Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Meeting with Governor Punjab by Brig Harwant Singh

Meeting with Governor Punjab

Sunday, 13 September, 2009 10:32:48 AM

1. A meeting was held by the Punjab Governor , Gen (Retd) SF Rodrigues on 10 Sep with about 30 prominent ESM of Punjab , wherein he wanted a Governor's Advisory and Monitoring ‘Committee’ (GAMC) to be in instituted for the welfare of the Ex-Servicemen . Lt Gen HRS Mann (Retd), former COS Western Command, would head this committee. Further ‘Sub- Committees’ for specific subjects, like, ‘Rehabilitation’, ‘Widows Welfare’, and ‘Grievances Redressal’ etc also to be constituted. Some names were finalised and some more may be added/ deleted. Hence, the list of all names would be given only on finalisation.

2. Director Sainik Welfare Punjab, Would Co-ordinate the functioning of the committee as rep of the Punjab Govt.

3. It was intended to seek help of HE the Governor in the meeting on following four major issues on behalf of the IESM:-

(a) Glaring and massive injustice done to the Ex-Servicemen by the 6th Pay Commission forcing them to resort to agitation , including depositing their most prized and dearest asset , their medals with the President of India in protest for their most genuine demand of OROP. Would the governor please take up the case with the PM for granting of OROP?

(b) The 4th Pay Commission denied ‘Rank Pay’ to affected persons , forcing one Major Dhanapalan to get redress from the court. Subsquently, the govt did not provide such redressal to others similarly placed persons, contrary to the Supreme Court’s earlier ruling which stated that if redressal was given to one person, the concerned department was expected to provide the same to all other similarly placed. Would the governor help?

(c) The Department of Ex-Servicemen’s Welfare be headed by a military officer as is the case in most democracies and NOT by a bureaucrat.

(d) The National Commission for Ex-Servicemen be composed of members of the ‘User Group’ as is the case with commissions on ‘Women’ , ‘Minorities’ , ‘SC/BC’ and similar other such categories.

4. However only pt at (c) above could be raised and other pts could not be raised. Since the meeting was only 'Punjab Centric’, the Governor did not give any commitment on the point raised.

5. The Governor wanted a mechanism to be set up right up to each village, on which both factions of the IESL wanted to have a sole / dominant role on the plea that they had reps in each village, however the Governor preferred the mechanism under the aegis of Department of Sainik Welfare Punjab.

6. Some members raised extraneous issues, mainly to project themselves, to which the governor did not react kindly and they were told to raise the same later in separate meeting(s).

7. The meeting was concluded on the note that the vast experience and talents of the ESM must be used and they must contribute in the 'Nation Building'.

8. The press media highlighted the last mentioned aspect the next day.

With Warm Regards,
Yours' Sincerely,

Brig Harwant Singh (Retd),GFOE,

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