The guardians of the nation’s security, who guarded the nation at the risk of their life without asking the reason why but followed the tradition of do and die, are being killed inch by inch, both by the govt. and their own senior veterans who still matter in the govt.
Personnel below the officer rank (PBORs), who count for 96% in the Armed Forces of
Realizing the pathetic condition of PBORs committee headed by Cabinet Secretary recommended a step of equating Pre - 96 with Post – 97 counter parts to remove the anomaly in pension of PBORs, and same has been announced in the union budget on 6-7-2009 although giving it a colour of ONE RANK ONE PENSION for PBORs only.
This flared up the mood of superior veterans who protested against the grant of ONE RANK ONE PENSION only to PBORs, without waiting for a moment to think that it was a removal of anomaly relating to PBORs only.
However, the Hon’ble Defence Minister, Mr. A.K. Antony silenced them by announcing ONE RANK ONE PENSION for all including officers in Lok Sabha 0n 12 July, 2009 which was in fact a step to implement the decision of court regarding the pay anomaly of Maj. Generals and giving a separate pay scale to Lt. Generals, as well as their counter parts, in civil.
The govt., after the announcement, has immediately issued the orders for Lt. Generals and Major Generals but the orders for PBORs are still gathering dust in the Ministry of Defence and not yet issued, presumably, at the instance of some of the remaining senior veterans who have not been benefited by this announcement of the govt.
Similarly, Ministry of Defence vide its letter no. 1 (8)/2008-D(Pen/Policy) dt. 12 June 2009 has granted pension of regular Nb. Sub. to Honorary Nb. Sub. w.e.f. 1-1-2006 but the PCDA and CGDA has not taken any step to implement the same so far.
The travails of PBORs do not end at this stage. The govt., on the recommendation of Sixth Central Pay Commission, has granted additional pension to veterans and their families on completion of 80, 85, 90, 95, and 100 years of age. Since, in case of old veterans, mostly PBORs, the date of birth is not mentioned in PPOs granting them the pension, the beneficiaries have not been able to receive additional pension so far. Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions Department of Pension & Pensioner’s Welfare, relating to civilians central govt. pensioners, in their letter no. 38/37/08-P&PW (A) dt. 21 May, 2009 has clearly given the instruction that Pan Cards, Matriculation Certificates, Passports, Driving Licenses and Election ID cards, where the date of birth is mentioned, will be taken as proof of date of birth for payment of the additional pension to the Civilian Pensioners. It has also advised Ministry of Defence to issue similar instructions for the Defence Pensioners but nothing has, so far, been done by the said ministry for payment of additional pension to the veterans and their families in whose case the date of birth is not mentioned in PPOs. Perhaps, the Defence Ministry is waiting for the permanent departure of old veterans to save the govt. money.
The orders for giving pension to PBORs at the rate of 70% of their last drawn pay, which were acceded by the govt. along with change of pay band from PB-3 to PB- 4, in case of Lt. Cols., have also not been issued till date where as the Lt. Cols. have received the revised pension, as a result of change in pay band, about a couple of months ago.
Such discriminatory treatment to PBOR veterans is not un- common in every field, may it be in granting pension or canteen benefits to them. PBORs veterans have been authorized to purchase cars from CSD canteen only up to 1300 CC, after a gap of 7 years, only if they have current Driving License and earned pension after a minimum 15 years of service where as officers including Short Service Commissioned Officers and Emergency Commissioned Officers who are not drawing any pension, can purchase a car of any brand after a gap of 2 years without having current Driving License.
Veteran Prabhjot Singh Chhatwal PLS (Retd.)
Indian Ex-Services League, Punjab &
Mob. 98554-09128 – Ph. 0175-5000896.