Lucknow's ex-servicemen have approached the Indian President and Prime Minister with their demand of implementing 'One Rank One Pay' (OROP) with an immediate effect.
This scheme, if implemented, means that personnel retiring at the same rank and putting in the same tenure of service will get the same pension irrespective of the year of retirement. Currently, ex-servicemen who retired before coming in of the Sixth Pay Commission (SPC) gets less pension than their counterparts who retired under SPC.
As many as 40 former soldiers have written to the Indian President and the PM requesting them to clarify the government's take on the issue to ensure a time-bound implementation of the scheme. The soldiers have also sent a copy to the finance minister, defence minister, leader of opposition, and chief of army staff among others.
The demand has come after UPA government' announced Rs 2,300- crore package for pensioners in the armed services. Ex-servicemen have however expressed their dissatisfaction over the amount as they feel it has fallen short of their expectations. A retired soldier said, ``The pension-hike is deceptive. The government has wrongly interpreted the term OROP. They have merely made an enhancement in pension.''
There are 18 lakh ex-servicemen in the country today. Of them, about 5.5 lakh, including 80,000 widows, are under the central command. In UP and Uttarakhand alone, the number stands to four lakh. In Lucknow there are nearly 20,000 ex- servicemen.
Source: Times of India
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