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Govt rejects demand for higher military service pay for 1 lakh personnel; Army 'upset'

Govt rejects demand for higher military service pay for 1 lakh personnel; Army 'upset'

Army may request govt. for review

A long-term demand of the armed forces for enhancing the Military Service Pay (MSP) of Junior Commissioned Officers (JCO) has been rejected by the government, defence sources said on Tuesday.

The demand was for increasing the MSP from ₹5,200 to ₹10,000 a month, for which the financial obligation on the government would be ₹610 crore, another defence source said.

There are around 1.12 lakh JCOs and equivalent officers in the three services, of which around 88,000 are from the Army. Presently there are two levels of MSP, one for Officers and another for JCOs and ORs. The demand has been to create a slab of higher MSP for JCOs because they are Group B gazetted officers and cannot therefore be equated with ORs.

MSP was introduced in the 6th Pay Commission and is paid to service personnel for the unique hardships they face in the line of duty.

In the seventh pay commission, the MSP was ₹5,200 for JCOs and ORs and ₹15,500 for officers from Lieutenant to the rank of Brigadier.

Several military officers expressed disappointment at the decision. The Army is likely to request the government for a review.

PTI adds...

Around 1.12 lakh military personnel, including 87,646 JCOs and 25,434 personnel of equivalent rank from the Navy and the Indian Air Force, will be affected by the decision.

The MSP for the military personnel was introduced recognising their unique service conditions and hardships.

“The proposal for higher MSP for JCOs and equivalent rank of the Navy and IAF has been rejected by the Finance Ministry,” said a source.

“Since JCOs are Group B gazetted officers and also have considerable length of service, it is incorrect to grant them MSP on par with the jawans. It is very unfair,” said a military officer who wished not to be named.

The Army had taken up the issue strongly with the Defence Minister and the three services as well as the Defence Ministry were on the same page on the issue, the sources said.

In November last year, the Army clarified JCOs are gazetted officers and cancelled a seven-year-old note describing them as “non-gazetted” officers.

The decision by the Army came amid growing resentment among a large section of its officers over the controversial issue of rank-parity between them and their civilian counterparts in the service headquarters.

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Read 1276 times Last modified on Sunday, 17 February 2019 18:52

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