Srinagar: The Defence Minister Shri AK Antony has assured the Services that the Government was fully committed to implement the One Rank, One Pension (OROP) Policy and that required funds will be made available to ensure its implementation. Chairing a meeting of the top brass of the Services and senior officials of MoD, here, last evening, Shri Antony said the Finance Minister had clarified that the figure of Rs 500 crores made available to implement the scheme was only ‘indicative’.
The meeting was convened by Shri Antony to discuss the modalities for implementation of OROP. It was attended among others by the Minister of State for Defence Shri Jitendra Singh, the Defence Secretary Shri RK Mathur, Secretary Ex- Servicemen’s Welfare Smt Sangita Gairola, Secretary Defence Finance Shri Arunava Dutt, the three Service Vice Chiefs and AG from the Services Headquarters.
It was noted that “OROP implies that uniform pension be paid to the Armed Forces personnel retiring in the same rank with the same length of service irrespective of their date of retirement and any future enhancement in the rates of pension to be automatically passed on to the past pensioners. This implies bridging the gap between the rate of pension of the current pensioners and the past pensioners, and also future enhancements in the rate of pension to be automatically passed on to the past pensioners”.
Antony directed that the Controller General of Defence Accounts should initiate immediate necessary steps in consultation with the three Services, MoD Finance and Department of ESW to give effect to the decision. He also emphasized that family pensioners and disability pensioners would be included. Ex-Servicemen may also be appropriately consulted by the Services, Shri Antony said.
It may be recalled that improvements in the pension for Defence Services have been effected by the Government on three occasions in recent times – in 2006, 2010 and 2013. As a result of these changes, the gap in pension amount between pre-2006 and post-2006 retirees has been bridged substantially. However, keeping in view the long- standing demand, the Government has accepted the principle of OROP for Defence Services. (KNS)