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‘One Rank, One Pension’ spadework moving on fast-track, says Parrikar

“In principle, it has been approved earlier. Discussions are on to fix modalities... By next week, the view of the defence ministry will be formed,” Parrikar told reporters here while declaring that the OROP issue has been fast-tracked and he has already held several meetings on it.

As and when the exact implementation status for the scheme is finalised by defence ministry, it will be taken up to the Ministry of Finance, he said.

Speaking on the issue last month, Parrikar had said if he could take the satisfaction level (of the retired armed forces personnel) to 80-90 per cent, that should be “a good enough solution”.

‘One Rank, One Pension’ has been a long-standing demand of the over 2 million ex-servicemen in India. It seeks to ensure that a uniform pension is paid to defence personnel who retire at the same rank with the same length of service, irrespective of their date of retirement.

The minister, meanwhile, said it has decided not to fight nearly 4,000 disability pension cases pending against his ministry in courts, a move which will benefit thousands of soldiers waging long legal battles.

Parrikar also said he has instructed the Army to ensure that there are no casualties in the force “as far as possible” during operations against terrorists and it has been taking necessary precautions.

Parrikar, who visited the family of Col M N Rai -- killed in an encounter with terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir on January 27, said he has personally assured them of all help.

“My instruction to Army is very clear. As far as possible, ensure that you don’t lose any men from your side,” he said, adding that the army has taken proper precautions during the last two months.

He also paid tributes to Col Rai, saying he was a brave officer. “I visited his family and I have personally directed that all required support should be extended immediately. And wherever there is any difficulty, I have told them to get back to me if required,” he said.Parrikar had visited the family last evening at Cariappa Vihar residence in Delhi Cantt and condoled the death of the officer.

39-year-old Rai lost his life fighting terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir’s Tral area on January 27, just a day after being awarded Yudh Seva Medal.
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