Pay panel takes shine off status of generals
Vijay MohanTribune News Service
Chandigarh, April 7The Sixth Pay Commission (SPC) recommendations seem to have tarnished the brass on the lapel of generals. While the pay panel may have given them a significant jump in salaries, it has placed them in a pay bracket that is less than that of police officers listed below them in the Warrant of Precedence. This implies that police officers, who are lower in status than lieutenant generals in the eyes of the Ministry of Home Affairs, would be drawing more salary.
The SPC has recommended a pay scale of Rs 39,200 - 67,000 per month for Lt Gens and their equivalents in the Armed Forces with an additional grade pay of Rs 11,000, whereas directors-general of central police organisations (CPOs) have been placed in the grade of Rs 80,000 per month. Officers of the rank of Lt Gens and equivalent (other than vice-chiefs and army commanders) are placed at Article 24 of the Warrant of Precedence. Directors-General (DGs) of the CPOs come a step below at Article 25.
Another anomaly in the fixation of pay scale vis-à-vis status is that the recommended pay scale of DGs is equal to that of the Vice-Chief of Army Staff, General Officers Commanding-in-Chief of field commands and their equivalents in the other two services.
Vice-Chiefs of Staff, General Officers C-in-C and equivalents, figure at serial number 23 of the Warrant of Precedence and are equated with Secretaries to the Government of India and chief secretaries to state governments within their respective states. Outside their respective states, chief secretaries are placed lower than lieutenant generals in the warrant. Sources say that the SPC has based its recommendations on the assumption that according to “established relativity”, a deputy inspector general (DIG) of Police is equivalent to a Brigadier. Both wear similar badges of rank.
This assumption, according to a senior officer, is incorrect since the Ministry of Home Affairs has confirmed that there is no established equivalence between armed forces officers and police officers.
The warrant of precedence issued by the President’s Secretariat that is currently in vogue only defines ranks from General and equivalent down till the rank of Major General and equivalent. In a letter dated August 14, 2007, the home ministry has maintained that the old Warrant of Precedence, established in 1937 is to be used to determine ranks below Major General. The old Warrant of Precedence lists a DIG between a Lieut Col and a Colonel.
This is the established relativity as confirmed by the Ministry of Home Affairs, sources claimed. The Fifth Pay Commission had placed the starting pay of a DIG (Rs 16,400) below the starting pay of a Colonel (Rs 17,100 including rank pay).
An IPS officer reaches the rank of a DIG after 15 years of service while an Army officer reaches the rank of a Brig in 28 years. Moreover, 100 per cent of directly recruited IPS officers reach the rank of a DIG while less than 10 per cent defence officers reach the rank of Brigadier.