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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Sharp criticism from IAF

The Indian Air Force (IAF) chief has criticized the Sixth Pay Commission and said that there was a need to create parity between civilian and military pay scale.
The criticism comes after several senior armed forces officials had welcomed the final Sixth pay Commission recommendations as accepted by the Union Cabinet on 14th August. Government had made several amendments to the original recommendations of the sixth pay commission to satisfy the demands of the armed forces.

Former armed forces chief General (Rtd) NC Vij had criticized the original Sixth pay recommendations calling it inadequate. In a letter written to Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Sigh he had said, " As a former chief, I feel morally duty-bound to bring this fact to the notice of the Hon'ble Prime Minister in my personal capacity. I take heart from the fact, that it is under your leadership, that, in my tenure, the government went for a major improvement in the 'operational posture by sanctioning South Western Command and 9 Corps HQs with full complements and also for some restoration of self esteem of the young officers through addressing their delayed promotions-cum-service conditions, by approving Part 1 of Ajay Vikram Singh Committee report'…If this had been followed up, through a balanced PCR and implementation of Part II of the 'AVS Report', things would have reasonably improved, but unfortunately the very opposite has happened."

Stressing on the plight of army personnel he further said, "Sir, you yourself hail from a state, which has traditionally produced soldiers. You would have often wondered, as to why a supremely fit jawan/JCO who retires at the young age of 42-48, ages and grows old so fast. It is because he has no resources to fall back upon to ensure a decent living for his family after his early retirement. This problem gets further accentuated with the constraints of even poor farming conditions. Why should a soldier retire at this early age (other services serve upto 60 years) and why this man who has served the Nation so valiantly not be given a second career by way of 'lateral transfer', which alas will never come about".
Now when everyone thought that armed forces grouse had been adequately addressed, IAF chief has asked the government to restore the parity in the pay scales of officers of the rank of Lieutenant Colonels and equivalent with their civilian and Coast Guard counterparts who have been awarded more emoluments by the Sixth Pay Commission.

Air Chief Marshal Fali H. Major in a letter addressed to Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee and the Indian Navy chief says, "The finance ministry is introducing yet another anomaly by lowering the extant of parities of officers of the armed forces, of the Lt. Col. (and equivalent), by retaining them in pay band-3, while raising similarly placed civilian and paramilitary officers to pay band-4".

IAF chief added that "It is reliably learnt that civilian and paramilitary officers in the extant pay scales S-24 (Rs.14,300-400-18,300) and S-25 (Rs.15,100-400-18,300) will be placed in pay band-4, whereas the same is being denied to the armed forces officers (Lt. Col. and equivalent) who were already in S-25".

Earlier chairman Chiefs of Staff Committee and Navy Chief, Admiral Sureesh Mehta had welcomed the government's decision to consider the demands of the armed forces while granting the Sixth Pay Commission. He said that even as more details are awaited, prima-facie, all the concerns of the defence forces appear to have been suitably addressed.

The Navy chief had said, "Increase in Military Service Pay of PBORs and compensation for middle-rung officers are particularly heartening. The decision to credit arrears from January 01, 2006 is most welcome".