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Ex-servicemen to wait till August 26: OROP

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Thousands of Ex-servicemen participating during their protest over the delay in implementation of ‘One Rank, One Pension’ (OROP) at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on Sunday. Tribune photo: Manas Ranjan Bhui.
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New Delhi: Ex-servicemen agitating on the One Rank One Pension (OROP) issue have decided to wait till August 26 before scaling up their protest, after government made fresh attempts to reach out to the veterans.

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“We have urged retired Col. Pushpinder Singh, Havildar Major Singh and Havildar Ashok Chauhan to give up the fast unto death till August 26,” a statement said on Wednesday.

“The United Front of Ex-Servicemen (UFESM) management again requested the three ex-servicemen (ESM) on fast unto death to discontinue till August 26. They were even requested that if the government response on August 26 would not be satisfactory, the UFESM advisory council would not stop them to resume their fast unto death,” the statement said.

“But they were determined and did not agree to UFESM advisory council’s request. All three ESMs are observing fast unto death on their own will and have not been pressurised or influenced in any way by any members present at the Jantar Mantar,” it added.

On Tuesday, the Prime Minister’s Office intervened with Principal Secretary Nripendra Misra reaching out to the protesting veterans. Delhi Police also apologised for the crackdown on protesters ahead of the Independence Day.

According to statement, the medical parameters of the three fasting veterans were stable.

(IANS)

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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)