Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Following Lt Cols, govt approves higher pay for Lt Gens - Will be placed into Higher Administrative Grade (HAG) Plus scales.

Three days after implementing higher pay for Lt Cols, the government on Friday night approved of higher wages for lieutenant generals under the Sixth Pay Commission putting them at par with director generals of police, a key demand of the armed forces.

The defence ministry conveyed the government's decision to the Armed Forces headquarters in a letter which comes nearly seven months after the union cabinet approved the Sixth Pay Commission implementation in August last year, sources in the services' headquarters told PTI here.

Nearly 50 three-star officers, who are Lt Gens in the Army, Air Marshals in the IAF and Vice Admirals in the Navy, would benefit from the government move to place them in the Higher Administrative Grade (HAG) Plus scales.

About 33 per cent of the total number of Lt Gen-rank officers would be receiving the new pay scales at par with the DGPs of state police and central paramilitary forces.

There are approximately about 150 Lt Gen-rank officers in the three services. Among them, the Army, Navy and Air Force Commanders, who are chiefs of the Service's Commands, and vice chiefs of the respective forces are already in a special category of pay scales equivalent to secretaries in the civilian services. The HAG Plus scales would be for Lt Gens who are not Commanders or Vice Chiefs.

"The armed forces are extremely happy with the government's decision to accord the HAG Plus pay scales to Lt Gens. With this, the government has restored the three-star rank officers' their status. This will surely help in resolving the seniority issue in areas where officers from the armed forces and the civilian services work jointly," a senior armed forces officer said.

By accepting this demand, the government has resolved three of the four "core issues" raised by the armed forces with Defence Minister A.K. Antony and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh soon after the government approved the Sixth Pay Commission recommendations last year.

Other issues already solved to the satisfaction of the Services included according Pay Band-4 scales to 15,000-odd Lieutenant Colonel-rank officers, who form the backbone of the armed forces' fighting units and restoring 70 per cent weightage in pensionary benefits for the over a million-strong jawans.

While the government has already notified the amended pay order in the case of Lt Cols, the notifications for the Lt Gens and the jawans are yet to come, sources said.

Source : India Today.

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