Proposals with Regard to Military Service Pay – 7th CPC Report
Proposals with Regard to Military Service Pay : Military Service Pay (MSP) paid to defence forces personnel is based on the recommendations made by the VI CPC and constitutes a distinct aspect of the emolument structure of the defence forces personnel. Prior to the III CPC defence service officers were paid a ‘Special Disturbance Allowance’, which in the III CPC was merged into the pay scale thereby providing an ‘edge’ vis-à-vis their civilian counterparts. The recommendations of the IV and V CPCs brought in the Rank Pay for officers in the ranks from Captain to Brigadiers. The VI CPC recommended the MSP and it was granted, in addition to select rank of officers, to all Lieutenants, JCOs/ORs and Military Nursing Service Officers (except Major Generals).
The Services, while presenting their case for Military Service Pay, have drawn attention to its historical basis viz., the special conditions of military life (as compared to normal civilian employment) which include disadvantages such as the liability to danger, being subject to higher levels of discipline, separation from home and family, turbulence and the shorter span of employment. In justifying their demands for MSP the Services have pointed to the intensity of commitments of the Defence Services in combating proxy war, operations along the Line of Control, disaster relief, aid to civil authorities, protection of our assets in the high seas, security of our air space, United Nations (UN) obligations and out of area contingencies.
To make their case for Military Service Pay the Services have also referred to (a) nature of the job- job security; career prospects; degree of autonomy; restriction of fundamental justifys; training; adventure and travel (b) after effects of the job- threat to life; hours of work; leave; separation from home and family; turbulence; effect of continuous exposure to hazardous situations; isolation and deprivation and (c) social aspects of the job- individual
justifys; stress at work; support to personnel and families.
The Defence Services have made the following demands:
i. MSP be granted to all officers and all JCOs/OR of the Defence Services at graded rates.
ii. MSP granted must be distinguished from the ‘edge in starting pay’.
iii. MSP be considered for annual increments and
iv. MSP for MNS officers be granted at 70 percent of the rate proposed for equivalent rank of Defence Service Officers.
Analysis and Recommendations : As regards some of the circumstances listed by the Services to advance their case such as restriction of fundamental justifys, separation from home and family; turbulence; effect of continuous exposure to hazardous situations; isolation and deprivation, threat to life; hours of work; leave, individual justifys; stress at work; support to personnel and families, career prospects; degree of autonomy do affect defence service personnel in varying degrees but are by no means unique only to them. Many of the circumstances listed could, in varying degrees,
be applicable to personnel in Central Armed Police Forces as also in certain circumstances to civil posts. Further risk and hardship, as brought out by the Services, are being compensated by way of specific Risk and Hardship Allowances.
The Commission has however, taking note of the unique aspects of their role, taken a conscious decision that that Military Service Pay will be admissible to the Defence forces personnel only. In Chapter 6.1 the rationale for payment of MSP to the defence forces personnel has been enunciated.
The recommendations of the Commission regarding the rate of MSP as applicable to the Service officers, MNS officers and JCOs/ORs has been detailed in Chapter 5.2. The revised rates per month being recommended by the Commission are ₹15,500 for officers, ₹10,800 for Military Nursing Service Officers, ₹5,200 for JCOs/ORs and ₹3,600 for Non Combatant (Enrolled) in the Air Force. The recommendations of the Commission with reference to other demands relating to MSP are discussed in the succeeding paragraphs.
This Commission has received several requests from various entities, notably the CAPFs, for grant of a pay akin to the MSP. The Commission has taken note of these demands as also the contention of the Services. The very fact that various segments of government employees continue to raise this demand suggests that there is need to examine, re-assess and spell out conclusively what exactly the Military Service Pay seeks to compensate.
The Commission, after careful consideration of the matter, notes that there are exclusive elements that distinguish the Defence forces personnel from all other government employees. The intangible aspects linked to the special conditions of service experienced by them set them apart from civilian employees. Defence forces personnel are expected to conduct full spectrum operations in operational environments which are characterised by extreme complexity and may include force projection outside India’s territorial boundaries. Defence forces personnel are trained for war like situations with highly sophisticated war machinery. They have to keep themselves posted in modern warfare. The military institutions are a key symbol of national pride. Further, the superannuation of defence personnel, particularly Other Ranks (ORs) at a younger age, is also a factor that has been considered. The Commission has therefore taken a conscious decision that the Military Service Pay, which is a compensation for the various aspects described above and for the edge historically enjoyed by the Defence Forces over the civilian scales, will be admissible to the Defence Forces personnel only.