Armed forces back out of pay panel protest

Armed forces back out of pay panel protest

IAF, navy chiefs meet defence minister

Armed forces back out of pay panel protest

The Armed Forces have backed out of their protest against the central government with regard to implementation of the recommendations of the Seventh Central Pay Commission for the military.

Air Force chief, Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha, accompanied by navy chief Admiral Sunil Lanba and Army adjutant general Lt Gen Rakesh Sharma, met Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar here on Wednesday to discuss anomalies and the road ahead.

Since the army chief is not in the country, the land forces were represented by the AG
“The defence minister is seized of all the issues and assured to resolve them at the earliest. The Services are satisfied with the response,” Raha said in a statement.

The protest by the military ended five days after the army, air force and navy dispatched signals to all their formations, informing the troops and officers on why the Services had asked the government to put on hold the implementation of the new pay scale. The signals were sent in the latter half of  last week. On Monday, Parrikar had a meeting with Raha, Lanba and other senior military officials and told them to implement the pay commission’s  recommendations as notified by the defence ministry on September 7. Any grievances, Parrikar said, could be addressed later.

Overruling the objections from the military, Parrikar told the officials they would have to first implement the government’s decision. The forces were also told that all their demands could not be met, sources said.

The government set up a 22-member committee to look into various pay related anomalies arising out of the implementation of the pay commission's recommendations. One of the panel members is the defence ministry’s financial adviser, who is aware of the contentious issues.

The central government accepted most of the recommendations of the pay commission, to be implemented from January 1, 2016. The services, however, had multiple concerns, including a worry that the recommendations would put them on par with the Central Armed Police Forces.

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