Urging Rahul Gandhi not to subject army to “petty politics” for partisan gains, the government on Saturday said the Congress Vice President was not right on facts when he questioned the implementation of the ‘One Rank, One Pension’ scheme. “The first thing is Rahul Gandhi is wrong on facts. But a larger issue is to make him aware that armed forces is an important institution of the country. They are doing sensitive work to make India secure. I would urge Rahul Gandhi not to subject army to petty politics,” Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad told PTI.
Prasad, who holds the Law, Justice and Information Technology portfolios, emphasised that it was the Narendra Modi government which has taken the decision to implement the ‘One Rank, One Pension’ policy which comes at an annual load of Rs 10,000 crore on the exchequer. Responding to Gandhi’s charges, Prasad said that as far as equivalence part is concerned, the same has been in force since 1998-99.
“There is no new policy initiative undertaken taken by the Narendra Modi government in this regard,” the minister said. He said that as far as pension payment on slab system is concerned, it is a recommendation of the Pay Review Committee which the government has not accepted.
“The government has referred this issue to the anomaly committee. Till the time the anomaly committee gives a recommendation, the payment of pension on percentage basis shall continue,” Prasad said. Gandhi had earlier in the day questioned the Modi government’s resolve to work for soldiers’ welfare, asking the Prime Minister to first implement the ‘One Rank, One Pension’ scheme in a meaningful way and redress their pay anomalies and other grievances.
The senior BJP leader said he would “urge Rahul Gandhi to do his home work and not politicise armed forces’ sensitive issues for partisan gains”.