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IESL headed by Lt-Gen (retd) Balbir Singh pulls out of OROP agitation

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Photo Credit: www.thehindu.com
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By NewsGram Staff-Writer

New Delhi: War veterans belonging to Indian Ex-Services League (IESL) have pulled out of the OROP agitation organization on Wednesday, according to a Times of India report.

Photo Credit: indiatoday.intoday.in
Photo Credit: indiatoday.intoday.in

The OROP agitation was being carried out for the last three months under the banner of United Front of Ex-Servicemen (UFESM) with Lt-Gen (retd) Balbir Singh, the president of IESL and Major-General (retd) Satbir Singh, chairman of Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement (IESM) as the two main lead negotiators who negotiated with the government.

“We have informed the UFESM about our decision to withdraw. The movement is no longer cohesive. While we will continue to fight to resolve the sticking points in the implementation of OROP as announced by the government, we are against the stir taking a political color,” said Lt-Gen (retd) Balbir Singh, as per TOI report.

Lt-Gen (retd) Balbir Singh added that his organization is completely apolitical and is against veterans holding a rally in Bihar that will shortly go to polls.

Meanwhile, UFESM is scheduled to hold a major “Sainik Ekta” rally on September 12 in Jantar Mantar.

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OROP estimates annual expenditure at Rs 7500 crore, arrears at Rs 10,900 crore

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New Delhi: The defence ministry on Wednesday estimated the annual expenditure of the ‘One Rank One Pension’ (OROP) scheme to be around Rs 7,500 crore.

The arrears from July 1, 2014- the date of implementation as announced by the government- until December 31, 2015, will be approximately Rs.10,900 crore, the ministry said in a statement.

This is set to push the defence budget for pensions, which is estimated to go up from Rs.54,000 crore as per Budget estimates of 2015-16 to around Rs.65,000 crore, the proposed Budget estimate for 2016-17.

This is an increase of about 20 percent of the defence pension outlay.

The statement said 86 percent of the total expenditure on account of OROP will benefit Junior Commissioned Officers (JCOs) and other ranks.

“The government of India had taken the historic decision to implement OROP in November 2015. This fulfilled the long standing demand of the defence forces personnel after 42 years benefited over 18 lakh ex-servicemen and war widows,” the statement said.

Payment of arrears and revision of pension under OROP is to be made by the Pension Disbursing Authorities in four installments, except for family pensioners and pensioners in receipt of gallantry awards who will be paid arrears in one installment.

Asked about the development, Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement spokesperson Col Anil Kaul (retd) said it “seemed ok”, but they would be studying it and come out with a detailed reaction later.

“We are still studying it. It seems ok… so far it seems to be almost there, except that they are paying out from July (2014), not April,” Col Kaul told reporters. (IANS) (picture courtesy: huffingtonpost.in)

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