After his function was boycotted by two war veterans, the Defence Minister broke his silence over the implementation of ‘one-rank-one-pension’ scheme. Manohar Parrikar said that his ministry had completed all formalities in respect of the one rank-one pension’ (OROP) scheme for ex-servicemen.
“My ministry has completed all formalities and OROP will be implemented. I request the matter not be politicised,” he told at a function in Pune.
Meanwhile, Wing Commander Suresh Karnik, one of the gallantry award winners and 1971 war-veteran boycotted the gallantry award function along with Wing Commander Bhopadekar, who was awarded the Vayu Sena medal. The boycott, he told, was in protest against the non-implementation of OROP and “lip service” offered by the government to the cause of ex-servicemen.
“Government is paying lip service to ex-servicemen’s cause. Bureaucracy is playing its own game on One Rank One Pension issue,” Wing Commander Karnik told the press.
Wing Commander Karnik, though believes Parrikar had good intentions with regard to the matter but blamed the bureaucracy and Finance Ministry.
“Parrikar is a good man but Finance Minister has sent the file back,” Karnik added.
The long pending One Rank One Pension (OROP) scheme is estimated to cost around Rs 8,600 crore initially and subsequently several crore rupees annually. Currently, all pre 2006 (the year the 6th pay panel recommendations became effective) pensioners receive lesser pension than not only their counterparts but also their juniors. This has made lot of war veterans who retired before 2006 upset and seeking pension equivalent to post 2006 scales.
Meanwhile, speaking at a function in Pune to felicitate city-based war veterans, Manohar Parrikar said “People still do not know financial implications of this scheme. The Defence Ministry has completed its calculations and there was a unanimous agreement with the Armed Forces on the formula”.
Parrikar also spoke on the host of initiatives his ministry has taken concerning the defense personnel.
“I am also working out a mechanism by which proper compensation can be given in case of battle casualties along with education to the children of the martyrs,” the minister further added.
The Defence minister got support from Navy Chief Admiral R K Dhowan who advised the ex-servicemen to be “patient” on the long-pending demand for OROP.
“The government was seized of the matter and we look forward to that announcement,” Admiral Dhovan told the gathering.