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Minutes of the meeting of UFESM (JM) delegation with Honourable MOS Finance on 20 Jan 2016

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Indian Military Veterans
Appended below are the MOM of the meeting, held at the residence of Shree Jayant Sinha, MoS Finance.
 
Minutes of the meeting of UFESM (JM) delegation with Honourable MOS Finance on 20 Jan 2016
 
A delegation of UFESM (JM) met Minister of State for Finance, Mr. Jayant Sinha at his residence today. The meeting lasted for approximately two hours in a very congenial and amicable atmosphere. To commence the discussion Maj Gen Satbir Singh, SM enumerated the definition of One Rank One Pension (OROP) as specified in the Koshiyari Committee report. It was pointed out that notification issued on 7th Nov 2016, has four major anomalies in the implementation of One Rank One Pension (OROP). The delegation presented the four anomalies and explained that these anomalies if not corrected would completely destroy the definition of OROP. These anomalies would also severely affect pension of JCOs and lower ranks. It was conveyed that the delegation of UFESM (JM) represents 158 ESM organisations in the country.
 
Specifically anomalies highlighted by the delegation are as follows:
 
1) Fixation of pension as of mean averageIt was explained that fixing pension as mean of Min and Max pension would result in more anomalies wherein same ranks would result in two or more different pensions thus violating the very principle of OROP. This issue was discussed with RM in various meetings and after due deliberations it was decided that top of the band of each rank would be accepted as base of pension.
2) Fixation of Pension on calendar year of 2013 instead of FY of 2014. It was pointed out that fixation of pension as per calendar year 2013 would result in past retirees getting less pension of one increment than the soldier retiring today. The implication being the loss of one increment across the board for perpetuity.
3) Payment wef 1st April / 1st July 2014. We pointed out that by changing the date of implementation from 01 Apr to 01 Jul 2014, there would be a loss of 3 months emoluments across the board.
4) Pension Equalization every five year. The pension equalization every five years will result in a senior rank soldier drawing lesser pension than a junior rank soldier for five years thus OROP definition will be violated for five years. More importantly, these cases will happen every year thereby violating definition permanently.
 
It was brought out that these anomalies will result in lesser pensions of widows, soldiers, NCOs and JCOs than what is due to them in case of OROP. This will result in veterans not getting OROP as per approved definition. This is not acceptable.
 
Definition of OROP envisages that any enhancement in rate of pension must be automatically passed on to past pensioners. This aspect was deliberated upon in detail.  This also included the financial aspects involved in such reviews. The Minister noted the fact that this had to be on an annual basis and that the financial effect was negligible.
 
In the continuing discussion, the minister explained the financial state of the exchequer and the possible reasons, which may have led the Government actions on such issues.
 
While appreciating Govt constraints, if any, it was brought out that definition of OROP is not negotiable and hence must be implemented in letter and spirit.
 
Besides discussing issues related to OROP, additional appeal was made to Minister for pension of Hony ranks and pension of Majors.  
 
a) That all Hony. Naib Subedars should get pension of a Naib Subedar rather than that of a Havaldar.
    Similarly, this must be accepted as a principle and it should be applicable to all hony ranks in case of NCOs and JCOs.
b) It was explained to the Minister that there are only few Majors as veterans. Moreover, no officer is retiring in Major rank now. The past retired officers were promoted to Major rank after completing 13 yrs of service whereas these days’ officers are getting promotion of Lt Col in 11 yrs. An appeal was made to Minister to grant minimum pension of Lt Col to past Majors. Number of such affected officers is not more than 800 and will not cause heavy burden to Govt. 
c) Similarly Lt Col with 26 years of service should get the minimum pension of full Col.
 
It was also brought to Honourable Minister’s notice that 7th Pay Commission awards are to be independent of present notification of OROP.
 
The minister suggested to the delegation to put up a formal letter categorically highlighting the four anomalies as has been discussed.
 
The delegation came back with a positive take away of the resumption of dialogue for resolution of OROP.
 
Regards
Gp Capt VK Gandhi, VSM
Gen Sec IESM
Flat no 801, Tower N5
Narmada Apartments, Pocket D6 
Vasant Kunj, Nelson Mandela Marg
New Delhi. 110070
Mobile   09810541222
OROP is our right. Dilution in OROP will NOT be accepted.
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