'Paltry' hike for armed forces; Antony meets pay panel

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New Delhi, Apr 4: Defence Minister A K Antony today met the members of the sixth pay commission to convey the grievances of the armed forces over the 'paltry' hike in the panel report and sought 'some modifications' in the recommendations.

Sources said the Defence Minister explained in detail to the panel members the demands of the armed forces, seeking removal of anomalies in the pay commission recommendations. The armed forces have been demanding military service pay (MSP) be fixed at 25 per cent of the basic pay for soldiers, personnel below officer rank and middle rung officers.

Creation of more running pay bands, weightage for length of service and no erosion of service when compared to central services, including the Indian Administrative Services (IAS), were the other demands that came up for discussion. The pay commission members took note of all the demands.

Navy chief Admiral Sureesh Mehta, who as the Chairman Chiefs of Staff Committee (COSC) had represented the armed forces in the pay commission, along with Army Chief General Deepak Kapoor and Air Chief Fali Homi Major, had earlier submitted a ''joint memorandum'' in this regard to the Defence Minister.

The three services chiefs had last week held a meeting with Mr Antony during which they took up the cause of 1.2 million soldiers and sought 40-60 per cent hike over and above the pay commission recommendations.


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