By TNN | 15 May, 2015, 11.21AM IST – the Economic Times
NEW DELHI: During the Army Day reception on January 15, General Dalbir Singh Suhag had presented a cheque of over Rs 100 crore to Narendra Modi for the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund with much fanfare. It was announced the amount had been raised by officers and soldiers of the 1.18-million strong Army by donating a day’s salary each to help the flood-affected people of Jammu and Kashmir.
Four months later, no such money has reached the intended fund. Responding to an RTI query filed by Dehradun-based activist Prabhu Dandriyal, the Army headquarters has said: “It has been intimated by concerned agency that no such amount on account of contributions from salary of any Army personnel has yet been donated to the PM’s Relief Fund. The matter is under consideration.”
On being asked about this embarrassing turn of events, the Army on Thursday said the process to collect the money on “a volunteer basis” was still underway. But Dandriyal smells a rat since many officers had earlier protested against Gen Suhag’s order for a day’s pay-cut without prior consent.
“The norm in the government is that all such contributions are made voluntarily. The Army chief’s order made it compulsory. How was the cheque presented to the PM on January 15 when no contribution had been taken from the salaries? My information is that the Army has sought time till July 10 now,” said Dandriyal.
The activist, in fact, has also filed an RTI in the PMO seeking to know what happened to the Rs 100 crore cheque donated to the PM’s Relief Fund. “The PMO website has photographs showing the cheque titled `One day’s pay of all ranks of the Indian Army’ being presented to the PM by General Suhag on January 15,” he said.