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Army pension ire grows

May 28 (PTI): Ex-servicemen today threatened an agitation against the delay in starting the "one-rank-one-pension" scheme while a 1971 war veteran boycotted a Pune event where defence minister Manohar Parrikar felicitated former soldiers.

As the resentment grew, Parrikar said his ministry had "completed all formalities" to begin the system but cautioned against "politicising" the issue. Navy chief Admiral R.K. Dhowan called for "patience", saying the "government was seized of the matter".

But Wing Commander (Retd) Suresh Karnik, who boycotted Parrikar's event, accused the government of paying "lip service" to the cause. "The bureaucracy is playing its own games."

Maj Gen. Satbir Singh (Retd), who had led a delegation to Parrikar earlier, announced a rally on June 14. "It will be held in Delhi and other parts of the country."

A long-standing demand, the new system will ensure uniform pension in the same rank and same length of service, irrespective of retirement date. Currently, all pre-2006 - when the Sixth Pay Panel recommendations became effective for central staff - army pensioners receive sums lesser than not only their counterparts but also their juniors.

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