While the starting salary for all officers has been recommended at Rs 25,200 (up from Rs 14-16,000), the Pay Commission has focused on performance-based pay by suggesting 100 per cent hikes in allowances for ‘risks and hardships’ in posting like counter-insurgency operations, Siachen glaciers and high altitude areas.
Consider this, a Lieutenant who joins the Army and is posted at the Siachen glacier will draw Rs 39,200 (up from Rs 21,000-23,000) while his colleague posted in the Kashmir hinterland would get Rs 31,500 (up from Rs 19,000-20,000). Compared to this, the three service chiefs will draw Rs 90,000, a three-fold hike from the Rs 30,000 they were getting earlier.
While exact salaries will depend on factors like years of service, applicable allowances and technical skills, financial experts at the Ministry of Defence say that the in-hand salary would go up by 40 per cent in most cases.
Other perks like flying, field area, submarine duty and counter-insurgency allowances have been suggested to be doubled. However, the Pay Commission has rejected demands of the forces to create new allowances like “hardship allowance, skill allowance, super specialist allowance, assessors allowance, UAV crew skill allowance and service incentive allowance”.
Giving in to a long standing demand of the Armed Forces, the commission has suggested a special Military Service Pay (MSP) to all personnel below the rank of Major General — Rs 6,000 for officers and Rs 1,000 for other ranks — on account of the ‘rigours of military life’. This special allowance is also meant to give the Armed Forces ‘an edge’ over civilian scales.
In a first, the Director General Armed Forces Medical Corps has been brought at par with Army Commanders and has been recommended for a fixed pay scale of Rs 80,000.
For personnel below officer rank, the commission has recommended an entry-level salary of Rs 10,670 (from Rs 5000-7,000) up to a maximum of Rs 24,950, excluding the special allowances.
By introducing just two pay bands for officers, the Pay Commission has also attempted to de-link the salary drawn from the rank. The salary will now depend more on the years of service rather than the seniority of the officer.
RECOMMENDED PAY SCALES (Excluding HRA and allowances)
Lieutenant and equivalent Rs 25,200 from Rs 14-16,000
Lieutenant at Siachen glacier Rs 39,200
On Counter Insurgency duty Rs 31,500
Captain and equivalent Rs 29,100 from Rs 17-19,000
Major and equivalent Rs 34,380 from Rs 19-21,000
Colonel Rs 43,360 from Rs 25-27,000
Major General Rs 80,000 from Rs 26,000
Army Comman- ders/equivalent Rs 43,360 from Rs 25-27,000
Army/IAF/Navy Chiefs Rs 90,000 from Rs 30,000
Sepoy Rs 10,670 from Rs 5,000-7,000