The government is keen to accept at least four of the armed forces’ demands on fixation of their pay and pension. The high-powered committee set up by PM Manmohan Singh has given its ideas wherein it has accepted that some of the demands of the forces need to be met immediately as there are glaring anomalies, sources said.
Sources said the committee has recommended that the armed forces be given non-functional upgradation (NFU) to match their counterparts in the IPS, IAS and paramilitary forces. The grade pay is another issue, the committee has suggested, can be looked into. Thirdly, it has agreed that a common payscale be evolved for in-service jawans. Lastly, it has agreed on removal of all anomalies towards one rank one pension (OROP). Meanwhile, a fresh calculation has been ordered following a Supreme Court judgment relating to a 25-year-old pay-related case filed by Major Dhanapalan. The court ruled in his favour to correct the anomaly and will impact all officers who were serving then and now. This had to be factored in before a final announcement. The PM can still make changes as Defence Minister AK Antony was very keen on resolving matters at the earliest and in favour of the forces. The committee headed by Cabinet Secretary Ajit Seth was formed following an intervention from PM Manmohan Singh on July 8 this year. The forces protested that they had no representative; the committee specially met the three service chiefs. Its mandate was to deal with six issues of serving officers and jawans and another four issues relating to those who retired. Sources said the committee was unanimous on payscale for jawans, OROP, grade pay and NFU. The most serious was the NFU issue. The Sixth Central Pay Commission (CPC) recommendations were out in October 2008. The IAS in the post of Joint Secretary (JS) to the Government of India was made eligible for a grade pay of Rs 10,000 a month on completing 22 years of service.
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