Another round of talks fail, OROP protest to continue

New Delhi, Aug 12 (IANS) Another round of talks between representatives of the central government and ex-servicemen over the One Rank, One Pension (OROP) scheme on Wednesday failed to yield any result.

The meeting took place after protesting ex-servicemen announced they would defer the agitation in poll-bound Bihar.

The representatives from the government offered the ex-servicemen a proposal wherein the outflow from the government will be at the 2011 level, instead of 2014 as agreed.

“The 2014 costs were approved, and now they wanted to bargain. That is not possible. Hence, we refused to accept the proposal,” United Front of Ex-Servicemen spokesperson Col. Anil Kaul (retd) told IANS.

“This would have saved the government around 200 crore, but unfortunately it would have affected JCOs and other ranks. We cannot accept that,” he said.

The meeting came as the relay hunger strike at Jantar Mantar entered its 59th day on Wednesday.

The ex-servicemen have planned to take their agitation to poll-bound Bihar if the government does not announce implementation of OROP before polls are announced.

A final decision on the agitation will be taken on August 15, as the ex-servicemen hope an announcement may be made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on that day.

Currently, the pension for retired personnel is based on the pay commission recommendations at the time when the personnel retired.

This leads to a difference in pension for officers of same rank who retire on different dates.

With OROP, retired personnel would draw the same pension as officers and jawans of the same rank who are retiring now.

They would also be entitled to a year’s back pensions at the new rate, which would be a windfall for pensioners.

The OROP will benefit 25 lakh ex-servicemen. It is expected to cost the government around Rs.8,500 crore.

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