Indian Army personnel positioned near the Ratnuchak Military Station after firing by two suspected persons, in Jammu, on December 30, 2018 | PTI Photo
Indian Army personnel positioned near the Ratnuchak Military Station in Jammu | PTI Photo
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New Delhi: The disability pension of military personnel should be taxed, except those who suffer damage during battle, the Army headquarters has proposed, ThePrint has learnt.

The finance ministry had recently decided to tax disability pension, leading to a massive outcry from military veterans. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh had promised to look into the issue, and the three service chiefs were asked for their views. This is why the Army has now sent this fresh proposal to the Navy and the Air Force.

As of now, both the service and disability elements of the pension are tax free for all disability pensioners.

Other new proposals 

The Army headquarters is also learnt to have proposed that the premium on the Ex-servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS) scheme should be calculated on the percentage of a soldier’s disability.

The proposal also seeks to minimise the distinction between ‘field’ and ‘peace’ postings of personnel while calculating the disability pension, and less disparity in the disability pension between officers and personnel below officer rank (PBOR).

The proposal from the Army headquarters comes days after it made a presentation to the other service chiefs on 31 July.

The presentation included some radical changes in the disability pension structure, such as increasing the minimum eligible disability for a person to 30 per cent from the current 20 per cent, and doing away with the factor of broadbanding of disability and giving only the only the actual disability percentage.

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Broadbanding refers to the fact that soldiers with 20 per cent to 50 per cent disability get 50 per cent of the last drawn salary, those with 51 per cent to 75 per cent disability get 75 per cent, and those from 75 per cent to 100 per cent disability get 100 per cent.

Also read: Indian Army chief should know that no one feigns disability

Air Force and Navy weren’t in favour 

Highly-placed sources in the government told ThePrint that the other two service chiefs were not in agreement with the points put forth by the Army in its presentation.

“The Air Force and the Navy are keen on keeping the disability pension structure the way it is at present,” a source in the defence establishment said.

However, it remains to be seen how they react to the Army’s latest proposal.

Why is it a big issue?

The defence ministry had asked all three service chiefs to give their views on the issue after a finance ministry circular declared that these pensions would be taxed, causing major outrage within the armed forces and particularly among veterans. The Army had agreed with the proposal, saying unscrupulous officers had gamed the system to their own benefit.

There were demands for the withdrawal of the circular, fuelled by the fact that several soldiers of all ranks have continued to serve with dignity and reach higher ranks, despite severe disability.

A prominent face of this demand was Ian Cardozo, who cut off his injured leg with his own khukri during the 1971 war as a young Major, and continued to serve until retiring as a Major General.

Also read: Problem isn’t taxing disability pension of Armed forces, but demonising disability


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20 Comments Share Your Views


  1. Suggested proposals of the army remind me of second sultan of Tughalak Dynasty Muhammad bin Tughalak referred as a wise fool in the Indian history remembered for wild swings in his policy and was taken by the people to be a lunatic , because no sane person would go against the interests of his subjects and deprive them of their rightful dues. Hope good sense prevails and things move in the right direction

  2. This is a case of some sadist people trying to please, God knows whom .
    The entire case that some are using this to benefit them is so absurd, ..For a few rotten apples , you do not throw away the whole basket .
    What are you trying to portray, These are the same people whom you trust the nation’s security, so please let’s not de mean them like this .
    This is ridiculous and let these argument remain sealed.
    Please gentleman let’s show some respect and trust to these men in uniform.
    And Go get back the money that Malya or Nirav Modi or Choksi have taken , by taxing the soldiers will not even be a fraction compared to that .

  3. What sort of Army chief is this man who himself is taking the initiative of taxing the Disability pension. What message is he giving to the serving officers, jcos and ORs. Is he required to be told that a huge Nos. of personnel getting disability pension today are veterans of 1947, 1962, 1965 and Kargil war and for his information many of them were not boarded out but did full service. What effect will it have on those serving the nation today. He should be more concerned about it than anybody else. The Chiefs of Navy and Air Force are not in favour of his suggestion. If he feels some senior officers have misused this then it was his duty to take action against them, he is answerable as to why he didn’t? Instead of punishing everybody with his suggestion.
    With somebody already having commented
    it’s not understood as to why he is the only person after the disablity pensio, not only that now he has added more suggestions to it like Broad banding and % of disability etc. Just fail to understand his motive/aim behind all this.

    • Reference media report titled, Army chief Rawat fights misuse of disability pension. General Rawat had his ankle smashed as young company commander followed by dislocation of his vertebrae as commander of 3 Corps,but he has no intention of taking disability pension and accompanying tax benefits
      It is his personal choice and can’t be binding upon all and one. As a matter of fact he was fortunate enough that he was not placed in low medical category which allowed him to reach the position he is in today. On the contrary personnel placed in low medical category are denied all’promotions and continue to serve in most embarrassing environment till their retirement with time scale promotion only.

  4. First of all GOVT must think about the service conditions of the defence personals …

    1 .. most of the times they have 2 families due to the field postings … expenditure is doubled unlike their civilian counterparts
    2 … because of postings from one place to other they are unable to make any contacts .. again unlike their civilian counterparts
    3 … no amassing of unjustified money … again unlike their civilian counterparts
    4… Most of the times due lack of contacts their children come up by metit as compared to others
    5 … all their lives they serve the country to best of their conscious at the cost of sacrificing their personal comforts unlike their civilian counterparts
    6 … stringent punishment is given in defense services due to any misconduct coming to light unlike in beauracracy
    7 … it has been seen in the past that ARMY called during every calamity in the country … they work day & night but no extra allowance is given ( not too sure of it )
    8 … they get early retirement as compared to the civil services & the civil servants get plum postings after their retirement due their close connection with people in power the same is denied to defense people

    So , in view of above if a NATION does this little bit to honour the sacrifices made by belt forces … I don’t feel that it’s a very heavy price a NATION pays .
    If similar discipline of 0 tolerance towards corruption is maintained in civil life also … country has enough resources to show bit of gratitude to wards those who willingly give their life to safeguard the country .

  5. Only person who wants to tax the disability pension is General Bipin Rawat . Unfortunately his voice is taken as the voice of Army. Don’t know why is he hell bent on taxing the pension and also doing away with broadbanding the pension. Nobody from Army wants the disability pension to be taxed and we do not want to forego the facility of broadbanding the pension.

    • Because He is a pscophant , and wants to achieve his personal aspirations of becoming CODS at the cost of welfare of the troops under his command.

  6. Mischief may be by some senior officers others soldiers with genuine cases must not suffer. Such foolproof system must not fail. Those who manages system are senior one by all mean bring them to book. Please do not tarnish the image of the organization.
    Soldiers who sustained injuries while performance of duties and become disabled must be compensated by giving exemption in Tax on their pension.

    Medical catogary is determined by medical board with minimum three officers ( generally commandant MH and two specialists) this board also follow the guide line/SOP DGAFMC.
    Further a release Med board compulsory is also held prior to release of all soldiers.
    This board is further approved by DGAFMC.
    The disability of person is determined by such foolproof system and now you want to say system has failed… I certainly as soldiers disagree.

  7. Army or any other service chief first and foremost must realise the duty hours of ordinary soldiers and manning level. There is a lot of difference between the work culture and environment of a Jawan/JCO and an officer. A jawan has to face more hardships and stress in comparison to other two.
    Now a days, a trend has set in to postpone your meal and at times to forgo it altogether. The immediate chain in command consider such soldiers, a dedicated and devoted one.
    These are all causing significant damage to the overall fitness level of the fighting troops.
    Besides battle injuries, a considerable number of personnel sustain incapacitating injuries even during training and day to day discharge of their routine duties. I have seen personnel getting dismembered, suffering fatal injuries and even blown off during routine discharge of duties and training.
    Has the Army chief taken into consideration these aspects before propagating his views?
    Broadbanding of disability percentage is appropriate because in considerable number of cases injuries aggravate with the age and cause further suffering and hardships to the injured.

  8. I have done more ops tenure than minimum mandatory. I have served in peace station where we had shortage of staff of upto 30% resulting us having a regular 8-8 routine work with my team working till midnight on number of occassions. I developed hypertension though I am a ‘fit’ officer on all other parameters. But have been degraded and missed my promotions. I agree there are unscrupulous officers (senior ranking), but the rest really suffer due to the shortage of resources. It’s unfair to take out a promised compensation. Infact it’s unethical and illegal. Those were risk insurances promised to me when I signed up.

  9. If the idea is to penalise whole community then it should apply to all including baus, politicians etc. If there are few cases of misuse of a facility by any person, the facility should be withdrawn from all persons in that category. Na marj rahega na marij.

  10. The decision to tax disability pension is no solution to the real issue. Veterans have expressed their displeasure at large. It’s not a easy game for PBORs to get disability pension by fooling the system. Officers of higher ranks misuse their position and may gain undue advantages by misrepresenting the facts for which penalising every one is not natural justice. This will have far reaching impacts. A foolproof system is the only remedy. The “life style” in defence can’t be compared to those “babus” sitting in ac rooms enjoying every undue facilities at the cost of taxpayer, needs to be taken into account. Much has been expressed on this matter. A blanket decision on this humanitarian subject, which is in existence since 1922, may invite adverse refurcations.

  11. I of the view that this issue is being takes up unnecessarily by some people in the Army HQ. An Army of more than 12 lakh is bound to have some people to resist the rules to their advantages. It does not mean every disable person has manipulated his disability pension . There are hundreds of road accidents every day but the govt has not banned the production and sale of all types of vehicles. Rather it has made the traffic tiles more stringent to control the road accidents. So similarly if some one has managed the disability pension he and the medicos tesponsible yo help him by giving false report must be taken to task. The Army HQs must strenthen the checks and balances in the org. The cases of gen Cartzo, gen oberoi and people like them must be used as a motivational factor rather than being belittle to them . What a great sacrifice they made. In fact such people must be rewarded. ( Incidently I am not a beneficiary of disability pension ) .

  12. I think govt should think over the recovery of billions from the scams and frauds first and stop treating the armed forces as easy meat. No body can feign and manipulate disability. Again, terms like broadbanding/clubbing/rationalisation if emanating from the BABUs’ lexicon is dangerous across services, ranks and files.

  13. Disability pension is also applicable to civilian employees. Which battle do they fight. In their case no one dare take up such a stand without, firstly,consulting those affected, and secondly, the trade unions will never let any such thing.

    The army chief refuses to see light and continues to take a rigid stand, without realising that rigidity is NOT considered to be an asset except in one case!!!!

  14. Withdrawal of existing facilities is not a one time entry because Army personnel can’t sit on Sharma like civilian Babbus. This is the duty for Govt and opposition to take unbiased decisions specially for forces who never question to work in peace or war. They face life threat in peace and war both then why the base of disability should be field area. Our Government must Ponder over it…

  15. Is our Government bwnt upon to target the jawans only. A peace or field area should not be a criteria for award of disability pension. If a person is not eligible in peace area why he is asked to duties. He works for the country may any where. If Govt is short fall of tax funds then should ask Army jawan who will never refuse. But such mischievous minds who are suggesting such things must refrain from such sluggish activities.

  16. Injured military people injured on duty should get tax free disability pension. Sell these scam bag current Kashmir j&k political party assets first, kinda related as their corrupt rule over 70 years have contributed to injuries of security forces?


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