Sunday, July 19, 2015
Govt to announce one rank, one pension for ex-servicemen this month
NEW DELHI: The long-awaited one rank, one pension (OROP) for over 25 lakh ex-servicemen is set to be announced this month, with a corpus of about Rs 8,300 crore, after several false starts since the NDA government assumed office one year ago.
As earlier reported by TOI, the defence ministry had earlier cleared the implementation of the OROP mechanism but it was being vetted by the finance ministry. Defence minister Manohar Parrikar told journalists in Goa over the weekend that thefinance ministry would clear OROP "in a few days".It will then be announced once PM Narendra Modi returns from his three-nation visit to coincide with the first anniversary celebrations of the NDA government on May 26. It will come as a big relief to ex-servicemen, who have been agitating for the OROP mechanism for several years now, with many of them even returning their medals to register their protest against what all political parties have promised but never actually delivered.
OROP basically implies payment of a uniform pension to personnel retiring in the same rank with the same length of service, irrespective of their date of retirement. For instance, two officers who served as colonels for seven years will get the same pension even if they retired a decade apart. A colonel with five years in that rank will obviously get lesser pension based on a graded scale.
The Modi government has defined "military pension" as a category separate from other kinds of pension since soldiers, sailors and airmen as well as their officers, who retire at a much younger age and serve hardship postings, cannot be equated with other government employees.
Successive Govts in the past had contended that granting full OROP was neither financially nor administratively possible since it could lead to a cascading effect with similar demands being made by others like paramilitary personnel. But this time, the Govt says military pension has been classified as different from other pensions. The majority of soldiers, for instance, retire when they are just 34-35 years old.
(SOURCE- TOI/SANJHA MORCHA BLOG)