Singh said that their main demand is that the base year for implementation of OROP should be March 31, 2014, the end of the financial year 2013-14. The ex-servicemen have been asking for annual revision of pension, but are also ready to settle for biennial revision, “but not beyond that”. “We have heard that the government may declare the date of effectiveness from July 1, but we are not ready for this.
The date of effectiveness should be April 1, 2014. “April one should be the date when arrears should be given. This is what Parliament had passed. If then don’t give every year then it is not OROP. If the government acts stubborn then we have other ways to bring them on track. But even if they say two years (for revision of pension) then we are ready,” Singh said.
He claimed that the government has to only spent ₹30 crore for six-consecutive years for equalisation of pension. “If the government can spend ₹60 crore on giving subsidy on Parliament canteen, then I have nothing to say,” he said.
Deadlock over the implementation of OROP persists even as back-channel talks are still on.
As the ex-servicemen’s fight for their demand reached 82nd day, Singh appealed to the other retired personnel to join the stir. “If you (ex-servicemen) are watching this...(on the television) from villages, different part of the country, come to Delhi and join us.
“Our movement is strengthening. On August, the OROP (hastag) was trending for seven hours on Twitter,” he said.
(Source- Business Line)