MEHALKALAN, January 15: Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee President Capt Amarinder Singh today promised to the ex-servicemen that he will ensure that the one rank one pension scheme was introduced. He said, he had already taken up the matter with the government of India and hoped it will be implemented soon.
Addressing an impressive function organized by the Punjab Chapter of the Indian Ex-Service League to mark the Army Day celebrations here today, he regretted that some bureaucrats sitting in Delhi who had no idea as what it meant to be a soldier were trying to put hurdles in the implementation.
He appealed to the ex-servicemen to help and support the Congress in the forthcoming assembly elections in Punjab.
He said, ex-servicemen are pride of Punjab but unfortunately they have not received their due after retirement or leaving the services of the armed forces. An important step in this direction has already been taken with the Rajya Sabha Committee on Petitions having recommended one rank one pension scheme, he said, while adding, Congress was committed that the rights of ex-servicemen are protected.
He said, the party will pursue with the Central Government to 100% implementation of One Rank One Pension scheme which will benefit 8 lakh ex-servicemen of Punjab.
He said, Congress will engage the Central Government to extend the benefits such as Ex-servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS), gratuity etc. to the non pensioners.
Among other things he promised, the Congress government will ensure, that the Ex servicemen would be exempted from paying toll-tax on the State highways to be constructed on Public Private Partnerships basis, every effort shall be made to remove anomalies of 6th Pay Commission for Defence Personnel, VAT on all CSD items will be exempted, fnancial grant for the marriage of the daughters of Ex Servicemen widows will be enhanced, funds will be released for creation of Ex Servicemen institutes alongwith Zila Sainik Welfare Centres, all Ex Servicemen affairs will be directly under CM, all Ex Servicemen and Defence Personnel will be attended to on priority by all State Govt officials, Ex Servicemen will be incorporated in Youth, sports, anti-drug programmes and skill development centres., all cases of widow pensions, disability pension will be regularised and revised, Special drive will be made to ensure that widows and old pensioners receive their full entitlements and skills of Ex Servicemen will be utilised for environment protection, disaster relief and trauma response teams especially along National/ State Highways. Besides, the government will ensure that all vacancies reserved for Ex Servicemen are fully utilizes
Prominent among those present on the occasion included Gen GG Dewedi, Chairman Ex-Serviceman Cell, Punjab, Gen TS Shergil, Air Marshal Basra, Capt Bhatti, Caprt Gurjit Laly Jawandha and others.