Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Government likely to restore disability benefits to veterans



By Ajai Shukla
Business Standard, 18th Oct 16

Facing severe criticism from serving soldiers, veterans and civilians alike for slashing the military’s disability pensions, top government officials tell Business Standard they are reviewing the decision and could soon roll back at least some cuts.

As this newspaper reported (October 10, “While ‘surgical strikes’ were under way, govt cut Army’s disability pensions”) the government issued a notification on September 30 --- a day after announcing the army’s successful strikes on terrorist camps in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir --- that slashed allowances that soldiers receive for injuries/disabilities that are attributable to military service, or aggravated by it.

In that notification the government accepted the recommendation of the 7th Central Pay Commission (7th CPC) to calculate disability pension according to a “slab system”, based on rank. This significantly reduces disability pensions for the army, compared with the “percentage system” instituted by the 6th CPC.

The government first reacted by claiming (through “government sources” cited by several newspapers) that disability pensions had actually been increased, not cut.

Thereafter, the government backtracked on October 13, announcing that it had referred the decision on disability pensions to a committee for review.

Said a government statement: “Service Headquarters have represented that the percentage-based system should be continued under the 7th CPC for calculating disability pension for defence services at par with their civilian counterparts. The Ministry has referred the representation of the Service Headquarters to the Anomaly Committee of the 7th CPC for consideration”.

A senior government official told Business Standard: “We are not wedded to any position. We want to ensure that disabled soldiers do not suffer. If our review finds that the earlier ‘percentage based’ system was more beneficial than the ‘slab system’ that has now been implemented, we will revert to the earlier system.”

A partial or complete revocation of the “slab system” by the Anomalies Committee would have to be also cleared by the cabinet.

With the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) itself spearheading this re-evaluation, the Director General of Defence Accounts (DGDA) has been asked for detailed figures to justify its earlier contention that the “slab based” system would benefit a larger number of disabled veterans --- something the army flatly denies.

Earlier, the DGDA had incorrectly stated that more than 85 per cent of soldiers drawing disability pensions would benefit from the new “slab system”. Now it is telling the government that about half of all disabled pensioners would benefit.

The army strongly rebuts those figures. Its detailed calculations suggest that 90-95 per cent of all disabled pensioners stand to lose by the new system (see chart).

Army’s calculations

Until the September 30 notification, any officer or soldier who suffered 100 per cent disability that was “attributable to military service, or aggravated by military service” would get 30 per cent of his/her last pay drawn as disability pension. In addition, they would draw a “service component” of pension, which amounted to 50 per cent of their last pay drawn.

Under the new rules, which come into effect retrospectively from January 1, 2016, the “service component” remains unchanged, but a “slab system” has been introduced for disability pension --- Rs 27,000 per month for officers, 17,000 for junior commissioned officers (JCOs), and Rs 12,000 for other ranks (ORs).

The army calculates that only those soldiers would benefit who are invalided out in the early stages of their careers --- a small minority. Those who have served a few years, and all those who have earned pensions, would lose financially.

As evident from the chart, the new system would only benefit those jawans whose pay at the time of release from service is less than Rs 40,000 [Rs 34,800 (basic pay) + Rs 5,200 (military service pay, or MSP)] under the 7th CPC. At higher pay grades, 30 per cent disability pension would amount to more than Rs 12,000.


Disability Pension calculation : Enlisted personnel
Rank
Service (in years)
Old Basic Pay + Grade Pay
7 CPC factor
7 CPC amount (in Rs)
7 CPC salary (according to fixation tables)
Military Service Pay
(MSP)
Reckonable Emolument (RE)
Disability Element for 100%
Disability component of pension
Slab Amt for 100% Disability
Loss per month
Sepoy
16
13,560
2.57
34849.2
35,300
5200
40500
0.3
12150
12,000
150

17
13,970
2.57
35902.9
37,000
5200
42200
0.3
12660
12,000
660

18
14,280
2.57
36699.6
37,000
5200
42200
0.3
12660
12,000
660

19
14,310
2.57
36776.7
37,000
5200
42200
0.3
12660
12,000
660












Naik
22
14,640
2.57
37624.8
38,100
5200
43300
0.3
12990
12,000
990

23
15,160
2.57
38961.2
39,200
5200
44400
0.3
13320
12,000
1320

24
16,610
2.57
42687.7
43,600
5200
48800
0.3
14640
12,000
2640












Havildar
24
17,460
2.57
44872.2
44,900
5200
50100
0.3
15030
12,000
3030

25
17,980
2.57
46208.6
47,600
5200
52800
0.3
15840
12,000
3840

26
18,520
2.57
47596.4
47,600
5200
52800
0.3
15840
12,000
3840














Very few jawans retire before serving 15 years, when they become eligible for pension. Most retire after at least 17-19 years, which they have signed up for. By that time, they have been automatically promoted to Naik (two stripes), and their emoluments are Rs 41,100 (Rs 35,900 + Rs 5,200 MSP).

Most jawans actually attain the rank of Havildar (three stripes), which means they are eligible for 26 years of service, and a pay grade of Rs 50,100 (Rs 44,900 + Rs 5,200).  

Hence most retirees at the jawan level (except those rare cases who are invalided out early in their careers) earn well above the level below which the slab system yields greater benefits. They, therefore, stand to benefit from the percentage system.

Similarly, JCOs would only benefit from the slab system if their pay grade at retirement is below Rs 56,200 [Rs 51,000 + Rs 5,200 (MSP)]. Above that grade, the disability pension of 30 per cent would be greater than the slab rate of Rs 17,000. In fact, most JCOs start retiring as Subedars, with 28 years of service, when their pay grade is Rs 57,200 (Rs 52,000 + Rs 5,200).


Disability Pension calculation : Junior Commissioned Officers (JCOs)
Rank
Service (in years)
Old Basic Pay + Grade Pay
7 CPC factor
7 CPC amount (in Rs)
7 CPC salary (according to fixation tables)
Military Service Pay
(MSP)
Reckonable Emoluments (RE)
Disability Element for 100%
Disability component of pension
Slab Amt for 100% Disability
Loss per month
Naib Subedar
27
19,080
2.57
49035.6
50,500
5200
55700
0.3
16710
17,000
-290

28
19,650
2.57
50500.5
52,000
5200
57200
0.3
17160
17,000
160












Subedar
28
20,660
2.57
53096.2
53,600
5200
58800
0.3
17640
17,000
640

29
21,280
2.57
54689.6
55,200
5200
60400
0.3
18120
17,000
1120

30
21,890
2.57
56257.3
56,900
5200
62100
0.3
18630
17,000
1630












Subedar Major
31
23,430
2.57
60215.1
60,400
5200
65600
0.3
19680
17,000
2680

32
24,130
2.57
62014.1
62,200
5200
67400
0.3
20220
17,000
3220

33
24,850
2.57
63864.5
64,100
5200
69300
0.3
20790
17,000
3790

34
25,600
2.57
65792
66,000
5200
71200
0.3
21360
17,000
4360

Calculating similarly, commissioned officers only benefit from the slab system if their pay at release is less than Rs 90,000 [Rs 74,500 + Rs 15,500 (MSP)]. That is because 30 per cent of any pay grade above this would be greater than the slab rate of Rs 27,000. At seven years of service, officers pay grade rises above that level. Most officers retire after 20 years of service, when they become eligible for pension.


Disability Pension Calculation : Officers

Rank
Service (in years)
Old Basic Pay + Grade Pay
7 CPC factor
7 CPC amount (in Rs)
7 CPC salary (according to fixation tables)
Military Service Pay
(MSP)
Reckonable Emoluments (RE)
Disability Element for 100%
Disability component of pension
Slab Amt for 100% Disability
Loss per month
Rank
Lt
1
21,000
2.57
53970
56,100
15,500
71600
0.3
21480
27,000
-5520


2
21,630
2.57
55589.1
56,100
15,500
71600
0.3
21480
27,000
-5520





0








Capt
3
24,360
2.57
62605.2
63,100
15,500
78600
0.3
23580
27,000
-3420


4
25,850
2.57
66434.5
67,000
15,500
82500
0.3
24750
27,000
-2250


5
26,630
2.57
68439.1
69,000
15,500
84500
0.3
25350
27,000
-1650














Maj
6
27,130
2.57
69724.1
71,500
15,500
87000
0.3
26100
27,000
-900


7
28,770
2.57
73938.9
75,800
15,500
91300
0.3
27390
27,000
390
All Officers from 7 th year of Service will lose

8
29,640
2.57
76174.8
78,100
15,500
93600
0.3
28080
27,000
1080

9
30,530
2.57
78462.1
80,400
15,500
95900
0.3
28770
27,000
1770

10
31,900
2.57
81983
82,800
15,500
98300
0.3
29490
27,000
2490

11
33,830
2.57
86943.1
87,900
15,500
103400
0.3
31020
27,000
4020

12
34,850
2.57
89564.5
90,500
15,500
106000
0.3
31800
27,000
4800
Lt Col
13
45,400
2.57
116678
1,16,700
15,500
132200
0.3
39660
27,000
12660

14
46,770
2.57
120198.9
1,20,200
15,500
135700
0.3
40710
27,000
13710
Col
15
51,840
2.57
133228.8
1,33,400
15,500
148900
0.3
44670
27,000
17670

Brig
29
69,180
2.57
177792.6
1,82,200
15,500
197700
0.3
59310
27,000
32310

Maj Gen
34
77,000
2.57
197890
1,99,600
0
199600
0.3
59880
27,000
32880

Lt Gen
36
79,000
2.57
203030
2,05,100
0
205100
0.3
61530
27,000
34530

Lt Gen
37.5
80,000
2.57
205600
2,11,600
0
211600
0.3
63480
27,000
36480
HAG +
Lt Gen
39
80,000


2,25,000
0
225000
0.3
67500
27,000
40500
APEX 

The army askes: if the “slab system” was indeed beneficial for lower ranks, why hasn’t it been made applicable to other services like the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs)? In fact, there is no demand from CAPFs for extending the slab system to them.

With the military strongly arguing for a reversion to the “percentage system” of calculation, all eyes are now on the Anomalies Committee. 

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

In such a big article you have deliberately omitted to touch upon "War Injury Element" also called War Injury Pension which is 60 per cent of last emoluments drawn for 100 per cent disability....

What are the effect going to be on that.....

Anonymous said...

@ "The Ministry has referred the representation of the Service Headquarters to the Anomaly Committee of the 7th CPC for consideration”.
The issue will be examined by the Anomaly committee now.
Is the MOD in agreement with OR against the contention of the Service HQ on the issue? CGDA has no role to play in this matter except provide data asked for by the Committee
.
The Dis Pen (DP) inequity point being projected in 7CPC is totally misleading & false.The ratio of DP between two cat of ranks is exactly same as the ratio between their pay.For example-- A has pay of Rs 50000 & B has 150000 pm as his pay,the ratio (inequity ) is 1:3.Their DP at 30 % will be Rs 15000 & 45000 with exactly same ratio of 1:3.

In fact ALL %age based allwcs will have exactly the same ratio.It cannot be termed as inequity as it is due to the basic pay being different for different ranks.

It(inequity) is exactly same for Civ/Police forces for DP as also for ALL %ge based allwcs.

With the likely increase in MSP for JCO's & OR there will be corresponding increase in DP.

Also in time to come,hopefully, larger %ge of these ranks should be retiring at the highest applicable rank/pay marix.

ArmyPayResearch said...

Indian Army no match with the Indian Police http://armypayresearch.blogspot.com/2016/10/career-indian-army-no-match-with-indian.html

Career: Indian Army no match with the Indian Police

Far Higher Basic Pay Scales of Indian Police Officers.

Much Lower Basic Pay Scales of Indian Army Officers.

Basic Pay Scale affects pension & status/protocol also.

Training period of Police Officer counted for service, pay, promotion, increment & pension but not counted for an Army Officer.

Why these disparities?

Why this discrimination with Army Officers?


Anonymous said...

@Annon 18 October 2016 at 20:19

Which proportion are you peddling when the table given is so self explanatory .... DP of one years service and 33 years of service should be the same ?? Why not these bands for all govt services. If Defence Services are asking for earlier system as for others - let it be at that.

Anonymous said...

It now emerges that on the Dis Pen issue falsified/doctored data & info was given to 7CPC covertly (via insiders) directly from CGDA, by passing the MOD .
Apparently this was done to avoid vetting by the MOD ( & reaction of Service HQ,s ), so very essential for secrecy.

If indeed it was so then the matter needs to be investigated & those responsible for this fraud need to be identified & dealt with.

Also if it is true then the entire recommendations of 7CPC on the issue are liable to be quashed as the input info was incorrect/Falsified & not taken thru proper channels ie MOD, the concerned ministry.No comments were asked from Service HQs So secretive was it kept that 7CPC did not even discuss/raise this issue during its interaction visits with the military & veterans all over the country !!.

Overall it was a neatly executed Surgical Strike against the Armed Forces by CGDA, +- - +--&---etc , achieving total surprise & deception ,with
Service HQs, with their vast intel resources, not knowing When,How & by Who all it was executed.

Obvious aim & purpose was to Degrade the Morale of All Ranks of the Armed Forces .But why & Who benifits?? Not difficult to Guess, only our adversaries !!