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Donation to Army Welfare Fund is a voluntary exerise, says Parrikar

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar.  

Commenting on the controversy on donation to Army Welfare Fund, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar clarified that it is “basically a voluntary donation” and the ministry is therefore “not concerned with someone demanding something to be donated to that.”

Speaking to the mdia after addressing the Naval Commanders conference which began on Wednesday, Mr. Parrikar said, “It is basically a voluntary donation, no catching the neck of someone.”

Last week, MNS Chief Raj Thackeray had directed movie houses employing Pakistani artistes to pay Rs. 5 crore as “penance” to the Army Welfare Fund to be allowed to release their movies.

The issue had generated strong criticism from the military fraternity who said the military was being used for political mileage.

Army had set up the fund specially for battle casualties after repeated requests from the public to donate to the families of the soldiers killed in the line of duty.

Mr. Parrikar said that the Ministry will formulate a scheme where every shaheed will get equal share from it. “The scheme will be managed by the MoD with help from the concerned Adjutant General’s (AG) branch,” he added.

Parity will be corrected

Responding to questions on the Ministry’s order which has effectively lowered the parity of military officers with respect to their civilian counterparts, Mr. Parrikar said he was going through the concerned files and any deviation would be corrected.

“I have asked for files of 2005 and 2008 files on the issue. If there is any change it will be corrected in seven days,” he observed.

A Ministry order issued last week has clarifying the civil and military equivalence in ranks has effectively lowered the status which has caused severe concern among the services.

Stating that he had asked for details of the letter which was issued on October 18, Mr. Parrikar added that “the government is sensitive to issues concerning serving and retired soldiers.”


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Printable version | Jan 25, 2022 7:12:11 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/Donation-to-Army-Welfare-Fund-is-a-voluntary-exerise-says-Parrikar/article16081425.ece

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