Dated: 11 Jan 2015
UNITED FRONT OF EX –SERVICEMEN (UFESM)
ONE RANK ONE PENSION (OROP)
Dear Members of Parliament,
You are all aware of the issue of One Rank One Pension of Armed Forces. This issue is being debated since 1984 and finally OROP was strongly recommended by Koshyari Committee in 2011
As per Koshyari Committee Report, and the deposition by Secretary (ESW), Ministry of Defence, before the Committee One Rank One Pension is defined as.
"One Rank One Pension implies that uniform pension be paid to the Armed Forces Personnel retiring in the same rank with the same length of service irrespective of their date of retirement and any future enhancement in the rates of pension to be automatically passed on to the past pensioners”.
The above definition of OROP has been accepted by both houses of the Parliament. Honourable Supreme Court has also ruled in favour of OROP in many judgments. The same definition was included in the Executive Order of the Govt of India for the Implementation of OROP vide its letter No- 12(01)/2014-D (Pen/Pol) dated 26 Feb 2014 (Copy enclosed).
The One Rank One Pension which has been announced on Sep 5, 2015 and notified on Nov 7, 2015 is not the real OROP. It has many anomalies illustrated below which if not corrected will completely destroy the definition of OROP approved by the Parliament.
1. Revision every 5 years instead of every year: This defeats the very concept and definition of OROP.
Illustration: 20 YEARS OF SERVICE FOR THE FOLLOWING 2 SEPOYS:
Sepoy A and Sepoy B join army on 1 July 1991
Sepoy A- retires in Nov 2011- Rs.4000/- as basic wage. Pension = Rs.2000/-.
Sepoy B - retires in March 2012- Rs 4500/- as basic wage (Increment as per Jan 1st). Pension = Rs. 2250/-
A is getting Rs 250+ DA = Rs. 600/- less than B and having served for the same length of service of 20 yrs.
Loss incurred - Rs.7200/- per year or Rs 36,000/- in 5 years.
2. Govt has announced that Benefit of OROP will be effective with effect from 1.7.2014: Instead of 01 Apr 2014, thereby causing a loss to the ESM of 2100 Crores that is presuming annual expenditure of Rs 8400/ crore on OROP.
Illustration: All articles approved in any budget are applicable from 1st April each year. Hence OROP should also be effective from 1st April 2014.
By making it effective from 1st July 2014 government is putting ESM at a loss of Rs.2100/-Crores for three months
3. Govt has announced that Base year for award of OROP to be the calendar year of 2013 instead of Financial Year of 31 March 2014. This defeats the definition of OROP and puts the old pensioners at loss as compared to the present pensioners. This will also mean that a pensioner holding senior rank will get pension less than his junior rank.
Illustration: if Base year for pension is likely to be 2013 as against 31 Mar 2014 when OROP is applicable from 1st April 2014. This put a soldier behind by one year / annual increment which is Rs. 500/-. However if the effective date for implementation is planned to be 1 July 2014 then the pension should be based on 30 June 2014.
4. Fixation of pension as the mean average of the pay band instead of the top level: This adds insult to injury and defeats the definition of OROP. Puts the old pensioners at loss as compared to the present pensioners.
Illustration: By making it the mean of the year 2013 the defence personnel retiring with pension above the mean will be at disadvantage. This would require application of protection clause for a large number of retirees.
Supposing A soldier retires in 1980 on completion of 20 years of service.
OROP means his pension should be brought at par with the pension of the soldier retiring on 31st March 2014 with 20 years of service. By taking mean of min and max pension of 2013, the soldier will be put to financial loss. This loss can only be calculated once pension tables are declared by CGDA.
5. One person judicial committee instead of a five person committee: This commission will not have representative from ESM but will have a member from IAS as secretary. Hence, it is expected that the recommendations of the committee will be influenced by IAS lobby (based on inputs from the IAS lobby). Recommendations of 7 CPC are indications wherein Armed Forces have not been given due justice. However announcement of judicial committee by GOI along with the notification is a clear indication that GOI is sure that this notification is faulty and will not be accepted by the Defence Fraternity.
In the age of smartphones and Social Media, no person is left unaware of the happenings in any part of the country. The serving members of the Armed forces are well aware of the acts of the government and the Protest Movement by the Ex-Servicemen at Jantar Mantar and across the country. The present Prime Minister made a promise to the Armed Forces at Rewari before the General Elections in 2014 that his Government will deliver OROP on taking oath of office if elected to form Govt. Implementation of OROP was also included in the President address to both houses of Parliament when the NDA Govt took over. That promise has not been fulfilled by this Government even after one and half year.
It is a common knowledge that more than 70% of serving soldiers are relatives of the Ex-servicemen. Ill treatments of veterans will have direct de-motivating effect on the serving soldiers.
It is also noteworthy that there is shortage of 30% in the Armed Forces. Policies adopted by the government have led to a situation where the youth of today is de-motivated to join the Armed Forces. Clearly, this shall lead to more reduced number than existing today. These deficiencies are serious nature and have direct bearing on National Security.
May we request you to ponder over the situation and think about the security of India in coming years. May we also request you to ask for serious discussion in Parliament on National Security and nail the Government so that every Indian is educated about the fraud being played on the nation by the GOI. May we also ask you to raise questions in the Parliament and ask the government to Implement One Rank One Pension (OROP) after removal of the seven shortcomings pointed out and issue fresh Notification exactly as per approved definition of OROP.
Maj Gen Satbir Singh, SM (Retd)
Advisor United Front of ESM & Chairman IESM
Tele No : 0124-4110579,09312404269