Government to Declare One Rank One Pension Today: Sources -NDTV
The government plans to announce the implementation of One Rank One Pension or OROP in the next 48 hours, sources have said. Veterans on strike say it’s a “unilateral” decision as they have not signed off on any proposal.
Here are the latest development:
- The government is ready with a draft proposal that lays out Rs. 8,000-10,000 crore a year for OROP. Top sources said the government is willing to accept the veterans’ demand that OROP be effective from July 1, 2014, with arrears.
- It is considering paying arrears in four instalments, the sources said. Widows and ex-servicemen over 70 are likely to be paid first. OROP benefits will be available to war widows, but not to those of soldiers who opted for premature retirement.
- With the current proposal, the lowest-ranked retired jawans will get a pension hike of at least 3,500 to 4,500 a month, the sources said.
- The government is sticking to its ground on the one remaining point of disagreement. It will offer a revision of pension every five years and not the one, or maximum two years demanded by the veterans.
- Since there are many cases of veterans of the same rank earning different pensions, the government proposes to take the average of the maximum and minimum pension paid per rank, while protecting those who earn above average pensions in their rank.
- Those leading the 82-day OROP protests at Jantar Mantar in Delhi say they reject the government’s decision to “unilaterally” implement the pension scheme and are now planning to hold a mega rally in Delhi on September 12.
- The veterans and the government have been involved in negotiations for months now. The Prime Minister’s Office stepped in last month after the strike escalated into a hunger-strike.
- The draft proposal is being seen as the government’s final offer on OROP, a two-decade-old demand. Sources said it is banking on the protest losing steam since some of the veterans want to accept the package on the terms the government is offering.
- OROP was a key promise made by Prime Minister Narenrda Modi when he was campaigning for last year’s national election. The veterans and also political rivals have repeatedly reminded him of that promise.
- OROP will give the same pension to ex-servicemen who retired many years ago as that which soldiers of the same rank retiring now draw. There is a huge discrepancy right now. The scheme will benefit three million veterans.