A leading association of retired military personnel said on Saturday it will launch protests from June 14 if the government does not clear the “one rank, one pension” (OROP) scheme.
Officials of the Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement (IESM) announced their plans to launch an agitation after a meeting with defence minister Manohar Parrikar to discuss the OROP issue ended inconclusively.
The retired military personnel have written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, seeking his intervention for implementing the OROP scheme as soon as possible.
The NDA government, which has faced severe criticism from retired personnel and the opposition over the OROP issue, has said it is in favour of the scheme but refused to set a timeframe for implementing it.
The IESM warned it will launch protests, including a rally at Jantar Mantar and a hunger strike, from June 14 if its demands for OROP are not met. Besides calling on Parrikar, officials of IESM also held a separate meeting to discuss the issue.
Maj Gen (retired) Satbir Singh, vice chairman of IESM, said their meeting with Parrikar was inconclusive.
“The chief of army staff had told us to meet the defence minister before holding a meeting. We, the members of the IESM, met the defence minister. He told us that the (defence) ministry is working on it (OROP). We will meet him again, once it is finalised and the date is given to us, we will inform the rest,” Singh said.
“If it does not happen, then we will begin an agitation from June 14. We will hold a rally at Jantar Mantar. We will begin a hunger strike from June 15.”
Singh said the IESM had written to the Prime Minister to implement the scheme as soon as possible. “We requested that it should be implemented as soon as possible. They said some details have to be worked out,” he said.
The OROP scheme is aimed at ensuring that all retired personnel, who have the same rank and the length of service, receive the same amount of pension, irrespective of their date of retirement. Under the existing policy, military personnel who retired before 2006 receive less pension than those who retired later.
Modi recently said his government is committed to implementing the scheme but there were differences on the definition of OROP. He said the government was in discussions with the armed forces to arrive at a “please-all decision”.
But Singh said there could be “no change to the definition”. He added: “There is only one definition and it is simple to implement.”