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Cols, Brigs to be moved into higher pay band
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 26
Officers of the rank of brigadier and equivalent in the armed forces are now expected be placed in the pay scale recommended for major generals. Similarly, colonels and equivalent would be moved up in the pay-scale ladder after they compete a certain length of service.

Sources associated with the empowered committee of secretaries looking into perceived anomalies in the Sixth Pay Commission’s recommendations said that the upward revision in pay scales for brigadiers and colonels had been agreed to during deliberations between the committee members and defence ministry representatives. A final decision in this regard, however, is yet to be taken and there could be some modifications.

The committee is headed by the cabinet secretary, K M Chandrasekhar. The committee was set up after there was widespread discontent in the armed forces, Indian Police Service, para-military organisations as well as other central government services over the pay panel’s recommendations. The committee’s recommendations would be sent to the cabinet for its approval.

Sources said that it was now proposed that brigadiers would be moved into the pay scale of 39,200-67,100, which had been recommended by the pay panel for major generals. Colonels and equivalents would also be moved into a higher scale after they put in at least 20 years of service.

Sources added that no changes in the basic pay of officers of other ranks were expected, though revision of certain allowances and benefits is on the cards. Middle-rung officers were said to be the worst hit by the pay panel’s proposals.

Also on the cards is an upward revision of the grade pay for armed forces officers from captain to brigadier. While fixing grade pay, armed forces officers where recommended a grade pay that was one level below that of civil service officers for the same basic pay. For example, the same pay scale was recommended for a captain in the army and a senior time scale officer in the civil services. The grade pay recommended for a captain, however, was Rs 5,700 per month where as that for the civil service officer was Rs 6,100. Similarly, the grade pay of Rs 6,600 was proposed for a lieutenant colonel, while that of Rs 8,300 was proposed for his IAS counterpart.

Grade pay is an important issue as it is the sole determinant of status of central government employees vis-à-vis the civil services. Military personnel have been pointing out that successive pay commissions have been consistently downgrading their status.

Another important issue if the newly introduced Military Service Pay (MSP), recommended at Rs 6,000 per month for officers and Rs 1,000 per month for personnel below officer rank (PBOR). It has now been agreed to double the MSP for PBOR to Rs 2,000.

Introduction of the MSP would also result in working out a modified parity for personnel who have retired before January 1, 2006, the retrospective date for which the approved recommendations of the pay panel are to be implemented. Sources said that earlier retirees would be benefited by an amount equivalent to 50 per cent of the MSP in their pension fixation.



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