OROP breakthrough? May accept revision of pension once in two years, say defence veterans
The agitating ex-servicemen and the government appeared to have ironed out some major differences over the contentious issue of OROP.
New Delhi: The agitating ex-servicemen and the government appeared to have ironed out some major differences over the contentious issue of one rank one pension with the defence veterans saying on Wednesday night that they may accept revision of pension once in two years instead of one year as demanded by them.
War veteran Maj Gen (retd) Satbir Singh, who has been leading the protest in Jantar Mantar for the last 80 days, said they have got positive signals from the government for the last few days but stopped short of saying there was a breakthrough.
Singh said the issue was non-negotiable and both the elements of the OROP concept cannot be interfered. An agreement can be reached once we know what is on the platter (offer by the government), he said, adding effective date of revision must be from 1 April, 2014.
Independent MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar, who has been mediating on the issue, said it was time veterans must return home with honour and grace by reaching an early settlement.
He urged them to accept the revision of pension every three years.
Meanwhile, not in the best of health yet undeterred, Colonel (retd) Pushpendra Singh on Wednesday resumed his fast-unto-death demanding prompt implementation of One Rank, One Pension scheme at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi hours after he was discharged from an army hospital.
Singh, one of the ex-servicemen fasting in demand of the immediate implementation of the OROP scheme, was hospitalised on Monday last — the ninth day of his fast after his medical report showed increased ketone levels.
Singh was admitted to the ICU of Army Hospital Research and Referral, from where he was discharged on Wednesday.
Hours later, he returned to the protest site to join his fellow ex-servicemen, whose agitation entered the 80th day on Wednesday.
Satbir Singh later said, "We will not agree to a three-year revision. We have made it clear that we can only settle down to two years of revision and not beyond that."
He added that no fresh proposal has come from the government's side in this regards.
With protesting ex-servicemen dissatisfied with the formal notification of OROP scheme, Manohar Parrikar said that everyone has a right to make a demand.
Having failed to get their demand for 'One Rank One Pension' implemented, the ex-servicemen announced that they will "regretfully heighten" their agitation.
According to ex-servicemen protesting over OROP, there’s no concept of VRS in defence service. Instead, there is the PMR.