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Thursday, 30 June 2016

From Today's Papers - 30 Jun 2016

Salaries, pensions up 23 %
Not enough, say workers’ unions, call for nationwide strike next week
Girja Shankar Kaura

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 29
The Centre today approved recommendations of the 7th Pay Commission on pay and pension which will boost consumption and economy by putting extra disposable income in the hands of the 47 lakh Central Government employees and 53 lakh pensioners.

The decision to implement the recommendations, including 23.5 per cent  hike in pay and pension, was taken at a meeting chaired by PM Narendra Modi. Briefing the media, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the Cabinet, however, deferred the revision of allowances.

Calling the hike “inadequate”, workers’ unions have decided to start protests from next week.

A panel headed by Finance Secretary Ashok Lavasa would look into the pay panel recommendations in that regard as there was resentment among employees over the suggestions to scrap four allowances. Till then, existing allowances would continue.

In January, the government set up a panel headed by Cabinet Secretary PK Sinha to process pay panel recommendations. The commission had recommended a 23.5 per cent increase in pay, pension and allowances under a “business as usual” scenario. It envisaged a hike of Rs 39,100 crore in the pay bill, Rs 29,300 crore in allowances and Rs 33,700 crore in pension, taking the total financial impact for 2016-17 to Rs 1.02 lakh crore.

With allowances deferred, the burden on the exchequer would be Rs 72,800 crore on account of salaries and pension and over Rs 12,000 crore on account of arrears, aggregating to Rs 84,933 crore.

Of this, Rs 60,608 crore would come from the General Budget and Rs 24,325 crore from the Railway Budget.

The recommendations will be effective from January 1, 2016. The Finance Minister said, “The employees had to wait for 19 months for the implementation of the 5th Pay Commission and for 32 months in case of the 6th Pay Commission. This time, the 7th Pay Commission recommendations are being implemented within six months from the due date.”

The Cabinet also decided that pay and pension arrears would be paid in the current financial year (2016-17) itself, unlike in the past when parts of arrears were paid during the next financial year.

The minimum pay has been raised from Rs 7,000 to Rs 18,000 per month, while the maximum pay has been capped at Rs 2.5 lakh per month. The starting salary of a newly recruited employee at the lowest level will now be Rs 18,000, while it will be Rs 56,100 for a freshly recruited Class I officer. This reflects a compression ratio of 1:3.12 signifying that pay of a Class I officer on direct recruitment will be three times the pay of an entrant at lowest level. For the purpose of revision of pay and pension, a fitment factor of 2.57 will be applied across all levels in the pay matrices. The maximum pay is set at Rs 2.25 lakh per month for apex scale and Rs 2.5 lakh per month for Cabinet Secretary and others at the same pay level (as against the current Rs 90,000 per month).

The report had recommended replacing the present system of pay bands and grade pay with a new pay matrix. Separate pay matrices have been drawn up for civilians, defence personnel and Military Nursing Service. The principle and rationale behind these matrices are the same.

The Cabinet approved further improvements in “defence pay matrix” by enhancing “index of rationalisation” for brigadiers and providing for additional stages for Lt colonels, colonels and brigadiers to bring parity with their Combined Armed Police Forces counterparts. The lump sum ex gratia payable in respect of civil and defence personnel has been enhanced from Rs 10-20 lakh to Rs 25-45 lakh. The rate of Military Service Pay has been revised from Rs 1,000, 2,000, 4,200 and 6,000 to Rs 3,600, 5,200, 10,800 and 15,500, for defence personnel.

Govt okays 7th pay commission report

1 cr Central govt staff and pensioners to benefit

Rs 18,000 minimum pay, up from Rs 7,000; maximum hiked from Rs 90,000 to Rs 2.5 lakh

Rs 84,933 cr additional burden on the exchequer for 2016-17; this includes arrears for 6 months

    For a freshly recruited Class I officer, pay will be Rs 56,100
    Gratuity ceiling up from Rs 10 to Rs 20 lakh, will increase by 25% whenever DA rises by 50%
    The hike to be implemented  from January 1, 2016
    Increment rate retained at 3%
    Present system of pay bands and grade pay done away with
    Status of an employee, hitherto determined by grade pay, will now be determined by the level in pay matrix
    Separate pay matrices drawn up for civilians, defence personnel and for Military Nursing Service
    Further improvements in the Defence Pay Matrix approved by enhancing Index of rationalisation for Level 13A (brigadier) and providing for additional stages in Level 12A (Lt colonel), 13 (colonel) to bring parity with Combined Armed Police Forces counterparts
    Ceiling on House Building Advance to be raised from Rs 7.50 lakh to Rs 25 lakh
ISIS ‘module’ busted in Hyderabad, 5 arrested
Suresh Dharur

Tribune News Service

Hyderabad, June 29
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) today busted a suspected ISIS terror module  during raids in Hyderabad.

The agency arrested five persons and detained six others, including a techie, for questioning. They were “planning” attacks in the city, sources said. A large quantity of ammunition and explosives, two 9 mm pistols, 25 cellphones and Rs 15 lakh in cash were recovered during the raids.

The detained youths were allegedly in touch with their handlers in Syria. NIA Inspector-General Sanjeev Kumar Singh said they had carried out searches in 10 localities of the city.

 The police identified five of the arrested youths as Mohammad Illiyas Yazdani, Mohammad Ibrahim, Habib Mohammad, Mohammad Irfan and Abdullah Bin Ahmad. An FIR was registered against them on June 22. Sources said members of the ISIS module were plotting to incite communal riots in the city. They had acquired weapons and improvised explosive devices and were believed to be in touch with other terror groups through the social media network.

In January this year, the NIA had arrested two suspected ISIS operatives in Hyderabad. A high alert has been sounded at Rajiv Gandhi International Airport in Hyderabad. Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) and Rapid Action Force (RAF) personnel have been alerted too.

The Telangana unit of the BJP charged the TRS government with "criminal neglect" in preventing Hyderabad from becoming a "safe haven" for terrorists.

BJP spokesperson Krishna Sagar Rao said, “CM Chandrasekhar Rao’s soft approach and minority vote bank politics is taking a toll on the image of Hyderabad city.”
India shying away from talks: Aziz
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 29
Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz today said India was “shying away” from engaging in a dialogue with Pakistan.

“It is actually India which is shying away as it knows that it has to discuss Kashmir and other issues on the dialogue table,” Aziz said.

His comments follow Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s statement, in an interview, that India has to be alert vis-a-vis with Pakistan and also that one doesn’t know who to talk to in Pakistan. Modi, in the interview, had said, “Our approach has created difficulties for Pakistan, and they find it hard to respond on the matter in the international community.”

“PM Modi’s logic is beyond perception,” Aziz was quoted as saying so by Radio Pakistan. “We have a format of comprehensive and composite dialogue with India that includes issues such as people-to-people contact, visa and fishermen issue, trade and economic cooperation, Kashmir, Siachen and Sir Creek,” he said.

India-Pakistan engagement is facing a virtual breakdown since the January Pathankot attack. The recent issue over the Nuclear Suppliers Group—- India’s membership bid and the consequent efforts by Pakistan to ensure that India doesn’t get in—- is also not going to help the two countries get back to talks anytime soon.

In the interview, Modi had questioned whether it is the elected government in Pakistan that India should talk to or other actors. The Pakistani army, though not mentioned by the PM, was the obvious reference.

“The first thing is that with Pakistan, to whom do we talk to decide about the lakshman rekha. Will it be with the elected government or with other actors? That is why India will have to be alert at all times,” Modi has said.
NSA alerts Pathankot airbase on ‘aerial attack’
Ravi Dhaliwal

Tribune News Service

Pathankot, June 29
The National Security Agency (NSA) has alerted the Pathankot Air Force station about a possible aerial attack by Pakistan-based terror outfits through micro-light aircraft, including gliders, and para-motors.

The authorities here have distributed posters warning residents about these aerial vehicles.

Sources claim that the authorities have gone on overdrive warning residents of ‘aerial offensives’ after the NSA sent alerts claiming that Lashkar-e-Taiba chief Hafiz Saeed may be planning these attacks.

The air base was declared a sensitive zone after the January 2 attack in which four militants and seven security personnel were killed.

On July 27 last year, three terrorists had laid siege to the police station in the border town of Dinanagar, 25 km from here, before they were gunned down in a 12-hour-long battle.

Sources claim that these aerial vehicles can be used for surveying sensitive areas and also to launch an offensive.

Scores of posters have been distributed in recent days in localities falling on the periphery of the air base. These posters contain pictures of gliders and have the telephone numbers of officials who can be contacted in case of an aerial threat.

Pathankot SSP Rakesh Kaushal said that he was in touch with air base officials and added that security in and around the city had been tightened.

The police have a special focus on the villages located near the international border and have also been holding security drills, including flag marches, in these areas.

“We are not taking any risks. Regular meetings are being held with the Army, BSF and various intelligence agencies to nullify any such offensive. Security has been tightened on the Pathankot-Jammu-Srinagar national highway as the tourist season is on,” said the SSP.

After issuing shoot-on-sight orders recently in villages and sub-urban areas located on the periphery of the Pathankot Air Force station, the distribution of posters is seen as the second major decision taken by the air base officials to check the terrorists.
7th Pay Commission latest news today: Disappointment for Defence personnel, ex Army chief cries ‘injustice’
Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar has agreed that the some of the suggestions of defence forces could not be taken into account.
New Delhi, June 29: Union Cabinet on Wednesday cleared the revised recommendations of 7th pay Commission. A salary hike of 23.5 per cent, including allowances would be implemented. The basic pay would be increased by 15 per cent. Although the hike has satisfied the bureacrats to an extent, there is wide discontent among the defence personnels who are unhappy with their demand not paid heed to by the Secretaries Panel. Ex army chief General Roy Chowdhury has demanded the Finance Ministry to review the recommendations before taking the final call.

According to Gen Chowdhury, Committee of Secretaries has failed to failed to do justice with the defence personnels. The Uniform Pay Matrix has not been implemented. The Defence Pay Matrix in 7th Pay Commission has only 24 pay levels, on the other hand, the bureaucratic pay matrix has 40 levels. Due to this, not only the salary hike gets stagnated after some years of service, but the pensions which defence personnel draw is Rs 20,000 lower than civil employees after retirement.
The demand to provide allowances on par have also not been taken into account. Civilian employees are entitled to large number allowances, which are not provided to defence personnels. For example, a CAPF DIG posted in Leh, will get Rs 57,000 asw part of allowance. Whereas, a brigadier posted in the same region gets only Rs 17,000 allowance.
The third demand of military employees was to increase the disability pension with that provided to the bureacrats. While an Additional Secretary would get Rs 60,000 as disability pension, a Lt General would earn only Rs 27,000.

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar has agreed that the some of the suggestions of defence forces could not be taken into account. “Some of their demands have been accepted, some haven’t,” he said.

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