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OROP logjam: Govt accepts 2014 slab for assessment of pension, breakthrough expected soon

, by indianmilitaryveterans

OROP logjam: Govt accepts 2014 slab for assessment of pension, breakthrough expected soon The army veterans and the Prime Minister's Office are on the verge of a breakthrough to seal the deal on one rank one pension, sources said on Wednesday as the agitation continued for the 81st day.  The army veterans and the Prime Minister's Office are on the verge of a breakthrough to seal the deal on one rank one pension. On a day when the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) has asked the Modi government to expedite the implementation of the One Rank One Pension (OROP) scheme, sources have told India Today that a breakthrough in the deadlock is expected shortly. If reports are to be believed veterans and government have shown flexibility and both the camps have softened their stand. The ex-servicemen are ready to drop the annual review of the pension. Modi government has accepted the 2014 slab for assessment of pension. The army veterans and the Prime Minister's Office are on the verge of a breakthrough to seal the deal on One Rank One Pension, sources said on Wednesday as the agitation continued for the 81st day. "Talks are happening and issues are getting resolved," said Captain Gandhi. "Matter is serious now and General Satbir is in touch with four different agencies, we hope the matter will be over soon," said Wing Commander Vinod. While the government was ready to do the revision at an interval of five years, the veterans wanted it on a yearly basis. It is believed that the new pension will be released from the month that the Modi government was sworn in. Informed sources told IANS that there have been four meetings since Tuesday with Principal Secretary to Prime Minister Nripendra Misra, Rural Affairs Minister Birender Singh, and MPs Rajeev Chandrashekhar and Bhagat Singh Koshiyari -- the latter headed the parliamentary committee that brought out a report on 'One Rank One Pension'. The source added that pension equalisation was the point of contention presently. At present, there are eight veterans on fast at Jantar Mantar here, including Havildar Major Singh (retd) who has been adamant about not leaving the venue despite worsening health. There are around 24 lakh ex-servicemen in India and around 6.5 lakh widows who will benefit if OROP is implemented. (Source- India today)

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May accept revision of pension once in 2 years: Ex-servicemen on OROP 

, by indianmilitaryveterans

Ex-servicemen who have been demanding implementation of OROP stage protest at Jantar Mantar. (Ravi Choudhary/HT Photo) The agitating ex-servicemen and the government appeared to have ironed out some major differences over the contentious issue of one rank one pension with the defence veterans saying that they may accept revision of pension once in two years instead of one year as demanded by them. War veteran Maj Gen (retd) Satbir Singh, who has been leading the protest in Jantar Mantar for the last 80 days, on Wednesday said they have got positive signals from the government for the last few days but stopped short of saying there was a breakthrough. Singh said the issue was non-negotiable and both the elements of the OROPO concept cannot be interfered. An agreement can be reached once we know what is on the platter (offer by the government), he said, adding effective date of revision must be from April 1, 2014. Independent MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar, who has been mediating on the issue, said it was time veterans must return home with honour and grace by reaching an early settlement. He urged them to accept the revision of pension every three years. Meanwhile, not in the best of health yet undeterred, Colonel (retd) Pushpendra Singh resumed his fast-unto-death on Wednesday demanding prompt implementation of One Rank, One Pension scheme at Jantar Mantar, hours after he was discharged from an army hospital. Singh, one of the ex-servicemen fasting in demand of the immediate implementation of the OROP scheme, was hospitalised last week on Monday — the ninth day of his fast after his medical report showed increased ketone levels. Singh was admitted to the ICU of Army Hospital Research and Referral, from where he was discharged on Wednesday. Hours later, he returned to the protest site to join his fellow ex-servicemen, whose agitation entered the 80th day. (Source- HT)

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RSS tells govt to resolve OROP

, by indianmilitaryveterans

Ex-servicemen participating in a protest over the delay in implementation of One Rank One Pension (OROP) at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi.(Virendra Singh Gosain/HT Photo) Senior Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangha (RSS) functionaries on Wednesday advised the NDA government to take a quick decision on retired soldiers’ demand for a one-rank, one-pension (OROP) scheme. The advice came on the first day of a crucial three-day coordination meeting of the RSS and its affiliates with top ministers and BJP leaders, where key social and economic issues, including those confronting the Narendra Modi government, are on the table. A source said three top RSS leaders told senior Union ministers on the sidelines of the main event that a commission, if required, should be formed to look into the difficulties the government was facing on the OROP issue. RSS general secretary Suresh Bhaiyaji Joshi and joint general secretaries Dattatrey Hosabale and Krishna Gopal had a word with defence minister Manohar Parrikar and home minister Rajnath Singh on the matter, the source said. RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat, who was present at the venue, was not part of the deliberation. The government has been accused of going back on its promise to implement OROP, prompting many ex-servicemen to sit on a hunger strike at Jantar Mantar in Delhi. “The RSS leadership has indicted that wants the issue to be resolved at the earliest. Most of the issues related to OROP are finalised and it should be announced. A commission can deal with the rest. A message should go to the public that this government is not sitting idle,” the source said. BJP general secretary Ram Madhav, who was drafted into the party from the RSS, said OROP was not discussed at the coordination meeting attended by 93 leaders from the Sangh, its affiliates and BJP. Issues related to agriculture and internal security situation, particularly the recent terror attacks in Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir and the changing demographic profile in border areas, were discussed. Besides, the Patel community’s stir in Gujarat for reservation in jobs and education, the controversial land acquisition bill, labour reforms and education policy are on the agenda. The meeting is seen as appraisal exercise for the 15-month-old Modi government and the Sangh’s growing interest and involvement in governance. But the RSS, the BJP’s ideological mentor, said the meet was neither meant to review the government’s performance nor to take any decision. “It was only to exchange notes and deliberate over inputs provided by participants on social, economic, cultural and education issues,” a Sangh source said. Prime Minister Modi is expected to attend the meet on Friday. BJP chief Amit Shah, home minister Rajnath Singh, foreign minister Sushma Swaraj, finance minister Arun Jaitley, defence minister Manohar Parrikar, transport minister Nitin Gadkari, urban development minister Venkaiah Naidu, chemicals and fertilisers minister Ananth Kumar and health minister JP Nadda were present on Day One. The opposition Aam Aadmi Party said the meeting involving top Union ministers and BJP leaders with the RSS and its affiliates was indicative of the Sangh’s “interference” in the political process. “The meeting between the Modi government and RSS is highly questionable. The government is accountable and answerable only to the public. Such a deliberation is a mockery of the constitutional arrangements and parliamentary democracy,” AAP leader Ashutosh said. In Srinagar, former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah took a dig at the RSS and questioned how it could be called a social organisation. “So the RSS is doing a 3-day performance appraisal of the Modi government. Anyone else want to tell me that they are a social organisation?” Omar tweeted. (With agency inputs) Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari, Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu, Chemicals and Fertilisers Minister Ananth Kumar, Health Minister JP Nadda were among these present today besides BJP chief Amit Shah. More ministers will join the event being presided by RSS head Mohan Bhagwat while the PM is likely to attend the meeting on Friday. (Source- HT)

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