Sandeep Dikshit

NEW DELHI: The chiefs of the three services will raise the issue of improving the Sixth Pay Commission recommendations during their routine meeting with Defence Minister A.K. Antony.

With discontent sweeping the ranks as well as officer cadre alike, the three services chiefs are under pressure to raise the issue not only with the Defence Minister but with the Sixth Pay Commission as well. For instance, soldiers are unhappy with the special allowance of just Rs.1,000 whereas junior officer who work shoulder-to-shoulder with them will get six times that amount.

While appreciating the positive aspects in the recommendations, the armed forces are concerned about the dwindling benefits to officers from the level of Colonel upwards. There is also considerable discontent among the lower ranks as they feel they are not being adequately compensated for the hardships in guarding the undemarcated borders with China and Pakistan and undertaking counter-insurgency operations in hostile terrain.

The armed forces top brass also feels that the switch over to the running pay band will open a can of worms as was the case with the Fourth Pay Commission leading to several anomalies some of which are still sub judice. Personnel below officer rank are also upset over the revision of the commutation value table.

Officers also feel that with the armed forces facing a shortage of about 12,000 personnel at the junior level, there is no recommendation to make the Short Service Commission more attractive.

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