New Delhi: Through a release by the Press Information Bureau today, the government has accepted that its formula for working out the One Rank One Pension (OROP) policy for retired soldiers does not match what is being demanded by the protesters since last year. “United Front Movement of Ex-Servicemen is continuing their protest action since 14th June 2015 for their demands on OROP,” the release reads.
This follows Minister of State for Defence Dr Subhash Bhamre’s written statement to CPI’s D Raja in Rajya Sabha today.
The minister said through the written reply that the government has accepted the demands of former servicemen’s associations to implement OROP and payment of arrears with effect from 1 July 2014 and coverage of premature retirees’ cases under the scheme up to 7 November 2015.
The government acknowledges, however, the fact that some of these associations have been demanding changes in the methodology for fixation of pension, periodicity of its revision, coverage of future PMR cases, etc.
Two days ago, though, Dr Bhamre had said at a programme held in Dehradun to honour former servicemen and war widows, “The credit for ending the dilemma faced by successive previous governments over OROP goes without doubt to Prime Minister Narendra Modi who showed the determination to solve the issue.”
But Bhamre wrote in his reply to Raja in the House today that the government had appointed a judicial committee on OROP to look into the anomalies, if any, arising out of implementation of OROP on 14 December 2015. The Committee submitted its report on 26 October this year.
The financial implications on account of grant of OROP including Pre-Matured Retirees (PMR) cases would be Rs. 10925.11 crore for payment of arrears and annual financial implication would be Rs. 7488.7 crore. Till 31 March, 2016, 15.91 lakh pensioners have been given the first installment of OROP, which amounts to Rs. 2,861 crore. Information is being gathered for processing on priority basis the cases of 1.15 lakh pensioners, after filling in the gaps of information such as the length of service being assessed, etc.