Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Debate on OROP : CNN-IBN on 01 Jun 2015

Last evening, I was on a panel to debate OROP and allied aspects on CNN-IBN. My fellow panelists were Mr Ajay Prasad, a retired Defence Secretary, Mr Nitin Gohkale, a Defence Analyst, Lt Gen Raj Kadyan, former DCOAS and Chairman IESM (not of the Maj Gen Satbir Singh faction?).

As the comments of all panelists would be on Youtube, I will not belabour the issues, and misquote them (relying on a nearly 69 years old memory!).

My first comment aired on TV was that if the bureaucrats of MoD, Def (Fin) and Deptt of Expenditure, MoF cannot come out with the methodology and the exact amount, why doesn't the Prime Minister, who praises the Armed Forces, hand over the problem to Services HQ, obtain a draft Govt letter, then discuss it, and issue his orders to pay OROP. I gave the example of the DGL prepared by Services HQ in the Rank Pay case, wherein two of the four issues were upheld by then Attorney General for India, the late Shri Goolam Vahanvati. 

[The case is sub-judice on the other two issues which might be resolved in Contempt Petition (C) No. 328 of 2013 being heard from 14 July 2015 onwards.]

My second comment was that there seems an error in the figures given to the Defence Minister that in FY 2014-15 the OROP would cost Rs 8300 crores (approx) and it would balloon up to Rs 22, 000 crores. My reason for doubting the later figure is because of the 3% annual increment. It would be Rs 8549 crores and not a paisa more!

Unless, unless, the bureaucrats have had the Defence Minister let the cat out of the bag. The cat is that the 7th CPC would recommend a 250% increase in pay and the Govt has already accepted it! Only in that case Rs 8300 crores will become Rs 20750 crores and Rs 8549 crores will become Rs 21372.5 crores, though the recommendations would be applicable w.e.f.1.1.2016 i.e 3 months.

My third comment (and backed by Shri Nitin Gohkale) was that the recommendations of the 6th CPC for lateral absorption of Armed Forces personnel was accepted and approved by the UPA Govt but held back due to objections of the Ministry of Home Affairs.

(Source- Aerial View)

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