Tribune News Service

Ajay Banerjee

New Delhi, December 23

The Union Cabinet, on Friday, approved the revision of pensions for retired soldiers under the One Rank One Pension (OROP) formula. The same had been pending since 2019.

The matter was also pleaded by a group of veterans before the Supreme Court.

The Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur announced the decision at a press conference here on Friday.

Armed forces personnel who retired up to June 30, 2019 are to be covered under the revision.

In all 25.13 lakh veterans, including over 4.52 lakh new beneficiaries (who retired after 2014) will be benefitted from the raise. A sum of Rs 23,638 crore is to be paid as arrears from July 2019 to June 2022.

Estimated additional annual expenditure for implementation of the revision has been calculated at approximately Rs 8,450 crore at the rate of 31 percent Dearness Relief, Thakur said.

The Ministry of Defence said pension of the past pensioners would be re-fixed on the basis of average of minimum and maximum pension of defence force retirees of calendar year 2018 from the same rank with the same length of service. It means that those who retired in same rank would get the mean average of the year 2018.

Armed Forces pensioners and family pensioners will be benefitted from the decision. Pension for those drawing above the average shall be protected, the MoD said. The benefit would also be extended to family pensioners, including war widows and disabled pensioners.

Arrears will be paid in four half-yearly instalments. However, all the family pensioners (widows and eligible children) shall be paid arrears in one instalment.

The Narendra Modi government had taken the decision to implement OROP for the defence forces personnel/family pensioners and issued policy letter on November 7, 2015 and the OROP was given from the cut-off date of July 1, 2014. In the policy letter, it was mentioned that in future, the pension would be re-fixed every 5 years, that ended in 2019.

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