A Correspondent in New Delhi
June 26, 2009 12:38 IST
A long-pending demand of ex-servicemen for 'one rank, one pension' may find a place in the Union Budget to be presented to Parliament on July 6.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday met the committee of secretaries that is considering the long-pending demand of ex-servicemen for parity in pension of personnel retiring in the same rank.
At the meeting, the prime minister is said to have discussed the pros and cons of granting the demand of retired armed forces personnel, popularly known as 'One Rank-One Pension' (OROP).
Cabinet secretary K M Chandrasekhar, who heads the committee, made a presentation to the prime minister based on the nearly two-month study that the committee carried out on the subject.
The Congress poll manifesto was silent on the retired armed forces personnel demanding 'one rank, one pension' that was promised by the Bharatiya Janata Party in its manifesto. The prime minister, however, constituted a committee headed by the Cabinet secretary, to consider it.
"The committee of secretaries headed by Cabinet Secretary on matters related to OROP made a presentation to the prime minister today (Thursday)," a PMO release said, without elaborating.
Others present during the presentation included Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Defence Minister A K Antony, Home Minister P Chidamabaram and Minister of State (Personnel) Prithviraj Chavan.
The defence personnel's grouse has been that their issues have been customarily bogged down by IAS officers in the decision-making system and that is why they resorted to an agitation after the Sixth Pay Commission report was tabled.
After coming to power in 2004, Dr Manmohan Singh had constituted a separate department of ex-servicemen's welfare. In view of the ex-servicemen constituting a large cadre of trained and dedicated persons, the Congress manifesto promised to utilise their services extensively in the crucial nation-building tasks.
The UPA government has already committed itself to taking a decision on the subject by end of June in President Pratibha Patil's Address to the Joint Sitting of Parliament on June 4 after the first session of the 15th Lok Sabha convened.
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