Anomalies in pay scale for defence; Antony hopes of earlier solution

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Thiruvananthapuram, 27 (UNI) Stating that there were certain ''anomalies'' in the new Pay Commission recommendations for defence personnel, Defence Minister A K Antony today said the government was seriously trying to find an amicable solution to the issue at the earliest.

''Some issues in the Sixth Pay Commission have been raised. There are certain anomalies and we are aware of it. We hope to find a solution at the earliest,'' he told reporters here.

Asked about reports that the three service chiefs had decided to delay implementation of the pay commission recommendations, he said ''there is nothing like that. It is not correct.'' The services had alleged discrepancies in parity and status, in comparison to their counterparts in the civil services and the Central police.

Admitting that there was a shortage of officers in the three forces, he said efforts were on to recruit more officers into the force.

Regarding permanent commission for women in the three forces, Mr Antony said,''I had signed the papers for recruiting women on permanent commission in the three forces yesterday.'' This is the first time that permanent commission for women in some branches had been implemented, he said.

''Rome was not built in a day. This is only a beginning and we will go forward. The first step for permanent commission for women in the services had been taken,'' he said.

On the lateral entry of ex-service men, Mr Antony said though there was certain reservations no policy decisions had been taken so far. ''The government has taken some serious steps towards providing a second career to the ex-service men who retire at a young age.

Most of the soldiers retire at 30 or 35 years of age. Last year the government was able to provide a second career to about 44,000 ex-service men and this year the target is 50,000.'' Mr Antony was here to participate in the Armed Forces Veterans' Rally as part of the military mela 2008.

UNI PN PMM JT BST1308

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