Panel to look into flaws in disability pension

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NEW DELHI: Embarrassed by the “resolution” issued by its department of ex-servicemen welfare which slashed disability pensions for military personnel for “non-war injuries”, the defence ministry on Thursday said it had referred the representation of the armed forces on the issue to the `anomalies committee’ of the 7th Central Pay Commission (CPC) for proper rectification.

“The service headquarters have represented that the percentage-based system should be continued under the 7th CPC for calculating disability pension for defence services on a par with their civilian counterparts,” the defence ministry said in a statement on Thursday . Sources said the ministry agreed that the method for calculating disability pension needed to be the same for military personnel and their civilian counterparts.

But the resolution issued by the ex-servicemen welfare department on September 30 accepted the recommendation of the 7th CPC that the `percentage-based’ disability pension regime be replaced by the earlier `slab-based system’ for armed forces, as TOI had reported earlier.

This led to an uproar because the `percentage-based’ system was retained for the civil services as well as the central armed police forces.

This meant that a civilian government employee injured during service in nonoperational circumstances would get much more as disability pension than his defence counterpart in a similar situation.

The 7th CPC had cited the misuse of the `percentagebased’ disability pension regime by an increasing number of senior military officers to recommend the change. The armed forces have already criticised the “one-sided, skewed and illogical data” taken into account by the 7th CPC.

“It defies logic as to why a similar exercise of data collection in the 7th CPC wasn’t carried out for services other than the military. This is the first pay commission which, on an incorrect foundation, has reduced payouts and that too for a section of the society which deserves maximum sensitivity -our disabled soldiers,” said lawyer Navdeep Singh, a defence expert.