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

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Saturday said that the government has decided to implement the One Rank One Pension (OROP) scheme for ex-servicemen. The military veterans, however, were quick to reject the decision, over the clause saying the pension would be reviewed every five years.

According to some reports, the ex-servicemen would continue with their agitation, which has been on at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi for nearly three months.

OROP to cost additional Rs 10,000 crore to the exchequer
Parrikar said that despite the huge financial burden, which he estimated between Rs 8,000 crore and Rs 10,000 crore, the government is ready to implement the OROP scheme for the welfare of military veterans.

"OROP will be fixed on the basis of calendar year 2013. Pension will be re-fixed for all pensioners on the same rank and with the same length of service as the average of minimum and maximum pension in 2013," the minister said.

"All widows, including war widows, will be paid arrears in one instalment," he added.

The government's clause of pension revision every five years goes against the ex-servicemen's demand for biannual equalisation. Also, the army personnel who have taken voluntary retirement under the VRS not being covered under the OROP scheme has irked the agitating military veterans.

A one-member judicial committee will be set up to review the pension revision. The committee will be expected to give its report in six months.

Veterans 'reject unilateral attempt to implement OROP'
However, the ex-servicemen made it clear that they would not accept any unilateral move by the government. The head of Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement, Major General (retired) Satbir Singh, said the veterans are not fully satisfied with the implimentation of the scheme and that they need clarification on the VRS (voluntary retirement) issue.

"The government accepted one point and rejected six, we are not fully satisfied," said Maj Gen Singh, adding, "We reject this unilateral attempt to implement OROP. The move smacks of arrogance. We will not settle for anything less than pension revision every two years."

Singh said that instead of a one-member panel, the veterans want five members in the committee, of which three would be ex-servicemen, one serving military man and one of the government's choice.

The implementation of OROP is expected to benefit about 25 lakh ex-servicemen and around 6 lakh widows, who are entitled to lifetime pension.

Live Updates

3:25pm: Retired Major General Satbir Singh said they want five members in the commitee of which 3 would be veterans, one serving serviceman and one of their choice.

3:23pm: All widows, including war widows, will be paid arrears in one instalment, ANI quoted Defence Minister as saying.

3:20pm:  We need clarification of VRS issue, says veteran Satbir Singh

3:18pm: We are not fully satisfied with implementation of OROP scheme, veteran Satbir Singh.

3:16pm: Retired Major General Satbir Singh speaks on OROP implementation.

3:14pm: A one-member judicial panel will be constituted. The committee will give reports in six months.

3:12pm: Pension would be re-fixed every five years: Defence Minister

3:10pm: Army personnel who retire voluntarily will not be covered under OROP.

3:07pm: Defence Minister said the government respects its defence forces. They display courage and bravery in difficult circumstances, he added.

3pm: Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar arrives to address the media on OROP along with three service chiefs.

2:32pm: All issues except 5-year revision clause sorted, BJP National General Secretary Ram Madhav.

2:24pm: BJP President Amit Shah to address media at 4pm.

2:11pm: Veterans said the government has accepted their proposal on VRS in principle, TV reports said.

2:03pm: Veterans said they will respond after studying the detailed order, 

2pm: BJP leader Meenakshi Lekhi said the Defence Minister will hold a press conference on OROP at 3pm.

1:58pm: Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar leaves BJP chief Amit Shah's residence.

1:38pm: Veterans positive on first draft, await final briefing by government.

1:30pm: Defence Minister said that the concept of One Rank One Pension has broadly been accepted.

1:16pm: Defence Minister to give statement on OROP at 2:30pm.

1:03pm: Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar meets BJP President Amit Shah at his residence.

12:55pm: Bihar CM Nitish Kumar said it's unfortunated that government is compelled to implement OROP after strikes by veterans.

12:41pm: Veterans' meeting with Parrikar over

12:23pm: Financial year 2013-14 will be the base year for OROP pensions.

10:30am: BJP chief Amit Shah will talk to party spokespersons at 1:30pm ahead of OROP declaration.

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