According to sources no reference has been made yet on the OROP to the 7th Pay Commission by the government. Photo: Shanker Chakravarty
Mounting pressure on the government ahead of Independence Day, four former service chiefs in an “open letter” sought intervention of the President for early implementation of the One Rank One Pension (OROP) to avoid the situation “getting out of hand”.
While expectations are high among ex-servicemen of an announcement on the issue by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Independence Day, Finance Ministry sources told The Hindu that consultations so far have not been conclusive and discussions are still on.
The sources also said no reference has been made yet on the OROP to the 7th Pay Commission by the government. This comes in the backdrop of apprehensions among veterans that the government is attempting to dilute the definition and provisions of the OROP and might link the implementation for the officer cadre with the 7th Pay Commission.
In the “open letter” the former chiefs — General S.F. Rodrigues, Admiral Arun Prakash, Admiral L. Ramdas, and Admiral Sureesh Mehta — expressed “deep anguish” at the “dismal spectacle of our veteran soldiers” driven to undertake public protests and demonstrations to press their demand for the long overdue grant of the OROP.
The government seems to have taken “no notice,” the letter said, adding that the recent developments have “not only triggered a process of politicisation of the Indian military, but also served to inflict grave damage on its morale and self-esteem.”
They cautioned that this can be seen as veterans being ignored and humiliated by their own “sarkar [government]”. They attributed this to a lack of “political will”.
In view of the situation, the four former chiefs called for an intervention by the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces.
They cautioned that there is every possibility of the situation getting out of hand.