Committee set up to look into pay panel grievances

April 9th, 2008 - 1:56 am ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Sonia Gandhi

New Delhi, April 8 (IANS) Days after several Indian Army officers put in their papers and Indian Police Service officials met Congress chief Sonia Gandhi to express their unhappiness over the recommendations of the Sixth Pay Commission, the government Tuesday set up a high level committee to look into their grievances. The government Tuesday 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 the forces.

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

Sixty five officers of the Indian Army have put in their papers in the last two weeks since the pay panel recommendations on March 24.

The officers, mostly from the colonel and lieutenant colonel ranks, had sought voluntary retirement.

The large number of resignations in a span of just two weeks came at a time the army is facing a shortage of 11,200 officers. Earlier, around 3,000 mid-level commanders had sought voluntary retirement to move to the lucrative private sector.

There has been resentment among the armed forces over what they see as disparity between them and civil officers.

The officers’ representatives had a meeting with members of the Pay Commission April 4. India’s military chiefs had April 1 met Defence Minister A.K. Antony to covey their disappointment over the pay scale recommendations.

This was the second such meeting in a week, with the service chiefs having met the minister March 27.

Senior members of the Central Indian Police Service Association had last Friday met Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and Home Minister Shivraj Patil to express their concern over the pay panel recommendations.

It said the pay panel recommendations were below their expectations.

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