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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Services unite for better pay

The three armed service might be fighting with each other on creating more top level posts, they have decided to rally together to get better pack packets from the Sixth Pay Commission.

Defence Minister A K Antony on Tuesday said that for the first time Army, Air Force and Navy will be putting their best foot forward by presenting a unified proposal to the Sixth Pay Commission.

Sources said that the services are seeking a substantial jump in the salaries so that they could match up with pay packets in the corporate sector. The officials fear mass exodus if a substantial hike is not given to the three services.

The Ministry of Defence is backing the case of the service official as A K Antony has said on several occasions that the salaries in the armed forces needs to be revised substantially. The armed forces are already struggling to cope up with shortage of officers. If the salaries are not hiked to the expectation, the problem will become worse.

Better career options in the private sector have already made it difficult for the armed forces to attract youngsters. The officials said that as of not alarming, but if the pay packets are not increased, it would be difficult to prevent people from leaving the service.

Those in the ranks of lieutenant colonel and colonel are going to be the biggest sufferers, said sources. The MoD is estimating that there can be a large number of officers in the middle ranks who could be leaving the service.

The Army is already facing a problem of 11,000 officers. The MoD is trying to address the issues being faced by the officers. The attrition rate is a problem in the Indian Air Force also where the boom in the civil aviation sector is luring pilots.

The MoD will soon be approaching the government for approval of second phase of married accommodation project to meet the shortfall in accommodation to a large number of soldiers are living away from their families. The measure is part of making service conditions of officers better.