New Delhi: In a bid to break the deadlock, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Saturday announced that the government has agreed to implement `One Rank, One Pension` scheme.
Addressing a press conference, Parrikar said the government was proud of its servicemen’s devotion, duty, and bravery.
Parrikar made the announcement after holding talks with the agitating ex-servicemen and Bharatiya Janata Party president Amit Shah.
The only difference that is yet to be sorted out between the two sides is revision of pension.
BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi, who was present at the party chief’s house, had told reporters that the government is close to announcing a solution that will cost the exchequer at least Rs 10,000 crore.
Addressing a press conference after holding talks with Parrikar, Major General Satbir Singh (retired), who is spearheading the campaign for the scheme’s implementation, had said the government is considering appointing a committee under a judge to go into the issue of equalisation of pension.
The chairman of Indian Ex-Servicemen said the government while accepting the concept of the OROP, was still insisting on pension revision every five years and that is why it was thinking of constituting a committee.
In that case a representative of the veterans and one from the services should also be in the committee, Singh said, adding the committee should decide on the issue within 15-30 months.
It is understood that a draft proposal on OROP was circulated at a RSS meeting yesterday which envisaged commencement of the scheme from July 2014, besides revision of pension every five years.
According to the draft, the basis for the implementation of the scheme would be 2013 and arrears would be paid in four instalments.
Close to 26 lakh retired servicemen and over six lakh war widows stand to be immediate beneficiaries of the scheme, which envisages a uniform pension for the defence personnel who retire in the same rank with the same length of service, irrespective of their date of retirement.
Currently, the pension for retired personnel is based on the Pay Commission recommendations of the time when he or she retired. So, a Major General who retired in 1996 draws less pension than a Lt Colonel who retired after 1996.
(With PTI inputs)