Congress demands implementation of Koshiyari panel suggestions for OROP policy
The Congress on Saturday demanded that the Central government should implement the original recommendations made by the Koshiyari Committee regarding the One Rank One Pension (OROP) policy.
The Congress’ demand came a few days after the Supreme Court on Wednesday asked the Centre to show, with examples, how the policy has benefitted ex-servicemen, observing that what was promised by the government was “rosier” than what was given.
Addressing a press conference, Congress Rajya Sabha MP Shaktisinh Gohil said, “On the one hand we have the previous governments who have never politicised the sacrifice and courage of our army. On the other hand, we have the current government who is playing vote bank politics with it.”
Gohil pointed out that the government had promised the implementation of OROP policy in 2014; however, it brought out a notification in November 2015 which “disregards” recommendations of the Koshiyari Committee by altering the formula given by the committee.
The Koshiyari Committee, headed by BJP leader Bhagat Singh Koshiyari, had defined OROP as a uniform pension for all armed forces personnel retiring in the same rank and with the same years of service irrespective of their date of retirement. The committee recommended annual revision under OROP.
By the November 2015 notification, the government made the OROP scheme applicable to those who retired from the armed forces before July 1, 2014. While doing so, the Centre arrived at a mean pension to bridge the gap between the present and past pensioners to be periodically reviewed in five years, as opposed to annual revision.
Gohil further said that it is the duty of the government to honour the courage and sacrifice of the army and provide them justice and dignity. “Keeping in view the respect and dignity owed to the armed force personnel, Koshiyari Committee came up with the OROP,” he added.
According to the present scheme, the periodic review of pension was fixed at five years and the pension fixed was based on 2013 salaries. The military veterans in their petition have demanded 2014 salary to be taken as the base salary.