Odisha News Insight

One Rank, One Pension (OROP): Timeline of Events (1973-2015)

OROP* ‪#‎OROP‬ or ‘One Rank, One Pension’ was the basis for giving pension to Employees of Defence Forces.

* Late PM Indira Gandhi abolished it in 1973 under the recommendations of 3rd Pay Commission.

* In 1973, the pension of civilian government servants, was increased from 33 percent to 50 percent. But, pension of the armed forces personnel, was decreased from 70 percent to 50 percent of last pay drawn.

* 4th Pay Commission in 1986, rejected the OROP on the ground that civil pensioners may demand the same.

* In 1991, Sharad Pawar Committee rejected the OROP, but approved an one-time pay hike.

* 5th Pay Commission in 1996 rejected the OROP.

* In 2002, Congress President Sonia Gandhi asked Congress to add OROP in Poll Manifesto.

* The 6th Pay Commission in 2006 rejected OROP and triggered a bitter conflict between civil and military. Series of protests followed.

* In 2008, the Veterans observed relay fast at Jantar Mantar. They also decided to surrender the medals and awards. The government ignored their protest.

* In 2009, the Veterans went to meet Then President Pratibha Patil, who even refused to meet them. They surrendered their medals and gallantry awards before the President’s staff.

* In 2011, thanks to K. Sanjay Prabhu, a resident of Bangalore and RS MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar, the matter of OROP was referred to a Rajya Sabha Committee.

* Ministry of Defence under AK Antony, rejected the OROP, citing financial, administrative and legal issues.

* Ministry of Finance under Pranab Mukherjee, rejected the OROP, citing huge implications of Rs 8,000 to 9,000 crore per annum.

* Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions under Dr. Manmohan Singh, rejected OROP, saying it would lead to similar demands from other civil pensioners.

* Despite all the above observations from the Ministries, the Committee led by then BJP MP Bhagat Singh Koshyari, saw merit in OROP and strongly recommended it.

* In July 2012, then PM Dr. Manmohan Singh set up another committee to look into pay and pensions of the defence forces. But, the panel avoided OROP issue.

* In September 2012, UPA Government allocated funds of Rs 2300 crore for increase in pay and pension structure of the defence personnel.

* In 2013, Narendra Modi came to picture and promised OROP at a massive rally of ex servicemen at Rewari, Haryana.

* Modi’s entry forced the UPA Government to take a hurried decision. They announced in February 2014 to implement OROP from April 2014 and allocated Rs 500 crore for it. The decision was left to the next government.

* Despite several promises in 2014-15, Modi Government failed to reach a consensus on this issue. Yet again, the Finance Ministry played hurdles on some key points. The PM promised it again, saying he would fulfill the demand, which was not done by his predecessors.

* The OROP protests, which began at Jantar Mantar in June, changed the situation. Congress and AAP joined the debate. PM Modi promised it again. RSS asked the government to announce it immediately. Finally, OROP was announced on September 5, 2015.

* The row over VRS and Pre-mature Retirement (PMR) resolved following a meeting between Defence Minister and Veterans.

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