Saturday, March 31, 2012

"Defence Minister promised to remove anomalies in pension' - Army Chief

Army Chief General V K Singh on Saturday said that the Defense Minister A K Antony has promised to remove the anomalies in the pension of ex-servicemen. 
Addressing a gathering of ex-servicemen on Delhi's outskirts, General Singh said that the government is sensitive to the needs of the retired soldiers and efforts are being made to remove anomalies in their pension as identified by the sixth pay commission. 
"After the sixth pay commission, 46 anomalies were discovered which were causing losses to the ex-servicemen. These have been put before government and we are committed to remove them to ensure that everyone gets an equitable pension," he said. 

Stating that wrong message was spread on this issue that removing these anomalies will cost too much money, he said "only Rs 1300 crore is required to ensure equitable pension to retired soldiers". 

"When we made the calculation, we found out that if these 46 anomalies were removed, it will be an expenditure of Rs 3000 crore only and out of this Rs 2600 crore is for JCOs, NCOs and Jawans. Only Rs 400 crore would be spent to address the problems of officer," General Singh said. 

Hoping that government will help in solving the issue after these figures is presented to it, he said, "The Defense Minister has assured us that after completion of budget session, he will try to remove all these problems one by one." 

The Army Chief also inaugurated a 'free mobile-based emergency service' for the ex-servicemen which will send automatic SMS, calls and e-mails on few selected numbers stored in their cell phones during any untoward happening. 

For taking care of ageing ex-servicemen who do not have any family support, Gen Singh said that Old Age Homes are being opened in every command and one such facility has already been made operational in Panchkula in Haryana. 

He also said that a palliative care centre has been opened at the Base Hospital to help those suffering from cancer. 

"A facility was opened three months ago in the Research and Referral Hospital in Delhi for the people accompanying their family member for treatment," he said. 

Army has also opened a Veteran's Cell under the office of the Adjutant General in Army Headquarters which will take care of the needs of the retired soldiers. 

"Army Welfare Placement Organisation is also being made more effective to provide job opportunities to soldiers after retirement from the Army," he said. 

Army has signed an agreement with the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) to offer graduation degrees to soldiers through distance learning. 

Source : PTI

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