In the early November meeting (see previous post) between Expenditure Secretary Sushama Nath and the three service chiefs, Ms Nath stated that “rank pay now forms part of the MSP”. The chiefs, backed by DG (MP&PS) Lt Gen VK Chaturvedi, Chairman PARC Rear Admiral S.A. O’Leary and ACAS Accounts Air Vice Mshl Baldev Singh argued that Military Service Pay (MSP) was meant to be “compensation for the intangible disadvantages of military life experienced by Services personnel over their entire career”. They further added that MSP was a new pay element, and was totally de-linked from the pre-revised pay structure. It was because of this that no arrears had been paid on the MSP, the chiefs indicated, and therefore for the bureaucracy to use it “as an edge or as a replacement of rank pay” was incorrect.
According to sources, Ms Nath then indicated that “all ranks are beneficiaries of MSP”. The Chiefs told her that in the case of a Lt Col, even considering MSP, his total emoluments were lower by roughly Rs 5,000 in comparison to a civil officer who was drawing les than him in the pre-revised payscale regime.
At this point, Gen Deepak Kapoor emphasised that their concerns stretched beyond the monetary benefits that were implied. He said it was primarily “a question of status and esteem”. He added that if rank pay was to be withdrawn, it should be merged back into scale where it originally belonged and nowhere else. He indicated that using MSP as compensation implied nullifying the intended benefits of the revised pay scales.
P.S. In response to one of the commenters — it’s true that pensionary benefits for PBORs have been reinstated, so it’s down to three core armed forces demands. All three continue to hang fire. Watch Headlines Today and stay tuned for updates.