Srinagar: As the suicide by an Army veteran over One Rank One Pension scheme snowballed into a huge political show, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, Thursday, said around one lakh ex-military personnnel are yet to get full benefit of OROP.
Commenting on the contentious issue, Parrikar admitted that there was some technical issue in full implementation of OROP, adding that it will be soon sorted out.
"Only one lakh ex-servicemen (out of over 20 lakh) are not getting pension as per OROP scheme due to some technical difficulty or documentation problems. We will resolve these problems in coming two months," he said addressing Army veterans in Budgam.
The government is committed to fulfil its election promise of implementing the OROP, the senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) asserted.
“Government is committed to ex-servicemen welfare,” the Union Minister said.
Parrikar said the government is sensitive to OROP issue as it was not implemented for the past 43 years.
"We did it. Every year Rs 7,500 crore (will be incurred) and Rs 11,000 crore arrears have been paid. There has been 23 to 24 percent average increase in pension," he added.
After interacting and listening to the problems of the ex-servicemen, Parikkar assure them that their grievances would be resolved.
"Whatever (problems) has been conveyed to me today will be resolved by the time I come again. Today, I was given 10 minutes for an interaction with you but I extended it to 40 minutes. Next time, I will spend half a day with you," he said, adding he will make all efforts to resolve the problems of the ex-servicemen.
Earlier, the Defence Minister had tweeted the status report of OROP implementation.
— Manohar Parrikar (@manoharparrikar) November 2, 2016
Notably, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday had said the first installment of nearly Rs 5,500 crore has been paid for implementing the OROP scheme.
"The OROP was not about just Rs 200 crore or Rs 500 crore, but Rs 10,000 crore... After I became the PM, and decided that I had to do (implement) it, the entire government lost sleep over it... It was not possible for the government to pay in one go, so I requested the ex-servicemen to accept it in four instalments.
"The money will reach them in four instalments. Nearly, Rs 5,500 crore has been paid as the first installment," PM Modi had said.
Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and other opposition leaders are attacking the Modi government over the suicide of former soldier Ram Kishan Grewal, who allegedly took the drastic step demanding OROP's implementation.
A former Rajputana Rifles subedar, the 70-year-old allegedly consumed poison at a Delhi park on Tuesday evening demanding the immediate implementation of the One Rank One Pension (OROP) scheme.
Huge political drama has been unfolding since yesterday with Kejriwal, Rahul and several other Congress leaders paying a visit to Bamla village in Haryana's Bhiwani district to attend the funeral of Grewal.
BJP today hit out at Rahul and Kejriwal for playing politics over the ex-armyman's alleged suicide.