NEW DELHI: The Manohar Parrikar-led Ministry of Defence is making all efforts to resolve the key anomalies in the Seventh Pay Commission, which has slashed the disability pensions of soldiers.
On September 30, the government issued a letter, reducing the pensions for soldiers invalidated out of the army due an injury in the line of duty. The notification was issued by the Department of Ex-servicemen Welfare under the Ministry of Defence.
The document titled, ‘Enhancement in rate of disability pension’ said that the service component remained unchanged but a ‘slab system’ had been introduced for disability pensions. Officials claimed that this makes the pensions significantly lower than under the percentage system.
According to the new rule, which has been implemented retrospectively from January 1, 2016, the reduction in disability pensions covers not only those disbled in battle, but also medical disabilities including respiratory ailments aggravated by any kind of military service. The notification was posted on the Ministry of Defence official website.
Sources claimed the idea was to check misuse of the disability pension clause, as it had been noticed that several officers were ‘downgrading’ themselves medically to get maximum pension benefits.
“The ministry is seized of the matter and efforts are on to resolve it. The minister is working on it,” said an officer.