Saturday, September 5, 2015
Govt announces implementation of one rank, one pension
NEW DELHI: Defence minister Manohar Parrikar said on Saturday that the government has decided to implement the "one rank, one pension (OROP)" scheme for ex-servicemen.
Addressing a press conference after his meeting with agitating ex-servicemen, the defence minister said that the "government respects its defence forces and ex-servicemen for their valour, patriotism and sacrifices." "It's matter of deep anguish that various governments remained ambivalent on the issue of OROP. The issue of OROP has been pending for nearly four decades," Parrikar said.
READ ALSO: OROP announcement: Highlights
Parrikar said that PM Narendra Modi has fulfilled his commitment and approved the OROP for armed forces personnel. A detail order would be issued soon, Parrikar added.
According to the defence minister, the estimated cost to implement the OROP would be Rs 8000 to 10,000 crore. He said the expenditure will increase further in future.
READ ALSO: OROP explained
Giving details about the modalities, Parrikar said that "to begin with, the OROP would be fixed on the basis of calendar year 2013. Benefit of the OROP will be given with effect from July 1, 2014."
On the critical issue of pension revision, Parrikar said that it would be revised every five years.
"The OROP arrears will be paid in four half-yearly installments. Those drawing pensions above the average will be protected," he said.
He said that those defence personnel who retired voluntarily will not be covered under the OROP scheme.
Parrikar said that "a one member judicial committee will be constituted. It will give its report on equalisation period in six months."
Reacting to Parrikar's announcement, leader of agitating ex-servicemen Maj Gen (retd) Satbir Singh said while the veterans were satisfied with government's intention to implement the OROP, they made it clear that the proposed benefits were not acceptable to them.
Rejecting the provisions for pension revision after every five years and keeping those who take VRS out of the scheme among others, Singh said, "According to us government has accepted one of our demands and rejected six...at this point we cannot withdraw the agitation based on these details."
Parrikar made the announcement in the presence of the Army chief, General Dalbir Singh, the Naval chief, Admiral RK Dhowan, the Air Force chief, Air Chief Marshal Aroop Raha and defence secretary G Mohan Kumar.
Over 25 lakh veterans would benefit from the implementation of the OROP scheme