OROP: Ex-servicemen meet Manohar Parrikar; govt to make announcement
The National Democratic Alliance government is likely to make an announcement about 'One Rank, One Pension' (OROP) on Saturday.
New Delhi: The National Democratic Alliance government is likely to make an announcement about 'One Rank, One Pension' (OROP) on Saturday.
Meanwhile, the agitating ex-servicemen today met Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar to discuss modalities of government's proposal for resolution of the issue, but made it clear that they would not compromise on their key demands.
The OROP scheme is expected to be announced by Parrikar later today.
The Defence Ministry has called a press conference at 2.30 pm. However, the subject of the press conference has not been disclosed.
Earlier in the day, Major General Satbir Singh (retd), chairman of the Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement, told reporters that the delegation would meet Parrikar with an open mind.
With their agitation at Jantar Mantar seeking early implementation of OROP entering the 83rd day today, retired personnel of the armed forces made it clear that they would not compromise on the basic concept of their demand that no senior should get lesser pension than a junior at any time.
The veterans also said that OROP would be applicable to those who have sought voluntary retirement and are getting pension, as well as those getting disability pension.
Amid reports that government would announce the OROP formula before the model code of conduct sets in ahead of Bihar polls, spokesman of the protesting veterans Maj Gen (Retd) Satbir Singh, said the condition of revision every five years cannot meet their basic concept.
Singh, who is chairman of Indian Ex-servicemen Movement, said one thing was very important that all those veterans who sought voluntary retirement and are getting pension, will get OROP and those getting disability pension will also get it.
Asked if they were ready for a revision every five years, as sought to be proposed, Singh said, "Whether it is 5 years, one year or two years. If our concept is not met, then we will reject it and will fight for it."
It is understood that a draft proposal on OROP was circulated at a RSS meeting yesterday which envisaged commencement of the scheme from July 2014, besides revision of pension every five years.
According to the draft, the basis for the implementation of the scheme would be 2013 and arrears would be paid in four instalments.
The OROP has been stuck for a while despite hectic back channel talks between the government and the veterans.
Close to 26 lakh retired servicemen and over six lakh war widows stand to be immediate beneficiaries of the scheme, which envisages a uniform pension for the defence personnel who retire in the same rank with the same length of service, irrespective of their date of retirement.
Currently, the pension for retired personnel is based on the Pay Commission recommendations of the time when he or she retired. So, a Major General who retired in 1996 draws less pension than a Lt Colonel who retired after 1996.
(With Agency inputs)