The recommendation of committee on One Rank One Pension and pensionery benefits of Ex-servicemen & Family pensioner have approved by Govt on 24-09-2012 with prospective date (means not from 01.01.2006) [click here to see]. Govt provisioned 2300 crore for meet the expenditure in this regard. In view of 14 lakh serving & 23 lakh retired govt has provisioned under Rs. 7,000 for every on average.
One Rank One Pension: Ex-servicemen unhappy with govt's announcement of pension hike
NEW DELHI: Ex-servicemen are unhappy with the pension hike announced by government saying it amounted to "wrong and deceitful" treatment of their long-pending 'One Rank One Pension' demand and vowed to continue struggle for their rights.
"It is deceiving. Government has wrongly interpreted the term 'One Rank One Pension' (OROP). They have not given OROP, instead they have just merely made an enhancement in pension," Chairman Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement (IESM) retired Lt Gen Raj Kadyan told PTI here.
IESM today wrote letters to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Defence Minister A K Antony and the three Service chiefs explaining how the government decision does not meet their long pending demand to ensure equitable pensions.
Ex-servicemen unhappy with govt's announcement of pension hike
"Ex-servicemen expect the government to do justice to them. This announcement has further disillusioned the ex- servicemen fraternity who have decided to intensify their protest in a dignified manner on all India basis," IESM vice-chairman Maj Gen Satbir Singh wrote in the letter to the Prime Minister.
"To illustrate, a sepoy, naik and havlidar have been given an increase of only Rs. 400 per month, whereas a sepoy who retired on January 2012 draws approximately Rs. 4,000 more than those who retired prior to 2006," he explained in the letter, adding that similarly disparity exists in the officer ranks too.
Government had on Monday announced a decision to address the pensionary issues of ex-servicemen.
"The gap in pension of pre-and post-January 2006 retiree jawans will be bridged by determining the pension of pre-January 2006 pensioners on basis of notional maximum for ranks and groups across three Services as in case of post-January 2006 retirees," it had said in a release.
Ex-servicemen reject hike in pension, say it is ‘misleading’
Despite the increase, officers who retired after January 1, 2006 will get pensions that are way ahead of those who retired before January 1, 2006. The other measures on dual family pension and family pension for physically and mentally handicapped children after marriage have been welcomed.
Sources said as per calculations made so far, the following will be the tentative hike in basic pension for officers who retired before January 1, 2006: Captain Rs 13,850 (existing) to Rs 15,350 (after hike); Major Rs 14,100 to Rs 18,205; Lt Col Rs 25,700 to Rs 26,262; Colonel Rs 26,050 to Rs 27,795; Brigadier Rs 26,150 to Rs 29,145 and Major General Rs 26,700 to 30,350. These figures could be more, depending upon several other factors. This DA would be paid as per prevailing rates. Other payments of military service pay and grade pay factored into the pension calculation formula remain unchanged.
Ex-Armymen cry foul over ‘misleading’ pension plan
OROP, incidentally, has been promised by most political parties over the years but has never been implemented. The defence community of 14 lakh serving and 23 lakh retired military personnel, after all, swells into a sizable - albeit diffused -- votebank of around 1.5 crore people if family members are also taken into account.
"OROP means 'removal of the gap' and not 'bridging the gap'. A sepoy, naik and havaldar have been given an increase of only Rs 400 per month, whereas a sepoy who retired in January 2012 draw approximately Rs 4,000 more than retirees prior to 2006,'' Maj-Gen (retd) Satbir Singh said.
The government has also maintained silence on the fate of the five main demands of serving officers and jawans, which were also examined by the recent high-powered committee led by cabinet secretary Ajit Kumar Seth in addition to the demands of ex-servicemen.
The demands of serving personnel range from common pay scale for junior commissioned officers/other ranks (JCOs/ORs) and enhancement of grade pay to placing all Lt-Generals in the HAG+ (higher administrative grade-plus) scale and grant of non-functional upgrade to armed forces personnel.
Armed forces personnel dissatisfied with One Rank, One Pension scheme
Though the UPA government has rolled out the One Rank, One Pension (OROP) scheme for ex-servicemen, and tried to bridge the gap between pre and post-January 2006 retirees, resentment is brewing among serving and retired armed forces personnel, who have termed it an ‘eyewash’ and a feeble attempt at “rectification” of a fault dating back to 2006.
Several ex-servicemen, as well as serving armed forces personnel, pointed out on Tuesday that after the Government’s Rs. 2300 crore package for pensioners, a sepoy would be entitled to a total increase of Rs. 622 per month in his pension, and the raise would be Rs. 761 for a havildar.
Among the officers, a Lieutenant Colonel, on an average, would get a raise of Rs. 565 per month.
They pointed out that several anomalies still remain, and none of the core issues, raised by the three Service Chiefs in August with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, have been accepted.
Relief short-lived; ex-soldiers’ fight on
Ex-servicemen on Tuesday expressed unhappiness over the Government’s pension package worth over Rs 2,300 crore and decided to launch a countrywide protest for ‘one rank one pension’.
In a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Defence Minister AK Antony, they said their announcement did not meet their long pending demand for ‘one rank one pension’.
The Cabinet on Monday approved the pension package in a step to come closer to ‘one rank one pension’ which means defence personnel with the same rank and same length of service must draw the same pension irrespective of the date of retirement and any future enhancement would be automatically granted to them.
‘One Rank One Pension’: Why the BJP supports Ex-Servicemen’s demand
1. The ‘One Rank One Pension’ issue has been raised before both the V and VI pay commissions.
2. The issue is about the considerable disparity in pension between pensioners that retired pre 1996, between 1996-2006 and post 2006.
3. The tying up of pensions with the last drawn pay is applied universally to both civilian and defence personnel.
4. Since the pay scales were revised by the V and VI pay commissions, the tie up with the last drawn pay had widened the disparity in pensions (as referred in the note)
5. But for the senior officers in both the Officers cadre (e.g. Lt. General) and PBOR (Personnel Below Officers Rank) cadre (e.g. Honorary Captain), the pensions are based on rank and not on the last drawn pay.
6. The V pay commission, in 1996, has recommended parity in pension between pre and post 1986 pensioners. This was a follow up to the KP Singh Deo report in 1984 and a One Time Increase in 1992 towards bringing parity in pensions. But the V pay commission’s recommendations on the pension of ‘post 1996’ retirees, was still tied to the last drawn pay.
7. The V pay commission has also made provisions for neutralization of price rise.
8. The VI pay commission has given a ‘fitment benefit’ to all retired employees, both civilian and defense, to partially compensate for the disparities in the pre 2006 and post 2006 retirees.
9. Also in order to compensate for the reduced employment of defence personnel period a ‘year weightage’ is included in calculation of benefits.
10. Due to the widening disparity, the note asks for pay to be not tied to the last drawn pay but to the rank thereby making all future increases applicable to existing pensioners also.
11. It is a highly emotive issue, since the soldiers retain their titles post retirement and the financial benefits accruing to them is determined by the retirement date.
12. Fiscal outlay for implementing the ‘One Rank One Pension’ is going to be modest -- only in the order of Rs.1500 crores.
Considering the fact that the soldiers serve the best years of their lives in defense of the country in life threatening environments and retiring early, the ‘One Rank One Pension’ demand deserves to be implemented in an expedient way to honor our soldiers. A future BJP-led government, if elected, will implement this demand without any delay.
[Read more on LK Adwani website]
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