Army Chief General Dalbir Singh Suhag on Saturday said the long-standing demand of Armed Forces veterans' for One Rank One Pension (OROP) will be approved by April end.
Addressing a rally of around 17,000 ex-servicemen at Jhajjar in Haryana, the Army Chief said, "The OROP will come out in the same principle as desired. It will be effective from April 1, 2014 and may be approved latest by April 30 this year. However, delay does not matter as arrears will be given."
The OROP scheme seeks to ensure that a uniform pension is paid to defence personnel who retire at the same rank with the same length of service, irrespective of their date of retirement, has been a long-standing demand of the over two million ex-servicemen in the country.
In view of the hardships faced by the soldiers while discharging their duties, Gen Singh has sought a hike in their pay and allowances from the Prime Minister, a defence statement said. Singh said that the army has tied up with the Skilled Development ministry for ensuring employment to the Army retirees in public and private sectors, it said.
However, the Army Chief ruled out the possibilities of exempting the veterans from income tax as it would be a violation of the principal of parity, the statement added. A number of grievance resolution stalls were set up to process on-the-spot redressal of grievances pertaining to pension, preparation of ECHS cards and CSD cards, it said. A medical camp was also organised in which specialists from various discipline of medicine attended the needy patients.
Besides, 26 modified scooters and six wheel chairs were given to the eligible ex-servicemen.