NEW DELHI: The Union Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday evening approved much-awaited proposals relating to modifications in the 7th CPC (Central Pay Commission) recommendations on pay and pensionary benefits in the course of their implementation, which will benefit over 55 lakh pre-2016 civil and defence pensioners and family pensioners. However the several concerns related to military has not resolved and government sources will be considered separately.
Earlier, in June, 2016, PM Modi led Cabinet had approved implementation of the recommendations with an additional financial outgo of Rs 84,933 crore for 2016-17 (including arrears for 2 months of 2015-16).
According to the statement issued by the government that the benefit of the proposed modifications will be available with effect from 1st January, 2016, i.e., the date of implementation of 7th CPC recommendations.
“With the increase approved by the Cabinet, the annual pension bill alone of the Central Government is likely to be Rs.1,76,071 crore,” said statement.
Government sources said that the revision of pension of pre – 2016 pensioners and family pensioners--Cabinet approved modifications in the recommendations of the 7th CPC relating to the method of revision of pension of pre-2016 pensioners and family pensioners based on suggestions made by the Committee chaired by Secretary (Pensions) constituted with the approval of the Cabinet. The modified formulation of pension revision approved by the Cabinet will entail an additional benefit to the pensioners and an additional expenditure of approximately Rs.5031 crore for 2016-17 over and above the expenditure already incurred in revision of pension as per the second formulation based on fitment factor. It will benefit over 55 lakh pre-2016 civil and defence pensioners and family pensioners. While approving the implementation of the 7th CPC recommendations on 29th June, 2016, the Cabinet had approved the changed method of pension revision recommended by the 7th CPC for pre-2016 pensioners, comprising of two alternative formulations, subject to the feasibility of the first formulation which was to be examined by the Committee.
In terms of the Cabinet decision, pensions of pre-2016 pensioners were revised as per the second formulation multiplying existing pension by a fitment factor of 2.57, though the pensioners were to be given the option of choosing the more beneficial of the two formulations as per the 7th CPC recommendations.
In order to provide the more beneficial option to the pensioners, Cabinet has accepted the recommendations of the Committee, which has suggested revision of pension based on information contained in the Pension Payment Order (PPO) issued to every pensioner. The revised procedure of fixation of notional pay is more scientific, rational and implementable in all the cases.
The Committee reached its findings based on an analysis of hundreds of live pension cases. The modified formulation will be beneficial to more pensioners than the first formulation recommended by the 7th CPC, which was not found to be feasible to implement on account of non-availability of records in a large number of cases and was also found to be prone to several anomalies.
Meanwhile, another key decision of the cabinet was approving disability Pension for Defence Pensioners. Government official claim that Cabinet also approved the retention of percentage-based regime of disability pension implemented post 6th CPC, which the 7th CPC had recommended to be replaced by a slab-based system.
The issue of disability pension was referred to the National Anomaly Committee by the Ministry of Defence on account of the representation received from the Defence Forces to retain the slab-based system, as it would have resulted in reduction in the amount of disability pension for existing pensioners and a reduction in the amount of disability pension for future retirees when compared to percentage-based disability pension.
The decision which will benefit existing and future Defence pensioners would entail an additional expenditure of approximately Rs. 130 crore per annum.
A day after Surgical strike in PoK, on September 30, the ministry of defence had notified the recommendations of the Seventh Pay Commission regarding disability pension by changing it to slab system in place of percentage. But facing flak from section of veterans, government had to withdraw the notification and a committee was set up to look into the anomalies. The new rules replaces the decade-old system governed by the Sixth Central Pay Commission (6th CPC) instituted in 2006 under which disability pensions arising from battle injuries, or disabilities attributable to/aggravated by military service, were calculated on a "percentage basis", related to the last pay drawn. However, under the new scheme, disability pensions will be calculated according to a "slab system" that existed earlier.
According to officials until the September 30 notification, officers and soldiers who had suffered 100 per cent disability in battle were entitled disability pension that matched their last pay drawn. In addition, they would draw a “service component” of pension, which amounted to 50 per cent of their last pay drawn.
Under the new rules, which is lower than the percentage system — Rs 27,000 a month for officers, 17,000 for junior commissioned officers (JCOs), and Rs 12,000 for all other ranks (ORs).