New Delhi, May 27 : Minister of State for Defence M M Pallam Raju today expressed strong displeasure over ex-servicemen taking to the streets and holding hunger strikes in various cities across the country to demand better pension for themselves, saying their grievances were being looked into.
"It is unbecoming on the part of the dignified ex-servicemen to launch hunger strikes. I don't think they should do this," Raju told reporters here on the sidelines of an annual seminar of the Defence Communication.
His comments came as retired defence personnel today went on a hunger strike at India Gate here and in many other cities to convey their dismay over pensions.
Ex-servicemen are demanding 'one rank one pension' and a 30 per cent increase in their pension benefits.
"The government has formed an ex-servicemen welfare department. We are looking into all matters. We will see how to improve their facilities," Raju said.
He said Defence Minister AK Antony was seized of the matter and the issue of enhanced pensions was being looked into by the Empowered Group of Secretaries.
Raju said he had addressed many Sainik Board meetings all over the country to tell ex-servicemen that the UPA Government was doing everything possible for their welfare.
"Our Nation is one of the fastest growing economies in the world and we are poised only to grow stronger from here. As we grow economically strong and strive to achieve self-reliance in all spheres, it is imperative that we modernise our defence forces, so that we are able to effectively defend ourselves," he said.
The annual seminar of the Defence Communication (DEFCOM) is jointly organized by the Corps of Signals and the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) at Indian Habitat Centre, New Delhi.
The DEFCOM 2008 aims to deliberate upon issues related to enhancement of technology to provide flawless working in an anti-technological environment, duly considering issues of Electro Magnetic Interference / Electro Magnetic Compatibility.
The theme of DEFCOM 2008 has accordingly been chosen as 'Technology and Anti Technology Challenges for Defence Forces'.