Even as an ex-serviceman protesting against the alleged anomalies in One Rank One Pension scheme reportedly took his own life on Wednesday, defence ministry officials said an amount of Rs 5,507 crore
Even as an ex-serviceman protesting against the alleged anomalies in One Rank One Pension scheme reportedly took his own life on Wednesday, defence ministry officials said an amount of Rs 5,507 crore had already been disbursed as of September 15, 2016, about ten months after the government issued the order related to the central scheme on November 7, 2015.
The scheme promises equal pension to military personnel retiring in the same rank with the same length of service, irrespective of the date of retirement.
Ministry officials claimed on Wednesday that while Rs 3,867 crore was paid in the first installment of revised pension to 19,12,520 ex-servicemen and their families, Rs 1,641 crore was paid to 11,33,100 ex-servicemen and their families in the second installment.
Ram Kishan Grewal (70), a retired soldier from Haryana who had served for the Army and in the Defence Security Corps for 30 years, reportedly swallowed sulphas tablets near Janpath in New Delhi early Wednesday.
The officials said that contrary to the claims, there were no records of Subedar Grewal (retired) and three others seeking appointment with defence minister Manohar Parrikar to submit a memorandum over Orop.
The financial implication of Orop implementation for payment of arrears from July 1, 2014 to December 31, 2015 would be about Rs 10,925 crore while Rs 7,489 crore would be the annual recurring expenditure.
Reacting to Grewal’s death, Mr Parrikar tweeted: “Saddened by the death of Subedar Ram Kishan Grewal. I express my heartfelt condolences. I have asked officials to provide me with details”.
One of the leaders of the Orop agitation, Group Captain (retired) V.K. Gandhi, general secretary, Indian Ex-servicemen Movement, told this newspaper: “There are many drawbacks and anomalies in the way the OROP scheme is being implemented. The government has to rectify them at the earliest”.
“A one-man commission report on the OROP anomalies has recently been submitted to the government but why is the report not being made public”, Gandhi asked adding that the agitation would continue for now.
In the evening, a phone recording emerged in which ex-serviceman Ram Kishan Grewal was allegedly heard saying, “I am a man of principles... the government has duped us. I can’t tolerate this... I am sacrificing my life for the betterment of my family, ex-soldiers and the nation.” In the purported conversation with his son, Mr Grewal also said that he has consumed toxic pills.