Thursday, 24 April 2014

A Reminder from 2008

 A Matter of Confidence 

Perhaps Ms Sushama Nath, the Expenditure Secretary (IAS MP cadre) could not tell the most powerful Committee of Secretaries (CoS) that as the erstwhile Secretary to the 6th Central Pay Commission, they were exceeding their brief. Perhaps our Armed Forces Chiefs must be wondering what they have let loose on themselves to invite a few biting editorials perhaps believing in what Groucho Marx (or was it some one else) wrote – that "military intelligence is a contradiction in terms"?
In the heat of what the IAS sister and brethren believed to be extra-constitutional powers and the Chief Editor of a national daily propounded on the indiscipline of the three Chiefs, most of us have lost sight of the basic truth. That undeniable truth was that the CoS was tasked to review the recommendations of the 6th CPC, not to usurp and overturn those recommendations of the 6th CPC that were unpalatable to the IAS.
It does not help any bystander, biased or otherwise, to understand why the Expenditure Secretary in the Ministry of Finance, who was the erstwhile Secretary of the 6th Pay Commission, did not find the moral courage to tell her fellow-Secretaries that they were exceeding their brief. The Government had neither authorised, promulgated nor gazetted the CoS to overturn the recommendations of the 6th CPC, headed by a retired judge of the Apex Court, constituted by the Govt and its constitution was gazetted by the Government.
Now why did the Chiefs behave the way they did? Let us go back a decade, to the 5th CPC. There was a near mutiny in the IAF because the then CAS propounded and got the Govt to approve higher flying pay for fighter pilots, simultaneously downgrading flying pay of the transport and helicopter pilots and navigators. Transport and helicopter pilots refused their flying pay, they off-loaded fighter pilots from their aircraft/helicopters.
The problem was further compounded because the technical officers got only a marginal increase and decided to sue the IAF. They contributed to hire a lawyer to fight for their rights.
It took some inhuman treatment of many technical officers in a place called Hasimara to subdue the unrest. Many technical officers were removed from the IAF. Yet more were mentally and physically tortured; their families suffered worse fates, not knowing where their husbands were.
This Chief (Major, then an Air Cmde) was in the team that went around the IAF in 1998 that was trying to put out the fires that were burning, simmering and embers flying from places as far apart as Chabua, Agra and Jamnagar.
The present Chairman of the Chiefs of Staffs Committee and the COAS were spectators of that 1998 fire and must have realised the implications of the recommendations of the 6th CPC. Their apprehensions must have turned to reality when the CoS decided, in whatever wisdom any dispassionate bystander would not understand, to bestow their meanness on the Armed Forces. The IAS dominated CoS, in their unhindered vision for establishing supremacy beyond pale, having subdued the IPS and placed the IFS in foreign climes, no pun intended, perhaps forgot, what Hegel said, "We learn from History that we never learn from History."
The Chiefs must have discussed as to what would happen if every soldier, sailor and airman sat down and calculated, using their intelligence, much to the horror of Groucho Marx who might have turned in grave, that the Armed Forces were being given not only a short shrift in status but also a debilitated pay slip, and that the lateral transfer assurance of the Govt remained on paper, not even considered by the CoS, let alone the Govt.
So they approached the Raksha Mantri, to convince him that the Armed Forces were being denigrated in pay and allowances and parity, enough damage having already been done elsewhere, like the Warrant of Precedence, that had no place for a Field Marshal, 35 years after he was appointed, with much fanfare and publicity.
They must have informed the RM that the IAS dominated CoS introduced differentials in pay and status of the armed forces vis-à-vis- the para-military and Coast Guard. Perhaps the did not expect any substantial protests which had the signs of deteriorating to a crisis, perhaps because the most intelligent public servants forgot the not so distant past 1998.
That is when the Chiefs must have decided to inform the Raksha Mantri that there was something seriously wrong in the CoS mandated offerings. They must have decided that they must take some drastic measures to prevent a bigger fire that would spread to the three services.
The Chiefs had Hobson's choice – implement the CoS recommendations (mark that it is not the 6th CPC recommendations) and face revolts in their respective forces or decline to implement the CoS recommendations accepted by the Govt but neither notified nor Gazetted by the Min of Def.
That is where the situation took a different dimension – the inability of a Chief Editor to correctly interpret two aspects.
The first misinterpretation was that the Chiefs were disobeying the Govt. How could they if MoD had not notified the CoS dictat? What Govt orders were the Chiefs disobeying? A look at the National Portal will prove that there are notifications for the IAS, followed by those for the IPS etc and there are those for civil pensioners. But none for the Armed Forces, for the Resolution also stated that orders for Defence Forces would be issued by the Min of Def.
The second misinterpretation was that the Chairman COSC and CNS was stoking/encouraging "disobedience" by asking the rank and file of the Navy to accept with patience, that it would take some time for the CoS bestowed 'largesse' to be corrected. He asked them not to pay heed to speculations and rumours. Was such a pre-emptive action (to prevent a 1998 like situation) disobedience?
Now the IAS and the Armed Forces are firing salvos at each other. Leaks to the TV, of a vituperative note traveling the corridors of the Armed Forces HQ, were aired. The person who leaked that forgot something called "Minor Staff Duties" which makes it mandatory that Armed Forces write their notes in a certain manner.
Flawed logic followed. 
 Some courageously anonymous 'Civilian Officer' wrote on another blog that because a person enters the IAS cadre at a later age (say 24 years) and having 11 years of service must be equated with an Armed Forces person who enters the Service at 20 years of age and has 15 years service because both are now 35 years of age is laughable if not downright foolish. He forgot that IAS officers become Secretaries at age of 54, whereas Colonels retire at 54 years of age.
The 'courageous' author further argued that candidates for IAS have graduated, have degrees in engineering and medicine and therefore should get seniority invite a riposte – why did they waste the opportunity to serve humanity in remote villages building water harvesting ponds or treating the rural folk? Because, to face the truth, an engineer or a doctor is at the mercy of a bureaucrat in any guise, with the IAS at the top of that heap. So why not have the cake and eat it too?
So where does all this take us? Perhaps it is not too late for the Group/Committee of Ministers to consider the anomalies with an open mind. Have the courage to tell the Armed Forces they are right and punish the CoS or tell the Armed Forces they are wrong and why and punish the Chiefs.
The need today is for the Govt to answer a few fundamental questions –
Will it let the 6th CPC that it appointed be superseded by the CoS, and thereby hold the 6th CPC to ridicule? Why does the Finance Ministry say that it cannot give 450 crores for the Armed Forces when it gave Rs 71,000 crores to (the banks and creditors of) farmers, Rs 450 crores to rescue the UCO Bank, Rs 30,000 crores to rescue Mutual Funds? Now the King of Good Times and Jet Airways want 47,000 crores of the tax payers money to bail them out of their self-created mess. 
Can the Govt provide as much confidence to soldiers, sailors and airmen that they are shedding blood, sweat and tears by not letting them be ridiculed by a bureaucracy that has usurped the powers that the Govt should and must exercise?
That the Govt has as much if not more confidence in the Armed Forces as the Armed Forces have in the Govt when they carry out orders that should have been carried out by the bureaucracy (providing succour in natural calamities), the police (restoring law and order) and the CPMF (attempting to quell insurgencies and terrorism)?
It is not a matter of status or monetary benefits. It is a matter of whether the Govt has confidence in the Armed Forces or whether the Govt has lost confidence in the Armed Forces and therefore agreed with the CoS to lower the status of the Armed Forces and consequently their rightful status and monetary benefits.

                                                           *           *             *              *

Update - OROP

Corridors gossip - no authentication possible

RM took a meeting on 23 Apr 14, attended by the three Chiefs, Def Secy, FADS, CGDA et al.

RM is believd to have directed the CGDA to graciously put up the orders for implementation of OROP within 3 weeks.

Now, if one believes in later day miracles, RM issuing directives that are complied with is one. It may be the sunset on this Dr Manmohan Singh led Govt might create this miracle since 3 weeks near that 16 May 14 date of announcement of poll results.

Another miracle if the outgoing FM returns from Sivaganga to place his seal of approval, after Shri Amar Nath Singh, DS in Dept of Expenditure (famously of that "since Rank Pay litigants are from Army why not restrict payment to Army's similarly situated officers" or words to that effect!) has put the DGL of CGDA through a million micron filter!

Like I wrote - may be the days of miracles have not ended!  


Wednesday, 23 April 2014

If MoD/DESW takes Rs 20 additional amount and cannot provide information, then why UoI will file Curative Petition

Till the time of writing this post (1226 hrs on 24 Apr 14), no information has been received though I paid Rs 20 extra demanded by MoD 

Online RTI Request Form Details
Public Authority Details :-
·       Public Authority Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare

Personal Details of RTI Applicant:-
* Name S Y SAVUR
Gender Male

Pincode 560038
Country India
State Karnataka
Status Details not provided
Educational Status Details not provided
Phone Number Details not provided
Mobile Number +91-9688782227
Email-ID sysavur[at]gmail[dot]com

Request Details :-

Citizenship Indian

* Is the Requester Below Poverty Line ? No
(Description of Information sought (upto 500 characters)

* Description of Information Sought
Please provide me information as per Section 2 (f) of the RTI Act 2005 pertaining to the decision of the DESW to convey the MoD ID dated 02.01.2014
decision for filing appeals in all cases pertaining to Ex-Servicemen against judgments/orders not in favour of MoD and the subsequent decision of the
Raksha Mantri conveying withdrawal of the ibid ID.

Please ensure that I am provided with complete information including notings on file(s), minutes of discussions and/or deliberations, statistics of court cases, memos, emails, advices, opinions, circulars, orders, reports, papers, data material held in any electronic form.

* Concerned CPIO Nodal Officer
Supporting document (only pdf upto 1 MB)

Final Status of   DEXSW/R/2014/60027

Top of Form
Applicant Name
Date of receipt
Request Filed With
Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare
Text of Application
Please provide me information as per Section 2 (f) of the RTI Act 2005 pertaining to the decision of the DESW to convey the MoD ID dated 02.01.2014 decision for filing appeals in all cases pertaining to Ex-Servicemen against judgments/orders not in favour of MoD and the subsequent decision of the Raksha Mantri conveying withdrawal of the ibid ID.

Please ensure that I am provided with complete information including notings on file(s), minutes of discussions and/or deliberations, statistics of court cases, memos, emails, advices, opinions, circulars, orders, reports, papers, data material held in any electronic form.
Request document (if any)

Date of Action

CDM Seminar: Questions and Answers


From the seminar held at CDM on 5 Mar 14

Words in parenthesis ( ) are inserted by Aerial View to make for easier reading.

Certain parts, such as salutations have been edited out but the gist has been re-typed intact.

Names of Querists have been omitted.

Session I

Question 1: Was the implementation of Supreme Court judgment in the Rank Pay factored into your study, for instance pre-6th CPC, Lt Col was getting Rs 13500. Whether cumulative effect of previous pay commission was taken into account while undertaking this study?

Answer by Panel: Yes, this was considered by the team in entirety, right from Third Pay Commission. Inputs from pay cells of all three Services were taken as to how NFU would be implemented and the methodology of implementation before working out the four options and recommending the most preferred option.

Additional comment by Member, AFPIC, Air HQ (VB):      There was a meeting with Hon’ble RM on OROP last week. This was due to the doubts raised by many on the scope of OROP as outlines by Mr Chidambaram in his budget speech. They asked the definition of OROP from Service HQ which was provided as “OROP would mean same pension to two personnel who retired with the same rank and same length of service irrespective of date of retirement. Any future enhancement of pension would be passed on to past pensioners also.” This was officially agreed in the meeting. RM also agreed to extend this concept to family pension. Services HQ requested to include disability pension and war injury pension also in this concept which was also agreed to. RM also reiterated that (Rs) 500 crore is the nominal amount and finance is not the constraint and this will be implemented whatever be the amount. Payments would be effected from 01 Apr 14 and Service HQ, CGDA and MoD should work together to give the best package.

Additional comment by Lt Gen (retd) K R Rao:          Let us not go by what the defence Minister has said. We have to get that very clearly from the Finance Minister. Many a times we have got promises from the Defence Minister but it does not find its way (through the Finance Ministry). This has been the experience with previous and present Finance Ministers. He suggested to the Pay Cell members that they should not get complacent by the promise of the Defence Minister.

Question 2: So far a few issues and suggestions have been brought out. First was with respect to de-linking of pay scale (from rank) which Gp Capt Bhaskaran brought out. When the post of 2nd Lt was done away with in 5th CPC, unfortunately the Captain’s post did not climb up but was brought down to the post of 2nd Lt. Our pay scale should have started much higher like Rs 8250. So there is a danger in doing away with Lt Col and Brigadier. That is when Lt Col rank is vacated, it is occupied by Colonel. Same would be the case with Brigadier rank (and Maj Gen). Suppose we pitch for increase in grade pay of all officers from Rs 8900 to Rs 10000 then we can be rest assured that this will be done for all Gp ‘A’ officers who are drawing grade pay of Rs 8900. So situation will not change; it will just climb to higher level of Rs 10000.

          JAG are those officers of Gp ‘A’ who are drawing grade pay of Rs 7600.This we are attaining after 9 to 12 years of service instead of 16 to 19 years of service.           
          As part of Option IV, in the list of advantages it was mentioned that status parity will be achieved but financial parity will not be achieved. However, the opposite is correct. This is because in financial parity a Col (TS) when compared to a IAS officer rises upto the rank of Secretary till 54 years of age, when he retires and is drawing higher emoluments. What he is suffering from is status. This aspect needs to be kept in mind. This can be calculated and found that at 54 years the Col gets the same emoluments as (an) IAS officer who has now become Addl Secy.

          In 2013, the pension drawn is actually greater than what was shown. Actually Rs 5858 is the pension of Sepoy at 19 years of service retiring on 31 Dec 05 or earlier. So at 2013, pension of the Sepoy retiring after 19 years of service will be much higher. In UK, there is a strong move to get the Services under the new pension code i.e. the contributory pension scheme.

A word about representative pension existing between post-war pay committee and the 3rd pay commission. The Chief’s pension was Rs 1000 in those days and all other pensions were drawn with reference to (the) Chief’s pension. However, between the first and third pay commissions there was no rise in the pay of the Chief as a result his pension remained constant. So the major who was drawing pension of 70% in the post war committee in 1946 descended to 36% in the third pay commission. So the model representative pension may not serve our purpose. What are the comments of the panel on this? 

Answer by the Panel:    The team did deliberate on the Option IV wherein it was brought out to do away with Lt Col and Brig rank(s). There would be Command and Control issues but as in the Navy, where the Commodore and the Captain (ranks) are interchangeable, a similar thing can be implemented in other services between Lt Col and Col and Brig and Maj Gen. A detailed study needs to be carried out on this issue and also comparative study with respect to other Armed Forces of the world has to be carried out.  
Question 3: Was there a study on pay disparity between Govt and non-Govt employees?

Answer by the Panel:    This was not done as parameters are different and it is not right to compare Armed Forces with the corporate world.

Question 4: This is with respect to the emoluments drawn by Col (TS) and IAS officer at 24 years of service. The MSP is a special pay given to the Armed Forces personnel for the circumstances in which the Armed Forces personnel work and it should not be included in the emoluments when calculating parity. An IAS officer joining at the age of 26 years would be in the appointment of Addl Secy after 28 years but he would be in the pay band of Rs 67000 and not Rs 37400. So he would definitely draw more pay than Col (TS).  

          Before the 5th CPC, the pay scale of Lt Col was Rs 13500 and Rank Pay was Rs 1600. Total pay would have been Rs 15100. This would have placed his as equivalent to Director. Director was at Rs 14300 but was put in the pay band of Rs 37400 and grade pay in the 6th CPC of Rs 8700 whereas Lt Col who was actually drawing Rs 15100 was put in grade pay of Rs 8000. Will this be taken into consideration when we present our case in the 7th CPC?     

Additional Comment by a Panelist:          In OROP, while calculating and making the base for OROP, even if we compare after 01 Jan 06, a Lt Col retiring with 30 years of service will get a tentative (pension of) of Rs 30000 and a Lt Col with similar service retiring in 2015 will get Rs 38000*. A difference of Rs 8000 will exist. Hence, there is a requirement to dynamically change the OROP every year so that the entire benefit would be given to an officer retiring earlier. A Jawan retired in 1967 or 1973 as a Sepoy. Today a Jawan is retiring as a Havildar because of ACP. So, when we implement OROP, then the Jawan who retired earlier should be given pension of Havildar. The DGL should go in that matter.   

(* Aerial View – How? Since both Lt Cols will start at the same amount of the pay band (Rs 37400 + GP Rs 8000 + MSP 6000), there appears to be some error in this calculation as the Lt Cols starting at the figure on the pay band will get 3% increment till they reach 30 years of service, whether in 2014 or 2015! Please see another post on this blog for estimated figures.)   

Answer by the Panel:    The study team had specified the multiplication factor as X% rather than laying out the quantum of X. DA would be added to this X. This X will vary and it will not remain the same once decided and will not be addressed by subsequent pay commissions.

Additional Comment by a Participant:     On 31 Jul 14, there will be 14 Brig who will be retiring with a pay of Rs 81900# i.e. Rs 1900 more than an Army Cdr and they will get a pension of Rs 950 more than the Army Cdr. Similarly, the Col (TS) would be getting a pension of Rs 81700 but 7th CPC could change that datum. I fully agree that because of the running pay band and MSP should not be considered while calculating emoluments, but the civilians consider MSP also as part of emoluments, whether we like it or not. We have to find ways to counter this. 

(# Aerial View – if a Brig (starting at Rs 43390 + 8900 + 6000) is promoted to that rank at the age of 48 he will reach Rs 82850 in the 14th year of his service as Brig! But even the COAS retires at 62 years of age. Unless the Querist has included DA, which anyway is not reckonable for calculating pension!! )
Additional comment by Member, AFPIC:                   As brought out by Lt Gen (retd) Rao and Brig Rao, the pay cell is actively monitoring the OROP implementation as told by the Defence Minister. The pay cell is also working on certain models and would definitely take the views of CDM before finalising it.

Question 5:          Right till 3rd Pay Commission, the Armed Forces had an edge over civilian pay scale. This has to be kept in mind in the 7th Pay Commission. Maj Gen and above lost out on the advantage of rank pay and MSP when pay fixation happened. Their pay got stagnated. That resulted in a case like a junior getting more pay and pension. Army Cdrs get the pay of Secretaries and Chiefs get the pay of Cab Secy. But no MSP is given, hence they lose out on the edge over civilians. These factors need to be considered for the 7th CPC. Another point in OROP is that the definition has to be interpreted correctly. A person having the same rank having one year service and another with 10 years service will get different pensions. As per present definition both should get the same pension since both are holding the same rank. This is a challenge while implementing OROP. What are the views of the Panel on this?     

Answer by the Panel:    The length of service has to be taken into consideration while deciding pension. Otherwise there will be no motivation for Armed Forces personnel to work beyond the first day of picking up his rank. There will be problem for retention in service.

          The point is valid because the Supreme Court in 1997 was also in a dilemma on the definition of OROP. The definition has a hidden parity and point is taken. Since this is questioned by the law itself, the definition should be all encompassing. This definition was agreed to in consultation with Army HQ and Air HQ but the first para needs to be re-visited.  

          The point is, whatever we may wish, the MoD has to be taken on board as in the case of Maj Dhanapalan’s rank pay issue. In spite of the Supreme Court giving the order, it has been twisted and amended the way they want to. The pay cell should throw some light on this issue. 

Additional Comment by Lt Gen (retd) Rao:      Supreme Court had given clear cut order in Major Dhanapalan’s case** and all three Service HQ had unanimously agreed to implement it. However, MoD (Fin) had put some objections and approached Supreme Court again. This case has been partially won and the rest also will be resolved. This case should not be linked to 7th Pay Commission. 

(** - Aerial View – UoI’s SLP in Maj Dhanapalan’s case was dismissed by the Supreme Court on 12 Jul 2005. It was in the TP (C) No. 56 of 2007 in UoI Vs Lt Col N K Nair & others that the Supreme Court gave the orders on 08 Mar 2010 which was challenged by UoI in IA No. 9 of 2010 followed by orders against UoI on 04 Sep 12. It is CGDA’s case supported by MoF/DoE that its interpretation of limiting the payment of arrears to 4th CPC that has been challenged by Lt Col N K Nair & Another in Contempt Petition (C) No. 328 of 2013.  

Session II

Question 1: R/Adm (retd) Alan O’Leary, a participant addressed the question to the two (retired) IDAS officers in the panel. He said that both IDAS (retd) officers had been associated with the Armed Forces for a number of years and that there were no problems in functioning with them. However, he said that post the 6th Pay Commission, when the Armed Forces were fighting their cases in the MoD, the two lady FADS that he had the opportunity to interact with were ignorant of the cases of the Armed Forces and that they were also against the Armed Forces. He thereafter asked the two retired IDAS officer why such wrong doing against the Armed Forces has to be defended.   

Answer by the Panel:    Mr Cowshish answered that he could not comment on the actions of the FADS’ and neither on pay matters as he had never handled pay and allowances issues. He however said that the ignorance of the FADS’ can be conceded because for example a person who has spent 30 years in artillery would definitely have 100% more knowledge than someone who has just come to the Ministry with almost no background on matters military. He emphasised that in such situations what is required is dialogue and more often than not, post the dialogue, the ignorant and uncaring civilian understands the point. He further said that no system is perfect and neither is every individual the same and the merit in each case comes out post discussions. Certain persons behaving in a particular manner is more of an individual mind-set than a class mind-set.     

Question No.2:    The question was addressed to Dr Mishra. It was brought out that, in the experience of the Querist, the MoD took very long in resolving issues and for this he illustrated with an example from the 5th Pay Commission. He said that the Major’s scale in the 5th CPC was fixed at Rs 11600-11925 0n 29 Feb 2000. However, only officers promoted to rank of Major post this date, were given the new pay scale. The seniors were not. This led to a situation wherein seniors were getting less pay than their juniors. The matter was taken up with Finance which took the matter up with Mod in 2000. The issue was finally resolved I 2008 only an necessary orders were issued. The Querist wanted to know that when everybody was aware of the correct thing to be done, why the MoD took so long in deciding the issue. The Querist’s feeling were repeated by a number of others who quoted a number of minor pay and allowances related cases of the Armed Forces which had been resolved by MoD post delays ranging from one year upwards.

Answer by the Panel:    Dr Mishra replied that he was of the strongest opinion that the Armed Forces should have a separate pay commission, much in the manner of the education sector which had opted for their own pay commission last time around and had emerged very well satisfied with the deal that they had got from the government. Regarding the question about the delays, he said that he was surprised that the issue took eight years to resolve because when he was PCDA in Mumbai there were 112 such cases pending for six years and he had resolved them in six days. All it took was getting the right information from the Service HQ. Mr Cowshish further added that he had alluded in his speech that delays are a reflection of the inefficiency in decision making and that he agreed that nothing could remain pending for years together. The problem in his view that people in MoD do not know how to say ‘No’ and hence they sit on issues hoping that the problem would go away which was again an indicator of inefficient decision making processes.

Question No. 3:   The Querist said that he had worked in the BRO and MES and he was of the opinion that all was not well in both the organisations due to anomalies and the down-gradation of Service officers that had happened in both organisations over the years. For example, as per the Warrant of Precedence, Colonel and Chief Engineer were at the same level in these organisations. However, today a CE is drawing a Grade Pay of Rs 10000 while a Colonel is at Grade Pay of Rs 8700. Secondly, a re-designation of civilian officers in these organisations was carried out by MoD in 2003 because they were cadre controlling authority. As per the re-designation, a post tenanted by a Superintendent Engineer/Lt Col equivalent was re-designated as Director. Now, since a Director post is tenanted by a Colonel in Service HQ, the erstwhile SE started equating himself to a Colonel and expected the Lt Col to serve under him. These issues, he said. Lead to Command and Control problems in these organisations on a day to day basis. He further continued by saying that his second point was addressed to Dr Mishra and Mr Cowshish as to why there was no clarity on certain issues namely Rank Pay not being counted towards determining status when it was used to determine all other allowances and the like. He further stated that the 6th CPC had added another controversy of the grade pay and while there was a notification which states  that grade pay is to be used to determine seniority within a particular cadre, the MoD was using it to equate between civilians and Service officers. He wanted to know from the two retired civilian officers as to why civilians always got the benefit of doubt from the MoD.       

Answer by the Panel:    Mr Cowshish replied that he felt that there was some typecasting and that he did not know why he should be replying this question but he was of the opinion that if there were anomalies then they needed to be removed in a time bound manner. He continued by saying that he did not hold a brief for any system which discriminated against either civilians or Armed Forces personnel. So, if an Addl DG on the Border Roads felt aggrieved about serving under a service appointed DG with a lower grade pay then similarly Service officers in the quoted example in the question has an equal right to feel aggrieved. He further said that it was incorrect to always start with the assumption that I am a Service officer and all that I say is right while everybody else is wrong.   

Quoting the example of the Colonel and the Chief Engineer equivalence he said that as per BRO regulations the status of the Chief Engineer is the same irrespective of him being a GREF officer or a Service officer. It is hence better not to make an issue out of something which is just a local skirmish because if you do so it will only result in self-righteous indignation.

Additional Comments by the Panel:                   At this point a number of officers interjected and Lt Gen (retd) Rao brought out that the examples quoted above were real problems and that they could not be brushed off as local skirmishes. R/Adm (retd) O’Leary said that when it came to the pay and allowances of Armed Forces personnel, civilians kind of banded together and made it into a us vs. them issue.

At this Mr Cowshish again took up the mike and said that in his opinion such problems, wherever they exist either on the civilian or army side, needed to be resolved impartially but to carry out a demonization of civilian officers and that civilians do things deliberately would be wrong.

Maj Gen (retd) Satbir Singh joined the discussion here and said that committees set up to look into such issues of anomalies and status parity should do their job completely and not add to more problems. He quoted the example of NFU, which has been given to all civilian officers in the BRO and MES but not to Service officers. This, according to him, has led to further issues among the personnel of these organisations.

Mr Cowshish again interjected and said that while he and his fellow Defence Accounts cadre personnel had no role to play in the pay commission, he was aware that in today’s setting he was personifying the evil civilian and that he had only one point to make finally and that was that there was a tremendous amount of self-righteousness about every point made and that this was queering the pitch and made individuals lose sight of logic, thus preventing the problems from being resolved. Problems, wherever they existed, need to be resolved on both sides, whether civilian or military.           

Session III

Question 1:          I have a point regarding bench marking the uniformity of two areas, one is the entry point and the other is the retirement age. So to give you an example, I am a select Gp Capt in the Air Forec. My age of superannuation is 54 years. Why it is 54 years is because I am from the Flying branch. If I had been a time scale Gp Capt with 26 years of service, then I would have to superannuate, being in the Flying branch, at the age of 52 years. Now I am in a tri-Service establishment, where the Army figures are different. In Army, whether Select or Time Scale Colonel, the superannuation age is 54 years. I also would like to take this opportunity to point out another similar anomaly within the Air Force in the Flying branch and the Ground Duties branch, where once again the superannuation ages for the same rank are different. My suggestion is that since pay and pension is a Services matter, there should be a commonality.          

Answer by the Panel:    Lt Gen (retd) Rao said, “Yes, this point was discussed in the previous pay commission, therefore I request member of AFPIC, Air HQ (VB) to reply to this point.”

Additional Comments by Member, AFPIC:       Sir, the point is valid, but the difference is not between Flying and Ground Duty branches, it is also between various Ground Duty branches like Medical, Met etc. It is more related to when you come into service, age and qualification. For example, the age of superannuation of Edn branch for both time scale and select Gp Capt is 57 years. However, the point raised is to be considered that there should be rationalisation of age of retirement and why bring it to 57 years for officers and not 60 years for all. It shall be dealt with in due course and shall be considered. 

Question No. 2:   I have one suggestion to make. I don’t know whether it is there or not, the question of having a separate Pay Commission or representation in the 7th CPC. I have one suggestion, why don’t we ask for pro-rata representation in the cell, for example the railways comprise the maximum, say 15% of Central Govt employees, the CPC should have 15% representation by Railways, so similar thing we can bank on, thereby the number of Service personnel in the Pay Commission Cell can go up. 

Answer by the Panel:

Lt Gen (retd) Rao:        A quick response, for the sixth pay commission, we represented in the same fashion. We have no objection in the service like railways have 22 lakh employees and we have 14 lakhs, if I remember the figures correctly. We have no problem in having more members from the railways but we want our member in the pay commission cell. On second thoughts, let me assure you that if at all there is a single member from the Services, he shall be outwitted and they will say your point was not through but your member was there. So I do not think that a member is going to bring any change. That is my experience of the sixth pay commission. We will have to fight, we have to fight at COSC, we have to fight as tri-services a fight as serving and retired personnel. My personal opinion is that (having) a member shall not make any major difference.   

Additional comment by R/Adm (retd) O’Leary:         I fully agree that the methodology has to change, the Chiefs of the Army, Navy and Air Force have to butt in. 

Additional comment by Lt Gen (retd) Rao:       Lots of things happen on the personal front at the level of the Chiefs. For example, the introduction of three categories of high altitude allowance. This could happen because then COAS was flying over this region along with Defence Minister and he took this opportunity to explain the issue. So lots of things move on personal equations of the Chiefs level, but coming back to the point, (a) member in the pay commission will not have desired results. Another point I have to make is that a number of allowances had been projected and they were rejected. But the same needs to be projected again. It is nice to see the old-timers (of AFPIC) and they are aware as to why the points were rejected. Accordingly, this time the pay commission cell would be mature in giving suitable replies.   

Question No. 3:   It is not a question but a suggestion as per Central Govt rules, we are supposed to be given two years child care leave, which is being implemented for Central Govt employees, but not for us. So, in case it is being implemented it is fine, if not then we can ask for child care allowance, especially for a couple, both serving in difficult areas.  

Answer by the Panel:    Absolutely valid point; Hope the pay commission panel will look into it.
Question No. 4:   Another point; we are getting education allowance for children which is around, I think, Rs 12000 per year. It is too meagre for children education to put them in good schools and besides that we claim the allowance and most of the time they ask for the bills and it is difficult to keep the bills. I think there should be a god fixed amount for education allowance so that our children can be taught in good schools.

Answer by the Panel:    Point well taken; the next time the projection should be pitched very high and regarding documentation, when we talked about LTC, we asked why do you want to submit claims, let the amount be automatically deposited in the officer’s account. In this regard they said, forget it, if some one is not claiming, I am saving money (for) the Govt. 

Question No. 4:   A third point is about transport allowance, which is different for different (categories) of cities where we get different transport allowance. But the rate of petrol and diesel are almost the same. How do we cater for class B and C cities?  

Answer by the Panel:    Firstly, the classification of cities is done at Central Govt level; secondly, we recommended that all allowances to be linked to (rate of) inflation, but it has not seen the light of day.  
Additional comment:    As for tpt allowance is concerned, firstly, the cost of petrol is neutralised by the rise of DA; secondly, tpt allowance was increased by 25% when the DA crossed 50%, so in a way the higher price of petrol has been compensated for, so it may be looked in a different manner.

Additional comment bt Member, AFPIC:          Regarding the children education allowance, it was brought up from Rs 40 per month to Rs 1200 per month. We shall tray to place a case for a better amount. Regarding the child care leave, it is reverse gender discrimination. A (recently bereaved) widower shall not get child care leave whereas a lady will get it. We shall try to get this anomaly corrected. 

Additional comment by R/Adm (retd) O’Leary:         On this education allowance, I request Member AFPIC to consider the case of Army Sepoys who retire early. Their children stop schooling, which is an issue related to the pension and one other thing. I would like to mention in the last pay commission there was a representation by Strategic Forces that they wanted 50% more basic pay and double their allowances since they are strategic forces, for which we had not agreed. However they have got field unit allowance, which they get even when they are serving in Delhi.     

Question No.5:    It indeed gives us a short lived & high feeling when we discuss all these proposals which normally we put up as a ritual before every pay commission. I am not hopeful……I am not pessimistic that during this pay commission also we shall not be able to get fruitful results. I have a simple solution to all this, let us not send any representation to this pay commission or be part of the CPC. Divide our strategy into two parts – one part general and second part defence. We go ahead with all that is given to our civilian counterparts for officers and ORs and we concentrate on the military allowances.   

Answers by the Panel:

Lt Gen (retd) Rao: This was the strategy that I was talking about. I said let us get the pay as close as possible with civil counterparts and then let lus concentrate on our allowances that are specific to us.

R/Adm (retd) Alan O’Leary: But what the Govt does is that, they offset our allowances against pay, this is not what we asked for. The best case scenario shall be ‘no separate discussion’ on whatever is given to IAS/IPS/Gp ‘A’ services is acceptable to us and our allowances are a separate issue.

Brig JK Rao:        Sorry, I have a different view. Already there is a disparity in the allowances between Civil Govt ad Armed Forces serving in the same place. First, they should be made applicable to us; in addition to that the Military/Armed Forces allowances are separate. We should get this basic thing right.

Another participant:     But my point is that we should be at par with civil counterparts both in terms of pay and allowances. Subsequently, we should discuss military (related) allowances.

Lt Gen (retd) Rao: There are three types of allowances as I had talked about; allowances that are common with civilian employees, second are the risk related allowances and thirdly, allowances that are Service specific.  

Question No. 6:   Disability allowance and related issues – firstly there is a specific reason to (medically) board out an individual. I want to raise this issue in this forum because there is an example in Air Force, a little short of a year ago, there was a cadet who was seriously injured in a training establishment. As a special case, they got MoD’s approval and commissioned him in another branch six months later. So the point is, if it is pre-commission there may still be some sensitivity as to whether to board him out with whatever compensation or should we carry on with him till his retirement. But it happens in service and there is a precedent, why are we not as benevolent especially in view of the ruling which has come regarding disability. Rather than saying why don’t we give more allowances, why board him out?    

Lt Gen (retd) K R Rao: That is an in-service issue and is not concerned with pay commission.

Question No. 7:   It was said by most speakers that an Army jawan retires at 35 years of age and 17 years of service. My question to the house is, why is he retiring at 35 years and 45 years of age? Is he being shunted out or ACP is giving him a tenure of Havildar? Then he does not become a JCO but let him carry on till the age of superannuation and put the equivalence of pension at that point.

Lt Gen (retd) KR Rao:  There is as service limit which is laid out for various ranks, like a Havildar retires at 26 years of service, So let us assume that a person is recruited at 19 years of ager, by 45 years of age he goes out. But the interesting part of the 6th CPC was that all Armed Forces can be seconded to the police forces. But it was not agreed to by the Home ministry. 

*        *        *        *        *        *

E & O E

Monday, 21 April 2014

CDM Seminar: Enhancement of Pension: Compensating for Truncated Career


From the seminar held at CDM on 5 Mar 14

Words in parenthesis ( ) are inserted by Aerial View to make for easier reading.

Certain parts, such as salutations have been edited out (indicated by missing paragraphs) but the gist has been re-typed intact.

Enhancement of Pension: Compensating for Truncated career

Col Ganesan Muthu Kumar SM

*        *        *        *        *


6.       Let us see the definition of Pension. What was it? Was it really a bounty? No. The Hon’ble Supreme Court has made it amply clear that that it is the justified, rightful remuneration for the greatest duty performed in the service of the Nation………

7.       Let us look at what other countries are doing. It is not a question of developing versus developed nations etc. If we consider only democratically run Governments where the Military does not call the shots, even then we can see the world over nations going miles to make the lives of Veterans better. In the USA, the pension can reach up to 100% of the basic pay for those who have served 40 years and the pension or compensation depends on Consumer Price Index, which means the pension depends on the cost of living of the day!

8.       In the UK, one of the best pension schemes which is dependent on the last salary drawn and the terms of Service. The Veterans also get a lump sum after 18 years. Even with very less service, one can expect a pension till the age of 65 years. There are many countries that offer severance pay or some form of the Golden hand-shake…. 

9.       The scope of the study group was, therefore very clear. The approach was deliberate. A wide cross-section of people was contacted. Huge number of responses was received amounting to more than 7500 of which Army, Navy and Air Force were represented by 75, 4 and 21 percent respectively.   

11.     If we see the Armed Forces pay and pension milestones, the first CPC was sympathetic to the Veterans, and so were the Post-War Committee for Defence Personnel as also the Armed Forces Pension Review Committee. The Second CPC was also indulgent towards military personnel. Raghuramaiah Committee had also given some good recommendations and had equated military officers with those of the IPS. The huge decline as seen today started after the 4th CPC right till 6th CPC.    

12.     The higher edge that soldiers had over their civilian counterparts till the 3rd CPC has now been lost and reverse progression have truly reached a state of concern. If we compare present and past pensions, the following is evident: -

Comparison of Pension: 1935-53

Armed Forces Personnel    : 50-100%
(2nd Lt to Maj Gen)

Civilian Govt employee:        37-50%  
Armed Forces eligible for pension after 15 years service

Civilian counterpart eligible for pension after 25 years service
COAS at Rs 1000 compared to Rs 416/- for top civil servant
As on date pension increase 45 times for COAS  and 108 times for top civil servant
Pension of Armed Forces higher than civilian till 3rd CPC

13.     The general pension as such today is what you are already aware of which amounts to only 50% of the last drawn pay with a gratuity ceiling of Rs 10 lakh and the commutation pegged at 50% for a time frame of 15 years. It is topped with a leave encashment of only 300 days, immaterial of the actual number of days one could not avail his leave due to exigencies of service.  

14.     It is seen that the military man enters service early and also exits also quite early. His civilian counterpart may enter service a few years later but continues to serve till such time he retires, generally at 60 years of age of the maximum retirement age thereby demitting office with a higher pay and going home, consequently, with a higher pension. All this results in a huge difference with the military person losing about 16 years of service.

15.     Hence the disadvantages faced by the military men are many. Incomplete family responsibilities are frightening. Not every individual picks up a job. Lateral absorption assured by the Govt in 6 CPC has not really been fulfilled, with inter and intra Ministries not helping the young Veteran.  

16.     The Home Ministry has not paid much heed to the Kargil review Committee or other respected voices for lateral absorption and saving on training and recruitment costs resulting in wastage of skilled manpower. Then, when the military man reaches senior ages, the reduced medical fitness, mostly aggravated by life conditions and stresses of a typical service life, loses out even more.   

17.     Hence the study group arrived at a point that there is need to enhance the pension by X factor. This X factor had to be calculated scientifically and realistically. Instead of the 50% that we get today, it needs to be enhanced to 50% + X factor with DA on the whole sum. There were three models that were considered.

Model I

18.     Since the maximum personnel in PBOR retire at the ranks of Havildar and Subedar and maximum number of officers retired in the ranks of Colonels and Brigadiers, these four career paths were chosen to flow with that of their equivalent civilian counterparts. A few logical assumptions were made such as incorporating their respective ACP (Assured Career Progression), the Pay Commissions, increments etc. Common benefits like travel and medical allowances/entitlements were left out. Benefits unique to the Armed Forces like entitle rations and CSD were factored in. Pay commission rises, increments were also factored in. Hence the lifetime emoluments were calculated as judiciously and as accurately as possible. Thus the lifetime disparities between the two classes were calculated. In the case of Havildars it was seen that an approximate amount of Rs One crore and nine lakhs was the net lifetime disparity and can be seen from the table below. In their case an X factor or necessary hike in pension works out to be 24.7% 

Life time Emoluments
Retd as Havildar
Civilian equivalent
1991: Joins at age 19
1997: Joins at age 25
2016: retires at age 44
2032: retires at age 60
Gen pension till 66
Gen pension till 66
Family pension for 7 years
Family pension for 7 years
Life expectancy Male (2011 est) – 66.08 years
Life expectancy Female (2011 est) – 68.33 years
Wife’s assumed age 5 years less than husband

Civilian equivalent
Net pay
Rs 46, 84, 436
2, 14, 36, 927
Net pension
1, 68, 71, 254
5, 69, 670

2,73, 72, 398
3, 83, 08, 181
Net disadvantage to Havildar
1, 09, 35, 785
Disparity as percentage of net pension
X factor (= 49.4 / 2)
Retiree Groups
Disparity (%)
Weighted mean
Havildar (and below)
24.7 x 0.72 + 19.6 x 0.28 = 23.3%
Subedar (and above)
Colonel (and below)
16.65 x 0.90 + 10.3 x 0.10 = 16%
Brigadier (and above)
X Factor = 22.6%

19.     Hence, the lifetime emoluments and disparities were calculated for all four career paths and finally a weighted mean was arrived at to derive the X factor, which worked out to be 22.6%. 

Model II

20.     Quantification using lifetime paths for both civilians and military counterparts was worked out. Last five years data was surveyed as to how many personnel retire in what ranks and accordingly average retirement age and average emoluments were worked out and compared. Male and female expectancies as on date were also factored in. Wife’s age as per common Indian customs was taken to be 5 years younger that the husband’s so as to work out the family pension. Details are given below:  


Air Force
Service-wise % of borne strength

% of total
% of total
% of total

Average of recruitment of JCO/OR



Retirement age of Sep/Eq in years

Retirement age of Naik/Eq in years

Retirement age of Hav/Eq in years

Retirement age of Nb Sub/Eq in years

Retirement age of Sub/Eq in years

Retirement of Sub Maj/Eq in years

Average age of retirement



Length of service of PBOR




Post retirement of JCO/OR vis-à-vis Civilian
Average Pension Drawn (PBOR)
Average Pay Drawn (Civilian) 46.37-60 years
Average Last Pay drawn (civilian)
Difference in carry home pay
15, 91, 546
29, 25, 173
7, 10, 199
7, 60, 592
28, 09, 863
42, 29, 939
Loss in carry home income to JCO/OR – Rs 14, 20, 076
Pension to compensate for loss – 75.27% of last pay drawn by JCO/OR


Post retirement of JCO/OR vis-à-vis Civilian
Average Pension Drawn (Officer)
Average Pay Drawn (Civilian) 54.3-60 years
Average Last Pay drawn (civilian)
Difference in carry home pay
24, 27, 942
48, 92, 198
24, 82, 441
26, 08, 440
17, 76, 089
18, 66, 236
65, 86, 472
93, 66, 874
Loss in carry home income to Officer – Rs 27, 80, 402
Pension to compensate for loss – 71.1% of last pay drawn by Officer

21.     Hence, comparison models for officers and PBOR were arrived at showing the respective losses in carry home pay and hence the X factor was worked out to be 25% at an average.  

Model III

22.     In some countries the Reference Pension model was used. It was also used in the UK. The Chief’s pension was pegged as the reference and the other rates were fixed at approximated percentages of the reference pension. In olden days, as discussed earlier, the Chief’s pension comparison would have had huge benefits and since military pension had considerable edge over civilian counterparts. However, in today’s scenario, though the Chief’s pay is pegged equal to their Cabinet Secretary, while working out it was seen that the pension calculated by a reference formula giving adequate weightage also to the number of years of service tenanted did come up with better prospective (QYS – qualifying years of service). The model is given below: 

Lt Gen
Lt Gen
Maj Gen
Lt Col
Sub Major
Nb Sub

Max Pension Post 2006
R% wrt Chief’s Pension
Pension at R%
Increase in pension
Sub Maj
Nb Sub

23.     After all models were worked out, along with inputs from the environment, discussion took place. Informed views were sought and after working out with sufficient inputs, and as an alternative option to the Govt, something like a Golden Handshake was looked at. Severance Pay or Overtime Pay Out places a lesser burden on the Govt by a formula of 25% of last pay drawn for the number of years of age subtracted from 60 was looked at. This was called the severance package formula. It was working out to be Rs 1800 crores for PBOR, Rs 130 crores for officers and Rs 3500 crores for all three services taking into account average number of retirees per year.

Disability Pension

24.     Some other aspects were also looked at. I would like to touch upon them in a macro fashion, although the study team did look into it very minutely. The first one is about disability pension. There is a section in the “Person With Disability Act 1995” Section 47 which states that a disabled person cannot be denied pension merely on the ground of disability and that he will continue to earn pay as well as pension like other regular counterparts. This section was modified to exempt the Armed Forces in a gazetted notification dated 13 Apr 02. Although the aim was noble as the Armed Forces personnel need to be active and medically fit, it affected natural justice as it led to huge inequality with respect to civilian counterparts who would invariably continue to serve till the age of 60 years or the retirement age, and this when the odds to get disabled are much more in the case of Armed Forces personnel due to conditions of service.  

25.     It was recommended that either by parallel absorption in other Central Govt posts or in some other manner that disabled Armed Forces personnel need to be cared for and supported in the same manner as the civilian employees without forcing them out of service with minimal benefits, (which are habitually challenged by DESW – Aerial View).

Broad banding of Pension

26.     The broad-banding or reading 1% to 49% as 50%, 50% to70% as 75% and 76% to 99% as 100% was applicable only to certain categories and not to all. Accordingly, it could be surmised that broad banding being a benevolent consideration being meted out to the disabled personnel can be actually (and) pragmatically extended to all since omitting certain categories arbitrarily is not justified. For example, those superannuating from service with disabilities as per current policies, will not be eligible for broad banding. It was accordingly recommended that such anomalies must be done away with. It was brought out that individuals going home with disability on superannuation also need to get the benefit of broad banding of disability pension.    

Constant Medical Attendant

27.     There are many Veterans who take to bed due to various illnesses and accidents and need to be cared for around the clock with human assistance. At present, the entitlement for a constant medical attendant subject to current provisions is not useful since their emoluments are restricted to Rs 3000. This is in huge contrast to even, what in minimal, stands for with sufficient calories in food, essential clothing, medical care for self etc. It is difficult for such attendants to survive today on Rs 3000.   

28.     Hence, it was recommended that such constant medical attendants would need to be paid (remuneration) equal to PB 1 with DA or at least the minimum wages prevailing in the Area or Sub-Area. In addition, it was recommended that two attendants be authorised for 24 x 7 care. 

Family Pension

29.     There are four types of Family pension. Ordinary family pension is paid to all widows in case of death in service and if neither aggravated nor attributable to service which amounts to 30% of last reckonable emoluments. Enhanced Ordinary Family Pension (EFP) is applicable when personnel die early and is 50% of last reckonable emoluments for 10 years if the personnel was serving at the time of death and 7 years if after retirement, as well as 60% of last reckonable emoluments if aggravated due to service, and 100% of last reckonable emoluments if death occurred in the face of enemy.     

30.     The fact that the family pension (being reduced to) 30% once the head of the family dies was causing untold hardships, as that point when the family needs maximum financial resources, the study team recommended that ordinary family pension should remain at 50%.

Increase general pension as per models
Sec 47 to be made applicable to Armed Forces
Disability whilst on leave to be made attributable to service
Applicability of broad banding to all categories of disability pension
Increase in constant attendant allowance
No change in family pension on the demise of pensioner


Pre-2006 pension as on 24.9.2012
Post 2006 Average Pension
Lt Col
Maj Gen
Lt Gen (HAG)
Lt Gen (HAG+)

Pension on 24.10.12
Post 2006 Avg Pension
No. of pre-2006 officers pensioners
Monthly Financial implication
Lt Col
12490 + Maj 1294
Maj Gen
Lt Gen (HAG)

Annual Financial implication: Rs 559 crores

P.S:  Rest of the text (8 paragraphs) on OROP has been omitted as the matter is under active consideration of MoD, Service HQ, CGDA and some ESM - Aerial View

*        *        *        *        *        *