PM clarifies on one-rank-one-pension for armed forces

New Delhi, March 5 (IANS) A day after being accused of parliamentary impropriety by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader L.K. Advani, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Friday said a committee under the cabinet secretary has not recommended one-rank-one-pension scheme for defence personnel.

‘Advaniji has raised the issue of one-rank-one-pension to ex-servicemen. He has stated that the commitment I made in my last year’s Independence Day speech and Finance Minister’s (Pranab Mukherjee) promise in his budget speech of July 6, 2009 have not been honoured. This is not correct,’ he said.

‘The factual position is that we had constituted a committee under the cabinet secretary to look into the issue of one-rank-one-pension and other related matters. The committee did not recommend it.

‘But whatever recommendations the committee made to substantially enhance the pensionary benefits of persons below officer rank and commissioned officers were accepted by the government and this is what I had stated in my Independence Day speech,’ Manmohan Singh said in the Lok Sabha.

‘The recommendations which have been accepted cover what the finance minister had promised in his budget speech in 2009. Of the seven recommendations that the committee made, five have been implemented. The two recommendations which have not been implemented will be done soon,’ he added.

BJP leader M. Venkaiah Naidu quoting Advani Thursday said: ‘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.’

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