OROP stalemate to end soon, Govt's draft agreement ready, claim sources
The ongoing deadlock in the implementation of the `One Rank, One Pension` (OROP) may end soon as the government is likely to make an announcement in this regard within the next 48 hours.
New Delhi: The ongoing deadlock in the implementation of the `One Rank, One Pension` (OROP) may end soon as the government is likely to make an announcement in this regard within the next 48 hours.
According to media reports, a draft on the OROP issue prepared by the government says the scheme will be implemented from July 1, 2014 and the base year will be 2013.
However, the defence veterans had been demanding that the scheme be implemented from April 1, 2014.
Though a formal announcement is yet to be made, the time duration for equalisation of pension is the main stumbling block in its implementation.
While the government draft says equalisation of pension will take place every five years, defence veterans say that it should happen every year and if that is not possible then at least once in two years.
Besides, the Centre is also likely to set up one-member judicial commission to find out any anomaly and and it will submit the report within six months.
While the number of military veterans is over 24.25 lakh, there are nearly 6 lakh widows, too, who are entitled to lifetime pension. The current pension of defence forces is Rs 54,000 crore and it will increase to Rs 75,000 crore after OROP is implemented.
Almost 85% of military personnel retire before age of 40 but civilian employees serve till the age of 60. Only 1% of military personnel serve upto age of 60. While the number of registered ex-servicemen is 24.25 lakh and there are over 13 lakh serving military personnel. The estimated cost of OROP will be Rs 8,300 crore.
According to sources, the government is likely to brief President Pranab Mukherjee before taking the final call. Notably, the ex-servicemen had recently written to the President, seeking his intervention in the issue.
Major General Satbir Singh (retired), who is spearheading the protest by the ex-servicemen at Jantar Mantar in the national capital, held a meeting in this regard with Army Chief General Dalbir Singh on Thursday. The ex-servicemen reportedly conveyed to the government that they were willing to relent on a two-year review and not five years, as proposed by the government.
One Rank, One Pension scheme has been a long-standing demand of the ex-servicemen. It seeks to ensure that a uniform pension is paid to defence personnel who retire at the same rank with the same length of service, irrespective of their date of retirement.
Several retired defence personnel have been protesting at Delhi's Jantar Mantar for One Rank One Pension. Some of them are also on fast-unto-death.
(With PTI inputs)