Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Armed Forces chiefs raise fresh objections to pay disparity

New Delhi, September 3: Raising fresh objections to the Sixth Pay panel notification after the Cabinet cleared it on August 14, the three chiefs of the Armed Forces, in an unprecedented move, have written to Defence Minister A K Antony that implementation for officer ranks be “held in abeyance” until their objections are addressed.

Earlier, they had raised two broad objections: higher salary for Personnel Below Officer Ranks (PBORs) and parity with civil servants for officer ranks. While thanking the government for hiking salaries of PBORs, they claim the disparity has only increased between service officers and their civil service counterparts.

Their objections:

•Disparity in Pay Bands: The chiefs claim the Committee of Secretaries (CoS) moved the Director rank into Pay Band 4 but retained Lt. Col and its equivalent in other services in Pay Band 3. Earlier, they claim, a Lt. Col got the same pay as an IAS Director and Rs 800 more than a non-IAS Director. Now he gets Rs 14000 less than an IAS director and Rs 11000 less than a non-IAS director.

•Disparity in Grade Pay: The CoS agreed to their demand to an increase in grade pay across middle-rank officers but also increased the grade pay of civil servants, thereby retaining disparity, the chiefs say. For example, he Pay Commission recommended Rs 6600 for a civil servant equivalent to a Major who was to get Rs 6100. After review, a Major will now get Rs 6600 but his equivalent in the civil service will get Rs 7600.

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