Ex-servicemen at hunger strike demanding implementation of One Rank One Pension (OROP) scheme at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi [Representational Image]IANS

The ex-servicemen, who are protesting at Delhi's Jantar Mantar for the immediate implementation of One Rank One Pension (OROP) scheme, may return home soon as they are likely to accept revision of pension once in two years instead of one year as previously demanded.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Monday ruled out the possibility of accepting revision of pension annually.

The government is said to have been trying to settle the differences with the protesters after three veterans went on indefinite hunger strike, further intensifying the protests, as they were upset that no announcement was made on a fixed date for the implementation of OROP. 

War veteran Major General (retired) Satbir Singh, who has been leading the protest for the last 80 days, said on Wednesday that they are getting positive inputs from the government, PTI reported.

However, he did not mention about any solution as yet. He said they will reach an agreement over the OROP issue only after having a clear idea of what the government has to offer. Singh added that if the revision will come into effect it has to be from 1 April, 2014, adding that the OROP issue is non-negotiable.

On the other hand, independent member of the Rajya Sabha Rajeev Chandrasekhar said that the protesting ex-servicemen must now call off their protest and reach an early settlement. Chandrasekhar has been acting as a mediator on the OROP issue.

Jaitley had also pitched for reasonable and rational approach to OROP issue by saying that same principle cannot be applied for defence personnel retiring at early age of 35-38 years and those retiring at 60-62 years. He said that those retiring at early stage are eligible for higher pensions.

"There is a consensus in the country that we should have special concern for armymen who make sacrifices for the country and retire at young age of 35-38 years. There are many who retire at 60-62 years are like any other government official superannuating," Jaitley said.

"These soldiers retiring at early age should get special advantage and the others may also get the benefit...," he asked.

General Singh, however, said that the issue is non-negotiable and the elements of the OROP concept cannot be interfered with.

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