
Although he refused to put a timeline for the resolution of the problems, the very fact that the Raksha Mantri met the Prime Minister last night and is understood to have apprised him of the all the points demonstrates the seriousness with which the government is treating the issue. Unlike earlier times, the issues will be resolved without delay, Mr Parrikar said.
Asked why were these issues not resolved before the notification was issued, Mr. Parrikar pointed out that a cabinet notification cannot be corrected before it is notified. “The anomalies committees are meant to correct the shortcomings, ” he said.
He asserted that at least three of the four major anomalies over which the service HQs are perturbed will be taken care of very soon. They are: 1. The entry level pay suppression in the middle ranks; 2. Non-functional Upgrade (NFU) and 3. Enhancement of Military Service Pay (MSP) for JCOs.
Experts on Pay Commission issue say one way of overcoming the problem posed by no NFU to military personnel ( an anomaly from the earlier Pay panel) is to grant a one time notional NFU for pay scale fixation in the armed forces so as to maintain the equilibrium with other services.
Mr Parrikar pointed out that most of the other anomalies are also carried over from the earlier Pay Commissions and will have to be taken up in the two committees formed to resolve them.
The Raksha Mantri said he has asked the Service HQs to start implementing the benefits of the 7th Pay Commission to the troops as soon as possible. “The financial outgo of the corrections that will be made, is not likely to be more than Rs 600
crores and can be given out later, he said.
Nitin A Gokhale