Review of OROP this year
The Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that the first review of the One Rank One Pension (OROP) scheme would be done later this year. She said this while addressing a programme organised to felicitate the family members of the martyrs at Survey of India auditorium here on Monday. Notably, at the time of implementing OROP, the Centre had announced that it would be reviewed every third year.
The announcement of the Defence Minister on review of OROP is, thus, significant in view of the fact that it would result in an increase in the pensions of the ex-servicemen among whom the BJP enjoys a groundswell of electoral support.
Sitharaman claimed that a major part of OROP has already been implemented by the Government. Comparing the UPA Government’s decision on OROP with that of NDA, the Minister said that UPA had shown just tokenism on OROP as a meager Rs 500 crore was provided on the count while the NDA Government has so far transferred a sum of Rs 35,000 crore to the ex-servicemen under OROP. “We have given four installments to the ex-servicemen in two years and now, no arrear is left pending,’’ she said.
Sitharaman added that the country had had no war memorial in the last 70 years. “But now, a magnificent National War Memorial in New Delhi has been dedicated to the nation,” she said. Requesting the ex-servicemen and Veer Nari not to believe in the mischievous messages being circulated on the social media, she said that the Union Government has decided not to appeal against the ruling of Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT) on disability pensions of the armed forces personnel and has withdrawn the notification on equivalence in 2016.
Inviting the girl cadets of NCC who were present at the auditorium to join the armed forces, Sitharaman said the women officers would now be provided with permanent commission in the army.
At present, the women officers at end of 14 years of service are retired.
She said that the Prime Minister has announced that three super-speciality ECHS hospitals on the lines of AIIMS with capacity of 200 beds each would be set up. She assured the gathering that the Narendra Modi Government is sensitive towards the issues of the armed forces personnel.
In his address, the Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat declared that the State would soon have a directorate for the para-military forces. Attacking those who had cast question on the visits of PM Modi to foreign countries, Rawat said that the whole nation has now seen the effect of these visits when Pakistan found itself isolated in the world community following the Pulwama attack.
He said that the country is in safe hands today and the Prime Minister has given a clear message that India would not tolerate terrorism any longer.
Haridwar MP Ramesh Pokhariyal ‘Nishank’ said that apart from being the land of the gods, Uttarakhand is a land of warriors too. Lt General O P Kaushik (Rtd) said that history shows that every sixth martyr hails from Uttarakhand.