Military & Aerospace

Rajya Sabha recommends one rank one pension
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Issue Net Edition | Date : 20 Dec , 2011

The Rajya Sabha Committee on Petition in its report tabled on 19 Dec 2011 strongly recommended the grant of One Rank One Pension (OROP) to the Defence Personnel. It found the Govt contention for denying OROP to the Ex Servicemen untenable.

The committee was not convinced with the hurdles projected by the MoD Deptt of   Ex Servicemen Welfare in implementing the OROP). The Govt has all along been saying that due to Administrative, legal and financial reasons, OROP has not been granted. The committee observed that while DESW of MoD quoted a figure of Rs 3000 crores additional per year, the Dept of expenditure pegged the annual expenditure for the first year at Rs 1300 crores. Out of this Rs 1065 would go for JCOs and other ranks retirees and Rs 235 for the commissioned officers.

The committee feels that Rs 1300 crores is not a very big amount for a country of our size and economy for meting the, long pending demand of armed forces for the country. The committee felt this amount is not too high keeping in view the objective for which it would be spent. So far as the administrative angle is concerned, the committee felt that since all the existing pensioners/ family pensions are still drawing their pension /family pension; the revision of their pension would not pose any administrative hurdle. So far as the legal aspect is concerned, the committee is not convinced by the argument put forth against the implementation of OROP because the pension /family pension is based upon the service rendered by personnel while in service and comparison of services rendered during two sets of period does not seem to be of much relevance.

The committee did not agree with the contention of the Govt that if OROP is granted to the Defence Personnel similar demands may be raised from other Civilian Govt Employees.

The committee found that it was a baseless apprehension of the Govt as soldiering is a different profession and they retire by rank while civilian Government employee retired by age.

The terms and conditions of armed forces are tougher and harsher than the civilian Government employees. There are restrictions of fundamental rights to the armed forces. Risk to life of a soldier is always higher as they work under severe strain and sense of insecurity with undefined and unlimited working hours. Transfers and dislocation alongwith bleak career prospects are other disadvantages attached with the armed forces.

Their family life is also non-comparable with that of civilian Government employee. The Armed Forces are also subjected to Court Martial system for the shake of military discipline. In view of aforesaid uniqueness of Armed Forces it can not be equated with a civilian Government employee.

On the issue of returning of service medals by the defence personnel of our country to the President of India in view of the Governments’ apathetic attitude towards their demand of grant OROP, the committee is of the view that our defence personnel should not feel allenated to this extent again and they are not forced to surrender their hard earned service medals in this manner to exhibit their discontent with the government policies.

The committee felt that the decision of the Govt to bring our defence personnel on the pattern of the civilian with regard to their pay, pension etc from Third Pay Commission onwards was not a considered decision which has caused hardships to the Defence personnel and has given birth to their demand of OROP.

The committee observed that before the Third Central Pay Commission, the defence personnel were getting their pay/pension on the basis of a separate criteria unconnected with the criteria devised for the civilian work force. That criteria acknowledged and covered the concept of OROP which has been given up after the Third Cerntral Pay Commission.

The committee further takes note of the fact that the reduction of around 26 pay scales into IV pay bands on the recommendations of the sixth central pay commission has aggravated the grievances of defeence personnel. For example, after the sixth central pay commission, officers from the level of Lt. Colonel and above fall in a single pay band i.e. pay band IV, carrying pay scale of Rs 37,400 to Rs 67,000. It means that defence retires of earlier years from different ranks would get pension with reference of the minimum of the pay band irrespective of the fact whether they held much higher rank of Major General or lt. General when they retired.

Thus, under the existing dispensation, pursuant to the sixth central pay commission, the past retirees, particularly those, who retired from senior level post, remain at a disadvantaged position. Keeping in view all the above factors, the Committee strongly recommends that government should implement OROP in the defence forces across the board at the earliest and further that for future, the pay, allowances, pension, family pension, etc, in respect of the defence personnel should be determined by a separate commission so that their peculiar terms and conditions of service, the nature of duties they are required to perform, etc, which are quite different from the civilian work force, are duly taken into account while taking decision on the same.

The Indian Ex servicemen Movement (IESM) which has been spearheading the Nation wide Movement for grant of OROP hopes that the Govt should immediately accept the recommendation of the Rajya Sabha Committee on Petition and grant OROP to the Defence personnel.

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2 thoughts on “Rajya Sabha recommends one rank one pension

    • I am sorry to say that none of our serving senior officers will ever sacrifice their careers for the rights of their subordinates. You must understand that they are career officers and they can only think of their careers and nothing else. So please don’t have any kind of misapprehension that a Hitler will come out of Indian Generals.

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