‘Roll back freeze on DA hike for Armed Forces veterans’

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JAMMU: Sainik Samaj Party J&K urged upon the Union government to immediately roll back the freeze on DA hike from January 2020 till June 2021.
In a statement issued here today, its president Colonel S S Pathania (retd) said that officers’ cadre, generally retiring at the age of 58, including 4 years of re-employment, is certainly better equipped to deal with freeze, but this only constitutes 4% of the Indian Army, whereas 96% of the Army consist of other ranks, out of which a small percentage rises to the rank of Junior Commissioned Officers, who also retire at age between 45 to 47 years. A huge percentage of jawans retire at age of 36 or 37 years, and this is not a voluntary retirement but a forced one, in consonance with the government policy of maintaining young profile of Indian Army, he said adding that a soldier starts his journey as a veteran with a meager pension of Rs 15000 to Rs 16000 per month. With this amount he has to manage education of his two to three children, get them married and also fulfill various social and religious obligations. In most of the countries in the world, pension is to the tune of 75% of the basic, however in India after the historical victory of 1971, pension was brought down from 70% to 50% of the basic pay, he said adding that the successive governments for last so many years have failed in applying the correction on such a vital issue.
Abrupt freezing of DA hike with no provisioning of arrears is certainly going to adversely affect the financial management of approximately 30 lakh pensioners and put them in great distress, he stated.
Union government has done a wonderful job in fighting the Coronavirus by strict lockdown, he said.
Pathania urged upon the government to release the arrears to veterans due from January 2020 till June 2020, if freezing of DA is absolutely unavoidable, provisioning of arrears should be considered as a good gesture towards veterans and their families. Nation will be richer by Rs 37000 crore by freezing the hike in DA in respect of Central government employees and pensioners, out of this couple of thousand Crores, will be contributed by pensioners, thereby exists a strong case of rolling back hike in DA.