Modi Govt Rejects higher Military service pay for 1 lakh soldiers

The Narendra Modi government of the Center has dismissed the much anticipated demand of more army service salaries (MSP) for 1.12 lakh soldiers of the Armed Forces including the junior commissioned officers (JCOs) of the Army. Military sources said this on Tuesday. He said that the Finance Ministry’s decision has “very fury” at the headquarters of the Army and he will demand its review.

87,646 JCOs and 25,434 personnel equivalent to JCOs in Navy and Air Force (Total 1.12 lakh military personnel) will be affected by this decision. Sources said that there was a demand to raise monthly MSP from Rs. 5,500 to Rs. 10,000. If the government had accepted the demand, then Rs 610 crores would be spent in this every year.

There are two categories of MSP- one for the officers and the other for the JCOs and the Jawans. The Seventh Pay Commission had fixed the monthly MSP of Rs 5,200 for the JCOs and the jawans, while for the officers between the lieutenant rank and the Brigadier rank, they had fixed Rs 15,500 as MSP.

The Army has been demanding more MSP for JCOs. His argument is that he is a gazetted officer (Group B) and plays an important role in the command and control structure of the army. A military official said on condition of anonymity of his name, “Since JCO is the Gazetted Officer of Group B and the duration of their service is long, therefore it is wrong to give them the equivalent MSP of the jawans. it’s so unfair.’

Sources said that the Army had raised this issue in a very strong way in front of Defense Minister. The three armies and the defense ministry have the same stance in this case. The MSP was first introduced by the Sixth Pay Commission. MSP concept is very popular for armed forces personnel in European countries. The Armed Forces were demanding a different amount of MSP for JCOs and its equivalent ranks. In November last year, the Army had clarified that JCOs are gazetted officers. The Army also rejected the seven year old note in which he was termed as an ‘non-gazetted’ officer.

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