Aim is work out a foolproof mechanism, say officials.
The long-delayed One Rank One Pension (OROP) scheme is likely to be announced before the upcoming Assembly polls in Bihar if the process is worked out, top government officials said on Tuesday.
Ex-servicemen are currently holding relay-hunger strikes across the country demanding that the government announce a firm timeline for its implementation.
Bihar is due to go to the polls in three to four months and if the procedure for OROP is worked out, the announcement will be made before the polls, officials said. Several ex-servicemen organisations have declared their intention to take their agitation to poll-bound Bihar as the government has failed to keep its promise.
On the delay in implementation, one official said: “We have to show in a framework that this account is different from other pensions. Even in that framework there are legal problems which are being worked out.”
Without such a mechanism there could be court cases in future, the official said, stating that several exercises have been undertaken to sort this and attributed the delay to this.
The government intends to show OROP as military pension so that other services like central police and para-military forces do not demand similar benefits in future.
The aim of OROP is to bring parity among pensioners with the same rank and duration of service without differentiating based on the time of retirement.
This is necessitated as unlike other government services, Army jawans retire at 35.
Though the government has reiterated its commitment on several occasions, the final announcement has been repeatedly delayed.
While the Defence Ministry has done its part, the file has been with the Finance Ministry for a while now and the final announcement is possible only after clearance from there.
It is a very important decision and the Prime Minister has to make the announcement, the official added.
Courtesy: The Hindu