Ex-servicemen of the state capital have approached the President with their demand of implementing ‘One Rank One Pay’ (OROP) with an immediate effect.
This scheme, if implemented, means that personnel retiring at the same rank and putting in the same tenure of service gets the same pension irrespective of the year of retirement.
Nearly 40 former soldiers have written to the President and t he Prime Minister requesting them to clarify the government’s take on the issue to ensure a time-bound implementation of the scheme. As per the present system, exservicemen under the Sixth Pay Commission get more pension than their counterparts who have retired under previous pay commissions.
The demand comes days after UPA government’s recent Rs. 2,300- crore package for pensioners in the armed services. The ex-servicemen have expressed dissatisfaction over the package saying that even it has fallen short of their expectations.
“The pension-hike is deceptive. The government has wrongly interpreted the term OROP. They have merely made an enhancement in pension,” said Major (retd) SK Saxena, who is one among those who signed on the memorandum sent to the President. A copy has also been sent to the PM, finance minister, defence minister, leader of opposition, and chief of army staff among others.
Incidentally, a few days ago, some section of electronic media flashed that the government has accepted the demand only to be refuted by print media reports next day.
“A lot of confusion exists because of the contradictory reports in media. We request you to please ensure that OROP be implemented without any further delay,” said Col (retd) MC Papnai. Last month, Indian Ex-servicemen Movement (IESM) a pan India federation of ex- servicemen’s organis ations wrote letters to PM and three service chiefs explaining how the government decision does not meet their long- pending demand to ensure equitable pensions.
“To illustrate, a sepoy, naik and havildar have been given an increase of only R400 per month, whereas a sepoy who retired on January 2012 draws approximately Rs. 4,000 more than those who retired prior to 2006,” the letter explains, adding that similarly disparity exists in the officer ranks too.
In all, there are 18 lakh exservicemen in the country. Of them, about 5.5 lakh, including 80,000 widows, are under the central command. In UP and Uttarakhand, the number is four lakh. In Lucknow there are nearly 20,000 ex- servicemen.