BJP demands representation of services on pay panel

Concerned over pay anomalies for the armed forces, the Opposition BJP on Thursday demanded representation of services on the Pay Commission and setting up of a statutory body for welfare of ex-servicemen.

Raising the issue during Zero Hour, Leader of Opposition Mr. Jaswant Singh said it was “unusual” for service chiefs to voice discontent in public, but added that it was done because of unusual circumstances.

Expressing concern over shortage of 18,000 officers in the armed forces, Mr.Singh demanded one-rank-one-pension and resettlement scheme for the ex-servicemen.

The Prime Minister and the Defence Minister should consider these demands sympathetically and address the issues raised by them, Mr.Singh said.

Mr.Singh, himself an ex-serviceman, said if this was not done, military personnel would lose their morale. “If you do not give them self-respect, you will be robbing the central impulse of military morale,” he said.

He said the government should also consider the demand for inflation-indexed pension to neutralise the impact of price rise and must attempt to eliminate the anomalies in the Sixth Pay Commission.

Mr. Singh said a statutory commission should look into welfare of the ex-servicemen. Personnel from the services retire at the age of 36 years when “they have full life ahead”, he said adding, though jobs are scarce, ex-servicemen are vital for the country.

Source: The Hindu (23-10-08)

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