Implementation of OROP under process: Defence Ministry

Dalip Singh | | Updated on: Jul 29, 2022
Ajay Bhatt, Minister of State for Defence

Ajay Bhatt, Minister of State for Defence | Photo Credit: -

The SC deadline for clearing pension arrears ended last month, but the government has sought another 3 month extension to deliver them

The government on Friday informed the parliament that the revision of pension under One Rank One Pension (OROP) is "under process", given that the Supreme Court direction of March 16 to clear the dues within three months of the judgement got over last month.

According to the Supreme Court order, a re-fixation exercise to calculate pensions will be carried out from July 1, 2019, after the expiry of five years, junior defence minister Ajay Bhatt told the Lok Sabha. OROP implies that personnel of the same rank and same length of service will draw the same pension. While for those who retired after 2014, the last drawn salary is used to calculate pension, for those who retired prior to 2013, the average salary drawn in 2013 is used, the Apex Court said while seconding the government's decision on the long-pending demand for OROP.

"Revision of pension under OROP with effect from 01.07.2019 is under process," minister of state for defence Ajay Bhatt told the Lower House in a written reply to MP Rajmohan Unnithan's query.

“The centre has failed to comply with the Apex court’s order, which had upheld the OROP, and the department concerned has asked for an additional three months’ time to complete the equalisation process,” defence analyst and former Army Major General Ashok Kumar told BusinessLine.

Review petition

The veterans, in the meantime, filed a review petition in SC against its March 16, 2022, order demanding restoration of the original prayer of yearly equalisation, instead of the five years that the government had fixed due to astounding pension bills. The court, however, refused to review its decision on the OROP.

"It's in the interest of retired soldiers that the government completes the equalisation process early and pays the veterans their dues," demanded columnist Ashok Kumar.

The BJP had promised to implement OROP in the run up to the 2014 elections. The Congress-led UPA in its last budget of the second term had allocated Rs 100 crore for OROP, but the amount was too little to address the fiscal demand to meet the pension expenditure.

Published on July 29, 2022
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