The government has approved the One Rank One Pension (OROP) concept in principle, said veterans who met Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Saturday amid conflicting views on its merits.
“OROP has been approved by the government,” said Maj. Gen. Satbir Singh said at a press conference at Jantar Mantar. “The third bone of contention is still there, which is when the revision of pension should take.”
The implementation of the One Rank One Pension (OROP) scheme, will be applicable to all retired officers, including those who take voluntary retirement.
It is likely that the government is all set to announce later today the new ‘One Rank One Pension’ (OROP) scheme taking 2013 as the base year and July 2014 as the time of implementation. The new OROP pension scheme envisages a five-year timeframe for pension review of defence personnel.
However, the veterans who are on protest in Jantar Mantar of New Delhi demanded review every two years and not five years. However, the 83-day old protest in Jantar Mantar will end with the government accepting the demands. However, the funds allocation is likely to be arranged for now while the next year budget may see the impact in terms of more taxes on ordinary citizens.
“If the base year of implementing the scheme is 2014, we will agree for July 2014 as date of implementation. But they can’t take 2013 as base year and July 2014 as implementation date,” said Satbir Singh in an interview earlier to IANS.
Until 1973, defence officers received 50% of their last drawn monthly salary as pension, while while jawans and junior commissioned officers got 70%, while the civilian employees received only 33 percent. After 1973, with the 3rd Pay Commission, civilian officers received 50% pension instead of similar rise in defence pensions, he explained.
The One Rank, One Pension (OROP) implementation delay has led to protests by ex-servicemen for the last 82 days demanding implementation of the policy that was approved by the Congress government, and assured by PM candidate Narendra Modi in 2013, but failed to figure in the Budget allocation this year.
The sensitive implentation of OROP entails uniform pension benefits for those defence personnel who retired in the same rank with the same service term, irrespective of their date of retirement.
Nearly 22 lakh ex-servicemen and about six lakh war widows will benefit from the OROP policy implementation, which will include all those who retired before 1996.
The Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement (IESM) sprearheaded the protest in New Delhi at Jantar Mantar.