Government reconsidering OROP denial to premature retirees

New Delhi, Feb 18 (IANS) Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar has said government is reconsidering the denial of the OROP scheme to premature retirees.

In an interview to Karan Thapar on India Today TV, Parrikar said a one-member judicial commission can also relook at equilising pensions.

The One Rank One Pension (OROP) scheme announced by the government at present does not cover those who take early retirement, something that the veterans demanding OROP have opposed.

Equilisation of pensions at present is to be done every five years, while the veterans want it to be done every year.

Talking about the big-ticket Rafale deal, the defence minister said that price is a big problem that is delaying the government-to-government deal for the fighter jets, even as France has on a percent offsets clause, a statement from the channel said.

India signed an inter-governmental pact with France to buy 36 Rafale fighters but the price negotiations are still on. France is said to have quoted around $9 billion for the 36 jets.

The deal would includes two types of missiles abd bombs, training of pilots and base facilities for the planes.

The minister also said he is “hurt” by the US decision to sell F-16 jets to Pakistan, a move which India has vocally opposed.

The minister also said he is convinced that ISI was involved in the 26/11 attack, adding that MEA could ask Pakistan to move the case relating to Zakiur Rahman Lakhvi, the alleged handler of the Mumbai attackers, to a military court.

On the recent attack at an airbase in Pathankot, the minister said there were gaps in security, adding that local labourers could have helped the terrorists.

He also made it clear that the special investigation team from Pakistan probing the case there will not be allowed inside the Pathankot airbase.

Asked about the 7th Pay Commission and the concerns of the forces, the minister said it is being studied, and promised “rectification”.

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