New Delhi, Oct 30 (IANS) The Defence Ministry on Monday said the report of a one member committee on the One Rank One Pension is under examination, on a day when veterans protesting the OROP being implemented were forcefully evicted from their protest site.
Defence Ministry sources said the report, by the one man committee of Justice L Narasimha Reddy, the retired Chief Justice of Patna High Court, is being studied, and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman also met him over the report.
“The report is under examination, we are looking into it,” the source said.
A group of veterans had started the protest for One Rank One Pension at Jantar Mantar on June 15, 2015, and also staged indefinite hunger strike before government announced on September 5, 2015 that it was implementing OROP.
Some soldiers however continued the protest stating that the OROP implemented by government was flawed and would not justify the goal of having same pension for those retiring from the same rank.
Maj Gen Satbir Singh (retd), advisor to the United Front of Ex Servicemen and Chairman, Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement, who is part of the continuing agitation, questioned what is the government studying in the report, submitted to the Defence Ministry on October 26, 2016.
“What is the government studying in the report after one year? They are making fools out of us,” he said as he and other soldiers protesting at Jantar Mantar were forcefully evicted on Monday by police and civic authorities following an order by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on October 5 banning protests at the spot.
The Central Government had appointed the committee under the Justice Reddy to look into the anomalies, if any, arising out of implementation of OROP.
The committee was formed to suggest measures for the removal of anomalies that may arise in the implementation of the OROP, measures for the removal of anomalies that may arise out of inter-services issues of the three armed forces due to implementation of OROP, implications on service matters and any other matter referred by the central government on implementation of the OROP or related issues.
The major sticking point for the protesting group of veterans is time period for revision of pensions. While government’s OROP has revision every five years, veterans have demanded annual rationalisation of pensions.
The second major demand is fixing pensions at top of the scale against the current fixation of mean average.
The present OROP scheme has a mechanism of fixing pensions by calculating average of highest and lowest pensions for a rank, with protection to those with higher pension.
Third demand is to make the date of implementation April 1, 2014, and not July 1, 2014 as it is presently.
The government has said it has taken July 1 as the date of implementation as it came in power in May 2014.
The fourth demand is fixing the base year of implementation at financial year 2013-14, and not on the basis of calendar year as it is at present.
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