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Saturday, May 30, 2015
Antony takes on govt over OROP
Updated: May 30, 2015 20:17 IST
The former Defence Minister said the government failed to implement UPA’s decision.
The verbal dual between BJP and Congress over One Rank One Pension (OROP) continued on Saturday with senior Congress leader and former Defence Minister A.K. Antony taking on Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the delay in implementation of the scheme even as Mr. Modi reiterated his commitment for OROP earlier in the day.
“The Govt is committed to OROP & there's no doubt about it,” Mr. Modi tweeted on Saturday amidst growing criticism over the delay in OROP.
Responding later in the day, Mr. Antony said the government failed to implement UPA’s decision. “Either he [PM Modi] is unaware of facts or he is misleading the nation in order to cover up his government’s failureormer Defence Minister A.K. Antony to implement the UPA decision on ‘One Rank, One Pension,” he said.
Mr. Modi also said in an interview that there are a number of definitions of OROP and the government is working to find one. But in general the definition given by the Parliamentary Committee headed by Bhagat Singh Koshiyary in 2011 had been accepted by the government and the Parliament.
The last week saw major expressions of displeasure by ex-servicemen over the delay in the implementation of the scheme which was promised by BJP in its election manifesto and cleared in-principle by the government. Two Air Force veterans of the 1971 war refused to attend a function in Pune where they were to be felicitated by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar.
Mr. Parrikar on Friday said that OROP was “on its way” but refused to give a specific time. “Two or three steps remain so can't give you a specific time but it is on its way,” he said and added: “There cannot be a date for OROP as it involves various departments.”
OROP seeks to bring parity among personnel retiring with the same rank and same duration irrespective of when they retire and will benefit about two and half million ex-servicemen.