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Govt announces OROP, veterans to continue agitation over key provisions

New Delhi: Government today announced acceptance of the long-pending demand for 'One Rank One Pension' but the ex-servicemen who have been on agitation rejected the key details of the decision and said their 84-day long
India TV News Desk September 05, 2015 18:03 IST
India TV News Desk

New Delhi: Government today announced acceptance of the long-pending demand for 'One Rank One Pension' but the ex-servicemen who have been on agitation rejected the key details of the decision and said their 84-day long stir will continue.

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar announced here that the government has decided to implement OROP under which there would be revision of pension every five years as against two years demanded by the ex-servicemen.

The base year would be calendar year 2013 for calculation of the OROP and it will be implemented from July 2014, Parrikar said while making it clear that ex-servicemen who have taken voluntary retirement would not be eligible for the scheme.

The government is also setting up a one-member judicial committee to work out details of implementation of the OROP which will file a report in six months, the Minister said.

Reacting to the announcement, leader of agitating ex-servicemen Maj Gen (retd) Satbir Singh they have objection over the government's version of OROP.  He added that the govt only accepted one demand and neglected other six.

Singh said, "According to us government has accepted one of our demands and rejected six...at this point we cannot withdraw the agitation based on these details."

Ex-servicemen rejected the government's proposal to review the pension every five year. Satbir Singh said, “This is one rank five pensions and not one rank one pension as we have been demanding.”

Veterans also rejected the govt's decision to constitute one member judicial committee. He said that the govt's decision to constitute a one member judicial committee is unacceptable to them. He demanded that a five-member committee should be constituted including three veterans, one serving member and one appointed by defence ministry.

The duration of the committee should be at max one month and not six months as decided by the govt, demanded the retired army personnel.

The veterans also objected to the decision not to include defence personnel who take voluntary retirement or VRS.  Satbir Singh said that 40% of the personnel take voluntary retirement for different reasons who will not benefit from the OROP.

Asserting that they needed clarification on various issues, Singh said the agitation will continue and the future course of action will be decided shortly.

He said it was conveyed to the Defence Minister in the meeting earlier in the day that no junior should get more pension than senior and that there is nothing like Voluntary Retirement Service in defence forces.

Ahead of government's announcement of OROP, Singh said government had broadly accepted the concept of the scheme and that they would study the details after it is made public.

Earlier, Parrikar announced that, the government has taken a decision to implement the One Rank One Pension, despite of huge financial burden it will put on the exchequer.

OROP arrears to be paid in four half-yearly instalments; all widows, including war widows, to be paid arrears in one instalment, announced Parrikar.

To begin with, OROP would be fixed on the basis of calendar year 2013, he said. Pension will be re-fixed for all pensioners retiring in the same rank and same length of service.