New Delhi, Aug 14 : The Union Cabinet, ahead of the 61st Independence Day, has gifted the armed forces and other central government employees an average increase of 21 percent in salaries and at least three assured promotion by accepting the Sixth Pay Commission report.
The UPA Government approved at least three assured promotions for all soldiers and civilian employees under the modified Assured Career Progression scheme.
The civilian government employees would get this assured promotions after 10, 20 and 30 years of service, where as defence forces personnel would be promoted under ACP after 8, 16 and 24 years.
Chairman Chiefs of Staff Committee and Navy Chief, Admiral Sureesh Mehta, welcomed the government's decision to consider the demands of the armed forces while granting the Sixth Pay Commission.
He said that even as more details are awaited, prima-facie, all the concerns of the defence forces appear to have been suitably addressed.
"Increase in Military Service Pay of PBORs and compensation for middle-rung officers' are particularly heartening. The decision to credit arrears from January 01, 2006 is most welcome," Admiral Mehta added.
The grade pay of the middle level officers from captain to Brigadier has been enhanced. Officers like Colonels and Brigadiers have been put in Pay Band-4 and the pay band has been modified to Rs.37400-67000 instead of Rs.39200-67000.
Grade pay of Major General has been increased to Rs.11000 and that of Lieutenant General to Rs. 13000.
The Military Service Pay of PBORs has been increased from Rs. 1000 to Rs. 2000 per month. Weightage ratio of five years for gratuity for PBORs will continue.
There is also good news for war-disabled personnel as the disability pension has been doubled from Rs. 1550 to Rs. 3100 and war disability pension to be granted at 60 percent.
The rate of Special Forces allowance for the Army and the Air Force will be equated with Navy's Marine Commando allowance.
The Government announced an average increase of 21 per cent in salaries of 55 lakh Central Government employees with effect from January 1, 2006.
The wage hike would increase the financial implication for the Centre by Rs. 17,798 crore annually and the arrears with effect from January 2006 would cost Rs. 29,373 crore.
The financial implications in 2008-09 on account of the implementation of the Sixth Pay Commission recommendations will be around Rs. 15,700 crore on the Central Budget and Rs. 6,400 crore on the Railway Budget. By Praful Kumar Singh