Defence forces veterans in the city say they are disappointed by the Union Budget, which made very little mention of the defence sector and One Rank One Pension (OROP). On the other hand, they are hopeful about ‘Make in India’ in the defence sector.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley made a passing reference to OROP in the initial part of his Budget speech saying that in 2016-17, the Seventh Pay Commission recommendations and OROP would mean additional burden. He, however, did not go into the details. Another reference to the defence sector was about changes in customs and excise duty rates for ‘Make in India’ in defence.
Commander Ravindra Pathak (retired) of the Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement (IESM) said, “It is really disturbing to see almost no mention of defence in the Budget speech. Considering the fact the defence budget is more than of Railways, it is time it is presented and discussed separately in Parliament. The rise in the defence budget is very less and hardly covers even inflation. There is no concrete announcement on OROP, which is disappointing.”
Air Marshal Bhushan Gokhale (retd) said though the allocation for modernisation in defence sector is not very high, the gap would be offset by ‘Make in India’.
Brigadier Sharad Luktuke (retd) of IESM said, “The anomalies in OROP remain as they were. If these delaying tactics continue, there would be no option for us but to take legal recourse. There is an urgent need to bring transparency in organisations like Defence Research Development Organisation. Bigger share of private sector in defence is also one of the things that will boost Defence production in India.”