Chandigarh: Senior Congress leader Amarinder Singh today blamed the bureaucracy for inordinate delay in implementing the One Rank One Pension (OROP) to benefit the country's 30 lakh ex-servicemen and sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi urgent attention to address the issue.
In a letter to the PM, Capt Amarinder said, "I am intrigued over such a situation where the bureaucracy has been trying to overrule Parliament."
It is strange that despite the decision about OROP having been approved by Parliament, no headway has been made so far as the "vested interests" in the bureaucracy are trying to scuttle it, a statement quoted the Congress leader as saying.
The former Chief Minister pointed out in his correspondence with Modi that it was the previous UPA government which approved the OROP.
"The then Finance Minister P Chidambaram allocated Rs 500 crore for this purpose in his last budget...," he said, adding "Finance Minister Arun Jaitely also approved about Rs 1,000 crore for this purpose in this year's budget."
The Congress leader said, "Since then the total amount required for the implementation of the scheme has been worked out to be about Rs 9,500 crore, which is a pittance as compared to the expenditure incurred on other schemes like food security or MGNREGA which cost lakhs of crores of rupees."
"Despite that the ex-serviceman have not been able to get the benefit just because the vested interests in the bureaucracy do not want to pass on this benefit to them even after it has been approved by Parliament," he regretted.