New Delhi: Unsatisfied with the detailed instructions and tables for One Rank One Pension scheme issued by the government, protesting military veterans on Thursday vowed to continue their agitation.
"OROP tables short-change widows, reservists, battle casualties, havildars, subedars and subedar majors. The Jantar Mantar protest will continue and legal options will be exercised," Col Anil Kaul (Retd), spokesperson for the protesting ex-servicemen said.
The statement came after veterans met today at the Jantar Mantar to decide on the future course of action. The veterans body has said that anomalies remain in the scheme announced by the government.
The main complaint is that instead of giving the highest pension at one rank, government has decided on giving the average pension of a rank which "nullifies" the meaning and definition of OROP.
The annual recurring financial implication of OROP at the current rate will be approximately Rs 7,500 crore, the government said yesterday as it issued detailed instructions for the scheme.
The government also issued OROP tables which said that the arrears from July 1, 2014 to December 31, 2015 would be approximately Rs 10,900 crore. 86 per cent of the total expenditure on account of OROP will benefit the Junior Commissioned Officers and other ranks.
The total increase in the defence budget for pensions is estimated to go up from Rs 54,000 crore (BE 2015-16) to around Rs 65,000 crore (proposed BE 2016-17), thereby increasing the defence pension outlay by about 20 per cent.
The government order said that the payment of arrears and revision of pension under OROP is to be made by the Pension Disbursing Authorities in four instalments, except for family pensioners and pensioners in receipt of gallantry awards who will be paid arrears in one instalment.
The government had in November last year taken the decision to implement OROP, "fulfilling" the long standing demand of defence personnel after 42 years. The move will benefit over 18 lakh ex-servicemen and war widows.