Tribune News Service New Delhi, September 10
In an embarrassment to the Modi government, the armed forces have rejected the salary and emoluments recommended by the Seventh Central Pay Commission, pleading that its implementation be put on hold in view of the “unresolved anomalies” that lowered the status of the forces vis-à-vis their counterparts in the police and the civil administration. The Ministry of Defence had issued the notification on September 6 after taking into account a letter by the three services chiefs on the issue of pay parity, among other things. This notification was exclusively for the forces. In the past 24 hours, the Army, the Navy and the Air Force have issued separate letters to inform senior commanders and the troops about the decision of the top brass. The Chiefs of Staff Committee had met on September 7 to discuss the issue. Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar is expected to take a decision on the matter on Monday. Earlier, the notification for enhanced pay for the forces had been held up as the issues raised by the three services were being studied. The main “anomaly” is that the formula adopted for determining the basic pay for the armed forces is different from the one for other Central government employees. As a result, in each rank the service officers have been awarded lower pay scales. In March, the MoD had told an empowered panel that the status, pay and allowances of the armed forces be kept above the other “fighting” arms of the government.