ISLAMABAD: Armed forces have sought 20 per cent increase in salaries for the financial year 2020-2021 that will cost Rs63.67 billion.

According to a Defence Ministry letter forwarded to the Finance Division, the joint staff headquarters in consultation with the services headquarters have sought increase in the pay of armed forces personnel for being affected due to current price hike owing to devaluation of rupee impact on consumer price index (CPI), increase in utility bills and on going inflation. 

In the current financial year 2019-2020, five per cent increase was granted to the officers up to the rank of brigadier (BPS 17-20) and10 per cent adhoc relief was awarded to JCOs/soldiers (BPS 1-16), whereas no increase was given to general officers (BPS 21-22).

Adhoc relief granted in pay of the officers has also been marginalised by enhanced income tax slabs due to which officers have to pay additional income tax from existing pay.

Consequently, the pay of officers has actually decreased during the current financial year, the document maintained.

Keeping in view the above mentioned factors, which have affected the fiscal space and livelihood of the armed forces personnel, joint staff headquarters have forwarded a case for the increase in pay duely approved by the chairman joint chief of staff committee to the Defence Ministry for taking up the matter with the Finance Ministry for the revision of pay of armed forces personnel. 

The Defence Ministry had also sought that the adhoc relief allowance for the year 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 be merged in the basic pay scale, and proposed a 20 per cent increase in the revised pay scale in the upcoming budget 2020-2021.

Total financial impact in respect of three services army, air force and navy, involved is Rs63.67 billion.

The Defence Ministry asked the Finance Division to concur this proposal of JS headquarters for increase in the next financial year 2020-2021.