Friday, March 12, 2010


12 March 2010


From Our Delhi Bureau

NEW DELHI: A head-on clash of BJP veteran Lal Krishna Advani with
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in the Lok Sabha on March 3 during
debate on the motion of thanks on the President's address has finally
helped the lower ranks of ex-servicemen, ending their eight-month long
wait for higher pension,

The Prime Minister's Office (PMO) had swung into action, snubbing
bureaucrats sitting over the pension orders in the Ministry of Defence
(MoD), after Advani accused the PM of lying in the Lok Sabha that
commitment he gave to ex-servicemen in his Independence Day address
has been met.

Dr Manmohan Singh had to admit in his reply to debate that two of the
seven recommendations of a committee headed by the cabinet secretary
had not yet been enforced but they will be also implemented "very
soon." These were the very recommendations that met the sort of "one
rank, one pension" demand.

The PMO made the MoD issue the orders early this week increasing
pension of jawans and non-commissioned officers that will benefit some
12 lakh pensioners of the Armed Forces. The new orders also bring
parity in pension and removing the anomaly of seniors drawing less
than juniors.

The new orders enforce the committee recommendation to bring parity of
pension among those retired before October 10, 1997 and those who
retired after that date. The parity will be applicable to all persons
below other ranks (PBORS) of the Army, Air Force and Navy, the order

The second part of the latest MoD instructions is to improve pensions
as per the 2006 award of the Group of Ministers (GoM) which was also
part of the committee's recommendations.

The two issues were hanging afire since early last year when the
committee gave its recommendations. An attempt of the Congress to take
the mileage in the Lok Sabha elections by getting a report published
that the committee's recommendations on the demands of ex-servicemen
had been cleared had even attracted the Election Commission's censure.


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