New Delhi: Observing there was “growing discontent” among armed forces personnel over anomalies in pay-related matters, Defence Minister A K Antony has written a letter to the Prime Minister saying if “corrective action” is not taken, the issue might take a “bad turn”.
After the letter was sent, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh constituted a high level-committee under the Cabinet Secretary to address issues such as One Rank One Pension (OROP) and elevation of all Lt Gen-rank officers into a higher pay scale.
In the letter written on 25 June, sources said the Defence Minister has written that “there is growing discontentment among the services personnel due to the anomalies in fixation of payment and salaries.”
Pushing the case for accepting the demands of serving and retired soldiers, Antony pointed out that the service personnel, ex servicemen and family pensioners are “equally agitated” over the anomalies in their salaries.
He told the Prime Minister that “unless we take corrective action, things may take a bad turn.”
On 13 July, the Prime Minister formed a six-member committee under Cabinet Secretary Ajit Seth, which has been asked by the government to finalise its recommendations and submit its report to Manmohan Singh by 8 August.
For serving defence personnel, the committee will look into the issues of having a common pay scale for serving Junior Commissioned Officers (JCOs), placing all Lt Gen-rank officers under the higher pay scale grade of Higher Administrative Group Plus (HAG+).
For the large community of ex servicemen, the government has tasked the committee to consider the issue of One-Rank-One-Pension which has been the main demand of the services personnel and has seen a lot of them returning their service and gallantry medals to the President in the last few years as a mark of protest.