New Delhi, Sep 11 (IANS) Continuing their agitation over the ‘One Rank, One Pension’ scheme, army veterans on Friday said there were some issues in the scheme that remained unresolved and the protest will continue.
Addressing media persons at Jantar Mantar here, Maj Gen Satbir Singh (retd) said there were seven issues which remained unresolved.
He also said the agitation would be immediately pulled of if a written assurance was given by the government.
“There are seven issues which have not been addressed as per the original definition of OROP,” Maj Gen Singh said.
“If they listen to us, and tell us that the anomalies will be removed, we will withdraw the agitation,” he said.
This comes ahead of a rally that is scheduled for Saturday.
“The government has created avoidable confusion by including VRS (Voluntary Retirement Scheme) in their announcement as it does not exist in the defence forces. However, those who have taken pre-mature retirement must come under OROP,” he said.
A section of the veterans was against holding the rally on Saturday and disassociated with the umbrella group United Front of Ex-Servicemen (UFESM).
Those who withdrew included Lt Gen Balbir Singh, who was one of the key negotiators along with Maj Gen Singh.
Maj Gen Singh, however, said: “Four people leaving UFESM does not mean anything.”
On Friday, the 89 day of the agitation, 38 ex-servicemen and women sat on relay hunger strike.
Maj Gen Singh and others have rejected the government’s version of OROP and have now put forward seven points of dissent.
The veterans have also objected to the government taking calendar year 2013 instead 2014 for fixing the base.
“The defence minister had assured that the pensions would be taken from the top of the pay scales whereas now the government seems to have gone to an unknown concept,” he said.
The veterans are also opposed to formation of one-man judicial commission, and said that the deadline for the commission to come out with a report should be one month instead of the six as proposed by the government.
The protesting veterans have also demanded that the OROP should be independent of the Central Pay Commission and the concept should be in perpetuity.
Rejecting the government’s proposal for pension revision every five years, Satbir said: “We had agreed to even two years but now we seek our original demand of revision every year.”