Prime Minister Mr. Manmohan Singh has given his approval to the report of the three-member ministerial committee, headed by foreign minister Pranab Mukherjee, set up to examine the four “core demands” of armed forces over their new revised pay scales.
The official announcement of the government decision will be done in a “day or two”, which will be followed by the new pay notification, said sources on Friday.
Earlier in the day, the three Service chiefs — Admiral Sureesh Mehta, General Deepak Kapoor and Air Chief Marshal F H Major — met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to brief him on the security situation after 26/11. “Service matters, including the recommendations of the pay commission were also discussed,” said an official statement.
Sources says, there are indications that while rejecting uniform grade pay for military officers on par with their civilian counterparts, the government seems to have more or less agreed to the other three demands of armed forces over their new revised pay scales.
The government had given the go-ahead to elevation of Lt-Colonel rank officers to a higher pay scale; placement of a majority of Lt-Generals in the new “higher administrative grade-plus” with police DGPs; and restoration of the reduction in pension for jawans.
The armed forces have been demanding parity with their civilian and paramilitary counterparts after the release of 6th Pay Commission report.
They were particularly upset over the “extant parity” of Lt-Col rank officers being lowered by retaining them in Pay Band-3 (Rs 15,600-39,100), while raising similarly placed civilians and paramilitary officers to PB-4 (Rs 37,400-67,000).
The “lowering of status” of Lt-Cols and their equivalent ranks in IAF (Wing Commander) and Navy (Commander) hit the armed forces the most since they constitute the bulk of the fighting force among officers. Almost 18,950 of the 54,770 officers in the forces are Lt-Col rank officers.
News Source : Times of India (26-12-08)