M A I N   N E W S

Services chiefs take up pay panel anomalies with Antony
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 27
The three services chiefs of the Indian armed forces have met defence minister A.K. Antony and pointed out various anomalies in the recent recommendations of the 6th Pay Commission concerning the three arms of the country’s military.

Sources in the ministry of defence (MoD) confirmed that the issue of the anomalies was raised during the meeting with the defence minister which although had other issues also on the agenda.

The service chiefs are apparently unhappy with the pay panel’s recommendations. The meeting had already been scheduled before the recommendations came but they overshadowed the other issues, sources said.

“A draft had been prepared and was discussed with the minister,” the source added. According to reports, the service chiefs were unhappy with the commission’s recommendations on several counts.

Firstly, they feel that their demand for parity with civilian employees has not been addressed and were also unhappy with the military service pay that has been recommended in a bid to reduce this disparity.

The service chiefs also believe that after taking into account taxes and other deductions, the wage hike in real terms would amount to only 20 per cent. Besides, they contend that personnel below officer rank (PBOR) had been given a raw deal in the commission’s recommendations.

Incidentally, the wage increases recommended by the four-member pay panel headed by B.N. Srikrishna, a former Supreme Court judge, could see the top generals getting a salary of Rs 90,000 a month.

Antony had been guarded in his reaction to the commission’s report, presented to finance minister P. Chidambaram two days ago and which recommends a 40 per cent across-the-board pay hike for the armed forces personnel.

‘I will not comment now. Let me first study the report and discuss it with all concerned. I will react after that,’ Antony said yesterday on the sidelines of a defence awards function here. The disappointment of the service chiefs was indicated by the chief of Naval staff Admiral Sureesh Mehta, who said, “We will closely study the report and then meet the pay commission” .

The recommendations translate into a take-home package (before tax) of Rs 25,760 for officers at the entry level of Lieutenants and equivalent and rising to a maximum of Rs 65,090 for Lieut-Generals and their equivalents. The vice-chiefs of the three services and army commanders and equivalents — also three-star officers — will get a fixed salary of Rs.80,000 per month.

In the case of PBORs, the commission has recommended that at the entry level, sepoys (privates) and their equivalents receive a minimum of Rs 7,860, rising to a maximum of Rs.40,600 for subedar-majors and their equivalents.

The commission has for the first time recommended Rs 6,000 per month as military service pay for all defence personnel till the rank of Brigadier and equivalent.



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