Wednesday, March 06, 2019

A Few Queries On Concordance Tables For Pensioners In Rank Of Major

It has been nearly 21 months since some issues were raised in the previous blog-post, with the example of the rank of Lt Col, as to how the concept of notional pay would need to be applied for those who had retired prior to 01 Jan 2006, especially many of those armed forces officers who had retired prior to implementation date of phase-I recommendations of AV Singh Committee. 

True to expectations, the Concordance Tables, that were finally released about four months ago, raised a few doubts as to whether the tables had approached the matter from point of view of resolving existing anomalies and that of ensuring parities between pensions of older and current pensioners, a principle that was strongly endorsed by VII CPC itself. Aspects of fairness and equity thus continue to remain an issue. 

What may appear to be infirmities or incongruities, leading to possible apprehensions of an award not being fully equitable, can best be examined in concordance tables applicable to pensioners in armed forces officer ranks which are now time-bound. The most significant example would be Concordance Tables for the ranks of Major, Lt Col(TS) and Lt Col. An extract of Concordance Table for the rank of Major is placed as follows: {The full set of tables is viewable on DESW PCDA web-site through this link }

The first example is the Concordance Table for the rank of Major. 

The first thing for pre 2006 (I'll repeat here, 2006) Major retirees to note is that the maximum notional pay of Rs. 118100/- in the last column should, by all logic, correspond to the 7CPC pay of a Major with about 25 years of QS, even though no Officer with that QS would be in the rank of Major nowadays. 

That means the highest pay of 14850/-+975/- of a Major retiree in the period 01-01-1996 to 31 Dec 2005 corresponds to the equivalent 2016 notional pay of 101900/-, which when referring to the matrix should be the pay of a Major of 2016 having a QS of about 20 years. Now those Major retirees of the period 01-01-1996 to 31 Dec 2005 who were drawing a basic pay of 14850+975 at the time of retirement can compare their own QS at retirement with the figure of 19 ~ 20 years at which their fixed "notional pay" of 101900/- would be earned by someone serving/retiring as Major in 2016 or later.

The question arises whether or not first three columns of basic pay (01/01/86 to 31/12/95, 01/01/96 to 31/12/2005 and 01/01/2006 to 31/12/2015) as well as the fourth column for "pay range from 01/01/2006 to 31/12/2015, have attempted to take into cognizance the equivalence of qualifying service rendered by retirees in that time-bound rank in the three distinct time-frames mentioned above. At first glance, it does not appear to be the case. 

At all stages of the concordance table, has any consideration been applied to qualifying service of a Major who retired in the period 01/01/1996 to 31/12/2015 vis-a-vis the qualifying service of the Major drawing that so called "notional/equivalent" pay for the period 01/01/2006 to 31/12/2015? The table, with no reference to qualifying service, equates the starting pay of Major with a service of 11 years at the beginning of the scale for the period 01/01/96 to 31/12/2005 with the starting pay of Major with a service of approximately 6 years for the period 01/01/2006 to 31/12/2015.  

The table also does not appear to provide for the fact that a Major from the period 01/01/2006 to 31/Dec/2015 would be in the pay-band of Lt Col starting at a QS of app 13 years on time-bound basis and that the parity based equivalence of the older Maj Pensioner from the period 01/01/1996 to 31/12/1995 would be the corresponding pay of Lt Col with equivalent service in period 01/01/2006 to 31/12/2015.

Therefore the title  "Corresponding Level wef 01/01/2016" at top of the table is based on the rather ambiguous premise that any value in any particular column "corresponds" to juxtaposed values in the same rows in other columns. It is like saying 5 apples of 1996-2005 correspond to 8.6 oranges of 2006-2015.

The relevance of the argument for basing pension equivalence/parity, in the case of ranks which are time-bound, on rational notions, as against accountancy tables, can be discerned in logic advanced in this old blog post.

More to follow on tables applicable to Lt Col (TS) and Lt Col.