New Delhi: The three Service chiefs will soon meet Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar to express the forces’ concerns over “shortcomings” in the recommendations of the 7th Pay Commission. The armed forces are of the view that if the Pay Commission is implemented in its present form, it will position them much below their civilian counterparts in terms of salaries, facilities and status.
One of the main grudges that the armed forces have is with regard to the risk-hardship matrix. The officers say that a soldier posted in Siachen Glacier, the highest battlefield in the world which poses great risk and hardship, will get an allowance of Rs 31,500 per month.
In contrast, a civilian bureaucrat from the All India Services draws 30 per cent of his salary as “hardship allowance” when posted anywhere outside the “comfort zone”. Under the new scale, a senior IAS official posted in a city in northeast India will draw much more as “hardship allowance” when compared to the Rs 31,500 per month that military officers posted in Siachen are to receive.
A total of 869 Indian soldiers have died in Siachen since 1984 due to various factors, including the hostile conditions there. Navy chief Admiral RK Dhowan was the first among the three service chiefs to officially comment on the Pay Commission report.
“Whatever we feel are the shortcomings are being taken up by the three services with the Ministry of Defence to see that whatever we feel is necessary for our men, our officers, our civilians, is made available to them,” Dhowan had said here on December 3.