New Delhi: In a bid to mollify striking Army veterans, the government has decided to form a one-man commission to address remaining issues in the One Rank One Pension (OROP) scheme it announced earlier.
According to reports, the commission would be announced in December by Defence minister Manohar Parrikar and would look into the shortcoming of the OROP.
Retired military personnel say the government has betrayed them in the name of making changes in the OROP scheme.
“OROP scheme was cleared by parliament. Then why were the changes made in the scheme? Why did they put conditions?” former Group Captain V K Gandhi, general secretary of Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement said.
“We returned 20,000 medals during 2009, 2010 and 2011. But at that time the then government had said they were working on the OROP scheme. But the present government is cheating us. They reduced the scheme to ‘One Rank Five Pension’ scheme,” Gandhi added.
The veterans have listed seven changes made by the government which include annual equalisation, 2013-14 financial years as the base year for calculating pension, and taking the highest pension scale of 2013 as the base for calculation and not the average as announced by the government.
The new scheme also states that it will be reviewed once in five years and not annually.
Gandhi said the veterans demanded reconsideration on the changes made by the government in the implementation of the OROP scheme.
Earlier, Parrikar had taken a dim view of the attempts by war veterans to burn their medals as a protest to the OROP scheme calling an insult to the nation and the armed forces.
Parrikar had said medals were recognition for the sacrifice made by the armed forces and not connected with the service conditions.
He said those aggrieved by the scheme notified by the government can put their demands before the judicial commission, which has been formed to review the OROP scheme’s shortfalls.
(With inputs from IANS)