Demands of Ex Servicemen as raised by Capt. Amrinder Singh, President of Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee
1.Establishment of ESM Cell: An ESM Cell will be established directly under the control of Chief Minister. And the Chief Minister will directly look into complaints and welfare of the large number of Ex-ESM of Punjab.
2.Ex-Servicemen as Guardians fo Governance (GoG) at Grassroots:
Punjab's soldiers have always been at the forefront when it comes to defending the nation. From the earliest times, Punjab has been first in the line of fire and our people have made immense sacrifices throughout the history of India. Today, the soldiers who once defended the honour of motherland against the foreign enemy feel disheartened to see their helplessness as their own beloved Punjab hurtles from crisis to crisis. They are ashamed at the mis-governance that has crippled the state.
The Congress is focused on improving governance at the grassroots and it shall reach out to distinguished ex-servicemen. Local ex-servicemen would be trained and appointed as Guardians of Governance, where they shall oversee proper implementation of government schemes and programmes. Their participation shall ensure that government's relief reaches the need, and is not dissipated due to corruption and favouritism. The Congress Government shall create posts of Guardians of Governance at the village, cluster and block level.
3.Priority to soldier's complaints: All properties of ex-servicemen and Serving soldiers will be brought under the same provision as the NRIs;
4.Dual pension including old-age pension, especially widows: will be permitted as per Central Government Order of 2013.
5.Reservation of seats in private institutions: The Congress Government will provide for reservations in private Schools/Colleges/Universities for the children of ESM;
6.Skilled Labour: All Ex-Servicemen whether employed by PESCO or otherwise will be treated as skilled labour and paid at the prevailing Collector rates of wages:
7.Army recruitment training Institutes: The Congress Government will open two more Sainik Schools to train the youth of Punjab to join the Army as a soldier or as an officer. The services of ex-servicemen will be explored for such institutes and this can go a long way in the character building of Punjab youth. Institutes like Mai Bhago Institute at Mohali, for girls and Maharaja Ranjit Singh Armed Forces Institutes and Army Law College are proposed, one each in Majha, Malwa and Doaba regions;
8.The Backlog of Vacancies in keeping with 13% vacancies reservation in jobs for ex-servicemen will be cleared;
9.War Jagirs: Galantry Awards and Emoluments will be increased every year and in case no land is available for War Jagirs, Cash awards will be given in lieu theirof;
10.Improve Sainik Rest House: The ESM cell formed under the Chief Minister will nominate one member to look into the up-gradation of Sainik Rest Houses in Punjab;
11.Non-payment of cash incentives: The pending payments to the youth who joined the defense forces through the NDA will be made forthwith including any pending payment to the War decorated soldiers will also be cleared;
12.Honouring the Gallantry Award winners and Ex-servicemen: The Congress Government will ensure that a Gallantry Award Winner and an ESM is encouraged to participate in state functions like Independence Day/ Republic Day etc. This will inculcate a sense of belongingness among the ESM and they will feel pride in being so; and
13.Recognition of WW-II veterans: There are a few WW-II veterans who are alive but are not paid any pension. They are dependent on their children. The Congress Government will recognize their contribution. The Congress believes that they also need to be called to various forums and they should also be considered for adequate financial relief;
14.Excess levy of tax on CSD canteen items in Punjab: Levy of tax will be at par with the neighbouring states.
15.Compulsory NCC: NCC shall be made compulsory in all institutes (government or private) and ex-servicemen will be employed as instructors to streamline the youth into a disciplined force;
16.Indian Prisoners of War in Pakistan Jails since 1971: The Congress Government will immediately take up the issue with GOI. The contribution of the dependents will be recognized and suitable scheme will be enacted for their welfare.
17. We are Committed to support the Correct implementation of One Rank One Pension as given out in the Koshiari Committee Report in 2013.
18.We are also committed to support the inclusion of pay parity between the defence forces and class A civil services and remove anomalies of the 7th Pay Commission.
19.As and when vacancies in Rajya Sabha arise we will considers the candidature of meritorious Ex-Servicemen and support Ex-Servicemen into the nominated category to RajyaSabha.
20.We will establish a Commission to inquire into the best practices for Ex-Servicemen welfare employment and medical as is prevalent in UK, USA and others progressive nations.
21.Safety and Security of Property: All properties of ex-servicemen and Serving soldiers will be brought under the same provision as the NRIs.