An association of retired defence personnel has requested MPs to be their “voice” in Parliament on the various issues pertaining to One Rank One Pension (OROP).
In an open letter addressed to Parliamentarians, Maj Gen. Satbir Singh (retd), Chairman of All India Federation of Ex-Servicemen’s Organisations (IESM), has pointed out several “anomalies” in the government notification on OROP dated November 7, 2015.
“The promise of grant OROP has not been honoured till date which forced the ex-servicemen to launch countrywide peaceful protest and relay hunger strike which entered 927th day on December 27, 2017. What the government has implemented is not OROP but only one time increase in pension,” said the letter, dated December 27.
It said that peaceful sit-ins by the retired soldiers were ransacked through the “barbaric brutality of police in Delhi” on August 14, 2015 and again on October 30 this year.
Some of the demands listed in the letter include pensions of defence widows and reservists, law to ensure a second career for early retirees, improvement in Ex-servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS), increased budget for ECHS for its efficient management and enhacing rates of disability pension for defence personnel, among others.
“We have brought these issues to the notice of the governemnt through various communications. I personally met Raksha Mantri (Nirmala Sitharaman) on November 15 this year, briefed her of these issues, but no action has been taken by the government.
“May we request our MPs to kindly be the ‘voice of soldiers’ and raise these ssues in Parliament?” the letter said.