“The 40-year-long demands of the ex-servicemen have all been met with after the releasing the first installment of arrears of revised pension.”
The “One Rank One Pension” scheme for the Ex-Servicemen of the defence forces has finally been implemented. Lakhs of ex-servicemen were given the revised pension from last month onwards.
According to government sources, a sum of Rs.2,300 crores has been used for issuing pension to the more than 13 lakh ex-servicemen all over the country. Also, target has been set to clear all the pending pension arrears before the end of this month. A circular in this regard has already been sent to all the pension-disbursing banks. As on March 17, the DPDOs have released an amount of about Rs. 606 crore to about 3.20 lakh defence personnel. The SBI has as released upto March 17 an amount of Rs. 1,337 crore to 7.75 lakh pensioners which includes Family Pension cases. The PNB has released as on March 17, an amount of about Rs. 350 crore to about 2.07 lakh pensioners which includes Family Pension cases. Other Banks who have also been assigned the task of disbursement of revised defence pension to Ex-Servicemen have been directed to complete the process of payment latest by March end.
More than two-thirds of the Ex-Servicemen have now been paid the OROP arrears
On February 3, the Central Government released a 101 table in order to help the pensioners calculate their revised pension. The pensioners can calculate their revised pension from the 101 table, based on their ranks, the number of years they had served, and the year of their retirement.
The Centre had earlier announced that the arrears since July 2014, based on the revised pension, have been divided into four parts and will be issued in four installments. As per the announcement, the first of the four installments will be credited in the pension accounts this month. The second installment will be given in another six months. With the eager expectation that, along with the revised pension, the money received in the first installment of the pension arrears, will be paid in three more installments at every six months, the long pending demands were finally fulfilled.
The ex-servicemen all over the country have expressed their heart-felt gratitude to the team of protesters, led by Major General Satbir Singh, who continued to fight relentlessly at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi. Although many protests were held in the past, this time, the protesters remained firm in their objective. Their strategies and selfless sacrifice finally attracted the government’s attention. Their slogan, “Modi, stick to your promises,” made the entire country sit up and take note of their cause.
The pensioners are also thanking the protesters for their fight to point out the long list of flaws in the implementation of the OROP scheme. There is no denying the fact that the media had played a very important role in the success of the OROP protests. Also undeniable is the fact that the protesters used the media successfully to further their cause. Especially worth mentioning is the fact that no political colour was added to the protests.