Govt initiates fresh round of talks on One Rank One Pension

Ex-servicemen delegates meet Army chief Gen Suhag

Govt initiates fresh round of talks on One Rank One Pension

The government has initiated another round of consultations with the ex-servicemen even as more retired soldiers joined the indefinite fast demanding the One Rank One Pension (OROP) scheme.

A delegation of ex-servicemen met Army chief Gen Dalbir Singh Suhag at his office to know the government’s offer and to give their responses. A meeting with the defence minister may also happen shortly.

The three core demands on which the negotiations are stuck are — no dilution in the definition of OROP, implementation date from April 1, 2014 and a raise every year to match the annual increments.

The negotiations gathered pace on the eve of the government’s plan to celebrate the 50th year of the Indo-Pakistan war that will be kick started by President Pranab Mukherjee on Friday.

Several veterans of the 1965 war are participating in the stir that entered the 74th day on Thursday. The ex-servicemen have escalated their agitation with more soldiers and father of a martyr joining the indefinite fast. Two veterans were shifted to Army's Research and Referral Hospital on Thursday on the advice of doctors.

OROP is a long standing demand of the armed forces personnel, who claim big discrepancy in their pension amount depending on their date of retirement. They demand rectifying the norms so that everybody retiring from the same rank and after serving the same number of years should get the same pension.

As many as 14 former military chiefs wrote to the President Pranab Mukherjee and Modi seeking OROP implementation so that the soldiers are not denigrated and humiliated. Close to 22 lakh ex-servicemen and 6 lakh widows are likely to be benefited by OROP.

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