The Defence Minister Shri AK Antony has called for early disbursal of revised pension and arrears to Ex-Servicemen. Inaugurating the Controllers’ Conference of the Defence Accounts Department here today, Shri Antony asked the Defence Finance officials to expedite and further streamline the pension system for the Armed Forces personnel.
“Even now, I am getting a lot of complaints from people that they are not getting pensions… Considering the past, things have improved, but even then complaints are there still… So you must take all steps possible so that they get their dues at the earliest,” Shri Antony said.
Commending the Defence Accounts Department for facilitating the procurement of weapons and systems, Shri Antony noted that the capital expenditure, utilised last year, has been an all-time record. He called for transparent, timely and judicious use of Defence Expenditure. He said that the Government has tried to infuse more transparency in the huge Defence outlay, which is over Rs. 1.52 lakh crores for the current financial year.
“Defence expenditure and procurement issues are complex and time-consuming and have a direct bearing on our national security. We have tried to infuse more transparency and efficiency into our procedures and systems. It is my firm belief that expenditure of public money must have an appropriate system of checks and balances”, he said.
In his address to the gathering, the Minister of State for Defence Dr. MM Pallam Raju said that the Defence Pension Adalats have become an effective mechanism for grievance redressal on the ground. He hoped that the pension arrears for pre-2006 PBORs would soon be disbursed. Dr. Pallam Raju said that the Principal Controller of Defence Accounts (PCDA) would soon roll out the e-ticketing system for air travel. The PCDA Rail Booking System for e-ticketing would be introduced in another 200 Armed Forces units by next month and all units would be covered by the yearend, added Smt Nita Kapoor, Controller General of Defence Accounts (CGDA). The Secretary Defence Finance, Smt Indu Liberhan stressed the need for continuing institutionalized interaction between the Defence Finance and the three Services. The Comptroller and Auditor General of India Shri Vinod Rai said that since Defence Finance relates to a sensitive national security concern, the keyword for its success is the outcome and not simple accounting.
The Chief of the Army Staff General VK Singh and Scientific Advisor to the Defence Minister Dr. VK Saraswat were among the dignitaries present at the inauguration of the three-day biennial conference.