A day after saying that all the formalities for the ‘one rank-one pension’ (OROP) scheme have been completed, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said no timeframe could be specified for its implementation as a couple of administrative steps were still pending.
“There cannot be a date specified to implement OROP. This scheme was not understood by the previous government properly. There are many fine prints and aspects that need to be considered. After taking a lot of time, I have crystallised the department…There are two-three administrative steps that are still pending,” Parrikar said.
He was speaking during an interactive seminar here at the Indian Merchants’ Chamber on ‘Make in India for Defence Production’.
“My ministry has completed all formalities and OROP will be implemented,” Parrikar had said yesterday, adding that the executive process takes some time.
The Minister said the sacrifices made by defence personnel cannot be measured in terms of money given to them after their retirement.
“The promises we made (during election time) were for five years and not one year. I am sure we will do excellent work in five years. The sacrifices made by our defence personnel cannot be counted in terms of money given to them. I have been to all borders and I know that staying in isolated places for six months at a stretch is virtually impossible for a common man,” he said.
“OROP is a part of our promise, but, sacrifices cannot be measured in terms of rupees,” he added.
OROP scheme is aimed at ensuring that all retired soldiers, who have the same rank and the length of service receive the same amount of pension, irrespective of their date of retirement. Currently, all those soldiers who retired before 2006 receive less pension than their counterparts and even their juniors.
Protesting government’s “delay” in the implementation of OROP, 1971 war veteran Wing Commander (Retd) Suresh Karnik had yesterday boycotted a gallantry award function in Pune attended by Parrikar.