Centre committed to providing OROP: Parrikar

Centre committed to providing OROP: Parrikar

manohar-parrikarLucknow, Jul 9 - Raising hope for the ex-servicemen who are on a warpath demanding one rank one pension, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar today said the government was committed to implementing it and there would be good news soon. "I cannot say when the proposal of one pension one rank scheme would be implemented but we are trying earnestly and soon it would be enforced. This issue is taking some time but I can assure you that you will hear good news soon," Mr Parrikar told reporters on the sidelines of the meeting of the members of the cantonment boards here. Stating the reason for the delay in implementation of OROP, the Defence Minister said, "actually the scheme involves three ministries. Our ministry has completed its work but other ministries are still working on it. I hope they will also complete their job soon," he said adding tha the Government might not bring a bill regarding OROP during the monsoon session. Ex-servicemen have been on a warpath for over a month demanding implementation of One Rank, One Pension. OROP scheme is aimed at ensuring that all retired soldiers, who have the same rank and the length of service receive the same amount of pension, irrespective of their date of retirement. Currently, all the soldiers who retired before 2006 receive less pension than their counterparts and even their juniors. When asked about the threat by Pakistan, Mr Parrikar, who is a Rajya Sabha member from Uttar Pradesh, said "India is capable of defending its borders. "As a Defence Minister of India, I can only say that the country is well equipped to defend itself and I know my job very well," he said. The query came in response to Pakistani Defence Minister Khwaja Asif recent statement in which he had said that Pakistan would not hesitate to use nuclear weapons if required. "I cannot comment on what Pakistan Defence Minister has said. I am Defence Minister of India and can answer about our capabilities only," he said. He also did not answer queries on China’s move to block UN resolution to arrest Mumbai bomb blast master mind Zakiur Rahman Lakhvi. "This matter concerns External Affairs Ministry and they are the right person to answer this," he said. The Defence Minister categorically said that his ministry would not put any hurdle on any developmental works in the cantonment areas till these do not create any security problem for the country. "We have approved several projects of Metros, roads and other schemes during the past couple of months in the country," Mr Parrikar said adding new policy is being framed by the Defence Ministry to remove all the hurdles coming before the development in the cantonment areas."

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