Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said on Friday that the One Rank One Pension scheme will be implemented before Diwali, which falls on November 11, hours after veterans of the armed forces threatened to return their medals in protest of the delay. Last Monday, Parrikar had said that the government will issue a notification clarifying the specifications of the OROP scheme after the Bihar assembly elections.

Veterans have been on a hunger strike at Delhi's Jantar Mantar for more than four months, demanding the implementation of OROP at the earliest. Group Captain VK Gandhi, the general secretary of Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement, said on Friday, "The government's OROP version is full of discrepancies. To protest, all ex-servicemen with their medals will line up in each district across the nation on November 9-10 and return them."

The defence ministry had reinstated the OROP scheme in September, more than 43 years after the formula for calculating pensions for those retiring from India's armed forces was terminated. However, the veterans said that the government’s version had "seven serious shortcomings", which would nullify the definition of scheme.