Provide more jobs to retired defence personnel: Antony

June 27th, 2011 - 11:27 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, June 27 (IANS) Defence Minister A.K. Antony Monday asked the central and state government departments, including the paramilitary forces, to explore possibilities for recuriting armed forces personnel who hang up their boots in their mid-thirties.

With over 50,000 personnel of the 1.13 million armed forces retiring or being released every year, mainly to keep the young profile of its fighting units, Antony said they are a pool of “trained, disciplined and fully committed to the cause” workforce.

Antony, who spoke to reporters on the sidelines of the Kendriya Sainik Board meeting here, said one of the suggestions that came out of the day-long meeting was to ask the paramilitary forces to recruit ex-servicemen and provide them lateral entry.

“But this needs to be seriously discussed by the government and there are some discussions already going on on this,” he said.

“The meeting has decided to appeal to the central government and state government departments and the private sector to take ex-servicemen into their workforce. We are also going to request the state governments to fully recruit ex-servicemen to slots meant for them,” he added.

Earlier, at the meeting, Antony said implementation of welfare schemes for ex-servicemen was “a bit slow” and that the administrative machinery at all levels — centre, states and districts — must “show sensitivity and imagination” in finding solutions to the problems faced by families of ex-servicemen and serving personnel, who stay away from their families for long periods.

Pointing out to the tourism ministry’s pilot project to enroll ex-servicemen as tourist wardens, first in Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Sikkim, Antony said: “Keeping in mind the security scenario prevalent today, the experience and services of ex-servicemen will go a long way in helping us to further strengthen the overall security scenario.”

He also appealed to the chief ministers of all states to “devise ways and means to open up more fields of economic activity where the rich and practical experience of ex-servicemen can be best utilised”.

The central government, Antony said, has enhanced its contribution for office expenditure and salaries at Rajya and Zila Sainik Boards from the existing 50 percent to 75 percent in special category states and to 60 percent in other states.

On the demand for equal pension for officers and men retiring with equal number of service and same rank, Antony said: “Even though ‘one rank-one pension’ is a dream, we are nearer to that. Our approach is step-by-step increase. We have substantially increased it twice in the last seven years. But it not final. Whenever we get another opportunity, we will try to help them.”

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