- The disparity in salary is due to the Military Service Pay (MSP) component.
- After the rank of Brigadier, there is no separate component in the MSP salary.
- The then Defense Minister Jaitley took the step but later the file was closed
Discrepancies in the salary and pension of the lower ranks of Defense Services often come to the fore. Despite this, the issue of an apparent discrepancy relating to pay mismatch between the senior ranks of Major General and above in the Army has been pending for years. The central government has failed to address the discrepancy in which senior rank officers are getting less salary and pension than their juniors. In some cases, colonels are also drawing higher salaries than lieutenant-generals.
The root of the discrepancy is the Military Service Pay (MSP) component which is Rs 15,500 in the pay of officers up to the rank of Brigadier. After the rank of Brigadier, it ceases to be a separate salary component. Added on promotion to the rank above Major General. As a result, the lower rank officers get paid more than the higher rank officers.
A lieutenant-colonel, colonel and brigadier are paid up to Rs 2,26,200, Rs 2,29,500 and Rs 2,33,100 per month respectively. Whereas even after adding the MSP component, the Vice Chief of the Army does not get more than Rs 2,25,000. With the addition of the Special Component, the pay scale of senior officers from lieutenant-colonel to brigadier has exceeded the pay scale of major-general to lieutenant-general.
Sources in the Ministry of Defense (MoD) say that the then Defense Minister Arun Jaitley had tried to correct the discrepancy. But the file was reportedly closed by the finance ministry officials without referring them back. Later, the matter was revived, but came under several questions from the finance ministry. Sources had termed it completely ‘tedious and out of context’.