One Rank One Pension promise in peril? Nalin Mehta,TNN | Dec 14, 2014, 06.18 AM IST Military veterans claim babus are thwarting PM Modi's poll pl
PAY OR PLAY
|Until 1973||9 Sep 2009||May 2010||19 Dec 2011||15 Sep 2013|
|Armed forces had OROP and higher pay than civilian counterparts. Third Pay Commission reversed this and equated military pay with civilian pay||Supreme Court: “No Defence Personnel Senior in rank can get lesser pension than his junior irrespective of the date of retriement” and “Similarly placed officers of the same rank are to be given the same pension irrespective of the date of retirement||Standing Committee on Defence2009-10, 7th Report recommends holistic implementation of OROP||Rajya Sabha Committee on Petitions, 142nd Report, headed by BJP MP Bhagat Singh Koshiyari, recommends OROP implementation||Modi, at his first rally after being chosen BJP‘s PM candidate, demands ‘white paper’ on status of OROP, says Vajpayee would have implemented if he had returned to power in 2004|
|17 Feb 2014||10 July||24 Oct||2 Dec||12 Dec|
|UPA govt announces grnat of OROP in interim budget 2014-15, puts aside Rs.500 crore||NDA govt in 2014-15 budget reaffirms OROP, puts aside Rs 1,000 crore||PM Modi tells troops in Siachen, “How many decades have passed without OROP. It was in my destiny that is has been fulfilled.”||Rao Inderjit Singh, MOS Defence in RS: OROP approved but will be implemented once modalities are approved by the govt. Refuses to comment on reasons for delay||Defence minister Parrikar says announcement will be made in 4-8 weeks|
WHAT’S THE REAL COST?
Yearly cost estimate for implementing OROP
|Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare,
Ministry of Defence
|Department of Expenditure,
Ministry of Finance
|Controller General of Defence Accounts
Ministry of Defence (reproted estimate)
|Pension & Retirement perks to armed forces, 2014-14
||Rs. 51,000 cr|
|Overall defence budget, 2014-15||Rs. 2,29,000 cr|
At the heart of the problem are bureaucratic disagreements over costs. The finance ministry told a parliamentary committee in 2011 that it would cost Rs 1,300 crore a year while defence ministry pegged annual cost estimates at Rs 3,000 crore. Yet, now that OROP has been approved, the Comptroller of Defence Accounts has reportedly put the bill as high as Rs 9,300 crore per annum (see charts).
HOW INDIA COMPARES
|COUNTRY||THE EDGE IN SALARY AS SERVICE PAY/SPECIAL ALLOWANCE FOR MILITARY SERVICE||PENSION SCALE WITH EDGE FOR MILITARY SERVICE|
|US||15-20%||50 to 75% of last pay drawn protected against inflation. For Civil services, the scale is 33.75% of pay as pension|
|UK||10%||Uniform pension as revised irrespective of rank and date of retirement|
|Australia||AUD 2,608 PA allowance||76.5% of pay|
|Japan||12-29% on graded scale||70% of pay|
|France||15%||75% of pay|
|Pakistan||10-15% and allowance||50-75% of pay with service element military pension|
|India||Nil||50% of pay and same is depressed by 6 to 24% in respect of Lt Col & below ranks constituting 90% of the manpower strength of the defence forces|
Veteran groups, fighting the OROP battle for at least two decades, claim they don’t have the ears of the leadership.”Whatever the bureaucracy tells them, they believe,” says Lt Col Inderjit Singh, chairman, All-India Ex-Services Welfare Organisation. Reassuring doubters, Parrikar was recently quoted as saying that “the government is seriously considering implementing the one-rank-one-pension policy” and the “announcement will be made in four to eight weeks”.
Soldiers vs civilians
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