Govt Agrees to 'Pay Hike Demand' for Lt Cols
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After the armed forces rejected a proposal from Prime Minister's Office (PMO) to place only Lieutenant Colonels (Lt Col) in the Pay Band-4 (PB-4), who were in combat or ready-to-combat roles, the Government has 'partially accepted' their demand by placing majority of them in the demanded pay bracket.

The letter sanctioning the demand was received by the Services headquarters today, Defence Ministry sources said here.

The grade-pay issue of Lt Cols with their IAS counterparts has still not been resolved.

As per the communication received by the services, Lt Cols have been upgraded to the pay bracket of Rs 37,400 -67,000 and will get a grade pay of Rs 8,000 from the earlier scale of Rs 15,600 - 39,100 with grade pay of Rs 7,600.

Services had demanded grade pay of Rs 8,700, which the IAS officers have been getting after the implementation of the 6th Pay Commission recommendations.

After this decision, majority of the Lt Cols will be upgraded to the PB-4. But officers on deputation to organisations such as National Highway Authority of India, IRCON and Pawan Hans will continue to be in PB-3.

The letter issued by Defence Ministry says that officers on postings with DRDO, DGQA, NCC, on deputation or on foreign assignments will be benefited by this move.

Officers posted with organisations such as Assam Rifles, National Security Guard and Border Roads Organisation will also be in the PB-4.

After the upgradation of pay scales, Lt Cols would now be senior to deputy secretaries in the Central Government, directors in state governments and senior superintendents of police.

 The revised salaries are expected to be paid from next month, sources said. There are about 10,000 Lt Cols and equivalent officers in the three Services. After this, less than 50 officers would be left in the PB-3.

In a letter to the Defence Ministry, tri-services' Principal Personnel Officers Committee chairman Vice Admiral D K Dewan had last month said the armed forces wanted all Lt Cols to be placed under the Pay B and-4 including those on deputation to paramilitary and other services.

The armed forces had told Defence Ministry that it did not favour another PMO proposal to not to send Lt Cols on deputation to other services.

It said the services and the rules governing them did not make any distinction and that all of the officers were performing combat/ready-to-combat jobs.

Dewan had written the letter replying to a verbal query from the Defence Ministry on a December 31 PMO note that the government proposed to place only those Lt Cols serving in "combat/ready-to-combat" roles in Army, Navy and Air Force the Pay Band-4 benefits.

Emerging story. Watch this space for updates as more details come in
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