Disabled veterans have been given the impression that the defence ministry has introduced some kind of a new allowance for disability pensioners @ Rs 3000 per month. The confusion emanates from a recent speech by the Defence Minister at an official function, where, according to media reports, he stated the following :
''Keeping in view the valour and sacrifice made by the army personnel, those who retired on disability grounds would get an additional Rs 3000 per month as constant attendant in additional (sic) to the disability pension”
This is grossly misleading, and for three compelling reasons, departmental action should be taken against the person who prepared the Defence Minister’s speech. Firstly, Constant Attendant Allowance (CAA) is nothing new and has been in force since times immemorial, it has merely been enhanced from the earlier Rs 600 per month to Rs 3000 per month w.e.f 01-01-2006 by the 6th CPC by way of its recommendations presented way back in March 2008. The defence ministry or the govt had no role to play in this enhancement which anyway is stale news and our Minister is late by some years in getting to know about it. Even otherwise, the amount is totally inadequate since no full time attendant can be hired in Rs 3000 which is less than even the prescribed minimum wages. Secondly, it has nothing to do with the ‘valour’ or ‘sacrifice’ by ‘army’ personnel since it is available across the board to civil central govt employees as well. Thirdly, it is not available to all disabled personnel but only to those who are 100% disabled.
This is another example as to how lower level bureaucracy has managed to convince even the political executive about this non-existent imaginary benevolence. Those who have touted this to the media as an ‘announcement’ should definitely face the music for misguiding the Minister and misleading the media and the public at large.