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OROP protest continues for 69th day

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New Delhi: The protest over the delay in the implementation of the One Rank One Pension scheme continued for the 69th day on Saturday, with three veterans observing an indefinite fast for nearly a week. Saturday was the sixth day of the indefinite hunger strike by retired Colonel Pushpender Singh and former Havildar Major Singh, and the fifth day for retired Havildar Ashok Chauhan. On Saturday, 80 widows from Haryana also joined the relay fast.

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Spokesperson for the Indian Ex-Servicemen Front Col. Anil Kaul told that the medical parameters of the three veterans were stable and their health was fine. On Saturday, a motorbike rally supporting OROP was also taken out by a citizens’ group Citizens For Forces with their placards supporting the veterans.

Support also poured in the form of monetary assistance and other things with NGOs, individuals and organisations coming forward to back the veterans. However, there was no message from the government to the veterans. The ex-servicemen are hoping to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and have sought help from Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar for this.

(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)

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