Cutting across party lines, several MPs today welcomed the “one rank, one pension” announcement in the interim budget.
Minister of State for Defence Jitendra Singh said it was a very very genuine demand and he was “personally very happy”. He said Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Vice-President Rahul Gandhi had also spoken to the Prime Minister favouring the demand.
Finance Minister P Chidamabaram announced that the government has accepted the “one rank, one pension” principle as part of a 10 per cent hike in the defence budget, a decision that the ruling Congress hopes will win it the support of lakhs of soldiers ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.
“I welcome the ‘one rank, one pension’ announcement. This is something that has been demanded for a decade,” said BJD MP BJ Panda.
Hailing the decision, RJD MP Raghuvansh Prasad said, “Though the budget has offered nothing for the poor, the ‘one rank, one pension’ announcement was a good one and we support it.”
The RJD leader said, “There was a long standing demand for it and the government was not acting on it. It is good that it has been done now.”
JD(U) leader KC Tyagi also welcomed the ‘one rank, one pension’ scheme.
“There is no question of opposing it” Tyagi said, while trashing the rest of the budget.