New Delhi, Feb 15: To hear the grievances of the defence services related to allowances recommended by the 7th Pay Commission, the Anomaly Committee on allowances constituted for the 7th Central Pay Commission has provided for a direct hearing. Perhaps the first time that any such opportunity has been provided to hear the grievances of the defence services, as per reports, this was provided recently by the Committee in a positive backdrop and the Ministry of Defence is in full support of the views of the defence services.
In a writ petition filed by a serving officer, Col Preet Pal Singh Grewal, according to The Indian Express, the Committee has entertained the views of the three services in compliance with the interim directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court. As per Ministry of Defence sources quoted by IE, the petition put forward many issues related to allowances of defence services in front of the Committee.
One such issue affecting allowances of defence services is the discriminatory hardship allowance. As per the provision of the Discriminatory hardship allowance, an IPS officer is eligible to get approximately Rs. 55,000 as hardship allowance in Leh but under the same scheme, a military official is entitled to only for about Rs. 1000o. The same allowance states that a civil servant is entitled to Rs. 55,000 in Shillong, the defence officials were not given any special allowance.
The petition further pointed out that the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) were extended many beneficial military allowances over the years, which was not applicable to the defence officers. In some cases these benefits seemed more beneficial to the CAPF than those provided to the defence officials. In addition to this, many organisations, be it the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Rapid Action Force (RAF) and the National Investigation Agency (NIA) were paid allowances which were calculated on the percentage of pay. But in the case of defence services, it was paid based on fixed slabs.
The petition also informed the committee that even though the 7th Central Pay Commission were in favour of providing House Rent Allowances to personnel, except for those commissioned officers staying at barracks and due to administrative or functional requirements, the HRA was not extended to commissioned officers who were forced to stay in Officer’s Mess premises due to same reasons.
The petitioner stated that the views of all stakeholders must be heard before the report is submitted. Reportedly, the Colonel petitioned as forming associations in the armed forces is prohibited and this hearing provided an alternative institutional mechanism where views of the defence establishment could be put across to resolve such anomalies.
As per reports, the report will be submitted once the assembly elections in the five states are complete, although the Anomaly Committee is almost done with the job.