New Delhi: India's nearly 23 lakh ex-military personnel have a reason to celebrate. The government has finally conceded their demand for One Rank One Pension. It means that the military personnel will draw the pensions depending on the rank at which they retired, and not the date of their retirement.
The government's decision on Monday evening is set to bring on par those who retired before 2006 with those who retired afterwards.
The One Rank One Pension scheme will also grant dual family pensions and ensure pensions to the differently-abled wards of the defence personnel.
According to reports, the scheme will cost the government around Rs 2,300 crore per year.
While the ex-servicemen are jubilant, many of them remain sceptical.
General (retd) VK Singh said that while he was unaware of "what they have passed", the move was welcome and that it should have happened long time back.
Another Brigadier says that one must be willing to read the fine print. "The government says one thing and does another. It could be a welcome step if the government implements it," he says.
The scepticism of the Army officers is well-founded. The government has turned a blind eye and a deaf ear to what the ex-servicemen consider their legitimate right. And while there has been some relief for retired personnel, there's been no effort to address the concerns of the serving military personnel who feel shortchanged by the Sixth Pay Commission.