Today after the announcement by Defense Minister Manohar Parikar One Rank One Pension (OROP), prolonged protest of veteran army officers and Ex-servicemen has come to an end, but remains only partially resolved. The government has not agreed to all the demands of protesting Army veterans.
Although it took 42 years to re-implement the pension benefits for the retired armed officers and their families, the decision was politically influenced. Indian National Congress has said it to be an insult of Indian soldiers and widows of martyred officers.
The press conference called earlier this afternoon made the #OROP official, a short address by the defense minister stated that OROP would be implemented with effect from from 1st July 2014, while year 2013 is considered as base a year.
The OROP implementation implies uniform pension for the armed forces personnel retiring from the same rank regardless to retirement dates. It further defines that gap between rate of pension of current and past pensioners will be bridged in every five years, same has been the major issue of dissatisfaction for veterans. They had demanded pension revision must be done on annually. All the arrears would be paid in two half-yearly installments, however Military widows will receive pension in one installment.
There are 2.5 million veterans and nearly 6 lakh war widows, stands out for the benefits of the scheme
The OROP is applicable for disabled, war widows and those retiring from armed forces, while those opted for voluntary retirement from the services are not included, same has been another point of disagreement between veterans and government.
After the strong disagreement from veterans to except OROP as announced, a meeting was organized between both the parties. Thereafter, Defense Minister said that details on voluntary retirement will be given in the government orders. Parrikar further added that if the decision is acceptable for veterans than ‘Veterans on boards all the issues’.
Reacting over the statement, ex-servicemen while thanking government for implementing the order refused the modalities. They have been demanding an annual revision and enforcing OROP from 1st April 2014.
Rao Inderjit Singh, Minister of Defense for State stated that, “Government has taken its decision; this is what we can give,” later in conversation with local media.
What is OROP?
One Rank One Pension (OROP) or same pension, was the base for determining pension and benefits for Armed forces till 1973. Thereafter, the Indian National Congress (INC) government leaded by Indira Gandhi terminated OROP, following the Third Central Pay Commission (3 CPC). The decision has caused unrest in armed forces, which later became cause of public protests.