The Prime Minister’s Office on Thursday approved a separate pay commission for the armed forces. The Seventh Pay Commission for soldiers would be delinked from the civilian pay panel.
The decision comes after a committee, headed by External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee, submitted its report to review the concerns in the armed forces. The concerns were raised after the Sixth Pay Commission recommended placing lieutenant colonels and equivalent ranks in the Air Force and Navy at a lower pay band than their counterparts in the paramilitary/Group A services and IAS.
The government has also agreed to accommodate lieutenant colonels in a higher pay band (Pay Band 4) and increase their monthly salary by Rs 8000.
The PMO has has approved placing some 12000 lieutenant colonels in pay band 4. However, only lieutenant colonels performing a combat role would receive higher salaries. Another demand accepted by the PMO concerned personnel below officer rank, for whom the government would restore the 70 per cent pensionary weightage.
However, the government has not yet addressed the sweeping discontent in the military’s higher echelons over lieutenant generals and their equivalent being excluded from the higher pay band