‘Grewal’s pension delayed due to wrong calculation at bank’

New Delhi, Nov 2 (IANS) Former soldier Subedar Ram Kishan Grewal, who committed suicide on Tuesday was entitled to OROP but his pension was delayed due to some problem in calculation by his bank, defence ministry sources said on Wednesday.

Sources from the ministry said Grewal served the Territorial Army for six years and 11 months after which he was serving in the Defence Security Corps and was entitled to OROP.

The delay in receiving the revised pension was due to problems in calculation by the State Bank of India bank branch in Haryana’s Bhiwani district, said sources, adding that the matter was being looked into.A

“Like his other colleagues, he should have approached the ex-serviceman welfare cell. His case could have been resolved amicably like hundreds of others even if he had directly approached the ministry,” said an official.

Sources also said that as per the register, he did not seek any appointment with the defence minister.

Parrikar was out of Delhi on Wednesday, as he was on a visit to Jammu and Kashmir.

“His (Grewal) letters dated October 31 and his suicide on November 1 raises several questions. It also demands serious investigation about who was with him when he took the extreme step, who provided the poison and if anybody may have taken advantage of his troubled mind to provoke him to take the extreme step,” said an official who did not want to be named.

Parrikar on Wednesday condoled the death and said he has sought information on it.

“Saddened by the death of Subdr. Ram Kishan Grewal. I express my heartfelt condolences. I have asked for officials to provide me details,” Parrikar tweeted.

The minister also posted a fact sheet on OROP figures by September 2016, which said so far Rs 5,507.47 crore have been disbursed under OROP.

It said there were 20,63,763 beneficiaries before July 2014, and 1,50,313 cases are pending verification and authentication of beneficiaries.

In the first installment, Rs 3,886.88 crore had been disbursed to 19,12,520 pensioners, while 11,33,100 have received Rs 1,604.59 crore in the second round.

An official added that the Defence Minister himself has solved around 500 cases of complaints which were sent to him directly through email or other means.

“These include cases of veterans of 1950-60s also. He continues to receive a least 10-15 emails which are forwarded to the right agency as soon as possible,” said the official who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

“Most complaints relate to problems with banks in calculations. A large number of pensioners live in remote corners of the country where banks are still coming to grips with the new calculations. Defence Ministry has now arranged for special officers in such branches to ease out the task.

“Furthermore, banks have also been directed to release the OROP of those pensioners whose papers are not totally in place. Their confirmation would be done in due time, it has been instructed,” the official added.