Anomalies in defence pay scales will be rectified: Antony

September 27th, 2008 - 2:57 pm ICT by IANS  

Thiruvananthapuram, Sep 27 (IANS) Anomalies in pay scales for defence personnel in the Sixth Pay Commission will be sorted out soon, and the armed forces “will celebrate Diwali” by collecting their new salaries, Defence Minister A.K. Antony promised here Saturday.Speaking to reporters here, Antony rubbished news reports that the Indian armed forces personnel would observe the forthcoming festival of lights on Oct 28 as ‘Black Diwali’ over the newly announced pay scales.

“Who told you such things? Such a thing is not going to happen. When the Pay Commission came out with new pay scales, I agree there were some anomalies for the armed forces personnel. But don’t worry. We will sort out all such issues and they will celebrate Diwali by collecting their new pay scales,” Antony said.

The defence minister earlier met armed forces veterans and also distributed specially made scooters to disabled soldiers.

He said the first step to gender equality in the defence forces was taken Friday when he signed the orders for granting permanent commission for women in certain categories.

“This is only the first step, and slowly we will open up,” said Antony.

He was peeved when reporters asked him whether the move would allow women to compete with men in the armed forces.

“I have been defence minister for nearly two years and I have come here several times, but not a single person here asked me when I would open the defence forces for women. Now when I have signed the order, you find fault with me. Please don’t be in a hurry,” he said tersely.

He declined to answer questions on whether he proposed to open up the National Defence Academy and the Indian Military Academy to women.

“We are planning to open one more institute for training of people in the armed forces. The details are being worked out,” said Antony.

He said that the Russian defence minister was arriving in India Sunday and he would meet the visitor Monday.

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