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Thursday, August 26, 2010
THE ISSUE OF OROP - GOVT. RESPONSE AFTER THE PROTEST
Pioneer News Service | New Delhi
Members cutting across party lines on Wednesday urged the Government in the Rajya Sabha to address the issue of “one rank one pension” demanded by ex-servicemen and expressed concern over the ex-soldiers returning their medals as a mark of protest.
Defence Minister AK Antony, however, said it was not possible to implement one rank one pension in one stretch as it had several implications. The Government had implemented recommendations of a high-powered committee and more pension benefits to the soldiers were one of the steps towards one rank one pension, he said.
Raising the issue after the Question Hour, leader of Opposition Arun Jaitley maitianed it was a sad spectacle to see ex-servicemen surrendering their medals as a mark of protest on the issue.
He urged the Government to address the matter and appealed to the ex-servicemen to desist from resorting to the extreme step of surrendering their medals. The entire House supported Jaitley’s appeal.
Responding to their concerns, Antony said implementing the award in one go was difficult. “In one stretch, we will not be able to implement it but we are near that goal... It is a long process,” he said.