PM Modi breaks silence on OROP, says defence veterans being misled on voluntary retirement issue
A day after the much-awaited announcement on the implementation of the One Rank One Pension scheme, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday broke his silence on the issue, saying he had fulfilled the promise he made before Lok Sabha elections 2014.
Asserting that the government wanted to see the soldiers of the country happy, the Prime Minister assured that they were still willing to look into any unaddressed issue with the help of the one-member judicial panel announced by the government.
“I have fulfilled my promise of One Rank One Pension. You have spent your life for this country, we cannot ignore you,” said Modi
Addressing an event in Faridabad for the inauguration of the metro link between Delhi and the Haryana town, the Prime Minister said that ex-servicemen were being misled on the issue of voluntary retirement, adding, “If you have spent 15 years in the service of the nation, you will get the benefit of OROP.”
The Prime Minister also used the opportunity to hit out at the opposition, saying those who did not do anything about the issue for 42 years do not have the right to say anything about OROP.
Claiming the Congress had planned an OROP scheme worth Rs 500 crore, Modi said that his government had announced the scheme at a cost of Rs 8000-10000 crore.
This came after sources in the government suggested no promise to look into the issue of “voluntary retirement” has been made by the Narendra Modi government.
According to sources, the government is stern on the announcement that those retiring early due to disability would remain the beneficiary of the One Rank One Pension (OROP) scheme, while those retiring for benefits won’t avail the scheme.
Sources further claimed that most of the ex-servicemen unions were happy with the announcement made by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Saturday. “We expect all protestors to celebrate this as no government has done it before,” they said, adding that any anomalies would be taken care of by the one-man judicial commission within six months.
Earlier, ex-servicemen following a meeting with Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar had said that they were assured of a clarification on the controversial voluntary retirement clause.
According to the OROP scheme, announced by the Defence Minister on Saturday, personnel who voluntarily retire would not be covered under the scheme.
This was rejected by the veterans, who pointed that there’s no voluntary retirement from defence forces but premature retirement, adding that they want the personnel opting for it under OROP.
The veterans have said that they will wait for the clarification from the government before calling off protests.
Apart from this, there are other sticking points that remain. For instance, while the government has said that the pension would be revised every five years, the veterans have reiterated their demand for an annual revision. The veterans said that at the maximum they can agree to revision every two years, not more. Read at : IBN
PM’s clarification fails to end OROP deadlock, veterans say protests will go on, won’t accept 5-year equaliser
Despite a clarification from Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the ex-servicemen on Sunday refused to end the ongoing protest over One Rank One Pension (OROP), saying there were still some issues that they needed clarity on.
Addressing mediapersons at Jantar Mantar, defence veteran Major General (Retd) Satbir Singh said that the five-year equaliser, announced by the government, was not acceptable to the protesting ex-servicemen.
The ex-servicemen said that the one-man judicial panel with a deadline of six months was also not acceptable to them. According to them, the veterans also need representation in the panel.
Thanking the Prime Minister for the clarification on the voluntary retirement issue, Major General Singh said that while the protests would continue, they would request protestors, who are on fast-unto-death, to withdraw their hunger strike. Read more at IBN
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