A new Chapter in the life of every Government employee and pensioner.
The 7th Central Pay Commission Report can be downloaded by clicking here.
Will update the blog on the highlights soon.
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Update as promised:
You would have received multiple emails on the highlights of the Pay Commission. It is hence not necessary to touch upon its salient and well known features.
On the whole, the 7th Central Pay Commission has been a mixed bag. There have been some progressive proposals but then there are some basic mistakes of appreciation. Of course, these are just recommendations and subject to approval of the Government. Some of these recommendations may just be junked and some may be upwardly revised too.
However, it does become important to list out some observations affecting both civil and military pensioners which may have been glossed over by many.
Some of these are:
· There is no big-ticket change in the system of calculation of family pensions. The system of percentage remains the same. For example, ordinary family pension remains pegged at 30% of basic, Special Family Pension (Called Category B & C Extraordinary Family Pension in case of civilian employees) remains at 60%, and so on.
· Minimum Pension and Family Pension upgraded from Rs 3500 to Rs 9000. In the last pay commission, it had been enhanced from Rs 1275 (Rs 1903 after merger of DA) to Rs 3500.
· The system for calculation of regular pension has been progressively moulded and it has been provided that increments must be taken into account notionally for fixing pensions. This is similar to what had been ruled by the Patna High Court earlier this year.
· The system of Disability benefits for the Defence Services has been recommended to be reverted to the pre-2006 system of fixed amounts (slabs) rather than percentage of pay-scales as granted to civilians. This is a truly regressive move and it seems that basic application of mind was lacking while recommending the same. To take an example, with what has been recommended by the Pay Commission, if a Lt Gen of the Army gets 100% disabled while in service, he/she would be entitled for a disability element of Rs 27,000 but if his/her counterpart from the Central Armed Police Forces is disabled, he/she shall be entitled to a disability element of Rs 67,500. We will however ensure that this illogical recommendation is rejected by the Government.
· While the Commission has taken note of many Supreme Court decisions in favour of and against pensioners, it has omitted to cite or take note of the latest case law on the subject of cut-off dates favouring pensioners, including Civil Appeal 1123/2015 State of Rajasthan Vs Mahendra Nath Sharma decided on 01-07-2015.
· The Commission wrongly notes that the principle of broadbanding has been extended by the Ministry of Defence to all eligible disabled personnel w.e.f 01 Jan 2015. Firstly, it has not been extended to all but only to litigants, which continues to be the present situation, and secondly, the correct date of implementation is 01 Jan 1996 or date of release or grant of disability/war injury pension, whichever is later, as per Supreme Court decision.
· The Commission wrongly observes that a Committee of Secretaries did not accept the merger of Rank Pay with Basic Pay and states that the Supreme Court has also upheld this view. This is incorrect. The Supreme Court has, on the contrary, upheld that Rank Pay forms a part of Basic Pay. It may be recalled that the Rank Pay had been carved out of Basic itself.
· The Commission wrongly notes that only post-2006 retired Honorary Naib Subedars had been granted the pension of regular Naib Subedars by the 6th CPC. In fact, there was no such cut-off date prescribed by the 6th CPC and the said cut-off date was introduced only while implementing the 6th CPC recommendations and later this cut-off date was set-aside by way of judicial directions affirmed by the Supreme Court.
· The rates of lumpsum ex-gratia for deaths connected with service have been upwardly revised more than double, unlike the last time when these were merely doubled.
· Chairperson of 7th CPC has recommended Non Functional Upgradation (NFU) for Defence Services while other Members have dissented and recommended the scrapping even for civilians.
· Exit recommended to Short Service Commissioned Officers after 7 years of service (between 7 and 10 years) with additional benefits.
· Additional old age pension as is available to regular pension not recommended for disability benefits. This is again ridiculous and also infructuous since the said additional benefit is already available to disability benefits and clarified as such by the Government of India. It was also illogical for the three services to have asked for this in their Joint Services Memorandum since this stood granted and notified by Government.
· Lumpsum ex-gratia award of Rs 9 lakhs applicable to invalided personnel increased to Rs 20 lakhs. The amount is for 100% disability, to be proportionately reduced for lesser percentage.
· Director General of Coast Guard to be placed in the Apex Grade.
· More senior level posts for CAPF officers in the top hierarchy of their organizations.
· New Rates of MSP: Commissioned Officers 15,500, JCOs/Other Ranks 5200.
· Additional Post Allowance for all personnel looking after additional duties.
· Extra Work Allowance for personnel with extra responsibilities.
· Risk Related Allowances placed on a Risk and Hardship Matrix (RH Matrix).