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Forces reject revised pay in protest

Protesting against the "anomalies" in their new pay scales, the Defence Forces today did not submit their revised salary bills to the ministry's accounts office.

india Updated: Sep 26, 2008 18:27 IST

Protesting against the "anomalies" in their new pay scales, the Defence Forces today did not submit their revised salary bills to the ministry's accounts office.

By doing so, the Armed Forces have refused to implement the 6th Central Pay Commission (CPC) report as existing "disparities" affected personnel across all ranks.

"The Armed Forces have not raised their pay vouchers in the revised scales in accordance with the CPC notification and have submitted bills in the old pay scales," a Defence Ministry source told PTI in New Delhi.

Yesterday, the government agreed in principle the Services' demand for restoring 70 per cent "extant pensionary weightage" to jawans on the basis of their last drawn pay.

But the Armed Forces are cut up with the Finance Ministry over the rejection of their three other demands concerning officers.

The CPC had recommended that the jawans be given 50 per cent "pensionary weightage" and provided an option of lateral entry into paramilitary and central police forces.

The Armed Forces wanted the lateral entry scheme to be first approved and implemented by the government before the CPC recommendation on the 50 per cent "pensionary weightage" came into effect.

"We have accepted salaries this month under the old pay scales, as we expect the government to take a quick decision on all our demands soon after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh returns from his US visit on October 1," a defence officer said.

In effect, over 50 lakh civilian government employees will take home higher pay packets along with the arrears announced in the CPC this month, but the 13-lakh-strong Armed Forces personnel would reconcile with the old salaries, to send a strong message to the government.

Defence Minister AK Antony and the three Services chiefs have already represented to the prime minister on the four "core issues" they have with the CPC notification.

Navy chief Admiral Sureesh Mehta and Army chief General Deepak Kapoor met Cabinet Secretary K M Chandrasekhar and PMO officials yesterday to apprise him of the "anger" among the 70,000 officers over their demands not finding favour with the bureaucracy.

They have also requested the country's top political leadership to decide on their CPC demands and to implement the pay commission notification in abeyance till the issues were resolved.

"It is just a matter of less than Rs 450 crore annually if the government accepts the four demands of the Armed Forces, which is not a huge burden on the exchequer," an officer said.

Among the other demands were placing Lt Colonels and their equivalents in the Navy and Air Force under Pay Band-4 instead of Pay Band-3, Grade Pay to officers from Captain to Brigadiers on par with their civilian counterparts, and placing Lt Generals in the Higher Administrative Grade (HAG) Plus pay scales as the Director Generals of paramilitary and police forces.