New Delhi: Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar today said the ‘One Rank, One Pension’ scheme will not be a “heavy” burden as it involves an additional spending of just 2.2 per cent out of his ministry’s budget. Parrikar said he would be able to collect the amount by reducing wastage, lowering cost, and eliminating middlemen in defence deals.
“A lot of people said OROP budget is going to be very heavy. I can tell you that total defence outlay was Rs 3.29 lakh crore. So it only forms about 2.2 per cent additionality in defence outlay,” Parrikar said at a seminar organised by industrial chamber FICCI. “And if I can, I promise also, I can bring that amount by saving the wastage or lowering cost by various other innovative ideas and by really preventing the middlemen” from making money, he added.
Later, responding to a question on the ongoing agitation by ex-servicemen, he said: “It is a democratic right (to protest), you cannot take it away.” However, he sought to remind the protesting veterans that for the first time in 42 years, a government has come out with OROP.
The comments came on a day when veterans organised a rally, demanding that the government remove anomalies in the scheme announced by it recently.