Criticising Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar’s remark that 95 percent of veterans were happy with the One Rank, One Pension (OROP) scheme, the Communist Party of India (CPI) on Sunday said such a statement does not behove of a government representative and demanded a sincere apology from the Defence Minister.
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“I don’t know what kind of inputs he has got to make such a statement. If the OROP has been implemented effectively then why is such a suicide taking place. The argument that only five percent of pensioners are yet to receive benefit doesn’t hold good, the government must admit that they made a mistake,” CPI leader D.Raja told ANI.
Raja further said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi must answer to those who are yet to receive benefits under the pension scheme.
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“It was the Prime Minister who promised and declared with pride to the nation that his government would implement the schemes, but the ex-servicemen are agitating in Delhi, hence the government and Narendra Modi are answerable to people,” he added.
Taking a stand in an attempt to neutralise tensions on the matter, Parrikar on Saturday said that only one lakh servicemen out of the 20 lakh are not getting pension due to some “technical difficulty or documentation problems.”
“Some of the service years for family pensioners are not available. That is why some obstructions have been created for that 4-5 percent. For that I have made a special order that in month they procure it from other records, and whoever won’t be covered in this one month, for them we provide affidavit or other and the 4 percent will also get it,” Parrikar said while interacting with media in Goa.
Parrikar said the government has constituted the Justice Reddy Committee to delve into the issue of anomalies in the implementation of the OROP. “The report is with us and will be implemented soon,” he added. Ram Kishen Grewal a 69-year old ex-servicemen, committed suicide on Wednesday while protesting at Jantar Mantar over the OROP issue.