IESM letter to RM on OROP Anomalies
21st January 2016
The Raksha Mantri
South Block, Ministry of Defence
Urgent Need to Rectify Anomalies in OROP
in Govt notification dated 7 Nov 15
Dear Shri Manohar Parrikar ji
Please refer to Govt executive letter dated 26 Feb 14, press release dated 5 Sep 15, Govt notification dated 7 Nov 15 and 14 Dec 15. Please also refer to the statement made by MOS Defense Sh Rao Inderjit Singh in Parliament on 2 Dec in reply to question asked by Sh Rajeev Chandrashekhar regarding implementation of OROP. (All attached)
One Rank One Pension was approved by UPA Govt in budget dated 17 Feb 14 and then by NDA Govt in their budget dated 10 Jun 14. UPA Government issued an executive order dated 26 Feb 14 for the implementation of OROP dues to veterans at the earliest. This was never implemented by the MOD nor a demand note was ever raised. The approved definition of OROP by two Governments is given below.
One Rank One Pension (OROP) implies that uniform pension be paid to the Armed Forces Personnel retiring in the same rankwith the same length of service irrespective of their date of retirement and any future enhancement in the rates of pension to beautomatically 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.
OROP implies that a senior rank soldier should never draw pension less than his junior rank soldier. This cardinal principle is the soul of OROP and must never be violated.
Government issued a notification on 7 Nov 15 for implementing OROP. Government reiterated above-mentioned definition of OROP in the letter but introduced some conditions in the notification that completely destroy the definition approved by two parliaments. These conditions have created four anomalies which completely violates the definition and thereby, the soul of OROP. These anomalies are discussed in detail in succeeding paragraphs.
1) Fixation of Pension on calendar year of 2013 instead of FY of 2014: Fixation of pension as per calendar year 2013 would result in past retirees getting less pension of one increment than the soldier retiring today. This will result in past retirees drawing lesser pensions than present retirees. This will completely destroy definition of OROP approved by two Parliaments and will also result in loss of one increment across the board for past pensioners in perpetuity.
2) Fixation of pension as mean of Min and Max pension: Fixing pension as mean of Min and Max pension of 2013 would result in more anomalies wherein same ranks with same length of service will draw two or more different pensions thus violating the very principle of OROP. This issue was discussed with RM in various meetings and after due deliberations it was decided that accepting highest pension of each rank in the year would meet the requirement as base of pension.
3) Payment wef 1st Jul 14 instead of 1st Apr 14: OROP has been approved in budget of 2014-15 by two parliaments. As per norms of Government, all proposals approved in budget are applicable from 1st April of that FY. In the case of OROP, the Govt had issued specific orders to its applicability wef 1st April 14. Hence implementation date for OROP from 1st July will be against the Parliament approval. Changing the date would result in loss of 3 months emoluments for OROP across the board. However, if OROP implementation date is to be kept as 1st July, then the base pension should also be accepted as per the PPOs of July 2014.
4) Pension Equalisation every five year: Pension equalisation every five year will result in a senior rank soldier drawing lesser pension than a junior rank soldier for five years thus OROP definition will be violated for five years. This will also result in permanent violation of definition as fresh cases will come up every year.
These anomalies will result in lesser pensions to widows, soldiers, NCOs and JCOs than what will be due to them on approval of OROP. This will result in veterans not getting OROP as per approved definition and will create large discontentment across all ranks.
There is a need to have a relook at the pensions of Hon Nb Subedars, Majors and Lt Cols.
a) Some Havildars are granted rank of Hon Naib Subedar in view of their exemplary service. These soldiers are not granted pension of Naib Subedar thus making the Hon rank just ceremonial. It is requested that Hon Naib Subedars should get pension of a Naib Subedar rather than that of a Havildar. Similarly, this must be accepted as a principle and it should be applicable to all Hon ranks in case of NCOs and JCOs.
b) There are only a few Majors as veterans. Moreover no officer is retiring in Major rank now. In the past, officers were promoted to Major rank after completing 13 yrs of service whereas present officers are getting promotion of Lt Col in 13 yrs. It will be justified to grant all pensioners of the rank of Major, minimum pension of Lt Col as they cannot be compared to present retirees as officers are not retiring as Majors any more. Number of such affected officers is not more than 800 and will not cause heavy burden to Govt.
c) Similarly, all pre-2004 retiree Lt Cols should get the minimum pension of full Col. Presently all officers retire in the rank of Colonel hence all Lt Col equivalents should be granted min pension of Colonels.
In view of above you are requested to rectify these anomalies and issue addendum to notification issued on 7 Nov 15 for implementation of OROP. We strongly believe that there will be no requirement of judicial committee for attending to anomalies creeping up in implementation of OROP. Grant of increase in pension in case of honorary ranks and Majors and Lt Col must also be approved as a good will gesture.
This letter is being signed by three major organizations with the approval of more than 200 organizations. List of such organizations is attached.
Lt Gen Balbir Singh
Chairman IESL Advisor UFESM
Col Inderjit Singh
Chairman AIEWA Chairman IESM
Maj Gen Satbir Singh
Chairman UFESM Advisor UFESM
Mr Arun Jaitley, Finance Minister, North Block, Finance Ministry, Government of India
Mr Jayant Sinha, MoS, Finance, North Block, Finance Ministry, Government of India
General Dalbir Singh, PVSM, UYSM, AVSM, VSM, ADC, Chief of Army Staff
Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha, PVSM, AVSM, VM, ADC, Chief of the Air Staff & Chairman Chiefs of Staffs Committee (CoSC)
Admiral RK Dhowan, PVSM, AVSM, YSM, ADC, Chief of Naval Staff