Members of the Junior Commissioned Officers Veterans Association staged a demonstration here over a raft of demands including calling for alleviation of discriminatory pay, service allowances and pension.
The protesters alleged a mistake by the 7th Pay Commission while fixing the pay in the pay matrix level. According to them, the ex-servicemen retiring after January 1, 2016 were getting less pension compared to the pension of the old retirees. This was in violation of the concept of One Rank One Pension principle.
The protesters demanded a hike in the family pension as opposed to the current 60%. Upon the death of the pensioner, the surviving widow was faced with hardships with no additional sources of income that was earned by the veteran. Hence, the pension should be hiked, the association said.
The assigning of honorary ranks to soldiers of non-officer class after retirement without any monetary benefit was pointless, the veterans stated. Similarly, the pension of the retirees under X-Group before 2016 was lower than the new retirees. This anomaly should be rectified.
The protesters also demanded payment of allowances for hazardous operations service. For instance, high-altitude allowance, diving hours in navy, and para jumping allowance should be fixed equally for all as opposed to the discriminatory allowance between the pay scale of officer and jawan. The risk for the activity was the same for officer and jawan irrespective of the rank, they said.
The other demands included transparency in selection for bravery and service excellence of jawans for gallantry medals, Junior commissioned Officers must be given time scale promotion on the lines of officers and abolition of Sewadari system that was akin to slavery as it demoralised soldiers.