Mathura, May 25: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday did not have any mention of the much-awaited implementation of the One Rank, One Pension (OROP) during his Mathura speech.
While a number of media reports speculated that the long-standing demand of lakhs of ex-servicemen might finally be met by the PM, who was in this historic city to kick-start the celebrations of one-year of the NDA government in office. [Updates: PM Narendra Modi highlights his govt's achievements in 365 days]
The OROP issue hit the headlines recently after Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi met the members of ex-Service community in New Delhi recently. This was followed by a ‘planned attack' by former defence minister A K Antony, who accused the government of going back on the promise.
Bharatiya Janata Party had promised the implementation of OROP as part of its manifesto.
The government on March 13 had informed the Lok Sabha that the modalities for implementation of OROP were being discussed with various stakeholders.
Ever since he took over the command of the Ministry of Defence (MoD), Manohar Parrikar has been confirming that the OROP would be implemented once the nagging issues were ironed out.
Had Modi announced the OROP at Mathura, it would have benefited set over 25 lakh ex-servicemen, who have been protesting for many years. A corpus fund of Rs 8,300 crore has been already been set aside for the OROP implementation.
OROP ensures that the payment of a uniform pension to all those who are retiring in the same rank, with the same number of years in service, irrespective of the retirement date.
Reacting to the government's indecision on OROP, senior Indian Air Force (IAF) veteran Air Vice Marshal Ajit Lamba (Retd) felt that the ex-Servicemen had waited for too long for now.
"I am hopeful that the OROP will be finally implemented. Better late than never," says Lamba.