Social activist Anna Hazare today came out in support of the long-pending ‘One Rank One Pension’ (OROP) scheme, saying it is a “fair demand”.
Lt Gen Raj Kadyan (Retd), who led the five-member delegation, said that Shah has assured them that a decision will be taken soon.
“My reading is that he is fully seized of the subject. This means that the issue is alive not only within the government but also within BJP,” the former deputy chief of army said.
He claimed that when Shah was asked for a time frame, the BJP chief said an announcement can be expected soon.
“I asked him to quantify it and he said 8-10 days,” the retired officer said.
Defence sources said the Finance Ministry has returned the OROP file to the Defence Ministry for some more fine tuning.
Meanwhile, in a letter to the ex-servicemen community, Hazare said he supported their cause and that it was a “genuine and fair” demand which has been pending for long.
The Modi government has said it is committed to OROP, a key promise made during the Lok Sabha polls. It has, however, not implemented it till now. Also, there has been no official word on why the scheme is getting delayed.
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.
Currently, the pension for retired personnel is based on the Pay Commission recommendations of the time when he or she retired.
Therefore, a Major General who retired in 1996 draws a lower pension than a Lieutenant Colonel who retired after 1996.