New Delhi, June 26: In the midst of ongoing protest against one rank one pension by Army veterans, sources have revealed the reason why Modi government is delaying the plan. Reportedly, the government is in the favour of implementing the scheme as soon as possible, but there is a major hiccup in the way of the scheme.
Defence sources say that government is apprehensive about the fact that Army Jawans will be at the receiving end if OROP will be implemented in its present form.It is being said that the Centre has sufficient funds for the scheme, but biggest worry is that Jawans will get only peanuts in terms of monetary benefits if scheme will be followed upon.
The defence sources say that the Army Jawans will get a hike of only "few hundred" rupees per month in comparison to the officers and that is why policy makers are not going ahead with the plan. This little hike after a long agitation and protest will give all the Jawans a good reason to hold grudge against government.
According to an Indian Express report, the Centre believes that sulking jawans may drag it to the court, leading to a big political crisis.
Expressing deep concern about the scheme, a Defence Ministry official was quoted by this daily as saying, "It is no longer a budgetary concern. The formula to arrive at Rs 8,300-odd crores has already been approved. The real worries within South Block are political.
The official further said, "Under the present formula, the jawans may just get about few hundred rupees of increase per month in their present pensions. This amount, the political class within the present government believes, is too small to pacify the agitation that has been spread over almost three decades".
When prodded further why the Jawans will get such a low increment, Defence official told this to the daily, "The government, in 2009, corrected the pensions of retired armed forces personnel to parity as per Sixth Central Pay Commission. The jawans largely benefited out of the correction as the pension amounts increased. So the gap that earlier existed has largely been bridged. Rs 5000 crore has already been spent on bringing about the parity".
OROP in its present form will give a hike of around Rs 525 and Rs 1,720 to jawans while the officers will get increment of around Rs 10,000 to 20,000.
Army officers have been protesting for the OROP scheme since long. Modi government has assured them that it will be implemented soon but has not given specific deadline for the same.