Tribune News Service
New Delhi, January 30
The pay-related issue of Lieutenant Colonels has finally been resolved. The Ministry of Defence is to issue instructions that would enable most of the Lt Colonels to get an enhanced pay band-IV status. Only a minuscule number of officers, who are on deputation to public sector organisations, will not be eligible for the new status.
The move will benefit about 11,000 officers in the rank of Lt Colonel and their equivalent ranks — that is Wing Commanders in the IAF and Commanders in the Navy. The MoD’s move clears the confusion that had been created following a note from the Prime Minister’s Office that had allowed enhanced pay band-IV status only to those officers who are in combat or ready-to-combat posts.
Formal instructions are expected in day or two. Pay band-IV status means an increase of the existing pay scales between Rs 10,000-12,000 per month.
Now, three categories are to be formed to classify the Lt Cols. First will be those working in the field. The Army, IAF and Navy formations will be treated as working on combat posts. The same will true for officers who have been sent out to the Assam Rifles or other such forces deployed in regular frontline duties. This had to be done legally. The deputation can be with consent of an officer. In case of the Army, no consent is sought.
Officers working on various posts in the ordinance factories and national cadet crops, among others will be treated on “ready-to-combat” posts. They will also get enhanced the pay band-IV status.
The ones who will not get the new status are those working with organisations like ONGC, Pawan Hans or National Highways Authority of India. All such officers are, in any case, not getting their salaries from the Armed forces and are paid by their respective organisations.
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