A final solution to the ‘One Rank One Pension’ row remained out of reach despite hectic back channel talks, as the protesting ex-servicemen on Wednesday rejected government’s formula saying an attempt was being made to “short change” them.
“Government is hell bent on short changing. There are only three points of contention,” a source here said.
Sources said that the government wants 2011 to be the base year besides no 3 per cent annual increase. The government also wants payment to begin from April 1, 2015 as against the agreed date of April 1, 2014.
“We have rejected the proposal. Escalation of our protest in expected. The complicated arithmetic will mean reduced payout,” source in the ex-servicemen movement said.
The development came after a nearly two-hour long meeting was held between representatives of ex-servicemen and Army chief Gen Dalbir Singh Suhag.
Government sources have now said that in the wake of these differences, an announcement on OROP in the next few days is unlikely.
It was speculated that the government might announce OROP on August 28, the 50th anniversary of 1965 war with Pakistan.
This comes even as six Army veterans are on fast-unto-death and two of them are currently in hospital.
The Army veterans currently on fast-unto-death are Colonel Pushpender Singh, Havaldar Major Singh, Havaldar Sahib Singh, Havaldar Ashok Chauhan, Major Piar Chand and Naik Uday Singh.
Close to 22 lakh retired servicemen and over six lakh war widows stand to be the 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 Lieutenant Colonel who retired after 1996.
Source : Times of India