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Separate pay panel for armed forces ruled out

Aarti Dhar

NEW DELHI: Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram on Friday ruled out a separate pay commission for the armed forces and said all grievances regarding the Sixth Pay Commission recommendations would be looked into by a Committee of Secretaries.

The committee, led by the Cabinet Secretary, had been asked to submit its report at the earliest, Mr. Chidambaram said. It was difficult to fix a time frame for submitting the report, but the committee already met on April 15. However, the recommendations would be implemented from January 1, 2006.

Replying during question hour in the Lok Sabha, Mr. Chidambaram said the government had followed the convention as there was no provision for a separate pay commission for the armed forces.

Deputy Leader of the Opposition V.K. Malhotra (BJP) said there was unrest within the Army and police forces as they felt that only IAS cadres benefited from the pay panel recommendations. He said that for the first time the Chiefs of the three Services had publicly aired their unhappiness and even met the Defence Minister on the issue.

Janata Dal (United) member Prabhunath Singh favoured a separate pay commission for the armed forces, saying IAS cadres had got the best deal.

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