By Express News Service, Published: 07th July 2015 05:03 AM, NEW DELHI: A delegation of ex-servicemen is expected to meet Union Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Tuesday, in anticipation of a breakthrough in the long-pending issue of One Rank One Pension (OROP).
Group Captain V K Gandhi (retd), who is the general secretary of Indian Ex-servicemen Movement, told Express that they were hopeful that something positive would emerge from the meeting. However, they were yet to receive an official communication from Parrikar’s office about the time of meeting.
“We met him a few days back and he assured us to do something on our long-pending demand. Since nothing has moved so far, we are meeting him again to apprise him about our demands. We will keep meeting him till our government finds a solution of our demand,” said Gandhi.
“Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the present government have made a commitment on implementing One Rank One Pension, but it is yet to be formally announced after 14 months of governance,” Gandhi added.
In fact, defence personnel suspect that a strong lobby is active against the implementation of such a welfare scheme.
Parrikar had last week called the protesting ex-servicemen and said that OROP file had come back from the Union Finance Ministry.
Parrikar had said that complications surrounding the OROP implementation have been sorted out. However, no date for its implementation was given.
The relay hunger strike of ex-servicemen continued for the 22nd day on Monday, with 45 retired defence personnel staging a demonstration at the Jantar Mantar in the capital.The veterans started their protest on June 14 and a relay hunger strike from June 15. The Narendra Modi Government has been maintaining that it is committed to the OROP, a key promise made during Lok Sabha polls.Close to 22 lakh ex-servicemen and over six lakh war widows stand to be the immediate beneficiaries of the scheme, which envisages a uniform pension for the defence personnel who retire in the same rank with the same length of service, irrespective of their date of retirement.
Currently, the pension for ex-servicemen is based on the Pay Commission recommendations of the time when they had retired.