New Delhi: Defence minister Manohar Parrikar said that increased pensions under the One Rank One Pension (OROP) scheme have been disbursed to two-thirds of the beneficiaries while the remaining will get it by mid-April.
"The OROP pensions are being disbursed at a very fast speed. By February 17, two-thirds of the pensioners were covered," Parrikar told reporters. "Before Holi, most of them (pensioners) should be covered," he said, adding that those left out will get their pensions in the first two weeks of April.
An official statement released later said pension payments have now been credited to the accounts of 13.02 lakh pensioners, totalling about Rs 2,293 crore.
The money has been released through Defence Pension Disbursing Offices (DPDOs), the State Bank of India (SBI) and the Punjab National Bank (PNB).
By March 17, DPDOs had released about Rs 606 crore to about 3.20 lakh defence personnel, the SBI released Rs 1,337 crore to 7.75 lakh pensioners, including family pensioners, while PNB released about Rs 350 crore to about 2.07 lakh pensioners, including family pension cases.
Other banks assigned the task of disbursement of revised pension have been directed to complete the payments latest by March-end, the statement added.
On 5 September, 2015, the Centre announced its decision to implement the OROP, a demand for which was made more than four decades ago. In pursuance of this decision, a notification was issued on 7 November, 2015, by the Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare in the defence ministry.
As many as 101 OROP tables were released by the department on 3 February, 2016, containing revised pensions of different ranks and categories.