The central government on Friday said that it has already decided on the formula for One Rank One Pension (OROP) and nothing much can be done as it would put further pressure on the exchequer. The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear the case after four weeks.
OROP implies that uniform pension be paid to the Armed Forces personnel retiring in the same rank with the same length of service, regardless of their date of retirement, with an aim to bridge the gap between the rate of pension of current and past pensioners at periodic intervals.
The government statement has come in reaction to a petition filed by Association of Ex-Servicemen in the Supreme Court over the government’s One Rank One Pension Scheme. The petitioners have said that the OROP Scheme implemented by the government is not based on the recommendation of the Koshiyari Committee.
The association says the government has softened the recommendations of the Koshiyari Committee while implementing the scheme. It has also said in its plea that the recommendations of the committee have not been fully understood.
The Modi government announced the One Rank One Pension scheme for the Ex-Servicemen in September 2015.
In a statement, issued in September 2015, it was said, “Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has, on various occasions, reiterated the Government’s commitment to implement OROP for Ex-Servicemen under military pension. As stated above, the previous government has estimated that OROP would be implemented with a budget provision of a mere Rs. 500 crore. The reality, however, is that to implement OROP, the estimated cost to the exchequer would be Rs. 8,000 to 10,000 crore at present, and will increase further in future.”
On the financial burden, the government said in a statement issued in September 2015, “It is estimated that the expenditure on arrears alone would be ten to twelve thousand crores of rupees. Apart from the fact that the previous government had provided for only Rs. 500 crore in the budget, it is noteworthy that the Koshiyari Committee had accepted the estimate of Rs. 235 crore as an additional financial burden to implement OROP. The present government has accepted OROP in true spirit without being constrained by these inaccurate estimates.”