The government on Wednesday said it was difficult to implement in one go ex-servicemen's demand for ‘one rank, one pension'.
Appealing to agitating ex-servicemen not to return their gallantry awards, Defence Minister A.K. Antony said the government had started implementing the recommendations of a high-level committee on one rank, one pension. “We will not be able to implement it in one stretch, but we are near that goal.”
The government had implemented recommendations including pension benefits to personnel below rank of officer, costing the exchequer about Rs. 2,200 crore.
The Minister was responding to the issue raised by Leader of the Opposition Arun Jaitley, who said several ex-servicemen wanting to surrender gallantry medals was a “sad spectacle.”
While urging the government to look into their demands “seriously,” he also appealed to ex-servicemen to desist from that extreme step.
Ex-servicemen are agitating to press for an equal pension for personnel retiring in the same rank irrespective of their date of superannuation.