Published On: Thu, Aug 27th, 2015

One Rank One Pension deadlock likely to be resolved today

New Delhi: The government and the ex-servicemen are likely to sign a pact for a resolution to the deadlock over One Rank One Pension for ex-servicemen as early as Thursday.

Discussions are likely to go on late Wednesday night with Nripendra Misra Principal Secretary PMO for a possible announcement on Thursday, sources said.

Discussions are likely to go on late Wednesday night with Nripendra Misra Principal Secretary PMO for a possible announcement on Thursday, sources said.

The Army veterans and the Prime Minister’s Office are on the verge of a breakthrough to seal the deal on one rank one pension (OROP).

The PMO is represented by Nripendra Misra, principal secretary with a mandate from the prime minister to clear OROP, and the veterans delegation is led by Major General (retd) Satbir Singh who has been spearheading the movement.

Lt Gen Balbir Singh, president of the ex-servicemen’s league, is also a part of the delegation.

Chief of the Army Staff General Dalbir Singh Suhag is the mediator sitting in on all the meetings with his aides in attendance.

In the past 48 hours, the PMO and veterans have had two rounds of meetings with the aim to find a solution to the issue that has been hanging fire for the past four decades.

“Unlike bureaucrats in the finance ministry, who were finding reasons not to clear OROP, the PMO is trying to find out ways to iron out differences. Our meetings are finally happening with a goal in mind,” sources privy to the negotiations said.

The Veterans are unwilling to re-negotiate the definition of OROP.

“We have most humbly told the PMO please go by the definition accepted by the Parliamentary committee and approved by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar. The government appears to have accepted our stance on 2014 and not 2011 as the year to decide pay scale for OROP. And we are in the final stages of negotiating, the equalisation of pension. Some niggles remain that are expected to be sorted out,’’ sources added.

The government on its part is keen on veterans accepting the grant of OROP from the time that Prime Minister Narendra Modi took over.

“Governments in the past kept veterans waiting for decades and only paid lip service to OROP. Prime Minister Modi from the ramparts of the Red Fort with the tri colour as his witness committed to OROP implementation and to the satisfaction of protesting veterans,” government sources said.

There is one more round of meetings expected on Thursday where the government and the veterans are expected to iron out all differences – and then, on the Golden Jubilee of the 1965 war victory over Pakistan, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to make the grand announcement that lakhs of veterans, widows, serving soldiers and kin are eagerly waiting to hear.

Inputs with Mail Today

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