OROP not a heavy burden: Parrikar

New Delhi


Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Saturday said the expenditure for implementing One Rank One Pension (OROP) will be just 2.2 percent more than the allocated budget for the defence ministry.

"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 percent additionally in defence outlay," said Parrikar at a seminar organised by industrial chamber Ficci.

The minister said the cost can be recovered by using "innovative methods" and removing middlemen.

"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 veterans' agitation, he said: "It is a democratic right (to protest), you cannot take it away."

Parrikar also reminded that it is the NDA government which implemented the scheme after 42 years.

The comments came on a day when veterans organised a rally, demanding that the government remove "anomalies" in the scheme announced by it. - IANS