Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar has told the service chiefs that they should implement the instructions of the government on the recommendations of the seventh pay commission.
This was conveyed in a meeting at his office with Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha, chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee, and Admiral Sunil Lanba, the Navy chief, following the defence services’ decision last week to not implement the recommendations of the seventh pay commission as their four core issues had not been resolved.
Asking them to implement the recommendations, Parrikar assured the service chiefs that their grievances would be looked into, defence ministry sources told The Indian Express.
The sources said the government was unhappy with the decision of the defence services as it set a wrong precedent for civil-military relations. “Many central government services have problems with the pay commission recommendations. But there is a process to resolve those problems. The committee of secretaries has looked into the issue, there will be a grievances committee to further look into grievances,” a source added.
Resentment has been brewing in the defence services over the recommendations. The government notification for the defence services, issued last week, removed a sentence about their parity with Central Armed Police Forces but made no other change. Following the notification, the military chiefs were given a detailed briefing last Wednesday by the pay commission cells of the three defence services. After the briefing, the defence services decided “to request the government to hold the implementation of 7th CPC award in abeyance in view of some serious disparities which need to be resolved ab initio”.
On Friday, the three military chiefs issued a message to all ranks stating the same. “We are in the process of resolving all pending issues and this may take a little longer than we had earlier expected. This is to assure each one of you that no efforts are being spared to bring our genuine concerns to the notice of our country’s leadership,” they added.
The three chiefs had flagged four core issues in a letter to the PM in the third week of July. No response to that letter has been received by the defence services so far, military officials said.