Saturday, February 22, 2014

OROP Chill ! as of now!

The FM in his Vote on Account speech said that: OROP accepted in principle but it had legal implications and was a sensitive issue and was to be paid prospectively from 01 Apr 2014 with earmarking of 500 crores. He further mentioned of bridging the gaps in pensions of ORs and Majors upwards.

At the face of it, OROP is only accepted in principle. This we have heard n number of times including from the ramparts of the Redfort and inclusion in political manifestoes and in Parliament too. So there is no cause to be elated.

An open house discussion was held under the ageis of the Flags of Honour with Rajya Sabha MP Mr Chandrasekhar in chair. After lot of delibrations/discussions it was unanimously agreed that a Memoranda be sent to the FM which is attached below. Bottom line is ' We have to wait for the Implementation Notification and the fine print.' It was also agreed that the stakeholders should be involved in the finalisation of the implementation instructions. RDOA will be actively involved in this.

 
GRANT OF ONE RANK ONE PENSION (OROP)


Introduction

1. OROP, an entirely justified and acknowledged demand and yet denied to the defence personnel for over four decades, has finally become a reality. Defence fraternity is indeed grateful to the Govt for accepting the principle of OROP and granting the same to all defence personnel during the Vote-on-Account presentation by the Finance Minister in the Parliament on 17 Feb 2014.

2.       However, lack of details and clarity in the statements made by the Finance Minister during the Vote-on-Account presentation on 17 Feb 2014 has led to diverse interpretation, including apprehensions, among the defence fraternity with regards to implementation of OROP. This in turn raises crucial and critical questions which must be addressed forthwith to instil confidence amongst the defence fraternity that OROP will be implemented holistically and as per accepted definition with no deviation at any stage.

3.       These are listed in the succeeding Paras.

Definition of OROP

4.       One Rank One Pension (OROP) 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 be automatically passed on to the past pensioners.”  This implies bridging the gap between the rate of pension of the current pensioners and the past pensioners, and also future enhancements in the rate of pension to be automatically passed on to the past pensioners.

5.       It is pertinent to mention that the above definition of OROP was duly accepted by the Rajya Sabha Petition Committee on OROP which submitted its report to the Rajya Sabha on 19 Dec 2011. Therefore, while being implemented; definition of OROP must remain absolutely consistent with the above.     

Status of Pension of Earlier Retirees as on 1 Apr 2014

6.       OROP has been granted prospectively with effect from 01 Apr 2014. Therefore , the above definition implies that pension of all ranks of Army, Air Force and Navy will be brought up to 01 Apr 2014 and all past pensioners of all ranks with same years of service will receive the same pension as all ranks with same years of services who will retire as on 01 Apr 2014.

7        In essence the fundamental issue which must be confirmed is that pensions of past defence retirees will be equal to that of defence personnel with same rank and length of service and same group retiring wef 01 Apr 2014.

Impact of Future Enhancements in Pay and Pension

8.       Based on the accepted definition , any future enhancement in pension due to implementation of OROP post 1 Apr 2014 , must be automatically passed on to past pensioners.

9.       This aspect needs to be confirmed.

Allocation of Funds

10      Given that OROP is to be implemented as defined above, allotment of Rs 500 crores as stated by the Finance Minister is way too inadequate. There is a need to clarify whether this amount is only the initial allotment and additional funds required to implement OROP for all ranks in one shot, and not piece – meal, will be made available for implementation of OROP.

11.     Also the additional Funds required to implement OROP as defined above must be worked out by the Finance Ministry in consultation with Ministry of Defence, Service Headquarters and all other stakeholders including Ex Servicemen (ESM).

Family Pension

12.     The Defence Family Pension for all ranks, including all types of casualties, at every stage must be equal to the pension drawn by the Pensioner. Ipso facto this implies that there must be no reduction in the pension while granting family pension to Defence spouses and the Next of Kin where entitled , including in case of all types of casualties.

 Date of Implementation

13.     OROP as defined above and with all confirmations in place must get implemented on ground with effect from 1 Apr 2014.

 

18 comments:

SK Jain said...

Dear Sirs,

As per the announcement of FM in parliament "Govt has accepted the principle of One Rank One Pension".It does not say that OROP has been accepted in principle.
May I request to please refer para 56 of FM's budget speech.

Major S K Jain, (Retired)
RDOA Membership No - 2186

WG.CDR.V.SUNDARESAN(RETD) said...

Finance babus may take this as a clue to deny the OROP.so pl. let us not feed the babus with such escape routes.
v.sundaresan

Ravi Rao said...

We have to be extremely careful as Chidambram is known for his tongue twisters and could be meaning some thing else which he will convey later after befooling Veterans. Hence we should ensure it is brought out in black & white before 31 Mar 2014 so that we all are sure of the sincerity of the Congress Party

Virender Rawat said...

Though the budget allocation for OROP should have been 2000 crores for the year, it is only 500 crores possibly because the budget presented is only for a period of 4 months. The intent of the government may clear but the babus in MOD have lots of tricks up their sleeves. So what finally emerges is any one's guess

corona8 said...

Primary things to consider are, what is meant by "same length of service"? Is it the length of service in the "One Rank" for which pension parity will be given, is it the total length of service?

What about issues like changes that have taken place in the length of service required for getting the same rank, as in the pre and post AVS-I case?

For retd. Lt Cols with more than 26 years of service of pre AVS-I era, where will they now find a Lt Col of the same length of service for equalising pensions? Any Lt Col above 26 years now gets into the Col pension tables.

I had also stated as much in this this comment.

M B Chandran Menon. M.com.,AIII,DME said...

Our finance minister Mr.Chidambaram is a clever fellow One side he calls it one rank one pension & at the same time he says it is closing the gap between pre2006 7 post 2006 pensioners. Closing the gap means the gap is closed by placing lids on both sides & the gap will be inside invisible to general public. A very clever man who think others are fools.Has he satisfied Rahul Gandhi by this hollow promise or He Is making Rahul Gandhi also a fool.Now let us determine who is playing with words Mr.Chidambaram or Mr.Modi. It is really Hardwood.

Unknown said...

How is that different? The allotment of Rs 500 Cr from the current years budget is a commitment towards the acceptance of OROP in principle.

ramesh sharma said...

I think instead of making various guess works we insist on early issue of notification by the MoD on the subject.before enforcement of model code of conduct.

karrivr said...

Dear Corona8,
This is what I read from Business Standard,Thursday, February 27, 2014 | 06:03 PM IST
http://www.business-standard.com/article/economy-policy/government-committed-to-provide-required-fund-to-implement-orop-antony-114022700242_1.html
"OROP 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.
This implies bridging the gap between the rate of pension of the current pensioners and the past pensioners, and also future enhancements in the rate of pension to be automatically passed on to the past pensioners."

This means the ‘same rank with same number of years in that rank’
Does it not?

karrivr said...

Dear Corona8,

This is what I read from Business Standard,Thursday, February 27, 2014 | 06:03 PM IST
http://www.business-standard.com/article/economy-policy/government-committed-to-provide-required-fund-to-implement-orop-antony-114022700242_1.html
"OROP 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.
This implies bridging the gap between the rate of pension of the current pensioners and the past pensioners, and also future enhancements in the rate of pension to be automatically passed on to the past pensioners."

This means the ‘same rank with same number of years in that rank’.

Major Bala Iyer said...

What will happen in the following case? an officer retiring today with 20 years of service will be a Lt col.Whereas in the past Majors with 20 years have retired. The promotion to Lt col with 11 years were not available earlier. There will be a mismatch in either rank or Service. How this will be resolved. Major S Balasubramanian ( Retired) Bangalore

sunlit said...

@Major Bala Iyer: These issues need to be resolved as I had tried to highlight in a blog-post.

jdosvd said...

Major Bala Iyer,this issue has been taken up time and again at all levels and forums and as a result of this Majors and equivalents with 21 years of service and above have been given adequate relief.

However Majors with less than 21 years service have been unfortunately left out.This has been taken up time and again and issue is before the Courts too.Finance Minister also in his vote-in-account speech last month specifically singled the rank of "Major" that needs relief.

Hence it is expected that Majors would be given adequate relief on the lines of those with 21 years of service and above due to the mis-match you have brought out.

sunlit said...

@Major Bala Iyer and @jdosvd: The anomalies cited are very relevant.

There has to be a broad principle of giving pension parity not only on the basis of rank and the concept of equal service, but also keeping in full view the length of service of past retirees as compared to the length of service currently required to attain ranks on a purely time-scale basis.

If you have the time, do consider the logic in this observation and linked comments.

MAJOR NAZAR SINGH GILL said...

Previously Majors with 21 years service and above were granted pension of Lt Col and now Majors with 13 years and above service to 20 Years nust be granted Lt Col pension otherwise where is equalty before law as per Fundamental Rule 14 of Constitution. 5 CPC have alrweady prescribed 20 years service for time scale promotion to Lt Col vide Govt of India, Min of Def letter No 14(1)/98/D(AG) dated 14 Jan 2000(5 CPC Para 147.21).

dogra said...

The OROP announced by the govt in this budget was indeed much awaited news for the veterns.some learned members may like to share information as to how it will work our for a wg cdr pre 2006 supernuated .thanks .

sunlit said...

The blog post states "will receive the same pension as all ranks with same years of services who will retire as on 01 Apr 2014".

This leads to the question, whether the pension of the same rank and with the same service be the same for a person retiring on 01 April 2015, or 2016 and so on?

This appears to be one of the considerations that could define the possible shapes of OROP listed here.

Lt Col A P E Kutty said...

Lt. Col. A.P.E. Kutty (Pensioner)
How long the Government and bureaucrat will befool the Armed Forces Personnel ? In the name of OROP the Defence and Finance Ministries have had previously revised three times the pension without achieving anything near to OROP. Now the incapable Defence Minister and too intelligent Finance Minister have again befooled the Veteran pensioners. Is there anyone who is responsible for the Armed Forces of India?