Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Arun Jaitley is also right on OROP, but issue needs a compromise solution - By R Jagannathan


With every passing day, the issue of OROP - one rank, one pension for retired armed forces personnel - is likely to become more unsolvable. When so many of them are sitting on strike at Jantar Mantar and getting increasingly emotional about it, it is simply not possible for government to wave an account book in front of them and expect a reasonable compromise. Emotions cannot be tackled by an accountant's rationality beyond a point.
That this issue has been ruined by politicians promising OROP when they are not in power or as an election sop when they are about to lose power is obvious. Narendra Modi promised it before the 2014 elections, and so did the UPA before bowing out. Two finance ministers, P Chidambaram and Arun Jaitley, also promised OROP in vague terms in their budgets.
However, the real issue is emotional for ex-servicemen. They love their ranks, and two people who retired with similar ranks do not like being treated differently. They are also emotional because politicians made open-ended promises to honour their wishes without calculating the costs. They thus feel cheated repeatedly. The ordinary citizen will also back them out of emotion - for no Indian is ungrateful to men in the army who put their lives on the line to defend the country.
But just as emotions need to be handled well, rationality cannot be abandoned altogether. Arun Jaitley surely has a point when he says that "We cannot have an OROP where pensions are revised every month or year...can everyone come and start asking for annual revision of pension? You cannot create a liability which future generations have to pay."
AFP.
AFP.
Extremely well said. Nobody can disagree with this point, and as finance minister and guardian of public finances Jaitley cannot compromise national interests just to get over a political pressure point.
However, the point is this: if the OROP demanded by ex-servicemen is going to damage national finances significantly or irretrievably, why aren't these figures shared with the aggrieved parties and also put out in the public domain? Honesty and transparency is the only way to deal with an issue that has become emotive for millions of ex-servicemen and war widows.
This only proves that while politicians are good in stoking emotional responses from voters to get themselves elected, they are very poor at dealing with those same emotions once they catch fire. You can't make emotional pitches one day and then wave rationality and account books in their faces the next.
Is there a way out for the Modi government out of this self-created mess?
Yes, but it needs expert handling and a sensitivity that has not been on display so far.
First, the government must put out its own calculations of costs based on its numbers using two or three basic methods of calculating OROP, including the need for periodic adjustments. These figures should be discussed with ex-servicemen's representatives and even put out in the public domain. Putting things out in public has two advantages: the public becomes aware of the numbers involved, and this automatically serves as a restraint on the agitators from pushing their case too far. If it seems like they are demanding the moon, they will lose public sympathy very soon. Two, it also serves to underline that the government is being reasonable. Claiming OROP as too costly without mentioning the actual costs make the government's claims incredible. No one will believe it. It is time to shed excessive secrecy in such matters.
Second, to ensure that OROP does not become a permanent entitlement for all people now joining the armed forces, the government should make it clear how it will handle pension and OROP issues for future employees. The logic has to be this: we have to move away from defined payments and open-ended pension entitlements to defined contributions that can be periodically topped up by specified amounts of government payouts. This will protect taxpayers from being fleeced in the name of benefiting the armed forces even while giving them better pensions than before.
Third, an emotional issue has to be handled with emotional maturity even on the part of government. The Prime Minister needs to step in once the basic issues are settled to reasonable satisfaction. Men in uniform implicitly trust the BJP more than the other parties, and Modi himself has high credibility with them - though the OROP issue has dented this somewhat. If he re-enters the picture to seal a reasonable deal, he can pull it off. Maybe a well-publicised visit to Jantar Mantar is called for.
Fourth, emotional appeals are best countered with counter-appeals for higher motivations. If the basic creed of the army is sacrifice above self, it is foolish to believe that ex-servicemen will not respond to a call to accept less than what they are demanding in the national interest, where poor people also have to be fed from the same pot of national revenues. Sacrifices made to feed the country's poor are not less important than sacrifices made on our borders. Most armymen come from the same class as needs food and other forms of subsidy.
OROP has to be implemented with compromises quickly. Otherwise it will leave a huge gash across the hearts of the armed forces and the country they seek to serve.
(SOURCE- F.POLITICS)

9 comments:

  1. Sir, you have rightly said rightly that govt should declare correct figure as is being given in detail by ESM media cell. Els it's clear that FM & babu's are misguiding people about veterans demand. IT SIMS FM & HIS TEAM HAVE SUCCEDED IN DELAYING THE GRANT OF OROP.

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  2. It is quite unfortunate that people without understanding the facts start blaming the ESM. ESM are the simplest of the citizen of this country who do not want any undue favours. Jaitley is trying to mislead the country by spreading lies all around. When have ESM asked for any monthly or yearly increments? They would be satisfied with the amount they are given that they deserve and what has been approved by the Parliament. They only want that a senior should not be given less pension than his junior. However, in case something of that nature happens, a review be held on yearly basis and discrepancy sorted out. Is this not the spirit of Koshiyari committee report? Is it not what the Parliament has approved? Is it not what the Supreme Court has ruled? Can Mr Jagannathan accept this, carry out a reality check and advise the FM to stop lying to the public against the ESM whom he despises. I also want to ask Mr Jagannathan to write about the atrocities perpetrated against the defence forces by the Indian Govt and Indian Bureaucracy? Can he ask following questions to the powers that be :-
    (a). Why a soldiers pension was brought down from 70% of the salary to 50% and babu's pension was brought up from 30% to 50% in 1973?
    (b). Why Field Marshal was not given his salary for over 30 years till the time he requested the President to do something about it?
    (c). Why all babus reach Apex scale and not the Officers of Defence Forces?
    (d). Why civilian officers serving under defence forces officers get more salary than his senior defence force officer?
    (e) Attention of late Indira Gandhi was drawn towards the anomaly created by the 3rd Pay Commission on the behest of the babus. She promised to correct the same. What happened thereafter? Why for the last about 40 years the ESM are being denied their rightful dues?
    (f). Why the civilians posted in the NE or J&K get 25% extra basic pay and not the personnel of the armed Forces?
    (g) Why Armed forces personnel do not get Daily allowances when they move out of their station of posting and all civilian employees are given full daily allowances?
    (h) Why an instructor of civilian services or paramilitary forces get an allowance of Rs19000/- per month but instructor of Armed forces get just a few hundreds?
    (j) Why housing facilities created for the Kargil widows go to ministers, IAS and IFS guys but widows are denied the same?
    (k). Why Jaitley should be spreading lies against ESM? What is his ulterior motive?
    (l). Why should faujis die for you despite you perpetrate such atrocities on them? You abrogate their fundamental rights, you do not permit them to speak out, you subjugate them at all times, you give them rotten stuff, you make money out of their coffins, you make them fight without weapons, without ammunition, without food and water? Can you give some reply to these questions at least. I have many more to open your eyes.

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    Replies
    1. Yes . Exactly said sir. Have these idiots mouth to open and say something on this you fired. shameful they make money out of soldier's coffin. Mr. jetley is a person who saves 1 re.coin from dead body's forehead. He may also think that 12 guys on FUD at JM , if suppose something goes wrong, he will save 40% X 12 guys by providing family pension to the spouses. Stupids don't know from where they have come.
      1. Can't they make 3% pension hike during every july when the make july DA hike?
      2. Can't they give job security on completion of 20 years of service? What skilled personnel are not there in armed forces?
      3. simply India losing about 60,000 skilled personnel every year, just calculate for minimum 40 years. How many are at home without job and cursing the motherland /
      4. If you settle them after 20 years of colorful service, why are they going to ask OROP? they will also get retired at the age of 60 like civilians.
      5. can't they make just 0.3% VAT increased?
      I don't know where they are going to land.

      Delete
    2. Yes . Exactly said sir. Have these idiots mouth to open and say something on this you fired. shameful they make money out of soldier's coffin. Mr. jetley is a person who saves 1 re.coin from dead body's forehead. He may also think that 12 guys on FUD at JM , if suppose something goes wrong, he will save 40% X 12 guys by providing family pension to the spouses. Stupids don't know from where they have come.
      1. Can't they make 3% pension hike during every july when the make july DA hike?
      2. Can't they give job security on completion of 20 years of service? What skilled personnel are not there in armed forces?
      3. simply India losing about 60,000 skilled personnel every year, just calculate for minimum 40 years. How many are at home without job and cursing the motherland /
      4. If you settle them after 20 years of colorful service, why are they going to ask OROP? they will also get retired at the age of 60 like civilians.
      5. can't they make just 0.3% VAT increased?
      I don't know where they are going to land.

      Delete
  3. Mr Jaitley has to share his arithmetical figures to prove his point else it will always be presumed that he is playing games even if the Babus are manipulating him. The ball is squarely in his court as he is the only apparent hindrance. PROVE OR APPROVE -- AND SOON......

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  4. Mr Arun jaitley also correct in denying OROP.He says veteran retiring between age 35 and 38 may deserve IROP without any annual wage revision. This idealogy has come to his thought after veterans fight for OROP. His thought he should have implemented before veterans agitate. Did he do. No. He says finance will be do much lost on implementation. The corruption within the country is so much if digged and brought out the country can sanction orop to all sectors. No body except Armed forces called for in the event of natural calamit and sobatage by terrorist besides the enemy threat in the border. It is great joke if the govt concludes that JAWAN is at par with civilian employees for all salay and terminal benefits including pension it renders us to conclude heavy heartedly thatGovt justifed that JAWAN did all above his life for mere khana it provided. IF VETERANS PENSION IS GREAT BURDEN FOR FUTURE GENERATION WHAT ABOUT HORROR CORRUPTION.IS THAT NOT UNDUE BURDEN FOR FUTURE GENERATION. Well the govt taught us what is PATRIOTISM.NOTHING WHETHER TERRORIST OR ENEMY OR PATRIOTISM STANDS BEFORE MONEY. VANTEMATRAM BHARAT MATHA KE JAY. Denial if OROP PUBLICALLY IS BETTER THAN PROLONGING THERE BY INVITING UNDUE AND IMMATURED COMMENTS FROM SOME WHO IMAGINE THEMSELVES SUPREME COURT JUDGES. WELL WE HAVE BEEN PAID OUR DUES MORE THAN WHAT CHANAKYA ESTIMATED.

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  5. dear sir,

    MODI is an immature politician , does not know how to solve the problem, being prime minister of india, he should not rely on jaitley, if it is due to paucity of fund or incompetence or impotency of his government, come and surrender to ex army people in JM clearly say the truth we will accept it we can scale down our demand even if it is dilution of definition of OROP, why play hide and seek game with the ex army people, first thing you should do it you sack arun jaitley and replace him with subramaniya samy , he will solve the problem without any delay

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  6. OROP lagu na hona AJ aur B ki jeet hai.

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