Defence minister Manohar Parrikar on Thursday said that Army can expect ‘good news soon’ on the issue of one rank, one pension (OROP). In the city for cantonment board meeting, the minister said: “Our commitment to implement the OROP remains intact. I cleared the file as soon as it came to my notice.”
When asked whether the issue could be put before Parliament in the monsoon session starting July 21, the minister said that it was difficult to give a time frame, as many ministries and departments are involved in its implementation.
“Since issues like OROP involve more than one ministry, there cannot be any time-frame for its implementation. I do not put myself in restrictive time-frame. It will be implemented soon, but how soon, I cannot tell. My department followed the time-frame despite difficulties,” he said.
Ex-servicemen have been protesting since June 14 to press for the implementation of OROP. At present, pension of retired army personnel is based on the pay commission recommendations at the time of their retirement. This leads to difference in pension for officers of the same rank who retire on different dates.
With OROP, those who retired earlier will draw the same pension as officers and jawans of the same rank who are retiring now. They would also be entitled to a year’s back pension at the new rate, which would be a windfall for pensioners.
The system will benefit 25 lakh ex-servicemen, and is expected to cost the government around Rs 8,500 crore.