Saturday, June 11, 2016
ESM sitrep 11 Jun 2016 evening
Over the last few weeks, there had been a flood of queries from veterans, mainly expressing apprehension that with OROP granted, we may be denied the benefit of the 7th Pay Commission. To get authentic clarification I met the Finance Minister Shri Arun Jaitley Jun 11. Summary of the points discussed ensues.
Koshyari Committee Report
At the outset I emphasised that irrespective of whether the government has formally accepted the Koshyari Committee report or not (it has been earlier stated that the report is a mere recommendation from one of the several committees and has not been officially accepted), in the perception of the veterans, the correct OROP definition is what the Koshyari Committee has stated. Seen in that light any shortfall will keep rankling.
Pay Commission vis-à-vis OROP
On my expressing the widely rumoured apprehension that since we have just received OROP, we may be denied the Pay Commission benefits, the Minister clarified that there is no basis for such an apprehension. The veterans WILL get the due benefit of the 7th Pay Commission and the grant of OROP will not affect it in any way.
I underscored the two major anomalies ie, re-fixation of pension on the maximum instead of the average of maximum and minimum, and revision every year instead of five yearly as given in the Notification. I further stressed that the expenditure involved in both may be just around Rs 3,500 Crore, which is not significantly large considering what has already been sanctioned. The government should agree to remove these two anomalies. He listened patiently but made no comment except saying "let us see".
One-Man Judicial Committee
Although it was not said in clear terms, the Minister's body language was suggestive of the One-Man judicial Committee being given additional time to complete its task.
More importantly, I asked what would be the government response in case the Committee makes recommendations that are pro-veterans vis-à-vis the OROP anomalies, as we had presented to the Committee. The Finance Minister was positive on the subject. He stated that as it is the government has given nearly 90% of the OROP as we pensioners interpret it. Whatever recommendations the Committee makes would form a very small percentage of the defence budget and the government would not be averse to accepting it.
Lt Gen Raj Kadyan (Retd)
Gurgaon - 122 001
(Source- Via e-mail from Lt Gen Raj Kadyan (Retd)