3 Nov :As the Pranab Mukherjee-led ministerial committee is grappling with armed forces’ pay-related grievances, the three Services have now taken a fresh controversy to A K Antony’s doors over "issues created" by Defence Ministry bureaucrats.
The Defence Ministry’s special instructions on the 6th Central Pay Commission notification, the Services say, have "back-stabbed" the armed forces personnel by introducing seven fresh "anomalies" last week.
The "anomalies" include re-defining of the military service pay and rank pay, which actually subverted the purpose for which the pay commission had recommended it in the first place, sources in the Services’ headquarters said in New Delhi on Sunday.
"The Services headquarters approached Defence Minister Antony against the mischief and back-stabbing in the special instructions issued by the ministry officials and have sought removal of these provisions.
The new anomalies are different from the four core issues that we raised earlier," sources said.
"The changes in the definition and meaning of key pay commission recommendations have been done on the sly to deal a blow to the armed forces’ morale and to deny them their due," they alleged.
The special instructions, issued by the Defence Ministry on the pay commission notification, was received by the armed forces on 20th October.
To their anguish, the armed forces personnel found that the Defence Ministry bureaucrats, who prepared the special instructions, had created seven new "issues" that never existed in the Sixth Pay Commission report approved by the Cabinet and notified by the government in August.
The issues were identified by the Chiefs of Personnel Committee (COPC) comprising the top officers in the Army, Navy and Air Force handling human resources-related work at the three Services’ headquarters, sources said.
COPC is currently headed by Army’s Adjutant General Lt Gen Thomas Mathew and comprises of Navy’s Controller of Personnel Services Vice Admiral Sekhar Sinha and IAF’s Air Officer Personnel Air Marshal S Mukherji.
The COPC has, from its end, shot off a letter to the Defence Ministry officials to rectify the "seven aberrations" in the special instructions that included re-defining the military service pay and rank pay, thereby diluting the intent with which it was awarded to the defence personnel.
Sources said the subversion of the definition of rank pay would mean the armed forces officers would take home less pay than what was intended to by the hikes provided in the pay commission notification.
The Services’ letter to the Defence Ministry has pointed out that since the 4th pay commission, the rank pay was calculated as part of the basic pay of the armed forces personnel.
"This government policy provided the personnel a higher house rent, travel and dearness allowances.
However, by re-defining the rank pay and delinking it from the basic pay, the bureaucrats have ensured that the armed forces personnel take home less amount as allowances," sources claimed.