Rahul raises pending review of OROP at Defence panel meeting

OROP implies uniform pension to personal based on rank and length of service, irrespective of the date of retirement.

At a meeting of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defence, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi questioned the government representatives on the review of One Rank One Pension which has been pending since last June.

Ministry officials, according to sources, informed the panel that there were certain ‘loopholes’ which need to be fixed. A committee has been constituted to look into the issue and a review will be held once the committee submits its report, officials said.

Last year in June, the Defence Ministry had formed a committee to work out the modalities of the revision but no announcement has been made on when the revision would be undertaken.

After the war of words between committee Chairman, Jual Oram of the BJP, and Mr. Gandhi at the meeting on Thursday, it is learnt that that Chairman did not intervene.

The Congress had earlier in Parliament raised the issue of a cut in Defence budget, especially the allocation for pensions for the retired personnel. Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in her reply to the Budget debate had informed both Houses of the Parliament that the reduction in pension allocation was because OROP arrears had already been paid.

5-year evaluation

OROP implies uniform pension to personal based on rank and length of service, irrespective of the date of retirement. The Government had implemented the long pending demand of veterans in November 2015 and as per the notification, it is to be revised every five years.

Last November, on the anniversary of implementation of OROP, a Defence Ministry statement had said a sum of ₹10795.4 crore has been disbursed to 20,60,220 Defence Forces Pensioners/Family Pensioners as arrears on account of implementation of OROP.

“The yearly recurring expenditure on account of OROP is about ₹7123.38 crores and for about six years starting from 01.07.2014, the total recurring expenditure worked out to approximately ₹42740.28 crore,” the statement had said.

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