No raw deal for defence officers: Govt
The government refutes reports that there were wide disparities in salaries of civilian employees and defence officers. A report by HT Correspondent.Updated: Sep 04, 2008 00:34 IST
The government on Wednesday refuted reports that there were wide disparities in salaries of civilian employees and defence officers.
“It is wrong to say that defence officers have been given a raw deal,” a senior finance ministry official said.
The Chiefs of Staff Committee (COSC) has pointed out anomalies in the revised Sixth Pay Commission report and is not in favour of the report being implemented in its current form. The COSC, with the three chiefs on board, has sought the intervention of Defence Minister A.K. Antony to freeze its implementation until issues pertaining to pay parity and dilution of the status of defence officers are addressed. Defence ministry sources said the armed forces have made a presentation to Antony, who has assured support.
The military is livid about the introduction of disparity in pay bands that has placed lieutenant col-onels and equivalents in scales lower than their civilian/paramilitary counterparts.
The main grouse of the armed forces is that director-rank IAS officers have been quietly put in a higher pay band (PB-4), while lieutenant colonels, drawing the same pay earlier, have been retained in the lower PB-3.
The finance ministry official said the comparison is not appropriate as lieutenant colonels and directors were not comparable on rank equivalence terms.
Also, the military brass cannot digest why lieutenant generals and equivalent haven’t been included in the new category of Higher Administrative Grade-plus. Only director generals of police and army commanders figure in this grade. How can the government justify enhancing the status of a DGP over a lieutenant general commanding a strike corps or the Strategic Forces Command,” asked an officer.
A lower grade pay for middle-rung defence officers compared to their civilian counterparts has also not gone down well with the armed forces. The finance ministry official, however, said about 60 per cent of the total pay and allowances (excluding railway employees) after the implementation of the pay commission’s recommendations would accrue to defence forces.