Govt. implements committee recommendations on ex-soldiers pension

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New Delhi, Mar 10 (ANI): To reduce the gap between past and current ex-servicemen pensioners, the Central Government has accepted all the recommendations of the committee under the Cabinet Secretary to look into the issue of disparity in pensions and other related matters.

The Government had already accepted five of the seven recommendations that the committee made, and now the remaining two have also been implemented after the Finance Ministry's go ahead.

Defence Ministry sources said the Government has already issued notification for the implementation of all seven recommendations made by the committee.

"The effort of the Government has always been to improve the pension of ex-servicemen, who had been demanding grant of OROP. The recommendations made by the committee has been accepted by the government," the source said.

"Implementation of these orders will not only significantly reduce the gap between the past and the current pensioners, but will also considerably improve the pension of ex-servicemen. It will benefit 12 lakh ex-soldiers at a cost of Rs.2200 crore approximately per annum," the source added.

The ex-servicemen association said the Committee had only recommended the dividing line between the pre-1997 and post 1997 pensioners to be removed. They equated the pre-1997 pensioners with post-1997 and pre-2006 pensioners, thus removing a 12 years old anomaly. But the difference between the pre and post 1.1.2006 pensioners stays untouched. It did not even touch OROP.

There was a spat between senior BJP leader LK Advani and Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh over the issue when Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee had specifically said he had accepted Rs 2,100-crore increase in expenditure per year for the purpose of one-rank-one-pension (OROP).

The Prime Minister had informed the House that whatever the Finance Minister had stated in his Budget speech had been implemented. Advani then expressed satisfaction saying, "Well, if it has been implemented, I am very happy. But I can tell you that this is not the feeling that I got from the ex-servicemen."

"Advani informed BJP MPs about PM's claim in Lok Sabha that the government had implemented its decision on enhancement of pension to JCOs (junior commissioned officers) and jawans (soldiers). No JCO or jawan has received any such order. This is a very serious matter of parliamentary impropriety," BJP leader M. Venkaiah Naidu said on Thursday quoting Advani. (ANI)

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