Major progress in talks, but no breakthrough yet on OROP

New Delhi, Sep 3 (IANS) Talks between government and military veterans over the One Rank One Pension scheme have made significant progress, sources said, adding that the latter are ready to compromise on a two-year revision of pensions.

This is one of the major bones of contention still unresolved.

The government initially offered a 10-year time frame, bringing it down to five, and then to three years, as the present offer stands.

A source said an agreement on the issue appears likely soon.

Sources said both sides appeared to be softening their stands, and the progress in discussions was “highly positive”.

However, the veterans are not ready to call it a breakthrough yet, as they say they have not got any formal offer from the government,

“The government has not given anything concrete in writing or even orally. How can we call it a breakthrough,” a representative of the veterans asked.

Another issue on which the talks were stuck was the date of the scheme’s implementation.

While the veterans wanted it to be implemented from April 2014, the government stood adamant on implementing it from April 2015.

“We can give up few a months, that is not an issue,” said the veteran.

There are indications that the government may agree for an implementation date of May or June 2014.

Sources said the issues over base year for implementation, which veterans want to be 2011, was also almost resolved.

The government may announce the scheme before the Election Commission announces the dates for Bihar elections, which will kick-in the Model Code of Conduct, after which new schemes cannot be announced.

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