NEW DELHI: Ending a four decade long wait of veterans, Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led NDA government on Saturday announced the 'One Rank One Pension' scheme for ex-servicemen.
"In simple terms, OROP implies that uniform pension be paid to the Armed Forces personnel retiring in the same rank with the same length of service, regardless of their date of retirement. Future enhancements in the rates of pension would be automatically passed on to the past pensioners. This implies bridging the gap between the rate of pension of current and past pensioners at periodic intervals," said Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar while making the announcement.
"Under this definition, it has been decided that the gap between rate of pension of current pensioners and past pensioners will be bridged every 5 years," he said. We take a look at six salient features of the OROP scheme, as announced by Parrikar:
1. The benefit will be given with effect from 1st July, 2014. The present government assumed office on 26th May, 2014 and therefore, it has been decided to make the scheme effective from a date immediately after.
2. Arrears will be paid in four half-yearly instalments. All widows, including war widows, will be paid arrears in one instalment.
3. To begin with, OROP would be fixed on the basis of calendar year 2013.
4. Pension will be re-fixed for all pensioners retiring in the same rank and with the same length of service as the average of minimum and maximum pension in 2013. Those drawing pensions above the average will be protected.
5. Personnel who voluntarily retire will not be covered under the OROP scheme.
6. In future, the pension would be re-fixed every 5 years.
"OROP is a complex issue. A thorough examination of interests of retirees of different periods and different ranks is needed. The inter-service issues of the three Forces also require consideration. This is not an administrative matter alone. Therefore, it has also been decided that a One Member Judicial Committee would be constituted which will give its report in six months," Parrikar said.