Thursday, October 23, 2008

Concern in RS over anomalies in pay scale of armed forces

Sharing the concerns of armed forces over pay anomalies, BJP today made a strong demand in the Rajya Sabha for setting up a statutory commission for welfare of ex-servicemen and representation of retired personnel in pay panels.

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

While also demanding one rank one pension and resettlement scheme for ex-servicemen, he said the Prime Minister and the Defence Minister should consider the demands of the armed forces very sympathetically and address the concerns raised by them.

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 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.

Yashwant Sinha (BJP) expressed concern over pollution of the Damodar river by public sector units located in the river basin. Effluents from coal and steel plants are dumped into the river, making its water unfit for consumption, he said.

He said though there were stringent laws to check pollution, these were not enforced effectively.

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