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THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

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Pay Pangs
Defence men line up to quit
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 8
In what seems like the after-effects of the Sixth Pay Commission, the ministry of defence has been hit hard with the sudden exodus of officers. Sources said the matter of officers seeking pre-mature retirement after the commission announced its recommendations was a matter of concern. An official spokesperson refused to comment in this regard.

Nearly 70-odd Army, Navy and Air Force officers have reportedly put in their papers seeking premature exit in the last fortnight after the commission submitted its report on March 24.

There could be more exits in the offing as officers in the ranks of lieutenant colonel, colonel and even higher are not happy with the mere 15 per cent hike recommended by the commission, said senior officers here.

In normal circumstances, the Army processes about 2 to 4 pre-mature retirement papers a week. But in the past two to three weeks, the figure has increased. The Army is already facing a shortage of more than 11,000 officers.

This shortage is being sorely felt at the operational level where formations are now operating with just almost half of their sanctioned strength of 25 officers.

In a new measure, the Army has enforced a system whereby non-commissioned officers and junior commissioned officers are taking on role of officers, especially in insurgency-affected deployments.

Concerned over the developments, the three services chiefs have already submitted detailed modification proposals to the government seeking redressal in stagnation being faced by officers of the rank of majors and colonels.

In their proposals to the ministry of defence, the armed forces are also seeking a hike from Rs 1,000 to Rs 3,000 in the minimum military service pay for personnel below officer ranks.

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Panel to examine problems of defence men

New Delhi, April 8
With the armed forces and IPS officers voicing their unhappiness over the Sixth Pay Commission recommendations, the government today set up a high-level committee to look into their grievances.

The Finance Ministry today constituted a three-member committee comprising Finance Secretary D Subbarao, Home Secretary Madhukar Gupta and Defence Secretary Vijay Singh to look into the modifications suggested by these forces.

The committee has been asked to submit its report within two months, official sources said here today.

The governmentís step comes in the wake of dismayed IPS officers meeting Congress party President Sonia Gandhi to air their grievances on the Pay Commissionís recommendations.

The three defence service chiefs have submitted proposals to the Defence Minister saying that the armed forces have not got fair treatment from the Pay Commission.

The three services chiefs submitted detailed modification proposals to the government seeking redressal in stagnation being faced by officers of the rank of majors and colonels in the army.

In their proposals to the Ministry of Defence, the armed forces are, among other things, seeking a hike from Rs 1,000 to Rs 3,000 in the minimum military service pay for personnel below officer ranks.

They have pointed out anomalies in the new pay structure between soldiers and personnel below officer rank and their counterparts in paramilitary forces.

The armed forces also want more running pay bands for officers of the rank of Majors, Colonels and Brigadiers. ó PTI

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