Saturday, April 25, 2009

Lt. Gens get higher pay band

Giving in to a long-standing demand of the Armed Forces, the Government on Friday approved placing of Lt Gen and equivalent officers to the highest pay band of HAG-plus (Higher Administrative Grade). Acting on a demand of the Armed Forces, the Government passed orders placing 33% of Lt. Gene quivalent officers in the highest pay band, thus making them equivalent to Director General-level IPS officers.

With the new order, close to 50 of the senior-most officers of the three forces will now get salaries in the highest pay band (PB-4A). Earlier, the Armed Forces had objected to the pay structure that put Director General-level IPS officers in a higher pay-scale.

While details will be worked out, thes enior-most 33 per cent of all Lt Gen level officers will benefit from the order. This was one of the four major anomalies that had been pointed out by the Armed Forces in the Sixth Pay Commission.

Sources said the issue was taken up aggressively by the Ministry of Defence after it was put forward by the Armed Forces earlier this year. The forces had sent a letter to the Defence Secretary in January, requesting him to take up the matter with the Government.

They had argued that Lt Generals need to be placed in the Higher Administrative Grade (HAG)Plus pay-scales to give them parity with DGl evel officers of the IPS. The logic given was that till the last pay commission, Lt Gen and DGP-level offices had the same status and by moving the IPS officer to HAG plus, the status of the Armed Forces has been lowered.

With this new order, the Prime Minister’s Office has accepted three of the four demands relating to the pay panel that had been put forward by the Defence Ministry. The demand for placing Lt Colonels in a higher pay band and increasing the pensionary weightage forj awans has already been accepted by the Government.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Now CPWD Engineers want salary parity

After ex-servicemen, it is now the turn of CPWD engineers to register their disgruntlement over lack of pay parity with other all India services like IAS and IFS.

In a letter to the PM, the Central Engineering Services Group A Association has talked about the disconnect between the crucial role of engineers in making Congress’s development poll plank a reality, their importance for preparation of Commonwealth Games and the fact that their demands have been pending for so long. ‘‘The present election is being fought on the plank of development. It is rather unfortunate that the officers in government who have been contributing in development on a very rich scale are getting neglected and are demoralized progressively,’’ the letter dated April 13 reads.

The sixth pay commission had recommended pay parity for engineers with other services with a twoyear gap and the government had accepted that recommendation in August last year but a formal order is yet to be implemented.

(Time of India, Delhi - 15/04/2009)