Saturday March 28, 2020
Home India OROP: Veteran...

OROP: Veterans organise ‘Sainik Ekta’ rally, Parrikar says scheme not a burden

0
//
credit: media.newindianexpress.com

By NewsGram Staff-Writer

credit: www.images.indianexpress.com
credit: www.images.indianexpress.com

New Delhi: Thousands of army veterans, who organised a rally on Saturday at Jantar Mantar, unanimously rejected the ‘One Rank One Pension’ (OROP) scheme approved by the government and threatened to intensify their agitation if the scheme’s anomalies were not removed.

United Front of Ex-servicemen spokesperson Col Anil Kaul (retd.) said, “We have decided to continue the relay fast. If the government does not remove the anomalies in the scheme, we will intensify the protest” .

He clarified that no new demands were being made, unlike what was being propagated. The united front claimed that about 50,000 army veterans from across the country participated in the rally which was named as ‘Sainik Ekta’ rally.

Col Kaul further alleged that at least 200 buses were stopped at the border of Delhi and thousands were stopped from participating in the rally. He blamed bureaucrats for creating such obstructions. “I wonder how much money they want to save by excluding premature retirements (PMRs),” he said.

Families of the veterans also joined the protests saying the OROP announced by the government was misleading. Laxmi Singh, family member of an ex-servicemen said, “I have come here from Lucknow to protest against the government’s offer. It is misleading. The scheme does not meet our demands in entirety.”

“The government cannot ignore us. We have been on hunger strike since 90 days now. They will have to implement OROP the way we want,” told Surinder Singh, an ex-serviceman.

Meanwhile, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said the expenditure for implementing the OROP will be just 2.2 per cent more than the allocated defence ministry’s budget. He said the OROP would not be “very heavy” for his ministry.

At a seminar organised by industrial chamber FICCI, Parrikar said, “A lot of people said OROP budget is going to be very heavy. I can tell you that total defence outlay was Rs.3.29 lakh crore. So it is only about 2.2 per cent additional expenditure in the defence budget.”

The minister said the cost can be recovered by using “innovative methods”. He said, “And if I can, I promise also, I can bring that amount by saving the wastage or lowering cost by various other methods and by  preventing the middlemen from making money in between.”

Later, responding to a question on the ongoing veterans’ agitation, he said: “It is a democratic right (to protest) and you cannot take it away.”

With Inputs from IANS

Next Story

FICCI Recommends Government to Grant Priority Status to Healthcare Sector in Upcoming Budget

On taxes, the Ficci official said that reduction in corporate tax will boost the mood of the corporate sector and support the economy

0
ficci, healthcare
File:Assistant Secretary Rivkin Meets With Chairman of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI)'s Intellectual Property Rights Committee Sabharwal in New Delhi. Wikimedia Commons

The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Ficci) has recommended to the government to accord priority status to the healthcare sector in the upcoming budget. Sangita Reddy, Senior Vice President, Ficci, said on Thursday that the industry is looking forward to a clear and proactive policy in the upcoming budget including priority status to the health sector.

“Healthcare must receive a priority status so that it enables easier access to funding,” said Reddy, who is also the Joint MD, Apollo Hospitals Enterprise. In a video address on Ficci’s Youtube channel, Reddy noted that India has done a “commendable job towards universal health coverage by undertaking Ayushman Bharat”.

However, she added that private sector participation will be needed to scale up in areas like capability, number of beds, manpower and training. “The industry is also seeking support to get investment towards the new age healthcare and in that, data sharing, digitalisation, electronic health record, personal health records – all are very important buzz points,” she added.

healthcare, ficci
“Healthcare must receive a priority status so that it enables easier access to funding,” said Reddy, who is also the Joint MD, Apollo Hospitals Enterprise. Pixabay

Recommending steps to support startups, Reddy said that angel tax must be removed as it helps in spurring the entrepreneurial spirit, creating and nurturing innovation, and creating startups which can be the unicorns of tomorrow.

Highlighting the importance of the environment and water, she said that some important budget announcements for water conservation and preservation were expected. On taxes, the Ficci official said that reduction in corporate tax will boost the mood of the corporate sector and support the economy.

ALSO READ: Poor Oral Health Associated with Liver Cancer: Study

Also, an upward revision in the individual income tax slabs will further boost consumption and enhance GDP growth. Reddy also said that there are a lot of opportunities for the banking sector. “The banking sector needs further look whether in terms of promoting greater liquidity or innovation in terms of the enablement of more hands having access to low cost funding,” she said.

Reddy stressed on strengthening the education sector. “The education sector and the follow through of what happens to human resources is another very important area which I am sure the budget will focus on,” she said. (IANS)