The military leadership may have been falling in line with the Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar’s directions to further implement the recommendations of the Seventh Pay Commission.
In a statement, which was issued on Wednesday, Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha, speaking for the three military chiefs in his capacity as the Chairman, Chiefs of Staff Committee, said the Defence Minister “is seized of all the issues [about the pay commission] and has also assured to resolve them at the earliest. The Services are now satisfied with the response.”
The statement was followed by a meeting at South Block between Parrikar, ACM Raha and the Navy chief Admiral Sunil Lanba earlier on Wednesday. Sources have revealed that Parrikar assured the two that he will convey their grievances to some of the highest political levels.
Mahohar Parrikar, Defence Minister
With resentment that are brewing in the defense services over the recommendations, ACM Raha and Admiral Lanba had also met Parrikar on Monday, where the minister had urged them to undertake the recommendations, but after assuring them that the government would look into legitimate grievances.
The meeting was followed by the defence services’ decision last week to not implement the recommendations as four core issues that had not been resolved. The four include a common pay matrix for the defence personnel and also civilian employees; higher Military Service Pay for JCOs and for Major Generals and Lt Generals; a notional Non-Functional Upgrade, with December 31, 2015, as the base date and transiting to the Seventh Pay Commission; and restoration of the disability pension from a fixed rate to percentage basis.
They had been further flagged by the three military chiefs, in a letter to the Prime Minister in July, but the defence services have not yet received, military officials said.
However, the top Defence Ministry sources had reported that the government was unhappy with the defence services’ decision, as it has also set a wrong precedent for the civil-military relations in a democracy.
The defence forces had instead been hoping for the formation of a Group of Ministers (GoM) to look into their grievances with the seventh pay award.