|Air Force Chief Marshal NAK Browne
New Delhi: The Non-Comabantant enrolled NC(e) employees of the Indian AirForce are to soon get military service pay (MSP) of Rs. 1000.00 per month. According to highly placed sources, the NCE employees of the Air Force will be entitled to get MSP with effect from June 2012.
This is a partial victory for the long struggle by the NC(e) personnel to get parity with their counterparts in the other two services- the Army and the Navy, where such employees had long ago had been absorbed as combatants and entitled for monthly MSP of Rs. 2000.00 per month.
Sources told BDK that the present Air Force Chief NAK Browne played a very important role in persuading the case of NCEs with the Defence and Finance ministries. Earlier, the Finance ministry has thrice dismissed the demand
but this time the Air Force chief succeeded in persuading his political bosses in favour of the demands of the NCEs.
There are some 11,000 Non Combatant (enrolled) employees of the Indian Air Force (IAF) who do not have a clue about their status: Whether they are soldiers, or whether they are civil employees. These are such employees who work as tradesmen – performing jobs as cooks, waiters, peons, cobblers, carpenters, ironsmiths, cleaners etc. The Army and the Navy accord the status of soldiers to this category of employees. The IAF has been considering them neither as soldiers, nor as civil employees. The IAF has a separate category of civil employees also.
The dilemma is that the NC(e) employees are entitled to all the facilities for Personnel Below Officers Rank (PBoR) and they can also be court martialed under the regulation. But when it comes to providing an additional Rs. 2000 to these employees as Military Service Pay (MSP) as provided for under the sixth pay commission, the IAF denied this entitlement on grounds that the NC(e) employees do not use weapons and that they are employed in the administrative category and not at the combat level.
In a contrary situation, the NC(e) employees in the Army and Navy were “combatized” in 1972 and absorbed as soldiers.