NEW DELHI: As the patience of the ex-servicemen is rapidly growing thin over the government’s delay in implementing the oft-promised one-rank one-pension (OROP) for the 25 lakh-strong community acrossthe country, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said his government is committed to implementing it.
In a tweet, the Prime Minister said, “On OROP -- the govt is committed to OROP & there’s no doubt about it.” However, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar had said on Friday that there was no timeframe for its implementation as a couple of administrative steps were still pending.
“A date cannot be specified for implementing the OROP. This scheme was not understood by the previous government properly. There are many fine prints and aspects that need to be considered. After taking a lot of time, I have crystallised the department... There are two-three administrative steps that are still pending,” Parrikar had said. An event attended by Parrikar in Pune on Thursday was boycotted by two decorated war veterans, who said they were disillusioned by the non-implementation of the OROP, which will ensure that defence personnel who retire at the same rank and with the same length of service, will get equal pension, irrespective of when they had retired.
The OROP has been a long-pending demand of the country’s over two million ex-servicemen. The scheme is expected to cost the exchequer around `8,600 crore initially and subsequently several crore rupees annually. Currently, all those who retired before 2006 (the year the sixth Pay Panel recommendations became effective) receive lesser pension than their counterparts and even their juniors.
Implementing One Rank One Pension was part of the BJP’s election campaign and Modi had assured ex-servicemen that their demands would be met by his government.