Monday, September 29, 2008

Babus' getting first 6th CPC salary today

Babus' in Delhi are today going to get their first increased salary after implementation of Sixth Pay Commission recommendations. Most of the detpartments have made fixation as per guidelines provided by the Ministry of Personnel. Babus' are laughing all the way to the bank.

As festivial season is near, Corporate sector is eying this increased salary and arears that Babus' are going to get.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Govt. Setup committee for Armed Forces

The government has finally responded to Army's continued displeasure over the pay hike.

It has decided to form 3-member committee headed by External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee. The committee will also have Defence Minister AK Anthony and Finance Minister P Chidambaram as its members.

The proposed committee will look into the grievances of the Armed Forces related to the remuneration being offered to them in the Sixth Pay Commission.

The decision was taken after PM was consulted in the US on the issue.

All pending issues of Army on pay hikes will be addressed and resolved latest by October end.

All service headquarters - Army, Navy and Air Force - will issue notification on Monday to hand out the revised payscale according to the Sixth Pay Commission.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Armed Forces continue with old pay

Armed forces personnel will not get new Pay Scale in this month's salary.

Protesting against the “anomalies” in their new pay scales, the Defence Forces on Friday (September 26) did not submit their revised salary bills to the ministry's accounts office. By doing so, the Armed Forces have refused to implement the 6th Central Pay Commission (CPC) report as existing “disparities” affected personnel across all ranks. Government sources say that the file forwarded by the Defence Ministry to the Finance Ministry is now with the Prime Ministers Office (PMO). Finance Ministry has expressed its inability to implement demands due to budgetary constraints.

On Thursday (September 25), the government agreed in principle the Services' demand for restoring 70% “extant pensionary weightage” to jawans on the basis of their last drawn pay. But the Armed Forces are cut up with the Finance Ministry over the rejection of their three other demands concerning officers.

The CPC had recommended that the jawans be given 50% “pensionary weightage” and provided an option of lateral entry into paramilitary and central police forces. The Armed Forces wanted the lateral entry scheme to be first approved and implemented by the government before the CPC recommendation on the 50% “pensionary weightage” came into effect.

"We have accepted salaries this month under the old pay scales, as we expect the government to take a quick decision on all our demands soon after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh returns from his US visit on October 1,” a defence officer said.

Defence Minister A K Antony and the three Services chiefs have already represented to the prime minister on the four “core issues” they have with the CPC notification. Navy chief Admiral Sureesh Mehta and Army chief General Deepak Kapoor met Cabinet Secretary K M Chandrasekhar and PMO officials yesterday to apprise him of the “anger” among the 70,000 officers over their demands not finding favour with the bureaucracy.

They have also requested the country's top political leadership to decide on their CPC demands and to implement the pay commission notification in abeyance till the issues were resolved. “It is just a matter of less than Rs 450 crore annually if the government accepts the four demands of the Armed Forces, which is not a huge burden on the exchequer,” an officer said.

Among the other demands were placing Lt Colonels and their equivalents in the Navy and Air Force under Pay Band-4 instead of Pay Band-3, Grade Pay to officers from Captain to Brigadiers on par with their civilian counterparts, and placing Lt Generals in the Higher Administrative Grade (HAG) Plus pay scales as the Director Generals of paramilitary and police forces.

(From various news agencies)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Armed Forces Vs. Paramilitary

A dangerous split between the armed forces and the paramilitary, arising from the revised Sixth Pay Commission report, could have disastrous consequences for joint operations in troubled regions, the military has told the PMO.

Admiral Sureesh Mehta, Navy chief and chairman of Chiefs of Staff Committee, has cautioned the government that the relationship between the two sits on a tinderbox and infighting would "seriously jeopardise" operations.

The revised report has altered the existing parity between the armed forces and Central Paramilitary Forces (CPMF)/Group A services and IAS by retaining lieutenant colonels in a lower pay band than their paramilitary and civilian counterparts. Pay scales have tradition- ally determined status among government officials.

Mehta told the PMO that ascendancy gained by paramilitary would "seriously hamper command and control functions between the army and the Border Security Force/CPMF".

Success of military operations hinge on the efficiency of command and control. After briefing the PM on "core issues" last week, Mehta met finance minister P. Chidambaram and MoS in the PMO Prithviraj Chauhan on Tuesday Military sources said Mehta has told the PMO that perks of higher status given to CPMF/civilian officers, and denied to equally placed service officers, would result in despondency among them. "A CPMF officer whose pay parity was below a lieutenant colonel in the 4th and 5th pay panel reports has been elevated to the pay scale of a Colonel. This will not be acceptable to either the lieutenant colonel or the Colonel," a senior army officer told HT.

Another "serious error" pointed out by Mehta includes exclusion of lieutenant generals and equivalent from the Higher Administrative Grade pay band. Only army commanders and DGPs and equivalent figure in this grade.

He has also sought the intervention of the PMO to provide the HAG+ pay band for lieutenant generals and equivalent holding posts of principal staff officers, director general and controllers in the services.

Points of Friction
  • Revised pay panel report has altered existing parity by retaining lieutenant colonels in a lower pay band than their paramilitary counterparts
  • Perks of higher status given to CPMF/civilian officers, not to equally placed service officers

(Hindustan Times Delhi 11/09/08)

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Armed Forces grievance to Prime Minister

In a rare departure, Navy Chief Admiral Sureesh Mehta has taken the Armed Forces grievance on the pay panel to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. The Admiral, who is also Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee, met the PM late on Thursday night and brought up ‘core issues’ in the pay commission relating to lowering of pay scales of Defence personnel in comparison to their civilian counterparts.

It is learnt that while Mehta visited the PM to brief him on his recent visits to Japan and South Korea, the issue of anomalies in the pay commission that has led to the ‘lowering of status of Defence officers and men’ was brought up at the end of the meeting.

The Navy chief handed over a detailed representation to the Prime Minister highlighting the perceived anomalies and once again sought the intervention of the Union Cabinet to resolve the issues.

The incident may lead to a little embarrassment for the Defence Ministry that had earlier raised objections over a letter written by the Army Chief to President Pratibha Patil over the pay panel.

“The focus was on the core issues of lowering of status of Defence personnel that will infringe on operational aspects in the field where officers will need to interact with their civil counterparts,” a senior officer said.

The main problem being a lowering of parity of Lt Col and equivalent officers with their counterpart in the paramilitary forces. With the new pay panel norms, central paramilitary officers who were till now ranked lower to Armed Forces officers have been placed in a higher pay band.

On Monday, the three service chiefs had met Defence Minister A K Antony and urged him for the intervention of the Cabinet, rather than a committee to consider its demands on the pay panel report.

In a letter to the Defence Minister, Mehta had said any disruption in the existing parities of pay would lead to serious operational problems for the Armed Forces whenever they would need to work along with paramilitary and civilian officers.

The Armed Forces are angry over the ‘degradation’ of officers of the rank of Lt Cols who have been placed in the Pay Band 3, a grade lower than the PB 4 that their civilian counterparts have been given. They have also demanded that Lt Gen rank officers should be put in the new Pay Band of Higher Administrative Grade (HAG) Plus, in which Director General level officers of civil services and paramilitary have been placed.

(Indian Express Delhi edition 06/09/08)

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Get ready for Tax now

For lakhs of central government employees looking forward to receiving 40% of the accumulated arrears on their increased salary next month here’s a dampener. The government has decided to levy tax on the entire amount of arrears — 60% of which will be paid next year — in the current fiscal itself.

For most employees, the decision will virtually wipe out almost the entire 40% arrears to be paid to them this year. Senior bureaucrats will suffer most as their tax will be topped with a surcharge of 10%, on income of Rs 10 lakh and above.
A senior finance ministry official said the surcharge to be paid by officers of the rank of joint secretary and above ranges between Rs 24,600 and Rs 52,500. The impact will be less on the lower grades.

Last month, the Centre had announced an average increase of 21% in salaries of its employees. The hikes, effective from January 1, 2006, would burden the exchequer by more than Rs 17,500 crore annually while the arrears alone account for more than Rs 29,000 crore.

(Times of India Delhi dated 03/09/08)

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Resolve disparity say Service Chiefs

Raising fresh objections to the Sixth Pay panel notification after the Cabinet cleared it on August 14, the three chiefs of the Armed Forces, in an unprecedented move, have written to Defence Minister A K Antony that implementation for officer ranks be “held in abeyance” until their objections are addressed.

Earlier, they had raised two broad objections : higher salary for Personnel Below Officer Ranks (PBORs) and parity with civil servants for officer ranks. While thanking the government for hiking salaries of PBORs, they claim the disparity has only increased between service officers and their civil service counterparts.

Their objections:
  • Disparity in Pay Bands : The chiefs claim the Committee of Secretaries (CoS) moved the Director rank into Pay Band 4 but retained Lt. Col and its equivalent in other services in Pay Band 3. Earlier, they claim, a Lt. Col got the same pay as an IAS Director and Rs 800 more than a non-IAS Director. Now he gets Rs 14000 less than an IAS director and Rs 11000 less than a non-IAS director.
  • Disparity in Grade Pay : The CoS agreed to their demand to an increase in grade pay across middle-rank officers but also increased the grade pay of civil servants, thereby retaining disparity, the chiefs say. For example, he Pay Commission recommended Rs 6600 for a civil servant equivalent to a Major who was to get Rs 6100. After review, a Major will now get Rs 6600 but his equivalent in the civil service will get Rs 7600.
  • Restricting elite list : The new category of HAG-plus (Higher Administrative Grade) includes all DGs and DGPs but only Army Commanders and their equivalents in other services, the chiefs complain. Their demand: all Lt. Gen officers be included in this category. The Defence Ministry is said to have conveyed that the objections are being looked into and a response will be given soon.

(Indian Express 02/09/08 Delhi edition)