§ Mr. Burnett
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans he has to discuss with the Indian Government a review of pensions paid to retired Gurkhas who have served with the British and Indian armies. 
§ Mr. Spellar
Gurkha pensions are paid in accordance with the 1947 Tri-Partite Agreement between the UK, India and Nepal and are linked to the Indian Army pension code. Last year a review took place, incorporating the 1996 Indian Government 5th Pay Commission, which resulted in substantial rises for all our 26,000 British Gurkha pensioners and their families. The pension increases resulting from this review have been backdated to 1 January 1996. We have no current plans to hold discussions with the Indian Government on the issue of Gurkha pensions.