Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Serious shortcomings in the implement of one rank one pension (OROP) as read out by Raksha Mantri

Dear Veterans

1.       Letter to Hon’ble Raksha Mantri  dt 18 Sep 2015 and three Chiefs  regarding “Serious shortcomings in the implement of One Rank One Pension (OROP) as read out by Raksha Mantri  is enclosed herewith for information and widest circulation please.    

                                                                18 Sep 2015

Hon’ble Raksha Mantri,

1.         Much awaited announcement on the Implementation of One Rank One Pension (OROP) as read out by you on 05th Sep 2015 has some serious shortcomings.  If not corrected, will not only dilute the OROP but will destroy its approved definition.  The assurances given to the Defence Fraternity will remain unfulfilled.  OROP had been denied to us for the past 42 years when OROP in the form Military Pension was withdrawn. Pensions for Military Personnel were reduced from 70% to 50% while that the civilian employees were increased from 33% to 50%.  The ends of justice would have been met, had the Military Pensions were also proportionality increased or age of retirement brought on parity with civil.

2.         The seven serious shortcomings in the implementation of OROP as announced by you on 05 Sep 2015 are as under:-

Premature Retirement (PMR).  You have stated that defence personnel proceeding on Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS) will  not be entitled to the OROP.  It is pertinent to mention that VRS is not applicable to the defence personnel.  What we have is the Premature Retirement (PMR).  This is the National requirement to have the Military Personnel young in age. Consequently they are retired with pensions at younger ages.  Therefore, all defence pensioners are very much to be covered of OROP scheme.  Not only the PMR pensioners but also the disability and the family pensioners are to be part of OROP.  Infact, three career progressions which have been authorised to every Govt employee as 6th CPC award is also required to be entitled to the defence personnel and all of them have to be given the pensions of three promotions.  

Instead of equalizing the pensions every year as required as per the approved definition, the Govt has announced equalization after 5 years.  This would totally defeat the definition of OROP.  Large number of senior defence personnel will start drawing less pension than juniors.  This would result in One Rank Five Pensions and not One Rank One Pension. This is not acceptable. Veterans have software to overcome the administrative problems being quoted for the government.

The Govt plans to order one man commission to decide on the periodicity of the equalization of pension and other anomalies and has given six months time to the commission.  The purpose of such a committee is not understood particularly since all issues have been resolved as stated by you after the last time the file was sent to finance ministry. This is grossly unfair and not acceptable.  If committee is to be ordered, it must consist of five members: - three from ex-servicemen, one serving defence personnel and one from MoD.  Such committee should be given only one month period to submit its report and within 15 days thereafter it must be processed and final decision implemented.

During our discussions with the Personal Secretary to the Hon’ble Prime Minister, base year 2013 – 2014 was accepted, that means as on 31 Mar 2014.  However, in the Note issued by the Defence Minister, calendar year 2013 has been mentioned, that too the average of the calendar year.  This is not acceptable. 

The Govt plans to give arrears wef 01 Jul 2014 instead of 01 Apr 2014 The Govt has deprived the veterans three months of arrears. Once a Welfare Scheme has been sanctioned by the Govt, why is it being diluted to the disadvantage of defence veterans? Further if the date is changed to 01 Jul 2014 then the financial year must also change to 2014-2015.

It was agreed by you to grant highest of scale of rank and years the service.  The Govt intention to grant average of the pay scale will greatly reduce the pensions.  JCOs, ORs and widows will get hardly any increase in pension. 

This is a concept which is to be executed in perpetuity. This was also agreed that the implementation of OROP is independent of Central Pay Commission (CPC).  It is pertinent to mention that Pay Commission award must integrate the OROP and should not adjudicate on it.

3.         The above may please to corrected before the issue of Govt Notification on OROP.  You are also requested to incorporate reps of ESM for the preparations of Draft Govt Letter.   May we request you to kindly grant meeting at the earliest to discuss all the above issues please. 

4.      Our letter on the above subject dated 17 Sep 2015 may please be treated as cancelled. 
With regards,

Yours Sincerely,

Maj Gen Satbir Singh, SM (Retd) 
Advisor United Front of Ex Servicemen
& Chairman IESM                   
Mobile: 9312404269

Copy to :-   

General Dalbir Singh,                                   
Integrated HQs of Ministry of Defence
(Army)South Block, New Delhi-110011 

Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha,                          
PVSM, AVSM, VM, ADC                                       
Chief of the Air Staff & Chairman,                   
Chiefs of Staffs Committee (CoSC),                  
Integrated HQs of Ministry of Defence  (Air Force) Vayu Bhawan, New Delhi 110011

Admiral R K Dhowan, PVSM, AVSM, YSM, ADC, Chief  of  Naval Staff  
Integrated HQs of Ministry of Defence (Navy)  South Block, New Delhi -110011

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