NEW DELHI: Paving the way for the implementation of the much-awaited One Rank One Pension scheme for ex-servicemen, the Ministry of Defence on Wednesday issued detailed instructions along with tables for its final disbursement.
The Ministry in a statement said the annual recurring financial implication on account of implementation of One Rank One Pension scheme at the current rate would be roughly Rs 7,500 crore.
The arrears from July 2014 to December 2015 would cost approximately Rs 10,900 crore.
Making it clear that 86 per cent of the total expenditure on account of OROP would benefit junior commissioned officers and other ranks, the Ministry stated that the payment of arrears and revision of pension under OROP was to be made by the Pension Disbursing Authorities in four installments, except for family pensioners and pensioners in receipt of gallantry awards who would be paid arrears in one installment.
The Ministry of Defence claimed the total increase in the Defence Budget for pensions was estimated to go up from Rs 54,000 crore to around Rs 65,000 crore, increasing the outlay by about 20 per cent.
The BJP-led National Democratic Alliance government last November took the decision to implement the One Rank One Pension scheme after the four-decade-long agitation by ex-servicemen of the Armed Forces. The scheme will benefit over 18 lakh ex-servicemen and war widows. Some sections of ex-servicemen have rejected the scheme in its current form saying it did not meet their demands.
The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved the creation of a supernumerary post in the rank of Air Marshal in the Air Force for 17 months, which will allow Air Vice Marshall Sanjay Sharma to be promoted. The decision was taken following an Armed Forces Tribunal (Principal Bench) order. It will enable the Defence Ministry to seek approval of the Cabinet Appointments Committee to grant Sharma a promotion.
After the sanction and subsequent approval of the Review Special Promotion Board 2014 by the ACC, Sharma will be considered for promotion to the rank of Air Marshal retrospectively with effect from December 1, 2014.
Sharma had approached the Tribunal alleging his annual reports were brought down in merit vis-a-vis other officers. He claimed Air Chief Marshal N A K Browne, who chaired the Special Promotion Board for 2014-15, had differences with him.
The Bench last year directed the Defence Ministry and the Air Force to reconsider the petitioner’s case after deleting the review carried out by the Senior Reviewing Officer.
It had said if he made the grade, he would be deemed promoted to the rank of Air Marshal and would be entitled to all service benefits.