Centre working on mission to resolve problems of defence personnel: Rajnath Singh

He was launching the second leg of the Shaheed Samman Yatra from a village which gave several martyrs

Pithoragarh: The Centre is working on a mission mode to resolve problems related to serving and retired defence personnel, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said on Saturday.

Launching the second leg of the Shaheed Samman Yatra from a village which gave several martyrs, Singh listed a slew of measures taken by his ministry for the welfare of defence personnel.

"When I took over, naib subedars who retired before 2006 were deprived of the revised pension. Now, around 75,550 of them are receiving it. We have also permitted defence personnel recruited through Short Service Commission to use their ranks post retirement," Singh said, adding that he has also ordered a revision of pension for all three wings of the armed forces.

The ex-gratia given to the families of soldiers in case of battle casualties has been revised from Rs 2 lakh to Rs 8 lakh, Singh said, mentioning that a dedicated cell has been created by his ministry to redress complaints of ex-servicemen.

He also lauded Prime Minister Narendra Modi for implementing the 'One Rank One Pension', which he said had been pending for four decades.

"We have the political will required to implement things," Singh said.

Citing an example, the defence minister said he had been to Rezang La, where 114 soldiers of the 13 Kumaon battalion died during the 1962 Indo-China war.

"They had done something charismatic and deserved a grand memorial built in their honour. A symbolic memorial that stood for years in Rezang La has now been replaced by a grand one in a fitting tribute to the soldiers for their supreme sacrifice," he said.

Not only soldiers, the Centre is also walking the extra mile to honour the iconic figures of the country's freedom struggle on the occasion of India's 75th year of independence, Singh said.

He described how the birth anniversary of Rani Lakshmibai was celebrated in Jhansi on an unprecedented scale by the prime minister and himself on Friday.

The defence minister also recalled the countrywide birth anniversary celebrations of tribal freedom fighter Birsa Munda on November 15.

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