Sunday, August 31, 2008

Navy chief raises pay panel report "anomaly" with Antony

Even as the government notified the Sixth Central Pay Commission report benefiting 50-lakh government servants, Navy chief Admiral Sureesh Mehta has voiced the "demoralisation" among the middle-rung officers to Defence Minister A K Antony over "an anomaly" in their new pay scales.

Mehta met Antony on Friday evening to brief him on his recent visit to Japan and Korea where he took up the issue of "Lt Colonels and their equivalents in Navy and IAF being placed in Pay Band-3, lowering the extant of parities, while their civilian and paramilitary counterparts were raised to Pay Band-4," top Navy sources told media on Saturday.

"The Navy chief discussed the matter with the Defence Minister in his late evening meeting on Friday and the Ministry is now seized of the matter," sources said.

The Ministry is likely "to take up the matter" at the highest level in the government "to address the grievances" of the armed forces, even though the CPC had already been notified late on Friday night, sources added.

The "anomaly" was first articulated by Air chief Marshal Fali Homi Major in a letter to the Defence Minister on August 25, while acting as Chairman of Chief of Staff Committee as incumbent Mehta was in Japan and South Korea.

Major had said it was "unfortunate" that the Finance Ministry had introduced yet another anomaly, "lowering the extant parities of officer of the Armed Forces of the rank of Lt Colonels (and equivalent) by retaining them in the Pay Band-3, while raising similarly placed civilian and paramilitary officer to Pay Band-4."
Source : The Economic Times.

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