Cabinet gives a nod to 20-pc hike in freedom fighter's pensions


The pension given to freedom fighters and their heirs will be hiked by 20 percent after the Union Cabinet recently gave its nod to the proposal. In his Independence Day speech this year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said that the government would increase freedom fighters' pension.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitly said after a meeting of the Union Cabinet:

The Prime Minister had announced that the pension for freedom fighters or their heirs will be increased on the basis of 20 per cent plus DA. The proposal has been approved.

Addressing the nation on the 70th Independence Day from the Red Fort, Modi had said:

 The government is taking steps to increase the pension for freedom fighters by 20 percent. So those who are receiving Rs 25,000 will now get Rs 30,000. This is a small act of reverence on my behalf.

The Cabinet recently approved advancing presentation of the annual Budget by a month, scrapped the over nine-decade-old tradition of having a separate Railway Budget and removed classifications for expenditure to make the exercise simpler. The Cabinet also approved merging Railway Budget with the general Budget and doing away with distinction of plan and non-plan expenditure, officials said. To facilitate this, the Budget Session of Parliament will be called sometime before January 25, a month ahead of the current practice.

Also readUnion, Rail budgets merged, ending 92-year-old parliamentary tradition

The Cabinet also approved removal of distinction between Plan and Non-Plan expenditure as the present classification resulted in excessive focus on former with almost equivalent neglect to items such as maintenance which are classified as non-Plan. The Cabinet felt it is the total expenditure, irrespective of Plan or Non-Plan, that generates value for the public. Plan expenditure was for the first time presented separately in the budget for 1959-60.

Accordingly, the beginning of budget preparation will be advanced to early October and GDP estimates made available on January 7 instead of February 7 now.


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