New Delhi: The government finally announced the One Rank One Pension (OROP) effective July 1 2013, with a revision every five years.
Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar announced on Saturday that OROP arrears will be paid in four half-yearly instalments; but all widows, including war widows, to be paid arrears in one instalment.
He assured that Pension will be re-fixed for all pensioners retiring in the same rank with same length of service.
The government is considering appointing a committee under a judge to go into the issue of equalisation of pension, a leader of the ex-servicemen group fighting for One Rank One Pension said after a meeting with Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar.
The announcement evoked a mixed response among the military veterans. Some seemed happy they accepted the implementation decision and thanked the government for the same, while on the other hand, the Chairman of Indian Ex-Servicemen movement Major General Satbir Singh, said that they did not accept the proposal of one-man judicial panel and the five-year equaliser. “Think we will have to carry forward the agitation, will take a final decision”: Major General Satbir Singh added.
He claimed the government has to only spend Rs 30 crore for six consecutive years for “equalisation of pension”.
Officials said the annual burden on the pension bill will be about Rs. 8,000 crore which would progressively go up with revision in pensions. The current pension bill of the defence ministry stands at Rs. 54,000 crore.
Close to 22 lakh retired servicemen and over six lakh war widows stand to be the immediate beneficiaries of the scheme.