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Indian army officers stand on vehicles displaying missiles during the Republic Day parade in New Delhi, India, January 26, 2016. [Representational picture)Reuters file

Public sector bank State Bank of India (SBI) said that it has released Rs 3,323.24 crore in arrears to defence pensioners as part of the 7th Pay Commission on Friday. The bank released the amount to about 9.94 lakh pensioners, Rajnish Kumar, managing director (national banking group), said in a statement.

Last month, the bank released about Rs 4,003 crore worth in arrears to 4.60 lakh retired services pensioners. The bank serves to the largest share of central government pensioners across the country and to about 50 percent of total defence pensioners. 

Also read: Defence ministry refers 'disability pension' issue to Anomaly panel

This means that so far, roughly Rs 7,300 crore worth in arrears has been released to defence pensioners till now. 

In October, the defence ministry had said that it had deferred the representation of the armed forces for a percentage-based system rather than a slab-based system for determining disability pension to the Anomaly Committee of the 7th Central Pay Commission (CPC).

The move followed criticism from the opposition parties and the defence forces over a letter issued on September 30, which had stated that a slab-based system will replace the percentage method of calculating the pension for the disability pension for the Army, Navy and the Air Force personnel.

"Service Headquarters have represented that the percentage based system should be continued under the 7th CPC for calculating disability pension for Defence Services at par with their Civilian counterparts. The Ministry has referred the representation of the Service Headquarters to the Anomaly Committee of 7th CPC for consideration," a statement by the defence ministry stated.