In utter hypocrisy by the centers' so-called 'nationalist' government, many disabled veterans received only a token amount as the pensions credited to them for the month of February. As per a report in the Times of India, many of the veterans were shocked to see Rs 100 as their pension after the pensions were drastically cut especially in the cases related to disabilities such as backache and hearing loss.

Interestingly, acting on an order by the finance ministry/Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) that called for tax on the disability pension of all military personnel unless they had been forced or "invalidated" out of service prematurely due to injuries, the Principal Controller of Defence Accounts (Pensions) had issued a circular on February 20 for "necessary action".

The step is highly questionable as the civilian officers posted in MoD does not have the jurisdiction over this matter. In fact, the Supreme Court has stayed the order by Defence Ministry but reduced pension clearly showed how the government has ignored the sacrifices the soldiers have made for this country.

Disability Pension
Army Veteran on TwitterCredit: Twitter

As per one of the veterans, "This amounted to asking various banks to deduct income tax with arrears from disability pensions despite the Supreme Court ordering a 'status quo' on the matter till it hears it. Consequently, the State Bank of India has deducted huge retrospective TDS (tax deducted at source) from the pensions of disabled veterans...many have got only Rs 100 as pension for February." The news broke out after the veterans showed their anger on social media, heavily criticizing the government.

Indian Army soldier
An Indian Army soldier deployed near Kathua (Jammu and Kashmir) on the International Border with Pakistan.Reuters

The While the defence establishment declined to make a comment on the development as the matter is "sub-judice", sources in MoD said that senior defence ministry and Army officers had contacted the SBI over the weekend to resolve the issue. As per a source, "After widespread outrage on social media, defence secretary Ajay Kumar also sought details from veterans. The issue will be clarified in the next few days."