Three Services chiefs met Cabinet Secretary Ajit Seth here on Wednesday regarding anomalies in salaries and pension of soldiers and long pending demand for ‘one-rank, one-pension’. The meeting came about after they complained that no Services representative was there in the high-powered panel set up by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh last month to look into the grievances of the men in uniform.
The panel headed by the Cabinet Secretary and comprising Defence Secretary, Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister, Secretary Department of Expenditure, Secretary Department of Ex-Servicemen’s Welfare and Secretary Department of Personnel and Training will submit its report including the issue of ‘one-rank, one-pension’ to the Prime Minister on Wednesday. He is expected to announce some welfare measures for ex-servicemen in his address to the nation on August 15.
Admiral Nirmal Verma, General Bikram Singh and Air chief Marshal NAK Browne had written a letter to Defence Minister AK Antony in the last week of July about the absence of a Services representative on the panel.
Interacting with reporters here on Tuesday, Verma said there was no Service representation in the committee. However, there was interaction with the panel and Service had briefed the committee about the anomalies.
Meanwhile, the terms of reference of the committee were to look into the issues like common pay-scale for in-service JCOs and other ranks, initial pay-fixation of Lt Col/Colonel and Brigadier/equivalent, review and enhancement of grade pay, placing of all Lts General in Higher Administrative Grade (HAG)+ scale and grant of non-functional upgradation (NFU) to armed forces personnel.
As regards ex-servicemen, the committee was directed to look into the issue of ‘one-rank, one-pension’, enhancement of family pension, dual family pension and family pension to mentally/physically-challenged children of armed forces personnel on marriage.