Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Mukherjee discusses armed forces pay issue with Chidambaram

Efforts to resolve the alleged "anomalies" in the new pay scales for armed forces gained momentum with External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday discussing the matter with Finance Minister P. Chidambaram.

Mukherjee, who is heading a three-member ministerial committee looking into the issue, held discussions with Chidambaram after holding consultations with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Mukherjee and Chidambaram were together for about an hour during which they are understood to have explored ways to address the issue to the satisfaction of the forces.

The Defence Services, led by their Chiefs, are up in arms over the 6th Pay Commission recommendations, alleging that it compromised their status and honour.

Emerging from the meeting at the External Affairs Minister's South Block office, Chidambaram refused to comment on the deliberations, saying it was his first meeting with Mukherjee on the issue.

Mukherjee on Monday said he had discussed the matter with the Prime Minister and that he hoped the issue would be settled shortly.

The committee, which also includes Antony and Chidambaram, was set up by the Prime Minister on September 25 in the wake of deep resentment in the armed forces, who complained that there were "anomalies" in the Sixth Pay Commission recommendations and that it had lowered the status of their officers.

Source : The Hindu.

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