The "heavy cut" in disability pension for armed personnel brought by the Centre at a time when soldiers were "returning home" after the successful surgical strikes across the LoC, has affected the morale of the army, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said today. Kejriwal wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in this regard, claiming the introduction of slab-based system will lead to soldiers becoming "financially backward" compared to IAS officers and Central Armed Police Forces personnel, among others. "On 30 September, 2016, when our army soldiers were returning after having conducted successful surgical strike, the Defence Ministry issued a notification for heavy reduction in the disability pension for the army. "... The central government has recently taken some steps which have adversely affected the morale of the army and has also caused resentment in the country," Kejriwal wrote. The Defence Ministry had yesterday said that it had referred the representation of the armed forces for a percentage-based system rather than a slab-based one for determining disability pension to the Anomaly Committee of the 7th Central Pay Commission. "A soldier with five years of service gets around Rs 28-29,000 salary.
In case such a soldier suffers 100 per cent disability so far he was entitled to get a pension of the same amount. But, according to the new notification, the pension would be reduced to Rs 12,000," Kejriwal said. The AAP chief was in the line of fire after he had requested Modi to release proof of the surgical strikes on terrorist launch pads in PoK to "expose" Pakistan's attempts to mislead the international media. In the letter, Kejriwal took a mild jibe at Modi, couched in a congratulatory tone. He congratulated the government and the army for having given "befitting reply" to Pakistan and urged Modi to show the "same willpower" in removing the "economic injustice" being faced by soldiers.
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