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Wednesday, 13 June 2018

OROP AND RELATED ISSUES :;ARMED FORCES VETERANS

-OROP AND RELATED ISSUES :;ARMED FORCES VETERANS

 Dhanapalan Ak 

The President, Akhil Bharatiya Poorva Sainic Seva Parishad (Lt Gen VM Patil, PVSM, AVSM)

 Dear Dir,  

This is with reference to the  discussion held on 26th May  18 during the 19th  Annual General body meeting of  Akhil Bharatiya Poorva Sainic Seva Parishad, at Sikar (Rajastan). 

 Firstly, I wish to bring out that matters concerning more than 35 lakhs of Ex-servicemen  and  around 10 lakshs of widows were  NOT found any place in the Agenda of the 2 days meeting.  It is highly objectionable  especially  when an organization like ours ignore the Armed Forces   Ex-servicemen  fraternity  of India  completely. The delegates came to SIKAR  from all parts of the country  mostly at their own expenses paying  even the Registration fees and spending their valuable  time and taking all the risks of journey at this Hot summer with temp of 44o C, with a hope to discuss  in the Highest forum of the organization on all  the issues   being faced by their comrades spread over the country .  It was quite unfortunate that not even 5 mts could be kept earmarked for such purpose although it deserve for discussion for the whole day or more.   But why  was it not happened?  Is it because the leaders  of the org feel  that there is no problem with them and  nothing is to be discussed..?  If so,  it 
need to be explained  by such leaders that:-

 a)     Why  there  are too many Court Cases.. ?.  And  why  from  Sepoys  to General Officers  are  to knock the  doors of the Judiciary,  if the Govt  machinery as well as the org like ours  are functioning  properly. ?

 b)    And why the  Govt  loose all the cases giving a direct  indication that their approach is NOT correct .. ?
 c)     But why the judgments are NOT being implemented?   
 d)    And  why,  to save the face of certain  crooked  officials,   the  Govt  is forced to appeal  against these ex-servicemen in Supreme Court spending huge public  money only to  loose the cases again ?   Is it NOT a conspiracy in the MOD officials to harass the poor jawans and claim huge amount  towards TA/DA, engaging private   advocates and other misc expenses apart  from  wasting    office time of such officials . ?   
 e)     Is it NOT demoralizing  the Armed Forces Personnel as a whole  apart from financial and social aspect being faced by them ? 

 Do you think that  all these points  do NOT merit for  any discussion at all ??

 Secondly,  I wish to bring out that the pension of Civilian Central Govt Employees which was 30% of the basic pay prior to 1973 has been enhanced  to 50% by the 3CPC , giving a hike of  20% in pension calculation. This hike of 20% should have been naturally  extended to the Armed Forces Personnel also whereas  the pension calculation has been brought down to  50% which was 75% up to  the year 1973.   Hence there was a short fall of  45% in the pension of  Jawans. Why?  No reason could be given to this by any one so far.  This injustice has been done when the jawans  are  to  retire at   an early age when his basic pay is very  very  less  compared to Civilian Employees who have number of years service ahead  for more promotions and  more Pay Commission  benefits and reach a very higher  pay and get higher pension.  As  such how these two categories of personnel can be treated at par for pension calculation?? Is it NOT a discrimination? If at all this 50% is to be applied,  justice demand that their pay also to be notionally  stepped up to make at par with the civilians who retire at the age of 60 yrs. Has any one  really objected to this and asked to RESTORE the deduction of 45% made in the pension calculation?  No one seems to  realize the tress and  mental agony  caused by  such an  early retirement and befooling them  in the pension calculation.  In all fairness ex-servicemen should have been  given a “MEANINGFUL RESETTLEMENT PACKAGE”  in addition to the pension for the sacrifices they made for the safety and integrity of the Country. 

 Thirdly,   One Rank One Pension (OROP) was sanctioned by the Govt of India , Min of Def, Dept of EX-Servicemen Welfare Vide No.12(1)/2014/D/(Pen/Pol)-Part II dtd  7th Nov 2015.  The order says which I quote  “OROP implies that uniform pension be paid to the Defence Forces Personnel retiring  in the same rank with same length of service, regardless of their date of retirement , which implies, bridging the gap between the rates of pension of current and past pensioners   at periodic intervals.” Unquote. This is precisely  what has done by the 7th CPC in the case of Civilian Employees, where in the method adopted is stepping up the pay notionally to bring them at par with those of 2016 employees  and revise the pension, here also the  intention  is to bridge the gap between the current and past pensioners. In other words,  both are  one at the same.   However the difference is that the financial implication for implementing the  OROP for Jawans  after a great deal of discussion and committees  for years,  has come to a conclusion that it would be around Rs.8 to 10 thousand Crs . This is said to be  a great burden to the Govt  and after a long debate decided to pay the arrears in 4 (four) installments.   Apart from that , anomalies in the order which was too many, to be referred to  a  committee which was required to submit its report within 6 months  has not seen the light even today, after 2 years. The anomalies  are still existing  and the payments could not be made in full so far. All these actions  were to create an impression that much more than what is deserving  have been given to the Ex-servicemen . On top of it,  the statement  made  in  public functions  that “OROP has been granted at the cost of poor farmers”,   is an insult to the Armed Forces Personnel.   On the contrary in the case of civilian pensioners,  the same decision to bridge the gap between the current and past retires   have been  fully  implemented , financial    implication  for  this   is estimated to be  nearly Rs. One  Lakh Cr and approved  by the Govt  with  just only 15 mts discussion.  The Arrears were paid  in full and NOT installments. Not only  such insult and down gradation has been made,  but also an attempt is being made to project  the OROP as the  one to restore  the pension deducted during 1973.

 Fourthly,  there is reason to believe that the H’ble Prime Minister and the RM are being misguided  to the extend that the OROP is the one which is intended to restore  the pension deducted  during  the year 1973 and is as per the  demand of the  Ex-servicemen  since last  40 years and  most of the  ex-servicemen  fraternity  are happy with the present  OROP and only  a  few people with political motivation are  creating problem .  This is the reason that every  time the leaders proudly say that OROP which was pending for the past 40 years have now been given to our jawans.  This is  factually NOT correct and misleading.  This is a clear case of  cheating similar to the “ Rank Pay” gtd in 1986, created  by the MOD officials.  In fact,  not only the OROP (restoring the old scheme) has not been  given  but also  The ex-servicemen as well as the General public  are being fooled using wrong propaganda through the official/social media.

 Fifthly,  There was an unstarred Question No.2474 dt 11/3/2016 in the Lok Sabha and answer to the same  is given below:- “(a) & (b) in pursuance of the Hon’ble President’s Statement made in the ADDRESS TO THE Joint Session of the Parliament on 9th Jun 2014, regarding Govt’s decision to appoint a Veterans Commission, the National Commission for Ex-servicemen Bill, 2015 has been drafted. (c)&(d) The comments of the Department of Legislative Affairs and Department of Administrative Reforms And Public Grievances have been obtained.  The matter is under consideration of the Govt.” Since 9th Jun 2014 , the Ex-servicemen Grievances and redressal commission is in the process of Govt consideration. The Previous RM Sri Parikker was briefed  by us during our annual meeting at Anand(Gujarat) and also I could meet him at Calicut  when he was very much enthusiastic in getting the same through soon.  He was fully convinced of the necessity of such a commission for the Ex-servicemen who have no trade unions and for the reasons that mischievousness being played by certain officials in MOD on Govt decisions itself.  But what  happened to this commission?  

  Sixthly. The fact remains that neither the  previous Govt for 40 yrs  nor  the present Govt for 4 yrs  could do  justice to  the Ex-servicemen  but  were  only fooling them  wisely in this respect. The some crooked officials in the  MOD  is on an un-declared war against the Ex-servicemen and widows of the Indian Armed Forces. Should  we take it as a challenge.?  Sir,  are you hearing..? Does some one in  service HQs  or in the Deparment of Ex-servicemen Welfare, shamelessly listening..???  We have hundreds of organizations with many Senior Veterans.. are they sleeping….????  Pension is not a mercy , it is a  matter of right, but who will fight for the ex-servicemen and widows of the Armed Forces?   Seventhly and  lastly, To over come the present crisis and to keep up Morale of the troops and to win the confidence of the ex-servicemen, widows  and their families,  I suggest the following immediate action:- 
 1.     Court Cases  :
 (a) All the cases pending in different Courts should be settled by arranging “Adalat” . 
 (b)All judgments should be implemented withdrawing appeals, if any.
(c) Litigations involving Armed Forces Personnel be brought to “O” level. 

   2.     JCOs/NCOs/Ors – Pension reduced to 50% from the year 1973 should be restored for those who  retire  before completion of normal age for superannuation.  
 3.     Officers- Ration may be restored .  
 4.     OROP – (a) Report on anomalies committee on OROP should be implemented immediately.  (b) “In future, the pension would be re-fixed every 5 years”  This should be reduced to 3yrs.  
 5.     Defence Grievances Redressal Commission- be set up without any further delay.  
Major AK Dhanapalan (Rtd)/ 
12/6/2018 Vice President , PSSP Kerala 08281340080  

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