Armed forces’ suggestions sought on separate pay panel

January 7th, 2009 - 8:04 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Jan 7 (IANS) The armed forces were Wednesday asked for their suggestions on a separate pay panel that the Prime Minister’s Office has cleared for them, an official said.”The service headquarters have received a note from the defence ministry seeking suggestions on how to go about constituting a separate pay panel for the defence forces,” the official added, requesting anonymity.

The note was sent along with a letter from the PMO on the decision on a separate pay commission for the armed forces to delink their salary revision from other government employees.

While agreeing to give more pay to lieutenant-colonels in the Indian Army and their equivalents in the Indian Navy and the Indian Air Force, the Prime Minister’s Office Dec 31, 2008 sent a letter to the cabinet secretary informing him about the decision on a separate pay commission for the armed forces.

The government has also decided that lieutenant-colonels deployed on “combat or ready-to-combat” duties in their parent service may be placed in pay band four (Rs.37,400-67,000) - one step higher than the Sixth Pay Commission recommended in its report last year. Lieutenant-colonels on deputation will get the scale when they return to their parent service.

The government has also decided to set up a high-powered committee to resolve issues relating to command and control functions and the status of the armed forces vis-à-vis the paramilitary and civilian government employees.

However, the PMO letter is silent on one other issue: including officers of the rank of lieutenant-general and equivalent in the Higher Administrative Grade (HAG) Plus category that has been created in all government departments except the armed forces.

Directors-general of police, whose rank is equivalent to that of a lieutenant-general, have been placed in the HAG Plus category.

The report of the Sixth Pay Commission, headed by Justice (retd) B.N. Srikrishna, was submitted to then finance minister P. Chidambaram March 24. Chidambaram is now the home minister, and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh holds the finance portfolio.

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