A Parliamentary committee has asked the Defence Ministry to soon implement 'One Rank One Pension' (OROP) for armed forces veterans, noting that a demand for this has not been accepted by it.
"The committee concludes that 'OROP' has not been accepted by the government. However, the pensionary benefits of ex-servicemen including disabled ex-servicemen have considerably been improved by implementation of the seven recommendations of a committee (headed by Cabinet Secretary K M Chandrasekhar)," the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defence said in its report tabled in Lok Sabha today.
The panel, headed by Satpal Maharaj (Congress) had considered the government replies to its earlier report submitted to Parliament in December last year.
"The committee still recommend that the government should implement OROP in a holistic manner so that large number of ex-servicemen can be benefited. The government should also ensure that the various benefits provided to the ex-servicemen due to implementation of the recommendation of the Cabinet Secretary-headed committee, along with arrears if any, are paid expeditiously," it said.
OROP implied that uniform pension should be paid to armed forces personnel retiring in the same rank with same length of service irrespective of their date of retirement and any future enhancement in the rates of pension should be automatically passed on to the past pensioners.
After the veterans had organised events to return their service and gallantry medals to the President in protest, the government had, on the directions of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, set up the committee to consider the demand made in the wake of implementation of the Sixth Central Pay Commission (CPC) recommendations in September 2008.
The committee recommended a plan under which the pensions would be as close to OROP, but this was being accepted by the ex-servicemen. However, the government decided to implement it.
On the issue of lateral entry for ex-servicemen into central paramilitary forces, which the government was yet to implement, the Parliamentary panel said though it had highlighted the advantage of recruiting them in CPMF, it had not been implemented despite a CPC recommendation in this regard.
"The committee desires that the Ministry expedite the matter to resolve the lateral induction of ex-servicemen in CPMF, PSUs and state police," which was the highlight of the Group of Ministers' recommendation for 'Reforming National Security System' made in 2001, it said.
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