One Rank One Pension – Disappointment for Ex-Servicemen as OROP Doesn’t Figure in Modi’s Speech
“One more disappointment for the ex-servicemen who have been waiting for years for the implementation of One-Rank-One-Pension scheme”
Hundreds of thousands of ex-servicemen all over the country were eagerly waiting for any mention of the One-Rank-One-Pension scheme in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s celebratory speech listing the accomplishments of his government in the past one year.
From the morning, websites of almost all the leading Hindi and English newspapers were constantly publishing updates. They expressed hope that the Prime Minister will mention something about the OROP scheme in his Mathura address.
In his lengthy speech, which was delivered in the evening, there was no mention of the OROP scheme.
Ex-servicemen of the Indian armed forces are divided into two classes – those who had retired or resigned before 1996, between 1996-2005, 2005-2008, and those who had quit the services after 2008 – and pensions are being granted to them accordingly. Dissatisfied ex-servicemen have been demanding for uniform pension scheme. The demand was accepted, and in 2014, the then-Congress Government announced the One-Rank-One-Pension scheme.
The then Finance Minister, P. Chidambaram announced that the Government was setting aside a sum of Rs.500 crores for this plan. When the change of rule happened, the new Government set aside a sum of Rs.1000 crores for the scheme. Yet, the scheme hasn’t been implemented to this date.
Meanwhile, the Congress Vice President, Rahul Gandhi met with the ex-servicemen last week and spoke to them on this issue. After the meeting, he said, “It has almost been a year since Modi took charge as the new Prime Minister and his Government has not done anything to implement the One-Rank-One-Pension scheme. The ex-servicemen associations have sent repeated reminders to the Government about this. Members of the armed forces protect this nation and its borders. Their request must be accepted. When we were in power, we had allocated funds for this scheme. But the BJP government has done nothing to implement it. The Government must take steps immediately. We will put pressure on them to make it.”
Everybody thought that Modi would give a befitting reply by announcing the scheme during his Mathura rally address. They were disappointed.