Centre to review OROP: Sitharaman

Nirmala Sitharaman
Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in Parliament

Dehradun, March 4 Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Monday said that all arrears of ‘one rank one pension (OROP)’ have been cleared, and that the Centre would shortly review the scheme to remove anomalies, if any.

“The OROP is completing three years this year. We will review it and remove shortcomings, if any,” an official statement quoted Sitharaman as saying.

She said Prime Minister Narendra Modi not only approved the OROP but also released the necessary budget of Rs 35,000 crore for the scheme. Onward, a budget of Rs 8,000 crore will also be released every year, she said.

She said the country did not have a national war memorial for decades despite fighting four major wars since independence. “Our government dedicated a national war memorial to the country last month. We did what could not be done in 70 years,” she said.

The Centre was sensitive to problems faced by armed forces personnel, the Defence Minister said, adding that it has been decided to give women permanent commission in the Army, Navy and the Air Force just like their male counterparts.

Three 200-bed multi-specialty hospitals would also be opened under the ex-servicemen contributory health scheme (ECHS), she said, adding the minimum pension for retired armed forces personnel has been revised from Rs 10,000 to Rs 18,000.

She said her ministry had also decided not to go in appeal if the Armed Forces Tribunal certified disability of a soldier.

The defence minister honoured 15 war widows and mothers, offering them a shawl and a bouquet.

Earlier, she said the Centre was taking all steps for the welfare of armed forces and that the government stood firmly with them.

“We are doing everything for their welfare. If you have any doubts, ask us and we will clear them,” Sitharaman said at a function here to honour war widows and mothers.

She said lies were being spread through social media to mislead the armed forces about Centre’s welfare schemes, and that if people have any doubt about a scheme, they should ask her directly.

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