One Rank One Pension correcting the ‘distortions’: By Air Marshal SY Savur
By Air Marshal SY Savur
One Rank One Pension has been misinterpreted by many to give a distorted picture of what exactly the Ex-Servicemen (20 lakh of them) and the widows (6 lakh of them) of ESM are raising their voices and resorting to means that normally are not their methods of drawing attention to grievances and seeking redressal.
What is OROP? Simply defined by the Parliamentary Committee headed by BJP MP Koshyiari is that an ex-serviceman of one rank (say Havildar) with similar years of service (say 20 years) should draw the same amount of Pension (say Rs 11000 per month) whether he retired from the Army in 1973 (3rd Pay Commission) or 1986 (4th Pay Commission) or 1996 ( 5th Pay Commission) as the one drawing pension (say Rs 13500) if he retired after 1.1.2006 ( 6th Pay Commission).
Now debunking some myths/distortions of truth
Distortion 1: OROP is not in the terms and conditions of service for defence forces when they opted to enroll.
Facts: Who decides the terms and conditions?
Obviously, the Government of India.
Was OROP decided by the Govt of India?
Obviously Yes again. The UPA Govt declared OROP in the Parliament and included in the interim budget 2014-15. The BJP led NDA Govt reiterated OROP in the Budget 2014-15. Therefore, there is Govt sanctity for OROP and the consequent change in terms and conditions.
Ex-Bureaucrats may wish to refresh their minds that Non-Functional Up gradation (NFU) was by Govt approval but not in their terms and conditions of service before 2009. Many bureaucrats are drawing NFU without qualms because it is now in their terms and conditions of service.
Distortion 2: OROP will balloon in subsequent years and the State cannot bear the cost.
Facts: Defence Pension budget includes the pensions of Defence civilians.
Secondly, if any one cared to look at the PCDA (Pensions) website and circulars 500 and 502, they would have seen tables of pension for each rank commencing at 15 years of service and attaining a plateau at 28 and above years of service. It will be the same in OROP.
The above example of the Havildar (or any other ESM of any other rank and years of service) would show that even with a 3% annual increment, he will attain the top of the table and thereafter financial effect will be ZERO.
Thirdly, Rs 8300 crore (of which Rs 6500 crore will be for Other Ranks) may be applicable only to those who have not yet reached the ceiling and in year 2015-16, the 3% increase may be over Rs 8590 crore not Rs 20, 000 crore or Rs 22, 000 crore.
Our learned FM is reported to have stated that OROP of Rs 8300 crore cannot be paid because of “resource crunch.” ESM are aghast that such economy with the truth hides some truths: – Revenue foregone i.e gifted away, is to the tune of Rs 5.89 lakh crore in 2014-15 crores (nearly seven thousand times the OROP), the Public Sector Banks have been “re-capitalised” (bailed out from their bad decisions to lend to those who will not return the loans) to the extent of Rs 20, 000 crore (250% the amount required for OROP). Where is the resource crunch?…..