Modi government planning to tinker with definition of One Rank One Pension, allege ex-servicemen

New Delhi(PTI): An ex-servicemen’s organisation on Wednesday claimed the government is planning to tinker with the definition of ‘One Rank, One Pension’ (OROP), and asserted they would vehemently oppose any such move.

“Some unconfirmed reports suggest that there is a possibility of the government announcing the OROP implementation in the next couple of days,” a statement released by the United Front of Ex-Servicemen said.

It claimed that this will have two “glaring anomalies” — implementation of OROP for Junior Commissioned Officers and those below the rank and “tinkering with the definition for everyone”.

“This is a dangerous move to divide the rank structure of the Armed Forces with a mischievous intent to further demoralise them. It could have serious repercussions in the serving ranks also,” the statement said.

While there is no objection to a proposal for deferred payments with priority to widows, other ranks, Non- Commissioned officers and Junior Commissioned Officers and finally officers, any dilution to the accepted definition for any rank is objectionable.

The organisation “rejects any such unethical move unequivocally”. The ex-servicemen will continue their ongoing relay hunger strike and boycott all official functions, it said.

“The message of non-fulfillment of promises would be carried to all-poll bound states,” it added. Close to 22 lakh ex-servicemen and over six lakh war widows stand to be 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.

At present, the pension for retired personnel is based on Pay Commission recommendations of the time when he or she retired. So, a Major General who retired in 1996 draws a lower pension than a Lieutenant Colonel who retired after 1996.