The Indian government has come up with the One Rank One Pension (OROP) in what is being seen as a final effort to get the attention of the defence community of India – at the present moment, there are 14 lakh soldiers and officers serving in various capacities in different wings of the national armed forces. There are also in excess of 25 lakh military officers in the country who have retired. Incidentally, this has been demanded a long span now and has also been promised but till now it had not been implemented. This is also being taken as an important step taken by the ruling government before the national assembly elections come calling a few months later.
OROP Recent Developments
On 5 September 2015, the Modi government publicize the acceptance of OROP, but the ex-servicemen on strike rejected the same. Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar addressed that the government has decided to implement OROP in which revision of pension would be done after every five years instead of two years. He also summed up that base year for this would be 2013 and ex-servicemen who had taken VRS would not be included in the same. On the contrary, the ex-servicemen on strike have announced that they will not agree to a five-year revision of salary and omission of VRS holders.
After not getting any schedule for OROP, on 17 August 2015, two protesting ex-servicemen introduced a fast-unto-death at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi. During his speech on the eve of Independence Day, PM Narendra Modi did not refer the timeline for the implementation of OROP but did refer to the same. He said that the talks are on and he expects a positive result from the same.
According to government sources, the long-pending OROP project is likely to be rolled out ahead of the Bihar assembly polls. On 15 June 2015, a group of about 55 ex-servicemen who belong to Jalandhar district began their relay-hunger strike at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi, challenging the government to announce a date to introduce the OROP policy. On 10 June 2015, a group of ex-servicemen met Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and expressed their treats regarding the delay in the OROP scheme which is likely to benefit as many as 22 lakh retired defence personnel. On 3 June 2015, a group of ex-servicemen led by Maj Gen Satbir Singh (retd) met Dalbir Singh Suhag and considered about the early implementation of ‘one rank one pension’ scheme.