One Rank One Pension cleared by Defence Ministry – Once OROP cleared by Finance Ministry, PM will take a final call – Likely to be implemented in end of May 2015
The much-awaited “one rank, one pension” (OROP) for the armed forces is likely to be cleared in a few days, defence minister Manohar Parrikar said in Goa on Saturday.
“OROP proposal is in final stage. The defence ministry has approved it and the finance ministry will clear it in a few days,” he added.
He said it is the first time that a clear proposal has been sent to finance ministry on OROP.
An estimated Rs 8,000 crore is likely to be allocated by the government to fulfill its commitment to the over 25 lakh ex-servicemen, who have been demanding OROP for several years.
The Centre has in principle cleared the ‘One Rank One Pension’ scheme for retired armed forces personnel, sources have told NDTV. The government has made a provision for an additional Rs. 8,300 crore for this purpose.
The scheme, which seeks to ensure that a uniform pension is paid to defence personnel who retire at the same rank with the same length of service, irrespective of their date of retirement, has been a long-standing demand of the over 20 lakh ex-servicemen in the country. Majority of Defence personnel hang up their boots much before 60 years. Also, over the years the disparity in the pension drawn by personnel of same rank who retired for instance a decade ago and those who retire now is substantial.
Demand for One Rank One Pension has been an emotive issue with defence pensioners for long. And, between 2008- 2010 veterans have on several occasions marched to Rashtrapati Bhavan to return their gallantry medals.
Sources say once Prime Minister Narendra Modi is back on May 19 from his three-nation tour, a final round of discussions will take place with him. The official announcement is likely to be made later this month, coinciding with the first anniversary celebrations of the NDA government.
The government has already made it clear that One Rank One Pension will be implemented with effect from April 1, 2014.