Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said Rs 5,500 crore has been paid for implementing the one rank one pension (OROP) scheme, an issue that has been hanging fire for the last 40 years, even as he lauded the valour and sacrifice of the armed forces amid tension on the border with Pakistan.
Dedicating this Diwali to the armed forces personnel, he said he has “fulfilled the promise” he made to ex-servicemen on the one-rank-one-pension scheme.
Modi said the issue had been pending for “40 years” as certain people in the previous governments “did not know” about OROP, and therefore “only Rs 500 crore was allocated” for the purpose.
He also said many people thought that if the scheme was not implemented, a section of “ex-servicemen would turn against the government”.
He made these remarks while celebrating Diwali with army and ITBP men in Sumdo in Himachal Pradesh’s Kinnaur district.
“Spent time with our courageous @ITBP_official & Army Jawans at Sumdo, Kinnaur district, Himachal Pradesh. Jai Jawan! Jai Hind!,” he tweeted.
Earlier, in his monthly “Mann ki Baat” programme on All India Radio, Modi asked the people and the state governments to find ways of forging unity across the country and work to defeat separatist tendencies and mentalities.
He hailed the people including celebrities for sending overwhelming messages to his “Sandesh2Soldiers” campaign.
In the wake of ongoing unrest in Kashmir Valley, he said, “Unity in diversity is our strength. It is the responsibility of every citizen and all governments to forge unity and curb separatist tendencies to save the country.”
In an apparent reference to tension on the Indo-Pak border, Modi credited the soldiers for maintenance of peace and security in the country and called upon everyone to remember their gallantry while celebrating Diwali.