NEW DELHI: An ex-servicemen’s organisation has written to Defence Minister Arun Jaitley, expressing disappointment over the delay in implementing the ‘One Rank, One Pension’ policy, announced in the interim Budget in February and reiterated in the Budget earlier this month.
The Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement (IESM), which had been spearheading protests for the scheme, said it was not happy with the meeting its representatives had with Jaitley on July 16 and that the organisation felt that the government was breaking Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s election promise on its quick implementation.
In the letter, IESM chairman Major General (retd) Satbir Singh said: “The discussions during the meeting with you on July 16 confirm our suspicion that even though the principle of ‘One Rank, One Pension’ has been approved by the UPA and NDA Governments, the implementation is being strongly resisted by the bureaucracy.”
Singh said the IESM delegation did feel “a hint of broken promise” during the meeting and that the veterans were “intelligent enough” to read between the lines. “It is intriguing that Secretary of the Department of Ex-servicemen Welfare has confirmed to that the expenses for ‘One Rank, One Pension’ have been calculated by the CGDA to be only `3,000 crore.
“If we take into account inflation of 10 percent per year for three years, the expenditure will not be more than `4,000 crore. The Army headquarters’ pay cell has calculated the expenditure to be approximately `5,000 crore. The CGDA’s stating a figure of `9,000 crore confirms our suspicion that the bureaucracy is inflating the figure,” he complained.