Sunday, March 27, 2016

Defence ministry to take up case of armed forces’ status

With a nod from Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar at a high-level meeting on Tuesday to be categorical in the issues of status, pay and allowances of the Armed Forces personnel, the Defence Ministry is drafting a note for the empowered committee headed by the Cabinet Secretary on the 7th Central Pay Commission report to keep them above all other arms of the government.
Sources said Parrikar was in agreement with eight “key issues” raised by the three Service chiefs — Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha, Admiral Robin Dhowan and Army chief General Dalbir Singh Suhag. Since the Armed Forces cannot directly petition to the empowered committee, the ministry was asked to rush to it with a formal note before the government notifies acceptance of the Pay Commission recommendations.

In all, the Armed Forces have flagged 37 issues if injustice by the commission, eight of which have been termed as “key issues” which can have an adverse impact on the morale if not sorted out.
One of the issues is “wrong and misplaced” comparison of the Armed Forces with the central paramilitary forces like CRPF, BSF, ITBP, CISF and SSB. The chiefs of the Services told the Defence Minister that there can be no comparison with the paramilitary forces in erms of mandate, duties, risks in service conditions and tasks assigned.
Their prime concern is that the Pay Commission has upset the laid-down seniorities by placing the Armed Forces’ allowances lower than those to the paramilitary forces. They told Parrikar that the status disturbed by the Pay Commission should be restored.

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