Friday, December 23, 2011

Parliament panel favours one rank-one pension

Parliament panel favours one rank-one pension
Says financial liability of Rs 3,000 cr a year incorrect
Vijay Mohan/TNS
Chandigarh, December 22
Recommending the grant of one rank-one pension (OROP) to retired armed forces personnel, the Parliament’s Committee on Petitions has said that it is not convinced with the hurdles projected by the Ministry of Defence in implementing the proposal.
Observing that the financial liability for implementing OROP is Rs 1,300 crore for 20110-12 "which is not a very big amount for a country of our size and economy and also considering the purpose for which it would be utilised", the committee said it is not convinced with the version of the Finance Ministry that implementing OROP would generate similar requests from civilian employees because the terms and conditions of service of the two are vastly different and much harsher and difficult for the military.
The committee, in its report tabled in Rajya Sabha yesterday, also found to be incorrect, the financial liability of Rs 3,000 crore per annum put forth by the Department of Ex-servicemen Welfare (DOEW) for OROP.
Nixing financial, administrative and legal hurdles projected by the DOEW, the committee observed,” The defence services serve the nation with utmost devotion and selflessness but their demands are consistently being ignored, not by the heads of the Armed Forces, but by bureaucrats. It’s a typical example of bureaucratic apathy.” The Committee observed that the demands of veterans, including OROP, were included in the election manifestos of various parties but not given effect
“The findings of the committee were appreciable and pro-veteran,” said Maj Navdeep Singh, a High Court lawyer dealing with service matters. “Even the legal difficulties expressed by DOEW have no legs to stand upon. It claimed that the Supreme Court had upheld the implementation of cut-off dates in pensionary matters in various cases. However, what DESW did not mention is the fact that there are many more decisions, including very recent ones, where cut-off dates have been deprecated,” he added. Further, the committee did not accept DOWS’ claims on legal issues and held that on the contrary.


  1. Cheerful news as we move into the new year.The committee found to be incorrect the financial liability of Rs 3,000 crore per annum and its around 1300 crores.One has to understand that all recent retirees would not cause any immediate expenditure to the exchequer;its only those who retired earlier who would stand to benefit.

    Let all parties now come together and in the right spirit graciously accept these recommendations and implement them forthwith.

  2. It would be wonderful if the govt concedes the demand for OROP. I however don't think that the Govt will ever agree to this because it will set off similar demands from the civil side too which will then make it unaffordable for the Govt.

    Armed Forces pensioners of course do deserve a better pensionary deal, not only due to their harsh service conditions but even more so because of the steeply pyramidical structure of their service and their truncated lengths of service before retirement. If OROP does not come through then I feel that pensions for Armed Forces officers should be increased proportionately to the truncation of their retirement ages. Perhaps the pensions could then be allowed not at 50% of the minimum pay in the pay band but at 55% for Maj Gens (and Lt Gens retiring before 60 years of age), 60% for Brigs, 65% for Cols, 70% for Lt Cols and 75% for Majors - with full pension of course after completion of 20 years service! I feel that this could be a fair via media between OROP and NO OROP and we should then take up this case if OROP does not come through.

    PBORs already have enhanced pensionary benefits to compensate them for their reduced retiring ages and a similar dispensation can certainly be applied for officers too!

    Lt Col K L Arora (Retd)