OROP Row: Small Gaps Need to be Filled, Says Government; Veterans Unhappy
NEW DELHI: Much to the disappointment of the protesting ex-servicemen, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar today said "small gaps" still required to be filled for implementation of 'One Rank One Pension' (OROP) and that the PMO was "directly involved" in finding a resolution. Unhappy with the prolonged delay by the Government in setting a timeframe for OROP, the veterans decided to boycott the today's golden jubilee celebrations of the 1965 war with Pakistan.
"The government is working to fill in the small gaps" and the PMO is "directly involved" in dealing with the OROP issue, Parrikar told reporters said on the sidelines of a function here.
He also asked for some time to be given to resolve the issue.
"Now the small gaps are being filled. Give it some time for completion. In principle, the Prime Minister on August 15 (Independence Day Speech) has given his approval. Now, PMO is directly involved...then by saying that do it in these many days will not help.
"All efforts are being made to solve the issue," he said.
Parrikar's statement did not go down well with the protesters who said they are "disheartened". They are also seeking an appointment with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
"What Raksha Mantri said, I'm rather disheartened. He is now saying that there are gaps. He cannot say anything that is totally different than what was told to us all these days," Maj Gen Satbir Singh (Retd), Chairman of the Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement said.
He said whatever the government has offered till now is not acceptable.
"Whatever they have finally offered is not acceptable to us. Yesterday what was told to us is nowhere close to the definition" that had been decided and accepted by Parliament," he said.
He said that the ex-servicemen have rejected government's offer to increase pension every five years instead of doing it annually.