New year Cheer to Lt Colonels

It’s a New Year cheer for the armed forces with the Government agreeing to increase the salaries of Lt Colonel and equivalent by upgrading their pay band and hiking their grade pay.

Sources said Prime Minister’s Office has told the Defence Ministry that the armed forces’ proposal for an increase in salaries of the Lieutenant Generals — by creating a separate band of Higher Administrative Grade plus has been rejected. This decision was conveyed to the Defence Ministry on December 30. The Ministry has been told that the new package is non-negotiable.

The government has decided to put Lt Colonels and their equivalents in pay band IV as demanded by the armed forces after the Sixth Pay Commission report.

The Lt Colonels, numbering around 12,000 in the Indian Army, will get a grade pay of Rs 8,000 per month — less than Rs 8,700 per month a Director-level officer gets and more than the Rs 7,600 a Deputy Secretary gets on the civilian side.

But this increase is only applicable to Lt Cols serving in combat roles in the Indian Army and not those who are on deputation to other services or arms of government. The government has already resolved the pension issue of the personnel below officer ranks (PBORs) by accepting the demands of the armed forces.

In his recommendation to Prime Minister Mr. Manmohan Singh, Mr. Pranab Mukherjee has written a detailed note refuting the contentious demands of the armed forces including parity of status with Director General of Police rank for all 88 Lieutenant Generals in the Indian Army.

News Source : The Indian Express (01-01-09)

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