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OROP arrears to be paid from July 2019 to June 2022 will amount to Rs 23,638cr | India News

NEW DELHI: The Cabinet on Friday approved the revision of pension for ex-servicemen and their widows under the ‘one-rank, one-pension’ (OROP) scheme with effect from July 2019. The decision of the Cabinet was announced by I&B minister Anurag Thakur who emphasised that it was the Modi government that implemented OROP in 2015 that had been hanging fire for long. Arrears to be paid from July 2019 to June 2022 will amount to another Rs 23,638 crore as per applicable dearness relief. “This expenditure is over and above the ongoing expenditure on account of OROP,” the defence ministry said.
“Pension of the past pensioners would be re-fixed on the basis of average of minimum and maximum pension of defence forces retirees of calendar year 2018 in the same rank with the same length of service,” the ministry said.
The Supreme Court had earlier this year directed the government to quickly carry out the OROP re-fixation exercise upon the expiry of the five-year time-frame in July 2019, as was promised when the scheme was implemented with effect from July 2014, and pay the consequent arrears to the veterans and their families.
The ministry on Friday said over 25.13 lakh ex-servicemen, war widows, family and disabled pensioners will benefit from this revision. While arrears will be paid in four half-yearly instalments to the bulk of the pensioners, all family pensioners, including those in receipt of ‘special or liberalised’ family pension and gallantry award winners, will get it in one go.
As per the ministry charts, a retired sepoy’s monthly pension was Rs 17,699 in January 2016, increased to Rs 19,726 in July 2019 and will stand at Rs 20,394 with effect from July 2021. He will get Rs 87,000 as arrears.
The comparative figures for a retired Colonel are Rs 92,855 (2016), Rs 1,03,700 (2019) and Rs 1,07,062 with effect from July 2021, with arrears amounting to Rs 4.4 lakh. The figures for a Lt-General, in turn, are Rs 1,01,515 (2016), Rs 1,12,050 (2019) and Rs 1,15,316 now, with Rs 4.32 lakh as arrears.
The government had issued the policy letter to implement OROP, a long-standing demand of the armed forces, in November 2015 for revision of pension with effect from July 2014.
While many retired veterans had welcomed the implementation of OROP, which means payment of uniform pension to personnel retiring in the same rank with the same length of service, irrespective of their date of retirement, a section of ex-servicemen had expressed their unhappiness with its “diluted nature” and some anomalies. An official said, “Approximately Rs 57,000 crore has been spent in the eight years after the implementation of OROP.”

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