Cannot be a more attractive scheme, agniveers guaranteed government jobs: Amit Shah

PTI | New Delhi | Updated: 26-05-2024 17:07 IST | Created: 26-05-2024 17:07 IST
Cannot be a more attractive scheme, agniveers guaranteed government jobs: Amit Shah
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Union Home Minister Amit Shah has stoutly defended the 'Agnipath' scheme, saying there cannot be a more attractive scheme for the youth as it offers guarantee of a full-term government job for 'agniveers' who retire following a four-year tenure in the armed forces.

In an interview with PTI, Shah said he felt pity for Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, who has promised to scrap the short-term recruitment scheme if his party's alliance comes to power, as he speaks without understanding the issue.

While 25 per cent of 'agniveers' will be absorbed in the armed forces to serve a full-term, Shah claimed the job opportunities created for those retiring after the four-year tenure will be 7.5 times their number because of reservations for them in different state police forces and Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF).

''There cannot be a more attractive scheme for the country's youth than Agniveer. It is a very well thought-out scheme,'' he asserted.

The short-term recruitment scheme will also bring down the average age of armed forces personnel, Shah said, adding a comparative study of defence forces globally would highlight that the average age is very high in India. ''Not only reservation, they (agniveers) have also received age and physical fitness test relaxations. Their training period has also been done away with as they would be already trained on joining. So the 75 per cent, who will retire in four years, will have 7.5 times more reserved space (employment),'' he said.

Asked if it was a guarantee, Shah said, ''It is a guarantee if they want to join. There is no compulsion. I will speak to you with facts and figures. So 25 per cent will be absorbed there (armed forces) and the rest if they want government services can join the CAPF, state police. They will get full-term jobs with all due benefits like gratuity and pension. Now tell me where is the harm?'' ''This is a guarantee of government job till 58 years,'' he asserted.

The Congress has been criticising the scheme, saying it harms the future of youngsters aspiring to join the armed forces by retiring them after a short tenure. The party has promised to scrap it. In this context, the Home Minister also made light of the Congress's several promises, including a uniform Goods and Services Tax (GST) rate.

Attacking Gandhi, who has been vocal on the issue, Shah said, ''He (Gandhi) calls it a loot. You call the law of the country which was passed in Parliament where you yourself sit Gabbar Singh Tax. I feel pity for him. No one in the Congress party even advises him.'' He questioned as to how luxury items consumed by the rich and things useful for the poor can be taxed at the same rate.

''Tell me, currently there is five per cent tax on cycles and 28 per cent tax on Mercedes. Should both be taxed equally? Rahul Gandhi should answer. Incense sticks hand-made by poor women are taxed at five per cent. AC is taxed at 28 per cent. Should both be taxed at an equal rate,'' he asked.

Shah defined the different tax rates as cross-subsidisation, saying Gandhi doesn't understand it. ''That's how the average, mean tax rate kicks in. Which is uniform. Luxury items used by rich people (are taxed at a higher rate) and those which are useful for the poor people, backward people or farmers are taxed less. Now some foreign NGO has handed him some information and he will keep talking about it till the day of counting. Later he will say something new and you people will take him very seriously,'' he said. Counting of votes for the ongoing Lok Sabha elections will be taken up on June 4. The last phase of polling for the elections will be held on June 1.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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