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Government mulling doubling MPs’ salaries

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Parliament affairs ministry recommends hike in salary and two allowances raising itfrom Rs 1.40 lakh to Rs 2.80 lakh

2010The year when salaries and allowances of MPs were last revised SalaryCurrentRs 50,000ProposedRs one lakh Constituency allowanceCurrentRs 45,000ProposedRs 90,000 Office expense allowanceCurrentRs 45,000ProposedRs 90,000 Hundred per cent salary hike for Members of Parliament? This is one proposal that is neither likely to run short of numbers nor be sent to a House committee for scrutiny.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The parliamentary affairs ministry is recommending raise in salaries of MPs from Rs 50,000 to Rs one lakh, constituency allowance from Rs 45,000 to Rs 90,000 and office expense allowance (for stationery items and secretarial assistance) from Rs 45,000 to Rs 90,000, according to sources. This would take the total of salary and two allowances of MPs from Rs 1.40 lakh to Rs 2.80 lakh a month.The new recommendations would be placed before the finance ministry, which has to approve it and provide for budgetary allocations. Once that is done, a bill amending the Salary, Allowances and Pension of Members of Parliament Act, 1954, would be brought before both Houses for approval.The parliamentary affairs ministry has also approved the demand by the Joint Committee of MPs on Salaries and Allowances of Parliamentarians to raise the pension from Rs 20,000 to Rs 35,000. There is unlikely to be any change in their daily allowance as the ministry had turned down the proposal to raise it from Rs 2,000 to Rs 5,000, sources said.In fact, it has rejected around 75 per cent of the more than 60 proposals made by the panel, headed by BJP MP Yogi Adityanath, on several other allowances and perks. The last time salaries and allowances of MPs were raised was in 2010. The bill to raise salaries of lawmakers generally gets support from both sides of the political aisle, but last time some MPs suggested than an independent body be set up to decide on future pay of parliamentarians in view of public criticism on them deciding their own salaries.”The Left parties have been opposed to the existing procedure of MPs deciding their own salaries. It is unfair. We have suggested that it should be left to an independent body,” said CPI MP D Raja.The AAP government had set up an independent committee on revision of pay and allowances for Delhi MLAs. The panel had recommended an increase from Rs 88,000 to Rs 2.10 lakh per month, including an increase from Rs 12,000 to Rs 50,000 in salary. The Delhi assembly cleared a bill on the same lines.In the case of MPs, changes in their salaries and pensions are done through legislative route, while perks and other allowances can be revised through a notification.Renowned journalist and former parliamentarian Kuldip Nayar said it was fair to increase the salaries of MPs but suggested that a mechanism on the lines of the Pay Commission could be considered.”When India got independence, Gandhiji said it should be only Rs 500 for lawmakers. But as time went by, they started feeling the pinch. Now, when everything is so costly it is justified to increase their salaries and allowances. I was an MP and I know that they get no subsidy actually except in the railway canteen of Central Hall… But it may have been better if there was something on the lines of Pay Commission,” he said.Among the suggestions of the panel of MPs that the ministry has rejected are providing canteen facilities on the lines of defence personnel, fourth of travel fare as incidentals, former MPs to be entitled to diplomatic passport and have access to VIP lounges at airports, the word “spouse” to be replaced with “companion” to accompany MPs in AC First Class train travel, increasing free air tickets between sessions for MPs from 34 to 43 and travel allowance during sessions.

Most defence organisations have accepted OROP, says Finance Minister Arun Jaitley

As approved by the government in September, the OROP will be implemented from July 2014 and arrears alone would cost the exchequer about Rs 10,000-12,000 crore.
File Photo
dna Research & Archives
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Saturday said government’s OROP (One Rank One Pension) formula for retired defence personnel has been accepted by most associations and only a small section had some issues on it.”The government has already announced its decision. Most personnel in their (defence) organisations have accepted that. If one faction or the other have reservations, I think it’s for all of you to sit together and decide …within the organisation itself. The mainstream organisations personally met me and thanked the government that their long-standing demand has been accepted,” he said.The Minister was responding to a question on the implementation of OROP at ‘Aaj Tak Agenda’ programme.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>As approved by the government in September, the OROP will be implemented from July 2014 and arrears alone would cost the exchequer about Rs 10,000-12,000 crore.Replying questions on the government’s recent policy initiatives with regard to Pakistan, Jaitley said there were no fundamental changes and effort has been to resolve differences through talks. India’s foreign policy approach, the Minister said, “has always been of resolving disputes by way of talks but the environment, in which you want to talk, the responsibility (of it) lies with Pakistan as well.”So it depends on the environment and conditions. And when the conditions improve, it improves the conditions to talk as well. And government’s policy on the matter, being ongoing for so many years, is appropriate. We should hope that the conditions will remain good and the talks will keep going.”Following the recent meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif at Paris, Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj visited Islamabad for talks. The official level talks are likely to continue.

OROP protest: 4 ex-servicemen climb water tank, threaten suicide

Ex-servicemen Harbhal Singh, Pargat Singh, Gurdial Singh and Kartar Singh, all residents of Taran Taran, said they would end their lives by jumping off the water tank if the government did not accept their demands.

Ex-servicemen during their agitation for “One Rank One Pension”.
File Photo
PTI
Four ex-servicemen climbed atop a water tank in Chandigarh and threatened to commit suicide by jumping off it if their demands regarding the One Rank One Pension (OROP) issue were not met, police said.Ex-servicemen Harbhal Singh, Pargat Singh, Gurdial Singh and Kartar Singh, all residents of Taran Taran, said they would end their lives by jumping off the water tank if the government did not accept their demands. The army veterans are protesting under the banner of Voice of Ex-Servicemen Society that has retired JCOs and NCOs from across the country as its members.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>SHO Beant Juneja’s efforts to persuade them into ending their protest did not yield any positive results. The protest was underway till the filing of this report.National coordinator of Voice of Ex-Servicemen Society Bir Bahadur Singh said the ex-servicemen would continue with their protest till the government agrees to their demands. He accused senior retired officials of hijacking the slogan of the OROP issue which, he claimed, was originally given by the officials junior in rank to them.Bir Bahadur Singh listed their main demands — equal benefits for all defense personnel irrespective of rank which include disability pension, widow pension, service pension, transparency in grant of bravery medals, equality for allotment of licenses of security agencies, freedom of sepoys languishing in Pakistan jails.

Delhi Assembly passes bill to effect 400% hike in MLA salary

The Delhi government will now send the bill to the Centre and if it is approved, then basic salaries of legislators will rise from current Rs 12,000 to Rs 50,000 and their overall monthly package will be around Rs 2.1 lakh as against existing Rs 88,000.

The basic monthly salary of Delhi MLAs and ministers is all set to go up by a whopping 400 per cent besides significant hike in a slew of allowances with the assembly on Thursday approving a bill to effect the increase considering rising cost of living.The Delhi government will now send the bill to the Centre and if it is approved, then basic salaries of legislators will rise from current Rs 12,000 to Rs 50,000 and their overall monthly package will be around Rs 2.1 lakh as against existing Rs 88,000. As per provisions of the bill, the basic salary of a minister will be Rs 80,000 which is currently Rs 20,000. If the Centre approves the Bill, then salaries of Delhi legislators will among the highest in the country.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Overall the hike proposed is two-and-a-half fold. “The bill proposes to increase the salaries, allowances and other facilities of the Members of the Legislative Assembly of Delhi so as to facilitate them to work effectively in their fields,” Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said, presenting the bill in the assembly. The Members of the Legislative Assembly of the Government of NCT of Delhi (Salaries, Allowances, Pension) Amendment Bill 2015 was drafted based on a report of a three-member committee chaired by former Secretary General of Lok Sabha PDT Achary.”We have accepted all the recommendations of the panel,” Sisodia said. In July, a group of AAP legislators had demanded a significant hike in salary, arguing their earnings were not enough to run their family and offices.Apart from basic salary, the bill proposes hiking constituency allowance from current Rs 18,000 to Rs 50,000, saying the current amount was “grossly” inadequate.The bill also provides for a reimbursable sum of Rs 70,000 per month was also recommended as allowance under ‘Secretarial, Research and Office Assistance’ head which is Rs 30,000 at present.An ‘office rental and related utilities’ allowance of Rs 25,000 has been proposed for meeting expenditure on office space and other essential amenities provided by government agencies.As per the bill, the legislators will be entitled to a communication allowance of Rs 10,000 per month as well as Rs 30,000 as monthly conveyance allowance for each MLA.The ‘daily’ allowance of each MLA during every sitting of the House or its committees has been proposed to be hiked from Rs 1,000 to Rs 2,000. The salaries of Leader of Opposition, Speaker, Deputy Speaker and Chief Whip will be on par with the ministers. The one-time allowances of MLAs have also been recommended to be increased significantly with one time ‘office furnishing’ allowance of Rs 1 lakh, Rs 60,000 for purchasing office equipment and a vehicle loan of Rs 12 lakh, which is Rs 4 lakh at present.Lawmakers’ salaries were last increased by 100 per cent in September 2011 by the then Sheila Dikshit government, citing inflation and the rise in the cost of living.The Bill also provides for a hike in monthly pension from the existing Rs 7,500 to Rs 15,000 per month for first term of membership and an additional pension of Rs 1,000 per month for every successive year of membership beyond the first term, Achary said.The family pension has been recommended at 50 per cent of the pension being paid to a deceased member or an ex-member, he said. The bill also features a maximum reimbursable travel allowance of Rs 3 lakh per annum for each MLA and his dependents by air, rail, road or steamer. In an important recommendation, the bill also provides for a 10 per cent hike in the basic salary, Rs 5,000 per month, after every 12 months, from the date on which new salary and allowances come into force.The three-member committee of experts had finalised its 21-page “unanimous report” in October. The committee, including non-official members KV Prasad and Balraj Malik, went through pay and allowances structures of many state assemblies as well as those of the US Congress, UK, Australia and many other Commonwealth nations.The Delhi Cabinet on November 28 had approved the hike in salaries and allowances of the MLAs. Both BJP, which has three legislators and Congress with no representative in the House, had opposed the hike.

OROP: Delegation meets Arun Jaitley to provide benefit to those retiring pre-maturely

As per the notification issued on November 7, if someone has taken pre-mature retirement, the person will not be entitled for the benefit of OROP.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley
File Photo
PTI
A delegation of ex-servicemen on Tuesday met Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and requested him to extend the benefit of One Rank One Pension (OROP) to those who have taken pre-mature retirement.”We gave memorandum with 2-3 issues where we feel notification could have been better if it had covered these issues,” United Front of Ex Servicemen Secretary General Lt Col Dinesh Nain said after the meeting with the Finance Minister. The issues include pre-mature retirement and fixing of the benchmark, he said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>As per the notification issued on November 7, if someone has taken pre-mature retirement, the person will not be entitled for the benefit of OROP.”Although we will go to judicial commission, it is better that the government resolve it without the need to go to judicial commission,” he said.The long-pending OROP for ex-servicemen was brought into force on November 7 with government issuing a notification to benefit more than 2.5 million veterans and war widows.However, the protesting ex-servicemen rejected the notification, saying their main demands have not been accepted and it has become ‘one-rank-five-pension’. The notification is almost similar to the announcement made by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on 5 September.

Bonanza for govt staff: 7th Pay Commission recommends 23.55% hike; OROP for civilians too

New Delhi: In a big bonanza to central employees and pensioners, the seventh Pay Commission today recommended a 23.55 per cent increase in salary, allowances and pension along with a virtual one-rank-one-pension for civilians, involving an additional outgo of Rs 1.02 lakh crore a year.

A minimum pay of Rs 18,000 per month and a maximum of Rs 2.5 lakh per month has been recommended by the Commission, headed by Justice AK Mathur, that presented its 900-page report to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in New Delhi.

The recommendations, which are to be implemented from January 1, 2016, will benefit 47 lakh central government employees and 52 lakh pensioners.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

The impact the recommendations will be Rs 1.02 lakh crore — Rs 73,650 cr on Central Budget and Rs 28,450 cr on Railway Budget.

The award of the pay panel will also benefit staff of autonomous bodies, universities and public sector units, Jaitley said after receiving the report.

“In percentage terms, the overall increase in pay and allowance and pensions over the business-as-usual scenario will be 23.55 per cent,” the report said. Within this, the increase in pay will be 16 per cent, in allowances 63 per cent and in pension would be 24 per cent, it said.

The total salary and pension bill of the central government, which will also include railway employees, will go up from estimated Rs 4.33 lakh crore to Rs 5.35 lakh crore during 2016-17.

The panel has suggested abolition of the pay band and the grade pay, though it retained the annual increment of 3 per cent.

It has also recommended a fitment factor of 2.57 which will be applied uniformally to all employees.

Without calling it one-rank-one-pension (OROP), the Pay Commission recommended a revised pension formulation for the central government employees, including para-military personnel as well as for defence staff who have retired before January 1, 2016.

The Chairman and other member Dr Rathin Roy recommended the age of superannuation for all central armed forces personnel to be raised to 60 years from current 58 years, another member Vivek Rae did not agree with it. He endorsed the stand of Home Ministry.

The formulation will bring parity between past pensioners and current retirees for the same length of service in the pay scale at the time of retirement.

In a significant recommendation, it enhanced the ceiling of gratuity from the existing Rs 10 lakh to Rs 20 lakh. And the same will be raised by 25 per cent whenever DA be raised by 50 per cent.

In the new pay structure, the grade pay has been subsumed in the pay matrix and the status of the employee, now determined by grade pay, will now be determined by the level in the matrix.

Introduction of a health insurance scheme for employees and pensioners has been recommended. Meanwhile for the benefit of pensioners outside the CGHS areas, CGHS should empanel those hospitals which are already empanelled under CS(MA)/ECHS for catering to the medical requirement of these pensioners on a cashless basis.

All postal pensioners must be covered under CGHS. All postal dispensaries should be merged with CGHS.

Under the central government employees group insurance scheme, the rates of contribution as well as insurance coverage have now been enhanced suitably. Monthly deduction has been raised from Rs 120 per month to Rs 5,000 and insurance cover from Rs 1.2 lakh to Rs 50 lakh for senior most level. At the bottom of the matrix, it has been raised from Rs 30 per month to Rs 1,500 and the cover hiked from Rs 30,000 to Rs 15 lakh.

The Commission recommended abolition of all non-interest bearing advances and increased the limit for interest-bearing advances for buying home from Rs 7.5 lakh to Rs 25 lakh.

Under the Modified Assured Career Progression (MACP) the Commission has proposed that annual increments not be granted in the case of those employees who are not able to meet the benchmark either for MACP or for a regular promotion in the first 20 years of their service.

The Commission has also recommended introduction of the Performance Related Pay (PRP) for all categories of Central Government employees, based on quality Results Framework Documents, reformed Annual Performance Appraisal Reports and some other broad Guidelines. It suggested that the PRP should subsume the existing Bonus schemes.

It has suggested revision of rates of lump sum compensation for next of kin (NOK) in case of death arising in various circumstances relating to performance of duties, to be applied uniformly for the defence forces personnel and civilians including CAPF personnel.

In view of grievances relating to New Pension Scheme (NPS), it suggested steps to improve the functioning of scheme and establishment of a strong grievance redressal mechanism.

The Commission has recommended a consolidated monthly pay package of Rs 4.50 lakh and Rs 4 lakh for chairpersons and members respectively of the regulatory bodies.

In case of retired government servants, it said, their pension should not be deducted from their consolidated pay. The consolidated pay package should be raised by 25 per cent and Dearness Allowance by 50 per cent.

PTI

7th pay panel recommendations will lead to brain drain from the country: RSS

RSS

RSS affiliate Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh on Thursday termed “disappointing” the recommendations of the 7th Pay Commission and said it will lead to brain drain from the country.”The 7th Pay Commission report is disappointing, its fitment benefit is very less, it will lead to brain drain and would have a bad impact on the economy,” said Viresh Upadhyay, General Secretary of BMS.He said that the recommendations submitted to the government this evening show that there is a huge gap between minimum and maximum.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Also Read: 7th Pay Commission hikes salary and pension by 23.55%, to be implemented from January 1, 2016″It has also not addressed the anomalies,” he said.The Sangh affiliate had only last week warned the government of mass agitations if its decision on FDI was not immediately rolled back.Also Read: 7th Pay Commission Report: Virtually One Rank One Pension recommended for civilians”BMS has strong objections on FDI hike, especially in retail and defence. We urge the government to call stakeholders to resolve their concerns. Failing that, we will be compelled to take to the streets (in protest),” Upadhyay had said. Also Read: All you need to know about the 7th Pay Commission recommendations

OROP protest: Ex-servicemen to hold rally in Punjab tomorrow

“Around 100 of our members who turned up here from parts of the country did meditation as part of the protest,” IESM spokesman Colonel (retd) Anil Kaul said.

Continuing with their protest over ‘One Rank One Pension’ (OROP) scheme, members of Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement (IESM) held demonstrations at Rajghat on Saturday even as they threatened to escalate pressure on government with a rally in Haryana’s Ambala tomorrow. “We sought from the Father of the Nation to guide us in our fight against the injustice. Around 100 of our members who turned up here from parts of the country did meditation as part of the protest,” IESM spokesman Colonel (retd) Anil Kaul said. Kaul maintained the veterans have received no communique on behalf of the government over the issues they have raised and said that a rally will be held in Ambala as part of series of demonstrations. “We are going to hold a rally in Ambala tomorrow. Our teams from northern India will gather there in big number. Our Delhi unit too will join the agitators there,” Kaul said. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Government had last Saturday notified OROP scheme for over 24 lakh ex-servicemen and six lakh war widows in the country. It has dropped the contentious proposal to exclude ex-servicemen who sought premature retirement from the ambit of OROP. But the armed forces personnel who opt to get discharged on their request would henceforth not get OROP benefits, as per the notification.IESM members who have been protesting at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi since June, have rejected the notification and returned their medals expressing dissent over the same.

OROP row: Burning medals insult to nation, says Parrikar; Kejriwal backs veterans

His comments came on a day when Kejriwal visited the protesting ex-servicemen at Jantar Mantar wearing a cap and T-shirt with OROP slogans.
File Picture

The OROP row escalated on Friday with Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar terming attempts by veterans to burn medals as an insult to the nation and asked the protesting ex-servicemen to prove there was no political motive behind their stir even as Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal voiced support to them.”If I say something, it will become an allegation. Let them prove that it is not political,” Parrikar told reporters in Arakkonam in Tamil Nadu when asked if he saw a political link to continuing agitation despite the government’s response and notification on One Rank One Pension (OROP) scheme. He said the medals are a recognition of the nation for the sacrifice done by the armed forces.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Burning and returning them is an insult to the nation and the defence forces,” Parrikar said. The minister’s comments come in the wake of a section of the ex-service personnel expressing dissatisfaction on the ground that the OROP notification has not fully met their demands. The government had this month formally notified the OROP scheme for over 24 lakh ex-servicemen and six lakh war widows in the country.”Medals are a recognition of bravery, for the service to the nation. It has nothing to do with service conditions whereas OROP is about service conditions. It does not say you are entitled for medals, it talks about service conditions like your pay and entitlement,” Parrikar said. His comments came on a day when Kejriwal visited the protesting ex-servicemen at Jantar Mantar wearing a cap and T-shirt with OROP slogans.He asked the Centre to implement OROP for the veterans in its “true spirit” rejecting its recent notification in this regard. Kejriwal, who spoke to the media near the makeshift stage of the protesting veterans, however, he did not address the gathering as he was asked not to make any “political statement” by Maj Gen (Retd) Satbir Singh, who is spearheading the movement.”The government notification is a farce because it is not in its true spirit. Please don’t fool the veterans. Implement OROP as per its definition. They are not begging but asking for their rights. It is unfortunate that the country’s soldiers are fighting for their rights on the streets,” Kejriwal said.The Chief Minister also tweeted his support for the ex- servicemen saying all their demands are “logical” and that the BJP-led Centre has been “unjust” to them. “Centre shud immediately accept their demands.”The protesting ex-servicemen had earlier met Kejriwal and briefed him about the “shortcomings” in the OROP notification.

PM Modi spends Diwali with troops, claims OROP issue ‘resolved’

“The Prime Minister said that the long-pending issue of One-Rank, One Pension has been resolved and it has been granted,” an official release later said.

Narendra Modi

PTI
For the second successive year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday celebrated Diwali with troops and said the long-pending issue of One-Rank-One-Pension (OROP) “has been resolved” even as ex-servicemen kept up their protests against the “diluted” scheme.”Today was a very satisfying day. Visited some important places along our western border that saw action in 1965,” Prime Minister Modi said in a series of tweets after concluding his visit, “It was great spending time with our troops & interacting with them. Their courage & patriotism inspires,” he said in another tweet. “My visit to these places comes when we are marking the 50th anniversary of the 1965 war. We salute everyone who fought in that war,” he further tweeted.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The places I visited were the places where our troops laid down their lives while defending our Motherland. We are proud of our armed forces,” said another tweet by Modi. Modi visited three military installations associated with the 1965 Indo-Pak war — the Dograi War Memorial in Khasa, Asal Uttar Memorial near Valtoha and Barki War Memorial in Ferozepur district in Punjab, and interacted with the troops. Against the backdrop of the continuing protests by several ex-servicemen against “diluted” OROP, Modi sought to assuage them saying any issue relating to it can be taken up with the judicial committee set up by government to make it “fool-proof.””I would like (to see) that the inputs, if any, are given to the committee,” Modi said.”The Prime Minister said that the long-pending issue of One-Rank, One Pension has been resolved and it has been granted,” an official release later said. Modi said everyone wishes to spend Diwali with his or her family and therefore, just as he had visited Siachen last year, he has chosen to spend Diwali with the officers and jawans of the Armed Forces this year as well, according to the release.”He said that as this year marked the 50th anniversary of the 1965 war, he has chosen to visit locations where the brave soldiers of the Indian Armed Forces had shed blood and made the supreme sacrifice during that war,” it said. At the Dograi War Memorial in Khasa in Amritsar, he placed wreath at the venue of one of the toughest battles fought and won by Indian forces on September 22, 1965. He also laid a wreath at the Asal Uttar Memorial near Valtoha on the Amritsar-Khem Karan road in Punjab and at the tomb of Company Quartermaster Havildar Abdul Hamid, a Param Vir Chakra recipient.

Medal wapsi by ex-servicemen on OROP

The government has decided to appoint a Judicial Committee to look into anomalies, if any, arising out of implementation of OROP. The Judicial Committee will submit its report in six months.

Ex-servicemen shout slogans as they return their medals to deputy collector near the IGI airport in New Delhi on Tuesday
BB Yadav
dna
As the row over the One Rank One Pension (OROP) notified last week refuses to die down with the ex-servicemen rejecting some key provisions, on Tuesday, a group of them returned their gallantry medals in protest.Colonel Anil Kaul (retd), the spokesperson of the Indian Ex-servicemen Movement (IESM) claimed that more than 2,000 of them returned their medals in Delhi, Haryana and Punjab on Tuesday, as part of a nation-wise protest that will continue in days to come. Though in Delhi, a 100-odd of them were seen returning medals near the International airport.Even as medals were being returned, two other groups representing ex-servicemen, the United Front of Ex- Servicemen (UFESM) and Indian Ex-servicemen League issued statements saying it was not becoming of soldiers to indulge in such kind of protests.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”UFESM condemns the action of returning medals to district collectors by ex-servicemen. We are of the view that these medals are not just piece of metals but have valuable emotional assets presented by President of India. Returning the medals at district level and in this manner is puts us in bad light in the country and abroad, “Ajit Tayal , secretary general of the group said.Meanwhile, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar termed the protests ‘unlike that of a soldier’ and said the government has done its best to keep its promises on OROP.The government has decided to appoint a Judicial Committee to look into anomalies, if any, arising out of implementation of OROP. The Judicial Committee will submit its report in six months.What the protestors have taken a major objection to in the OROP notification is that whereas they had been demanding re-fixing of pension every year, government said it would be done every 5 years.OROP ensures same pension for every pension eligible armed forces personnel with same rank and same length of service irrespective of when he/she retires. Close to 22 lakh ex-servicemen, and over six lakh war widows stand to be the immediate beneficiaries of the scheme.

Don’t return awards, raise issues with Commission on OROP: MP Rajeev Chandrashekhar

Noting that “some veterans and veteran organizations” have expressed their dissatisfaction about this notification, Rajeev Chandrashekhar said he had learnt about their decision to surrender their medals to express their protest.

Karnal Singh, 73, sits with other Army veterans at a protest site in New Delhi on August 28, 2015.
File Photo
AFP photo
Independent MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar, who had negotiated between the government and ex-servicemen over OROP, on Tuesday urged the veterans not to return their medals and asked them to engage with the one-man commission set up for redressal of the remaining matters.He acknowledged that certain issues in the ‘One Rank, One Pension’ remain “contentious” and asked the ex-servicemen to keep faith in the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, which he described as “without doubt one of the most pro-forces and pro-veteran governments” in the country’s history. He issued a statement on a day when many ex-servicemen, unhappy with the details of the OROP notified by the government on November 7, began to return their awards.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The notification by government of One Rank, One Pension (OROP) on November 7, 2015 is a culmination of 40 years of wait by the veterans and widows. The decision marked OROP the biggest and most significant welfare measure for veterans in post-Independent India by any government,” the Rajya Sabha member said.Noting that “some veterans and veteran organizations” have expressed their dissatisfaction about this notification, he said he had learnt about their decision to surrender their medals to express their protest. “I request them not to do so,” Chandrasekhar said.”As someone who led this issue with the government and Parliament since 2006 and fighting for the welfare of veterans, I appeal to veterans to not to agitate but engage with government,” he said and promised to work for addressing all issues affecting the veterans, the armed forces personnel and their families.”I do accept and agree that there are certain issues in OROP that remain contentious. But I urge veterans to understand how far we have come and instead of agitating continue to engage with government including with One-man judicial committee on the issue going forward,” he said.”The political leadership of PM Modi is without doubt one of the most pro-forces and pro-veteran governments in history of India and this is something that needs to be built on as further ways to improve the cause of our armed forces, veterans and families,” Chandrasekhar said.

OROP notified amidst refusal in current form by ex-servicemen; Judicial committee to look into anomalies

The notification came late in the evening, even as ex-servicemen, protesting over non-implementation had threatened a day before to return their gallantry medals beginning Sunday to pressurise for it.

PTI
The Government on Saturday issued the notification on implementation of ‘One Rank One Pension’ (OROP) for defence personnel, amidst refusal on its provisions in current form by ex-servicemen. The notification came late in the evening, even as ex-servicemen, protesting over non-implementation had threatened a day before to return their gallantry medals beginning Sunday to pressurise for it. The ministry of defence (MoD), which had announced implementation of OROP on September 5, on the other hand, said in a statement that notification delay was due to model code of conduct in Bihar for assembly elections.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> According to the notification, pension of the past pensioners would be re-fixed on the basis of pension of retirees of calendar year 2013 and the benefit will be effective from July 1, 2014. Pension will be re-fixed for all pensioners on the basis of the average of minimum and maximum pension of personnel retiring in 2013 in the same rank and with the same length of service. Further, pension for those drawing above the average shall be protected. Arrears will be paid in four equal half yearly instalments. However, all the family pensioners, including those who come under special categories like gallantry award winners shall be paid arrears in one instalment. Whereas the protesting ex-servicemen has been demanding re-fixing of pension every year, government said it would be done every five years. Reacting to the notification, Major General Satbir Singh (retired) of the Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement said it was not acceptable in the current form and that veterans will decide their further course of protest soon. Also, personnel who opt to get discharged now onwards on their own request will not be entitled to the benefits of OROP. The government has decided to appoint a Judicial Committee to look into anomalies, if any, arising out of implementation of OROP. The Judicial Committee will submit its report in six months. While the previous government had made a budget announcement to implement the OROP and made a provision of Rs500 crore, the actual additional annual expenditure would be Rs8,000-10,000 crore at present and will increase further in future.

OROP stir: Now, military veterans to return medals in protest

New Delhi: Armed forces veterans staging a protest in New Delhi to press their demand for ‘One Rank, One Pension’ (OROP) scheme on Friday announced that they will return their medals across the country on 9-10 November.

“We have unanimously decided to return our medals across India,” said Group Captain VK Gandhi, the general secretary of Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement.

Representational image. Firstpost

Representational image. Firstpost

On 145th day of the protest at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi and across the country, the armed forces veterans also decided to escalate, upgrade and intensify their agitation.

“The government is willing to provide us an OROP, which is full of discrepancies and is not as per its definition. To protest, all ex-servicemen with their medals will line up in discipline and dignified manner in each district across the nation on 9-10 November,” Gandhi told reporters in New Delhi.

“The district magistrate will collect the medals and if he doesn’t come to collect it, the medals will be left behind. The DMs will be requested to guard their medals. We would request them to send these medals either to Prime Minister Narendra Modi or to President Pranab Mukherjee,” he added.

The agitation of armed forces veterans continued even after the central government announced the OROP scheme on 5 September.

The veterans have said what government announced is not OROP, but ‘One Rank, Five Pension’.

IANS

OROP: Retd paramilitary officials to hold stir from tomorrow

After military veterans, retired paramilitary officials will now hold a ‘dharna’ here tomorrow demanding One Rank One Pension (OROP) benefits and other privileges under the ex-servicemen category. An association of former officials of forces like CRPF, BSF, ITBP, CISF and SSB will hold the sit-in at Jantar Mantar for implementation of their demands which they say have been in the waiting for the last over a decade.

The association claims to have support of a maximum number of state chapters in this regard and has met senior government leadership in this context earlier (File Photo)
Bir Bahadur

After military veterans, retired paramilitary officials will now hold a ‘dharna’ here tomorrow demanding One Rank One Pension (OROP) benefits and other privileges under the ex-servicemen category. An association of former officials of forces like CRPF, BSF, ITBP, CISF and SSB will hold the sit-in at Jantar Mantar for implementation of their demands which they say have been in the waiting for the last over a decade.”Our major demands to the government are the granting of OROP to paramilitary veterans like military personnel, exemption of serving troops from contributory pension scheme and extending full benefits to these forces under the ex-servicemen category.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The ‘dharna’ and protest will begin on November 2 at 10 AM at Jantar Mantar,” national general secretary of the All India Central Paramilitary Forces and Ex-servicemen Welfare Association P S Nair said. He said the association has already sent a memorandum to the government in this regard and failing to get any reply they have decided to begin the protest here. “The country cannot sleep peacefully even for a day without the paramilitary forces. There is no proper rehabilitation ensured for these forces.We need the support of the government and public in bettering the lives of these men and women who are on job 24×7 in hard working conditions,” Nair said, adding the defence and paramilitary forces should be kept on equal footing while granting service benefits.The association claims to have support of a maximum number of state chapters in this regard and has met senior government leadership in this context earlier. The agitators have also demanded that benefits of health care and canteen facilities should be extended to the families of both the serving and retired personnel. “The agitation beginning tomorrow will be held for three-four days and if the government does not listen to us we will begin a large action from March next year,” Nair said.There are about nine lakh personnel serving in these forces working under the Union Home Ministry while there are an equal number of retired personnel and their families in the country.

OROP: Government to issue notification after Bihar polls, says Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Monday said the government will issue notification on the One Rank One Pension (OROP) scheme after the Bihar assembly elections.

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Monday said the government will issue notification on the One Rank One Pension (OROP) scheme after the Bihar assembly elections.The notification is likely to be issued before Diwali.Parrikar said an announcement will be made after the Election Commission’s model code is lifted in Bihar.A day ago, the protesting ex-servicemen in a letter signed in blood demanded Prime Minister Narendra Modi for early implementation of the ‘One Rank One Pension’ (OROP) scheme.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On the 133rd day of their relay hunger strike at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi, the veterans said that the announcement made by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on September 5 regarding the implementation of OROP had “seven serious shortcomings”.If implemented without the removal of the shortcomings, it will kill the definition of OROP, the letter claimed. The letter further accused Parrikar of “changing the goalpost” every now and then.The protesting veterans asked the Prime Minister to issue notification to implement OROP scheme at the earliest. Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement spokesperson Col (retd) Anil Kaul said the letter was signed in blood by around 200 general officers and others.

OROP: Veterans sign petition to PM Modi in blood; demand implementation of scheme

If implemented without the removal of the shortcomings, it will kill the definition of OROP, the letter claimed.
File Photo
dna Research & Archives
The protesting ex-servicemen on Sunday in a letter signed in blood demanded Prime Minister Narendra Modi for early implementation of the ‘One Rank One Pension’ (OROP) scheme.On the 133rd day of their relay hunger strike at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi, the veterans said that the announcement made by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on September 5 regarding the implementation of OROP had “seven serious shortcomings”.If implemented without the removal of the shortcomings, it will kill the definition of OROP, the letter claimed. The letter further accused Parrikar of “changing the goalpost” every now and then.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The protesting veterans asked the Prime Minister to issue notification to implement OROP scheme at the earliest. Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement spokesperson Col (retd) Anil Kaul said the letter was signed in blood by around 200 general officers and others.

OROP takes ugly turn: Gen Satbir Singh sledges Arun Jaitley, says minister never meant to honour his word

The new twist given the One Rank One Pension (OROP) movement has taken an ugly turn. The leader of the veterans, Major General Satbir Singh has gone on record accusing Finance Minister Arun Jaitley of deception.

The General chose to make this very serious charge in an interview to a severely limited section of the media. He is quoted as saying that Jaitley had told them the BJP’s poll promises to soldiers were just electioneering tactics and ‘never meant to be honoured.’

Gen Singh supposedly said, “One thing I have learnt that what any of these politicians say are never meant to be believed. That’s the rule number one in India. Mr Jaitley when he was the defence minister, had told me, ‘why don’t you lower your expectations?’

General Satbir Singh. Image courtesy: IBNLiveGeneral Satbir Singh. Image courtesy: IBNLive

General Satbir Singh. Image courtesy: IBNLive

These are grave allegations and one can only conclude that by using the plural the General has witnesses to corroborate his accusation.

One is a little nonplussed that the General would elect to speak to one entity in the media and ignore the rest of the profession.

Fine, you are peeved about what has been perceived as a media boycott but, hey please, you are not schoolchildren sulking because someone took away your candy. You cannot afford to get personal. Not with the media and certainly not with a sitting member of the Cabinet.

The government may decide to ignore the statement by the General. But if he can prove his allegations than we have a pretty stinking kettle of fish.

In recent days, the OROP brigade has announced the return of 10,000 medals. Last week it set off an nationwide SMS campaign of support. But this is very different.

This fresh development is pure in your face, up close and personal. If the General can provide tangible evidence that the Finance Minister had no intent to okay the OROP and that the promises made were pie in the sky it is certainly a huge shot in the arm for the vets and will put the government on the backfoot and regrettably, create a further schism between the men in uniform and their civilian masters.

If, however, the General has shot off his mouth and it is reduced to a ‘he said, I said’ equation and Mr Jaitley decides to turn push to shove it could cripple the OROP movement.

Supreme Court permits ‘voluntary’ use of Aadhar cards in welfare schemes

The social welfare schemes, aimed at reaching to the door steps of the “poorest of the poor”, were in addition to LPG and PDS schemes in which the apex court had allowed the voluntary use of Aadhaar cards.

Lifting its earlier restriction, the Supreme today permitted voluntary use of Aadhaar cards in welfare schemes that also included MGNREGA, all pension schemes and the provident fund besides ambitious flagship programmes like ‘Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojna’ of the NDA government.The social welfare schemes, aimed at reaching to the door steps of the “poorest of the poor”, were in addition to LPG and PDS schemes in which the apex court had allowed the voluntary use of Aadhaar cards.A five-judge bench headed by Chief Justice H L Dattu also put a caveat in its interim order for the Centre and said, “We also make it clear that Aadhaar card scheme is purely voluntary and not mandatory till the matter is finally decided by this court, this way or the other way.” The bench, while including the four other schemes along with LPG and PDS where Aadhaar may be used, said, “The Union of India to follow all other orders passed by this court since September 23, 2013.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>It also said the Constitution bench, which also included Justices M Y Eqbal, C Nagappan, Arun Mishra and Amitava Roy, was set up only for the purpose of deciding applications filed by the Centre and bodies like RBI, SEBI, IRDA, TRAI, the Pension Fund Regulatory Authority and states like Gujarat and Jharkhand seeking modification of the August 11 order.The bench also said that a larger bench was required to be set up for final disposal of the petitions that also include the question as to whether the right to privacy is fundamental right.The plea for inclusion of various programmes, ‘Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojna’, MGNREGA, all pension schemes and the provident fund, today faced stiff opposition from a battery of senior lawyers like Soli Sorabjee, Gopal Subramanium and Shyam Divan.’Jan Dhan Yojana’ features in Guinness Book of World Records for opening 18,096,130 bank accounts in a week starting from August 23, 2014 as a part of the financial inclusion campaign.Till October 7, 2015, 18.70 crore accounts have been opened under the scheme.

OROP scheme will be implemented after Bihar elections, says Parrikar

Panaji: The One Rank, One Pension (OROP) for retired military personnel will be implemented after the Bihar elections, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said on Sunday.

He also said that contentious issues including those related to premature retirement had been resolved, conceding that the inclusion of the phrase Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS) in the declaration announced by his ministry in September had triggered confusion.

File photo. Image courtesy: PTIFile photo. Image courtesy: PTI

File photo. Image courtesy: PTI

“I think I will have to wait up for the Bihar elections, because the Election Commission is in no mood to give permission to actually issue the order. This is my understanding. I will not like to be in part of controversy,” Parrikar said during a public interaction near here.

“The notification will be issued after Bihar election because I do not want to get notice by Election Commission,” he said.

Parrikar clarified that “those who get premature retirement will get OROP even in future”.

“That confusion started because the word VRS was a part of the declaration. The interpretation got slightly mixed up. It was not (done) intentionally,” he said.

IANS

OROP row: Jethmalani accuses PM Modi of ‘breach of faith’

Referring to the Lok Sabha poll campaign which saw the BJP win power at the Centre last year, he said on his blog, “When you decided to wage an almost impossible battle for becoming India’s Prime Minister, you did realise the importance of votes of our jawans and their pending demands

File Picture

PTI
In fresh remarks targeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi, expelled BJP leader Ram Jethmalani on Saturday accused him of “breach of faith” in addressing the ‘One Rank, One Pension’ demand of ex-servicemen.The eminent lawyer, who had recently taken on the Prime Minister on the black money issue, described the handling of the OROP issue as “a case of cruel breach of faith, insulting and hurtful to those who lay down their life for the security and survival of India as a Vibrant free Nation”.Referring to the Lok Sabha poll campaign which saw the BJP win power at the Centre last year, he said on his blog, “When you decided to wage an almost impossible battle for becoming India’s Prime Minister, you did realise the importance of votes of our jawans and their pending demands. “Did you at any time either in your election manifesto or oral speeches tell the jawans that you will not accept their demands in full. In fact, you promised full satisfaction. Your manifesto amongst ten items under the heading External Security mentioned ‘implement One Rank One Pension’ without any qualification.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The lawyer also sought to remind the prime minister of Anna Hazare’s complaint over the “unfair dealings with jawans” on OROP and asked why their demand was not being met even when the previous UPA government had decided to accept and implement it in full.In a severe attack on Modi earlier this month, Jethmalani, a former Law Minister in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government, had accused him of “cheating” the people. The government had last month announced the OROP scheme. However, some of the veterans have objected to the scheme, expressing unhappiness with, among other things, the government taking the calendar year 2013 instead of financial year 2013-14 for fixing the base.

Bihar Polls: Narendra Modi ‘cheated’ people, must be ‘punished’, says Ram Jethmalani

“Today I have come here to do ‘penance’ for what I did by promoting Narendra Modi as the leader of the country (before the Lok Sabha polls). I thought that God has sent him as his ‘Aulia’ (representative) for India’s salvation…How I became the victim of fraud,” said the veteran lawyer who was here to fight for the cause of army personnel’s demand for “One Rank One Pension”.

Ram Jethmalani

In a severe attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Ram Jethmalani, former Law Minister in the Vajpayee government,on accused him of “cheating” the people for which he should be “punished”.”Modi has cheated the people. He must suffer a defeat (in the Bihar polls). He must be punished,” he said, adding, “If I had a vote, I would today vote for Nitish Kumar because I want Modi to suffer a defeat”.”Bihar should be the starting point…Defeat them (BJP). They have made Ram Jethmalani a fool but the people will not be fooled in Bihar,” Jethmalani, an Independent Rajya Sabha MP, told reporters.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Jethmalani was expelled from BJP in 2013 for six years for having publicly rebelled against then party president Nitin Gadkari.”I have come here to do ‘penance’ for what I did by promoting Narendra Modi as the leader of the country (before the Lok Sabha polls). I thought that God has sent him as his ‘Aulia’ (representative) for India’s salvation…How I became the victim of fraud,” said the veteran lawyer who was here to fight for the cause of army personnel’s demand for “One Rank One Pension”.Jethmalani said both the UPA and Modi-led government at the Centre did nothing to bring black money from foreign tax havens and held both P Chidambaram and Arun Jaitley responsible for the failure to disclose the names of persons holding the black money.The senior lawyer said German government had the names of 1,400 people who have stashed their money in tax havens abroad and the German government was ready to part with the information with the Indian government free of cost but with a rider that there should be a written request from the government.”I wrote a two-line letter to BJP leaders and none of them signed the letter,” he said, adding that as per a BJP task force committee, there are USD 1,500 billion, which is equivalent to Rs 90 lakh crore lying in tax havens.Stating that the government has not been able to bring back a single dollar in the country, Jethmalani said had the government been successful in bringing the black money, it would not have been facing financial problem in acceding to the demands of ex-servicemen on ‘OROP’.

After outcry over MPs’ salaries, govt to set up three-member panel to decide pay and perks

New Delhi: Amid demands that MPs should not be allowed to decide their salaries, the government has proposed to set up a three-member panel to recommend pay and perks of lawmakers.

The Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs has proposed a 3-member independent Emoluments Commission to recommend salaries and other allowances for the Members of Parliament.

The proposal is part of the agenda notes prepared for the two-day All India Whips’ Conference to be held at Visakhapatnam, next week.

Image courtesy: ReutersImage courtesy: Reuters

Image courtesy: Reuters

“The setting up of an independent Emoluments Commission for recommending the salaries and allowances of the Members of Parliament will not only put to rest the public outcry and media criticism over MPs themselves deciding their salaries, it will also provide an appropriate opportunity to take into consideration the huge responsibilities and the important role they play in our representative democracy.

“It would ensure that recommendations on Parliamentary salary are reached in a fair, transparent and equitable way. Once there is consensus on setting up of the commission, the Salary, Allowances and Pension of Members of Parliament Act,1954 will be suitably amended,” it said.

The last revision in salary of MPs was made in 2010 during UPA II rule and the lawmakers at present get a basic salary of Rs 50,000 per month.

As per a comparative analysis of Members of Parliament in 37 developing and developed countries, basic salary of MPs are in the range of a meagre Rs 7,952 in Tunisia to a high of Rs 6,16,675 per month in Israel. MPs of only in six countries –Tunisia, Venezuela, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Haiti and Panama are drawing salary less than that of Indian MPs.

According to a survey conducted by Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) of 138 chambers from 104 Parliaments, 69 chambers indicated that it is Parliament which determines the salaries of members. 31 of these stated that MPs’ salaries are determined in reference to the Civil Service salary scale. In case of Bhutan, Namibia and the UK House of Commons, salaries are determined by independent bodies.

An MP in India gets a salary of Rs 50,000 per month. In addition, Rs 2,000 per day is paid as daily allowance when the MP signs the register while attending Parliament sessions or House committee meetings. The MP is entitled to Rs 45,000 constituency allowance every month — Rs 15,000 for stationery and Rs 30,000 to employ secretarial assistance staff.

MPs are also entitled for a government accommodation, air travel and train travel facilities, besides three landline and two mobile phones.

They also get a loan of Rs 4 lakh to buy a vehicle.

PTI

Union Minister VK Singh assures speedy implementation of One Rank One Pension

The government is committed for the welfare of ex-servicemen and the One Rank One Pension will soon be implemented, a government release quoting VK Singh said.
File Photo
dna Research & Archives
Union Minister V K Singh on Saturday gave the assurance of speedy implementation of One Rank One Pension (OROP) scheme for the benefit of ex-servicemen.The government is committed for the welfare of ex-servicemen and the One Rank One Pension will soon be implemented, a government release quoting Singh said.The former Army Chief, who was at Pithisar village in Churu to attend a function, also underlined the importance of a permanent seat for India in UN Security Council which, he said, has become “necessary with the change of time”.Meanwhile, the minister asked the people of Shekhawati region, from where many move to Gulf countries for work, not to seek the services of unauthorised agents to go to foreign countries.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Many people go to Gulf countries and some of them also face problems there. To avoid such problems, do not trust unauthorised agents,” he said.The Union minister was received by Rajasthan Parliamentary Affairs Minister Rajendra Rathore at Churu.

OROP: 1965 war veterans to boycott Prez’s tea party, to intensify stir

New Delhi: The veterans of the 1965 India-Pakistan war have refused to attend a tea party organised by their supreme commander, the President of India, to felicitate them. They instead have charged the government with short-changing them on the One Rank One Pension (OROP) issue and questioned the silence of the President on it.

In a letter to the President Pranab Mukherjee, on behalf of ex-servicemen, especially those who were a part of the 1965 war, Wing Commander (retd) Vinod Nebb wrote: “I write to you as a proud Armed Forces Veteran, who contributed to this war like many others… Due to the circumstances and details outlined, I sadly decline your prestigious invitation. This invitation, the purpose and the occasion will not repeat itself in my life time and this makes it even harder for me to decline… With utmost respect Sir, I look towards you as our Supreme Commander and leader of the Armed Forces to ask, why are you silent? Why would you invite me to an event, which to us veterans is symbolic of our blood, sweat and dignity and play to the government ‘show’ of respect to us and our achievements?”

File image. PTIFile image. PTI

The agitation for OROP. File image. PTI

It’s not just Wg Cdr Nebb, all ex-servicemen who have been part of the protest demanding OROP for over 90 days at Jantar Mantar in the heart of Delhi, have said they will boycott the invitation from the President for the event scheduled on 22 September. Besides not accepting the OROP format announced by the government, they have also decided to boycott the golden jubilee celebration of the Indo-Pak war of 1965.

In a similar gesture, Grp Capt (retd) VK Gandhi has refused to be a part of the celebration and deposited his medals as a mark of protest.

The reason

The ex-servicemen find ‘’serious shortcomings” in the OROP scheme announced by the government on 5 September.

“Whatever the government announced is not the OROP. It’s only an enhancement of pension. It’s a repetition of what the previous UPA government did. There are seven serious shortcomings in the implementation of the OROP as announced by the defence minister. We’re not accepting it and we’ve decided to boycott not only the President’s tea invitation, but also the golden jubilee functions of the Indo-Pak war of 1965,” Col Anil Kaul (retd) told Firstpost.

Col Kirit Joshipura (retd), an 80-year-old veteran of the 1965 war said, “We’re not accepting any shortchanges this time. Over the decades, the defence personnel have already accepted many. It was the government’s Koshiyari Committee that clearly mentioned about the OROP, which the Parliament accepted, but now the government has been violating it.”

Seven Shortcomings

The United Front of Ex-Servicemen (UFESM) has given in writing to the Defence Minister Manohar Parikkar the seven shortcomings in the OROP implementation that are unacceptable to them:

– Base year for OROP implementation agreed to as FY 2013-14, “changed to” calendar year 2013.

– Date of implementation agreed to 01 April, 2014, “pushed forward” to 01 July 2014.

– Instead of equalizing the pensions annually as per approved definition, “equalization has been announced “once in five years”.

– “Substitution” of a one-man judicial commission instead of the five-member as suggested.

– The exclusion of those who opt for Premature Release from benefits accruing from OROP.

– The fixing of pension to be done as a mean average of the pay band instead of the top level.

– The suggestion of handing over the working out of modalities to 7th Central Pay Commission (CPC) have been objected to since once adopted by the Parliament, no CPC or any other commission has the authority to adjudicate.

“The last three points were never discussed at any level with the government representatives. Moreover, some ‘dumb bureaucrat’ or may be a cunning one introduced Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS) in the OROP discussion to delay the implementation process,” Vadodara-based war veteran, Wg Cdr MMS Paintal, said.

Added Col Kaul, media advisor to UFESM, “If implemented in its present form, it will not only violate the definition of OROP but cause heavy financial hardship to all ranks.”

Next move

The ex-servicemen have decided to hold a bikers’ rally from all corners of the country, followed by a mega rally in mid-December. They will conduct marches in towns and use Raahagiri in Delhi to communicate their message. They are also planning to fan out to poll-bound states such as Bihar and approach voters with their issue.

Maj Gen (retd) Satbir Singh, chairman, Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement (IESM), has appealed to the ex-servicemen not to break under any pressure.

“Everyday three to four military personnel are martyred. Instead of showing respect and dignity to those who deserve it, the government is now trying to gag us. We’ll continue with our fight, even if it takes another five years,” he said.

OROP protest: Ex-servicemen to take out ‘Sainik Ekta’ rally today

The protesting ex-servicemen will go ahead with their proposed ‘Sainik Ekta’ rally on Saturday to press for “honest and truthful justice” as they rejected the ‘One Rank One Pension’ scheme announced by the government even as some groups disassociated itself from the event.

The protesting ex-servicemen will go ahead with their proposed ‘Sainik Ekta’ rally on Saturday to press for “honest and truthful justice” as they rejected the ‘One Rank One Pension’ scheme announced by the government even as some groups disassociated itself from the event.”The rally will take place at Jantar Mantar on Saturday morning. We have raised seven issues and if the government accepts it or gives us concrete assurance on paper, we are ready to pack up and leave,” Maj Gen (Retd) Satbir Singh, Chairman of Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement told reporters here.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He also rejected charges of financial irregularity as “baseless” and said that every single penny is accounted for.”We have all record and receipts. A proper audit will be carried out. We reject such insinuation against us,” he said. Various ex-servicemen groups have come under the common banner of United Front of Ex-Servicemen Movement (UFESM) and have been leading a series of protest across the country for the last nearly three months demanding implementation of OROP.However, cracks appeared in the front this week, with various factions leveling allegations against each other.While a section of the veterans are against holding of the rally on Saturday, others feel that they have been let down by the government which had announced OROP on Saturday last.On Wednesday, Lt Gen (Retd) Balbir Singh, a key member of the front that was formed to hold agitation demanding OROP, announced the exit of his group Indian Ex-Services League citing lack of cohesiveness and continuity of protests.Maj Gen (Retd) Satbir Singh and others have rejected the government’s version of OROP and have now put forward seven points of dissent.”The government has created avoidable confusion by including VRS (Voluntary Retirement Scheme) in their announcement as it does not exist in the defence forces.However, those who have taken pre-mature retirement must come under OROP,” Satbir said. The veterans have also objected to the government taking calender year 2013 instead of financial year 2013-14 for fixing the base.”The Defence Minister had earlier assured that the pensions would be taken from the top of the pay scales whereas now the government seems to have gone to an unknown concept,” he said.The ex-servicemen are also opposed to formation of one-man judicial commission and demanded that it should comprise three ex-servicemen, one serving officer and a bureaucrat. Also, the deadline for the commission to come out with a report on the implementation of the OROP should be one month instead of the six as proposed by the government.The protesting veterans have also demanded that the OROP should be independent of the Central Pay Commission and the concept should be in perpetuity.Rejecting government’s proposal for pension revision every five years, Satbir said, “We had agreed to even two years but now we seek our original demand of revision every year”.He also rejected that cracks have appeared in the veterans community saying “four people leaving UFESM does not mean anything”.

Ex-servicemen to hold ‘Ekta Rally’ to demand govt action on issues with OROP

New Delhi: The ex-servicemen protesting over issues pertaining to the announced One Rank, One Pension (OROP) scheme have organised ‘Ekta Rally’ on 12 September, Saturday, in New Delhi, to press for government action.

A press release by the United Front of Ex-servicemen (UFESM) on Thursday called for all ex-servicemen to participate in “large numbers” in the rally at Jantar Mantar, slated to take place from 10 am to 2 pm.

A protest seeking OROP. PTI

A protest seeking OROP. PTI

The press release lists unresolved issues with the OROP as announced by the government.

“As per government press release pension will be fixed as per mean of Max and Min pension for the year. This will violate the basic definition of OROP and hence not acceptble,” the press release says.

The UFESM also demands a five member committee, with three members from the ex-servicemen community, to adjudicate the issue of equalisation of pension, instead of the government’s proposal to form a single-judge panel.

The front also seeks clarification on the VRS issue and wants “all personnel who have taken premature pension and are drawing pension” to be eligible for OROP.

The UFESM has sought a government letter on OROP to be issued by 30 September, 2015, with full clarification on all issues raised by the protesting ex-servicemen.

The press release from UFESM, however, thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the NDA governmet for approving OROP and said the ‘fast unto death’ had been withdrawn in the honour of the same.

Cannot consider one-year pension revision under OROP: Manohar Parrikar

Panaji: Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Tuesday said the demand of armed forces veterans for annual revision of pension under “One Rank One Pension” (OROP) scheme could not be considered as definition of OROP does not specify any time frame for upgradation of pension.

“Definition of OROP does not specify any period for upgrade of pension. Their (ex-servicemen’s) demand to have annual upgradation of OROP cannot be considered because in the definition (of OROP) it is mentioned that pension should be upgraded but there is no period specified.”

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar. AFP

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar. AFP

“..The word used is automatic. But what should be the period is not specified. There is no clear-cut period mentioned,” Parrikar told reporters in Panaji.

Explaining government’s interpretation, he said, “We have taken the period as five years (for revision of pension under OROP) as usually ten-year is a period for any wage revision.”

He said OROP will benefit around 22 lakh ex-servicemen.

The timeframe for revision of pension remains one of the sticking points between government and veterans who have been agitating in national capital for over a month.

While government has said it will revise pension every five years, veterans want it to be re-fixed annually or at least every two years.

Parrikar reiterated that unlike civil services the concept of Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS) does not exist in military.

He said union government will have to incur a financial liability of Rs 8000 crore per year for implementing OROP.

“Since such a huge amount was involved, it took time to complete all the procedure before announcing OROP,” he said responding to a query.

Parrikar said OROP will not be applicable to paramilitary services.

“It (OROP) is a military pension. The retirement conditions of military are different from paramilitary,” he said.

Responding to a question, the minister said fencing of the India-Bangladesh border is almost completed barring a few places.

“India-Bangladesh border is already fenced except at few places. The dispute around these places would be settled within six months following which it would be fenced,” he added.

Ex-servicemen, who have been agitating in Delhi, had yesterday said they would organise a mega rally this weekend to press for removal of “anomalies” in the OROP announced by government on Saturday.

PTI

Ex-servicemen will get crores of rupees in arrears, says Haryana CM ML Khattar

Khattar said crores of rupees would be received by ex-servicemen under the OROP scheme which would be spent in Haryana in one way or another, leading to the strengthening of the economic condition of the state.
File Photo
dna Research & Archives
Ex-servicemen will get arrears to the tune of crores of rupees under the ‘One Rank-One Pension’ (OROP) scheme and this would give a fillip to the economic development of Haryana, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar said on Monday.”It is a matter of pride for me that one out of every ten soldiers of the Indian Army belongs to Haryana,” he said in a statement.Khattar said crores of rupees would be received by ex-servicemen under the OROP scheme which would be spent in Haryana in one way or another, leading to the strengthening of the economic condition of the state. He urged the ex-servicemen, who had retired early or on medical grounds, to beware of “misleading information being spread by certain political parties about the OROP scheme”.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The matter had been hanging fire for the last 42 years but Prime Minister Narendra Modi had been working towards fulfilling his promise to resolve this issue since he came to power in May 2014.

Amidst confusion, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar asks everyone to wait for final order for clarity

Parrikar said many things needed to be considered before Rs 8000 crore is sanctioned for implementing OROP.
File Photo
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With confusion surrounding who among the retirees will get the benefits of One Rank, One Pension, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Monday asked all those concerned to wait for the final order, which will “explain it properly”.”You have to wait for the final order (on OROP) which will come. Why is there so much excitement till then? The PM has made it amply clear that those who are being allowed to retire through proper procedure will not be (adversely) impacted. You need to wait for the exact wording,” he told reporters on the sidelines of an Engineers’ Conclave.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He also clarified that the concept of ‘Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS) does not exist in the Armed Forces.”In the Armed Forces even if you apply, you may not get voluntary retirement, unlike (in) civilian (service), where you can get it. In the Armed Forces, you can be refused. There are many people who because of health reasons apply and the Armed Forces also want them to retire and, if that happens before the minimum service requirement, then they don’t get pension. We will explain this properly, no one should unnecessarily create confusion on it,” Parrikar said.Parrikar said many things needed to be considered before Rs 8000 crore is sanctioned for implementing OROP.”A lot of things have to be considered before sanctioning Rs 8,000 crore…it is not a matter of Rs 8. There were a lot of issues involved with it, why blame someone? It is very easy to say that give it (money), but when one has to give the money, it is not easy,” he said. He was asked whether differences between bureaucracy and the political leadership had delayed the announcement.Prime Minister Narendra Modi had yesterday said those who had had to quit the defence forces prematurely would also be entitled to OROP benefits.

Defense Minister Parrikar asks to wait for final OROP order for clarity over VRS issue

Mumbai: With confusion surrounding who among the retirees will get the benefits of One Rank, One Pension, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Monday asked all those concerned to wait for the final order, which will “explain it properly”.

“You have to wait for the final order (on OROP) which will come. Why is there so much excitement till then? The PM has made it amply clear that those who are being allowed to retire through proper procedure will not be (adversely) impacted. You need to wait for the exact wording,” he told reporters on the sidelines of an Engineers’ Conclave.

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar. Image courtesy: ibnlive

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar. Image courtesy: ibnlive

He also clarified that the concept of ‘Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS) does not exist in the Armed Forces.

“In the Armed Forces even if you apply, you may not get voluntary retirement, unlike (in) civilian (service), where you can get it. In the Armed Forces, you can be refused. There are many people who because of health reasons apply and the Armed Forces also want them to retire and, if that happens before the minimum service requirement, then they don’t get pension.

“We will explain this properly, no one should unnecessarily create confusion on it,” Parrikar said.

Parrikar said many things needed to be considered before Rs 8000 crore is sanctioned for implementing OROP.

“A lot of things have to be considered before sanctioning Rs 8,000 crore…it is not a matter of Rs 8. There were a lot of issues involved with it, why blame someone? It is very easy to say that give it (money), but when one has to give the money, it is not easy,” he said.

He was asked whether differences between bureaucracy and the political leadership had delayed the announcement.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had on Sunday said those who had had to quit the defence forces prematurely would also be entitled to OROP benefits.

PTI

OROP: Manohar Parrikar asks ex-servicemen to end agitation on pending issues

“There are some issues remaining, we can discuss about that in future. There is no need to go on an agitation for that,” he added.

According to me the issue is more or less resolved, he added.

File Photo
Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Sunday said that ex-service men need not go on an agitation for the remaining issues concerning the implementation of the One Rank One Pension (OROP) scheme, as it can resolved by holding discussions.”OROP as a principle has been accepted, full financial requirements have been fulfilled. There might be a few small issues which over a period of time will get automatically addressed. According to me the issue is more or less resolved, have you ever seen that 100 percent things are fulfilled to everyone’s satisfaction?” Parrikar told media here.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> “There are some issues remaining, we can discuss about that in future. There is no need to go on an agitation for that,” he added. Ex-servicemen protesting for the implementation of the OROP scheme called off their hunger strike earlier today, after receiving Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s reassurance on OROP but said they will continue with their agitation. “We are happy to announce that we have called off the hunger strike. The Government should agree to VRS and the other four points. It’s legal and justified. Agitation will continue,” said chairman of Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement (IESM) Major General (Retired) Satbir Singh.

Rajnath Singh slams Pakistan for terrorism against India, says Islamic State not big threat

The Minister said that India’s diplomatic skills forced even America and UAE to pull up Pakistan for supporting terrorist activities.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday tore into Pakistan for fomenting terrorism on Indian soil by sending terrorists here while observing that the dreaded extremist outfit IS is not a “big challenge” and that the country is well-equipped to tackle any eventuality posed by them.”A few years back (Ajmal) Kasab (involved in the 2008 Mumbai terror attack) was caught alive and now two other terrorists have been nabbed. “From this, it is clear where these terrorists come from. Pakistan always says that roots of terrorism are not in their country, but elsewhere…but this is amply clear to us now,” Singh said, addressing a public lecture on internal security and development here late this evening. Rajnath’s tough talk came days after Pakistan called off NSA-level talks with India.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Last month, security forces caught two Pakistani terrorists, affiliated to Laskhar-e-Taiba, alive after separate encounters with them in the Kashmir Valley. While Mohammad Naveed alias Usman was nabbed on August 3, two days later Sajad alias Javed alias Abu Ubaidullah, who hails from Balochistan, was also captured. “Pakistan does not want to keep cordial relations with India and has continuously been violating the ceasefire norms,” he added.The Minister said that India’s diplomatic skills forced even America and UAE to pull up Pakistan for supporting terrorist activities. “America has also asked Pakistan to stop supporting terror activities. The UAE, which has never spoken against Pakistan, has also made it clear to Pakistan that it has to curb such activities…this is our diplomatic skills,” he said.On the terror outfit in West Asia, the IS, Rajnath said, “They are not a big challenge to us as we are well equipped to deal with any eventuality from them.” He said that India has witnessed a reduction in Mooist activities by 30 per cent, “which will further come down”. He also said the government is making every effort to stop smuggling of cows through Indo-Bangladesh border.”Every year 20-22 lakh cows are smuggled to Bangladesh. Now it has come down to 2.5 lakh. We are making efforts to completely stop this,” Singh said.The Minister also welcomed the government’s decision to implement ‘One Rank One Pension’, the long pending demand of ex-servicemen. Rajnath said the government is moving faster towards making the country’s economy very strong.

Last word not said on OROP: Execution gets green signal, but protest is far from over

In the 16th month of its 60-month tenure, the Narendra Modi government has finally come up with a concrete roadmap for implementing the vexed issue of One Rank, One Pension (OROP) scheme that had been hanging fire for last over four decades. But the straws in the wind suggest that the agitation launched by ex servicemen and veterans on 15 June, may continue and may well be intensified.

This is a pity. The agitators have pushed the envelope and forced the government to make key concessions. But they cannot take a maximalist position and continue with their agitation.

True, many of their demands which have not been met by the government may be reasonable and genuine but they should not be hectoring. The agitators will be well advised to accept what the government solemnly agreed to and refrain from taking an all or nothing approach.

PTI image.PTI image.

PTI image.

However, this is something that seems to be drastically different from ground realities. I spoke to Alfred Christie, a 76-year old ex-Indian Air Force veteran who fought three wars (1962, 1965 and 1971). Like many others, Christie too watched Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar’s press conference live on TV.

When he retired from the rank of Sergeant in 1978, he got a princely monthly pension of Rs 207 after 22 years of service, which shrank to Rs 167 after commutation. Today, his pension is Rs 17,000, while the Sergeant who retires from the Air Force today, after same length of service, gets Rs 22,000.

Christie is miffed with Parrikar’s announcement. Here’s why. “Where is one rank, one pension? I am as clueless about it today after watching the honourable defence minister’s press conference as I have been all these years. The minister has cleverly saved the face of the Prime Minister who is keen to go into Bihar elections with the OROP trophy. Moreover, the government has shrewdly made the announcement rather hurriedly to beat the model code of conduct once the notification for Bihar elections is issued, expected anytime now.”

He says the widely held perception is that the OROP, announced by the government on Saturday, will benefit war widows only and the minister’s OROP package is a hogwash. Christie is all for continuation of the agitation and has warned the government to be ready to face national level agitation from 12 September.

Incidentally, it is vocal veterans like Christie who influence the tone and tenor and scale of the agitation. This gives a sneak preview of how the huge tribe of ex-servicemen are reacting to the government’s OROP announcement.

Major General (Retd) Satbir Singh, leader of protesting ex-servicemen, has already given a firm indication of what lies in store for the Modi government by saying that since the government has accepted only one of their seven main demands, there was no option for the but to take forward their agitation.

Sample two other main points made by him: “We don’t accept the decision not to give OROP benefits to those who have taken voluntary retirement. This is a big setback. 40% of retired defence officials get pension. Not including them in OROP is unjust to them. Whoever gets pension (even if premature retirement) should get OROP. Bureaucracy introduced this, this is not acceptable to us. We reject the one-member judicial commission announced by the defence minister. We asked for a 5-member commission under the defence minister comprising three ex-servicemen, one serving serviceman and one member.”

This is as clear as it can be. It means that the albatross around the Modi government’s neck is not going to loosen its grip just yet. It means that there is no closure for the four-decade-old OROP saga on the horizon. It means that 2.6 million retired servicemen and over six lakh war widows, who were to be immediate beneficiaries of the OROP scheme, will continue to lock horns with the government.

Now, paramilitary forces set their eyes on OROP

After doling out one rank one pension (OROP) to defence personnel, Modi government may have to brace up for a similar demand from Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs).

After doling out one rank one pension (OROP) to defence personnel, Modi government may have to brace up for a similar demand from Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs).Monitoring the OROP developments closely, several CAPF veterans felt that they are more worthy of the scheme than the defence personnel who bear the brunt only during the wartime unlike them who are in perpetual battle mode on the border and in counter-insurgency operations.Feeling anguished, former IG of Border Security Force, Srinivasan said, “The Army should have taken CAPFs along with them. Some of the ex-servicemen have done harm to the unity of forces by saying that army is better than the CAPFs.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Srinivasan also said that the first line of defence is always the BSF or ITBP on the border and is ahead of the army positions and fight on equal footing during war besides defending the borders 24X7, when the Army takes the role only during wartime.””Only one-third army belonging to infantry or armoured division goes to the border but the one rank one pension is applicable to all the wings of the Army. Why? What is wrong with us? Are not we equally important if not more? But we will not come out on the road and will choose recourse through courts,” he said.A serving DIG-level officer in Central Reserve Police Force said, “This is not equality. We bear most casualties overall, even during so-called peacetime we suffer and die in operations in Naxal-affected areas and in the northeast. If one can count the numbers, we have produced maximum martyrs. Unlike the army officers, there is no golf-playing club life for us. There is no doubt that the government should keep us at parity with defence forces personnel.”A young deputy commandant, who joined the ITBP in 2005, said that despite being equally battle worthy, the ITBP personnel serve in more hostile areas than army with fewer provisions and yet they were handed over New Pension Scheme in 2004.”How can you call it justice when we have to contribute for our pension from own pockets and the army gets OROP on a platter. Our veterans should also go on agitation mode,” he said.A few officers warned that the different treatment meted through OROP can have an adverse fall as there is a clear divide between Army and CAPFs.”On the field, this will have an adverse effect,” said an officer.

PM Narendra Modi has fulfilled OROP promise, Congress played a joke: Amit Shah

In 1973 their pension was reduced from 70 per cent to 50 per cent (of salary) and the demand for OROP has been hanging fire since, he said.

Modi government has given economic security to them as well the serving personnel

File Photo
Terming as “historic” the Centre’s decision on ‘One Rank, One Pension’, BJP on Saturday said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has fulfilled the commitment he made to ex-servicemen and provided them economic security while Congress had only played a “joke” on them when in power. Attacking Congress, BJP President Amit Shah said the pension of ex-servicemen was decreased by its government in the 70s and slammed the allocation of only Rs 500 crore for OROP by the previous UPA government. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”In 1973 their pension was reduced from 70 per cent to 50 per cent (of salary) and the demand for OROP has been hanging fire since…. The previous Congress government in its last moments made an allocation of Rs 500 crore for it and this was a joke with servicemen,” Shah told reporters, noting that an additional expenditure of Rs 9,000-10,000 crore annually will go towards it.Recalling that it was Modi’s poll promise during the 2014 Lok Sabha election campaign, he said the prime minister had fulfilled it now. Shah underlined that the decision would come into effect from the time Modi came to power. “Every year Rs 9,000-10,000 crore more will go to the ex-servicemen. The Modi government has given economic security to them as well the serving personnel who will retire later. BJP hails the prime minister for this,” he said.He, however, declined to take any question. A section of ex-servicemen has objected to the contours of the OROP formulation as announced by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar. In tweets, Shah said the “historic” decision is a “big step for the welfare of soldiers; the real life heroes”. “The decision will go a long way in boosting morale of our soldiers and their families,” he said.

Government approves pricey OROP plan to equalise veterans’ pensions | Reuters

NEW DELHI India approved a long-awaited programme to equalise pension payments for retired military personnel despite it being a “huge fiscal burden,” defence minister Manohar Parrikar said on Saturday.

The programme, known as “One Rank One Pension”, or OROP, will ensure uniform pension payments to ex-servicemen who served at the same rank and for the same amount of time, regardless of the year they retired, among other measures.

Veterans in India have been fighting for reforms to their pension packages for years.

“It is a matter of deep anguish that the various governments remained ambivalent on the issue of OROP,” Parrikar said in a statement at a press conference. “Prime Minister Shri (Narendra) Modi has fulfilled his commitment and approved OROP for Armed Forces personnel.”

Approving the scheme could be a political boon to Modi, whose ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) enjoys broad support in the military.

But the programme, which the government estimates will cost the exchequer between 80 and 100 billion rupees ($1.2-$1.5 billion) and increase over time, may pose another challenge to Modi’s economic targets, including reducing the fiscal deficit to 3.9 percent of gross domestic product by the end of March.

Last month, Modi’s government abandoned a pro-industry land reform which the opposition had said would hurt India’s farmers.

OROP plans to reconcile the rate of payments of current and past pensioners every five years, disappointing some ex-servicemen who wanted the review to happen more frequently.

A major veterans’ group that has been protesting about the issue also objected to the exclusion from the scheme of personnel who voluntarily retired.

“This is not acceptable to us,” said retired major general Satbir Singh, a spokesman for the Indian Ex Servicemen Movement.

On the campaign trail in 2014, Modi slammed the then-ruling Congress Party for delaying OROP’s implementation, according to media reports at the time.

But critics say the current government has also dragged its feet addressing veterans’ concerns.

“(The government) has treated the ex-servicemen in the most cavalier manner,” Congress leader Manish Tewari told television station NDTV on Saturday.

(Writing by Krista Mahr; Editing by Mark Potter)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Congress slams govt over OROP implementation, says it betrays ex-servicemen

New Delhi: Congress on Saturday described key components of government’s announcement of ‘One Rank One Pension’ as a “betrayal” to the cause of ex-servicemen. Former Defence Minister A K Antony charged the government with doing politics over OROP, “substantially diluting” its provisions and “ridiculing” ex-servicemen.

Attacking the government’s decision to keep out of OROP those ex-servicemen who had opted for VRS, he said it was sad because 90 percent of service personnel retire between 35 to 40 years of age, losing lakhs of rupees.

Military veterans who are on hunger strike, being greeted by their family members after the announcement of the implementation of OROP scheme by the government, at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on Saturday. PTIMilitary veterans who are on hunger strike, being greeted by their family members after the announcement of the implementation of OROP scheme by the government, at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on Saturday. PTI

Military veterans who are on hunger strike, being greeted by their family members after the announcement of the implementation of OROP scheme by the government, at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on Saturday. PTI

“There is no comparision of those in Defence forces with those in other services”, Antony told reporters here. Former Union Minister Kapil Sibal said that Congress was
against the provision of revision of pension every five years announced by the government. He also faulted it for not adhering to the equalisation principle.

Antony took exception to Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar‘s remarks that OROP was being implemented for the first time in four decades by his government. “The Defence Minister is doing politics,” he said insisting that UPA government had announced acceptance of OROP last year and had even provided a token amount of Rs 500 crores and constituted an expert committee.

Replying to a question as to what was the estimate of the financial impact of the erstwhile UPA on its acceptance of the OROP demand, Antony merely said that an expert committee was constituted.

Asked whether government’s decision has opened up a Pandora’s box as OROP announcement would lead to demands from other central security forces, Sibal said that the party would react only after the Prime Minister makes his stand clear in the matter.

He steered clear of a question whether Congress would participate in a rally being called by the agitating ex-servicemen in the national capital soon. Both Antony and Sibal targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi recalling that he had promised OROP in toto within 100 days of coming to power.

PTI

OROP announcement: Modi govt becoming a ‘Jumla’ government, says AAP

Singh lashed out at the Bharatiya Janata Party for making false promises before the Lok Sabha elections of 2014.

Aam Aadmi Party would stands by the veterans until their demands are met, says Sanjay Singh (File Photo)

Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Sanjay Singh, said on Saturday that until all the demands of the protesting ex-servicemen were accepted, the Aam Aadmi Party would stand by them. “Until all the demands of the protesting ex-servicemen are accepted, the Aam Aadmi Party would stand by them,” said Singh. Singh also lashed out at the Bharatiya Janata Party for making false promises before the General Elections of 2014. “Before the elections, Modi addressed a rally in Haryana, saying he would implement the long pending One Rank One Pension. The Modi government is becoming a ‘Jumla’ government by the day,” Singh added.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The NDA Government made an announcement regarding the acceptance of the OROP today. But, they accepted only one out of the six points put forward by the protesting war veterans.

Big blow if OROP for ex-servicemen opting VRS denied: Retd Gen Satbir Singh

“We want a clarification on the VRS issue, if they still don’t accept, then it is a big blow to the forces,” he added.

The OROP protest to continue until all their demands are met,

AFP
Following the declaration of the acceptance of the One Rank One Pension (OROP) on Saturday, Major General (retd.) Satbir Singh said that the war veterans were not fully satisfied with it. “We thank the government that they decided to implement OROP, but they have accepted one of our points, and rejected six points. We are not fully satisfied,” said Major General (retd.) Satbir Singh.Government has said that the people opting for voluntary retirement would not fall under OROP. “We want a clarification on the VRS issue, if they still don’t accept, then it is a big blow to the forces,” added Major General (retd.) Satbir Singh. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Talking about the committee that the government would deploy for the implementation of the OROP, Major General (retd.) Satbir Singh said, “We reject one member committee, we want five members of which three would be veterans, one serving servicemen and one would be the choice of the government or the defence minister.”There should be three conditions that the committee must follow. First, the committee would follow the definition of One Rank One Pension in letter and spirit. It should be a pre condition to the scheme. Second being, no defence personnel of a higher rank would receive lower pension than his junior. And the last being, as soon as the pay commission changes, the veterans’ pension would also change,” added Major General (retd.) Satbir Singh.OROP will be implemented from July 1, 2014, the base year would be 2013.

OROP agitation to continue: Veterans welcome implementation, but see devil in details

In a landmark decision, the Narendra Modi government on Saturday decided to implement the One Rank One Pension (OROP) scheme. Addressing a section of the media on Saturday afternoon, Union Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said, “The Government of India respects its defence forces. They display courage and bravery in difficult circumstances. The issue of OROP has been pending for over four decades and the Prime Minister has on many occasions reiterated this government’s commitment to implement OROP.” Parrikar added that the previous government had estimated that implementation of the scheme would cost Rs 500 crore, however the “reality is that OROP scheme would cost 8,000 crore to the exchequer. Therefore, the government has decided to implement the OROP scheme despite huge financial burden.”

Union Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar.Union Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar.

Union Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar.

Veterans demanding the implementation of the One Rank One Pension (OROP) scheme met the defence minister on Saturday. “OROP will be implemented from 1 July, 2014 and the base year for calculating the arrears has been fixed at 2013. Personnel who opt for voluntary retirement will not be covered under the OROP scheme,” Parrikar told the media. “The pension will be re-fixed every five years. A one-member judicial committee will be constituted, and the panel will give reports in six months. Expenditure on arrears alone would be Rs 10,000-12,000 crore.”

Since there are many cases of veterans of the same rank earning different pensions, the government proposed to take the average of the maximum and minimum pensions paid per rank, while protecting those who earn above average pensions in their rank. “All widows, including war widows, will be paid arrears in one installment. Further enhancement in the rate of pensions will be automatically passed to past pensioners, bridging the gap between current and past pensioners,” Parrikar said.

Earlier in the day, Major-General Satbir Singh (retd), who is leading the OROP campaign, had said that the government has agreed to implementing the OROP scheme, however according to him there is still a deadlock on the issue of pension revision period, which is five years. However, after Parrikar’s announcement, General Singh spoke to the media and said that the protesting-servicemen were not happy with government’s proposal. “We will continue to protest. We are not fully satisfied. Out of the six demands that we made, the government has only agreed with one. We want clarification on the premature retirement point in the OROP from the government. We reject the one-member committee. We want five members of which three will be veterans, one will be serving serviceman, and one of their choice. We want a clarification on the VRS issue, if they still don’t accept it, then it is a big blow to the forces.”

According to reports, ex-servicemen have withdrew the hunger strike but added that the agitation will continue.

It is understood that a draft proposal on OROP was circulated at a RSS meeting on Friday which envisaged commencement of the scheme from 1 July, 2014, besides the revision of pensions every five years. According to the draft, the basis for the implementation of the scheme will be 2013, and arrears are to be paid in four instalments.

Satbir-Singh2_OROPSatbir-Singh2_OROP

Major-General Satbir Singh, who is leading the campaign.

The veterans and the government have been negotiating for months now. The Prime Minister’s Office stepped in last month after the protests escalated into a hunger-strike and a few veterans were taken critically sick.

Soldiers were brought, alongside other Central government employees, under the ambit of the Pay Commission in 1983. The following year, a 17-member committee headed by minister of state for defence Kamakhya Prasad Singh Deo submitted a proposal that is credited with carrying the first reference to OROP.

Unfortunately, there has been no movement by the government on the issue since.

Close to 26 lakh retired servicemen and over six lakh war widows stand to be immediate beneficiaries of the scheme, which envisages a uniform pension for the defence personnel who retire in the same rank with the same length of service, irrespective of their date of retirement.

Currently, the pension for retired personnel is based on the Pay Commission recommendations of the time when he or she retired. So, a Major General who retired in 1996 draws less pension than a Lt Colonel who retired after 1996.

With inputs from agencies

Govt has accepted our concept of OROP, VRS issue also solved: General Satbir Singh

New Delhi: Veterans demanding the implementation of the One Rank One Pension (OROP) scheme met Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Saturday and are hoping the government will make an announcement soon.

Representational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

The government has accepted military veterans’ demand for OROP, Major-General Satbir Singh (retd), who is leading the campaign, told striking ex-servicemen at Jantar Mantar.

“The government has accepted our concept of OROP. The issue of VRS has also been solved after our delegation, which met Defence Minister Manohar Parikkar this afternoon, told him that there is no concept of VRS in military. We have something called pre-mature retirement and the government has also accepted it,” he said.

But according to him there is still a deadlock on the issue of pension revision period, which is five years.

The government has proposed that the first revision of will take place after three years of the today’s announcement with Pay Commission. And the subsequent revisions will take place after every five years. But the ex-servicemen say they are not ready to accept this condition.

“We told the defence minister that such revision system will make seniors drawing lesser amount of pension than their juniors. The minister assured us that he will appoint a judge to look into the matter,” he said, adding that their meeting was successful.

He said they will decide their next line of action once the government makes the announcement at around 3 pm.

The defence ministry has called a press conference. However, the subject of the press conference has not been disclosed.

It is understood that a draft proposal on OROP was circulated at a RSS meeting on Friday which envisaged commencement of the scheme from July 2014, besides revision of pension every five years. According to the draft, the basis for the implementation of the scheme will be 2013 and arrears are to be paid in four instalments.

Close to 26 lakh retired servicemen and over six lakh war widows stand to be immediate beneficiaries of the scheme, which envisages a uniform pension for the defence personnel who retire in the same rank with the same length of service, irrespective of their date of retirement.

Currently, the pension for retired personnel is based on the Pay Commission recommendations of the time when he or she retired. So, a Major General who retired in 1996 draws less pension than a Lt Colonel who retired after 1996.

With inputs from Agencies

Veterans will announce decision after Defence Minister Parrikar’s OROP announcement: General Satbir Singh

New Delhi: Veterans demanding the implementation of the One Rank One Pension (OROP) scheme met Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Saturday and are hoping the government will make an announcement soon.

Representational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

“We have conveyed our thoughts to the defence minister, and he will hopefully take them on board before his announcement at 2.30 or 3 pm. We will announce our decision after his statement”, said Major-General Satbir Singh (retd), the adviser of the ex-servicemen’s front. Among the views conveyed was that any committee deliberating on OROP must include ex-servicemen. Another issue raised was that of voluntary retirement.

Major-General Singh told reporters that the OROP scheme should be applicable to all retired officers, following reports that it will not be for those who take voluntary retirement.

“We heard that those ex-servicemen who took VRS will not be given the OROP. This is totally unacceptable,” he had said

“We have some minor differences. A meeting with defence minister is underway. The picture will be clear soon,” Atul Dubey, a volunteer with the the ex-servicemen’s front, had told IANS during the meeting.

Saturday is the 82nd day of the agitation.

The defence ministry has called a press conference at 2.30 p.m. However, the subject of the press conference has not been disclosed.

With inputs from IANS

Government likely to announce One Rank One Pension today

The government has been facing criticism after its determination to stick to its position on a five-year reset clause, while the military veterans are insisting the pensions be revised at least once every two years.

File Picture

The long awaited announcement on the One Rank, One Pension (OROP) scheme is likely to be made today by the Narendra Modi led- NDA Government.The government has been facing criticism after its determination to stick to its position on a five-year reset clause, while the military veterans are insisting the pensions be revised at least once every two years.The ex-servicemen had originally demanded an annual adjustment. The OROP scheme has been a long-standing demand of nearly three million ex-servicemen and war widows in the country. Defence Ministry has called a press conference at 2.30 PM today where the announcement is likely to be made. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The ex-servicemen protesting for the implementation of One Rank, One Pension (OROP) scheme on Saturday said that they won’t accept the government’s decision if the United Board of Ex-servicemen is not taken into confidence. “If any decision is taken without taking us into confidence, then it will not be accepted,” one of the protestors Colonel (Retd) Rajeev told ANI. “If the government is sticking to its five-year reset clause, then it is very unfortunate. The five-year scheme doesn’t go with the parliamentary definition of OROP. It is not One Rank, One Pension, it is One Rank, Five Pension,” he added. Another ex-servicemen Uday Singh further added, “Still can’t trust government, if our concerns are not met then our dharna will continue.”BJP President Amit Shah is scheduled to brief the party spokespersons at 1PM on OROP.

OROP announcement at 3 pm: Govt readies draft proposal, veterans warn against dilution

New Delhi: With the government appearing to be ready with draft One Rank, One Pension (OROP) proposal, India’s military veterans said on Friday said they would scale up their agitation if the government’s version diluted their demands.

According to media reports, the Narendra Modi government has an OROP draft ready, and an announcement from the government is expected at 3 pm on Saturday. Ex-servicemen began their protest in the capital demanding the implementation of OROP in June. Some have been on an indefinite fast since 17 August. Relay hunger strikes in solidarity are being observed in some 60 cities.

Before making any announcement however, the government is likely to brief President Pranab Mukherjee — to whom veterans had written recently, requesting his intervention in the issue.

Representational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

On Friday, RSS joint general secretary Dattatreya Hosabele also said that they have been informed by Bharatiya Janata Party president Amit Shah that the scheme will be worked out soon.

Informed sources said the government is under pressure over the OROP scheme in the light of the veterans’ protest for its implementation entering its 82nd day and the approaching Bihar Assembly polls, and thus, it may soon announce the scheme.

The veterans however said whatever they have heard of the government’s version of the scheme so far is not acceptable to them and nothing has been conveyed to them officially.

“We will intensify our agitation if OROP is not in conformity with what we are asking,” said Major-General Satbir Singh (retd), chairman of the Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement, but added they were willing to make minor concessions.

In an interview to IANS, the retired soldier said they had high hopes from the government but were totally disappointed.

“We took Modi and his assurances at face value. They were not expecting 280 seats in the Lok Sabha. They got it because of the support of soldiers. Soldiers are the opinion makers in villages. We are totally disappointed,” he said.

Meanwhile, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the ideological mentor of ruling BJP, said they have been assured that OROP will be worked out soon.

“We have been told by Amit Shah that OROP will be worked out soon,” Hosabele told reporters here.

Sources said some mediators from the government’s side have approached the ex-servicemen and offered to arrange a meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi but the veterans said they first wanted information about the government’s stand before meeting the prime minister.

What is the issue?

The government’s version of the OROP apparently takes 2013 as a base year, and July 2014 as date of implementation, along with provision for review every five years.

This is, however, not acceptable to veterans, who say July 2014 as date of implementation can be acceptable only when base year is 2014 as well. They also object to revision after five years, and say they can, at the most, agree to a review every two years.

Even this would mean that 11 percent of the seniors, who have retired, would get lower pension than their juniors for a year, they said.

A key demand of the ex-servicemen is that juniors should not get higher pension than the seniors any time.

Another offer made by the veterans is of four revisions between two successive Pay Commissions, which is 10 years, and then in the 10th year, a review by the commission.

With inputs from Agencies

Demystifying the OROP riddle: Here is why the govt is dragging its feet

It may seem strange but it is true that all the brouhaha about One Rank One Pension (OROP) did not exist until 1973 when then prime minister Indira Gandhi discontinued the OROP architecture with the publishing of the Third Pay Commission report. The issue has snowballed since then.

OROP has been a simmering pot for the last four decades. In hindsight, it could be said that Indira Gandhi is the mother of the OROP controversy, which has dogged subsequent governments over the past 40 years, and has reached a flashpoint under the Narendra Modi government.

Representational image. AFP

Representational image. AFP

Essentially, OROP is a demand by ex-servicemen for a parity of pension that will do away with the present system, in which a soldier who retires more recently draws a larger pension than one who retired earlier. At the heart of the problem is the fact that even if their ranks and lengths of service happen to be the same, a soldier’s pension is determined by the last salary drawn.

The issue has escalated because of the sheer number of ex-servicemen, which is around 2.8 million. And this number has been swelling year after year.

Under OROP, ex-servicemen are demanding that no matter when an officer or jawan retires, they should get the same pension. So whether an officer retired in 1973 or 2000, his pension should be the same as the one received by an officer of the same rank who retired in 2010. Currently, officers who have served at least 20 years in the military get 50 percent of their last salary before retirement, as pension.

This has accentuated the pension controversy in the case of ex-servicemen because almost 98 percent of India’s soldiers retire before the age of 54 years, and among them 85 percent compulsorily retire between 35 and 37 years of age. The more fortunate ones who retire between the age of 40 and 54 years constitute 12 to 13 percent of soldiers.

This is in stark contrast to civilian government employees who retire at the age of 60.

Ex-servicemen say that they have no problem with their pension structure if they too were to retire at the age of 60, like their civilian counterparts do. Since this is not the case, they want their pension structure to be rationalised.

This also means that while a civilian government servant sees three to four Pay Commissions during his or her service tenure, an armed services employee doesn’t have that luxury and he gets to see one or at the most, two Pay Commissions.

The implication is obvious: A civilian, who retires at the age of 60, draws far more pension than his armed services counterpart, who retires much earlier. This is because the pension is calculated on the basis of the last pay drawn.

The fact that the group of ex-servicemen is 2.8 million-strong means that this section is a huge vote bank for political parties. But ironically, nothing has been done to assuage their hurt sentiments over the past four decades.

The OROP issue became a major controversy in 2008, when the Sixth Pay Commission formally rejected the demand.

By the time the 2014 General Elections were held, the OROP issue had become full-blown, and the two major political parties, the Congress and the BJP wooed the electorally significant chunk of ex-servicemen and their families, amounting to ten million voters.

The outgoing Congress government had rocked the OROP boat by allocating Rs 500 crore in its interim budget of 2014.

The current government has been dragging its feet over the demand as implementing OROP will cost at least an estimated Rs 8,300 crore annually and the figure will inevitably rise year after year.

As a result, ex-servicemen are getting increasingly disenchanted with the Modi government and have accused it of “constantly shifting goalposts” and not coming out with any “concrete proposal” to resolve the issue. The veterans have been insisting on pegging the base year at 2013-14 with an implementation date of 1 April, 2014.

On 31 August, 2015, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley ruled out annual revisions of pension, and said that annual revisions in pensions do not take place anywhere in the world. But he also said that the government will safeguard interests of soldiers retiring at an early age through higher pensions. In his first full budget in 2014, Jaitley had allotted Rs 1,000 crore for the implementation of OROP — double the amount allotted by the previous UPA government.

However, there is a flipside and the government is painfully aware of it. The day the demands of the ex-servicemen are met, the government will inevitably be carpet-bombed by similar demands from others in paramilitary forces.

This will obviously open up the proverbial Pandora’s Box.

Ex-servicemen threaten to intensify agitation, as govt drags feet on OROP scheme

New Delhi: Ex-servicemen seeking immediate implementation of OROP threatened on Friday to intensify their agitation if their demands were not met.

Saying the government was planning to make a unilateral announcement of One Rank One Pension, Major General Satbir Singh (retired) said they would not allow the government to dilute the OROP’s provisions.

Image courtesy: FirstpostImage courtesy: Firstpost

Image courtesy: Firstpost

Addressing retired soldiers at the Jantar Mantar protest venue, Satbir Singh said they were fighting against “injustice” and were not against any government or political party.

He pointed out that unlike civil servants, only one percent of military personnel serve up to the age of 60 and that 85 percent retire before the age of 40.

“We will intensify our agitation if OROP is not in conformity with what we are asking,” Satbir Singh said, adding that they were, however, willing to make minor concessions.

“If any announcement (by the government) is against our interests, we will oppose it,” he added.

Satbir Singh described the Jantar Mantar protest site in the heart of the national capital as a “Sainik parliament”.

As he spoke, hundreds of former soldiers repeatedly raised slogans like “Bharat Mata ki Jai” and “Sainik Ekta Zindabad!”

IANS

Women here to stay: HC allows permanent commission for women in Navy

New Delhi: In a major relief for women naval officers, Delhi High Court on Friday allowed a bunch of pleas seeking permanent commission for them in the force, saying “sexist bias and service bias” would not be allowed to block progress of women.

Representational image. AFP

Representational image. AFP

The court, while granting their plea, said the “women are here to stay” and since they “work shoulder to shoulder” with their male counterparts, it would “frown upon any endeavour to restrain the progress of women”.

While the Army and Air Force allow permanent commission for women, the Navy has limited women officers only to short service commission of 14 years.

A bench of justices Kailash Gambhir and Najmi Waziri also allowed the women naval officers’ plea seeking retirement benefits like pension.

Women naval officers were not eligible for pension as it required 20 years of service.

The order came on the plea of several naval women officers, both retired and serving, from the logistics, education and air traffic control departments of the Navy.

The women naval officers in their pleas in the high court had sought similar rights as their counterparts in the other two wings of the armed forces.

They had also alleged gender discrimination, saying while women officers were only entitled to short service commission, men were entitled to both short service as well as permanent commissions.

PTI

OROP protest: Sought appointment with Modi 5 times but received no response, claim ex-servicemen

Ex-servicemen agitating for implementation of ‘One Rank, One Pension (OROP)’ today claimed they had sought an appointment with Prime Minister Narendra Modi five times in last one year but received no response, and reiterated their demand for an audience with him.

OROP protest

PTI photo
Ex-servicemen agitating for implementation of ‘One Rank, One Pension (OROP)’ today claimed they had sought an appointment with Prime Minister Narendra Modi five times in last one year but received no response, and reiterated their demand for an audience with him.The veterans said they had two meetings with Nripendra Misra, Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister, in a fortnight, but there was neither any tangible result from the discussion nor was there anything on paper.”We want an audience with the Prime Minister. We have full faith in him and we are sure we can explain to him the issue. After hearing us out, he will not only resolve our problem, but also grant us more than what we are demanding now,” Maj Gen (retd) Satbir Singh, Chairman of the Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement, said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He said after the intervention by the PMO around a fortnight back, they have had two meetings with Principal Secretary.”We have had negotiations with the Principal Secretary twice in last fortnight. But there was nothing concrete in what he offered. Nothing was on paper.”We have also met the Raksha Mantri (defence minister Manohar Parrikar) thrice in last two months. He seemed to be very affirmative,” said Wing Commander (retd) G K Sharma.Singh said the deadlock over the OROP persists and none of the differences have been “ironed out.” The protest of the ex-servicemen entered 82nd day even as 13 veterans have sat on fast-unto-death since August 16.Meanwhile, Keshav Singh of the Armoured Regiment was rushed to Army’s Research and Referral Hospital on Friday after his health started deteriorating. He was sitting on fast unto-death at the protesting hot-spot from August 27.

Modi government all set to announce OROP in 2-3 days: Reports

The major hurdle still seems to be veterans sticking to their demand of yearly revision of the pension.

The Modi government is all set to announce One Rank One Pension (OROP) for the ex-army men in next 2-3 days, reports news agency ANI. The government is in a hurry to announce the dates as it would not be able to do so once the dates of the Bihar assembly elections are announced by Election Commission. The ex servicemen are have been sitting in agitation at Jantar Mantar in Delhi for past 82 days, demanding speedy implementation of OROP as promised by the Narendra Modi government.However there are several roadblocks still in the way of the government. According to NDTV, veterans may reject the draft proposal, terming it unilateral. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The government, according to media reports, has decided to use 2013 as the base period and money will be paid from July 2014. The arrears are likely to be paid in four instalments spread over two years. In total, the government will need around Rs.8,000-10,000 crore as of now to implement the OROP. But the major hurdle still seems to be veterans sticking to their demand of yearly revision of the pension. The government is determined not to concede ground on this issue and wants the pension to be revised every five years. However, even on Friday, veterans have refused the formula calling it ‘one rank five pension’.Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Independence Day had promised that OROP will be implemented soon. The veterans have accused Finance Minister Arun Jaitley of creating hurdles in the implementation of OROP. OROP scheme ensures that ex-serviceman who have retired with the same rank will get the same pension irrespective of their year of retirement.

RSS asks NDA govt to take a decision on OROP as soon as possible: Reports

According to sources, RSS is of the opinion that a commission should be formed to solve controversial sides of matter.

Ex-servicemen during the agitation for One Rank One Pension (OROP) at Jantar Mantar, in New Delhi.
File Photo
PTI photo
Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangha (RSS) on Wednesday after their meeting with the BJP leaders said that the NDA Government should take a decision on One Rank, One Pension (OROP) as soon as possible.According to sources, RSS is of the opinion that a commission should be formed to solve controversial sides of matter. Earlier on Wednesday, Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Finance Minister Arun Jaitely, BJP President Amit Shah, Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu were in the RSS-BJP coordination committee meeting with RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad’s Working President Praveen Togadiya.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>OROP scheme has been a long-standing demand of nearly three-million ex-servicemen and war widows in the country. It seeks to ensure that a uniform pension is paid to defence personnel, who retire at the same rank with the same length of service irrespective of their date of retirement.

Arun Jaitley lacks understanding of OROP issue: Ex-servicemen

Yesterday, Jaitley had virtually ruled out annual revision of pension under OROP.

Arun Jaitley has never understood the OROP issue: Satbir Singh

AFP
Expressing “anguish” at Arun Jaitley’s remarks that annual revision of pension under ‘One Rank, One Pension’ (OROP) scheme was not possible, the agitating ex-servicemen today said the Union Finance Minister made such comment due to lack of understanding of the issue. Meanwhile, as the agitation reached 79th day on Tuesday, one more ex-serviceman, who has been on fast-unto-death since yesterday, had to be rushed to the hospital. “It seems that Mr Jaitley has no knowledge about the issue. I dare say, if he wants to understand the issue, I can explain it to him. He has never understood the issue because of which he has made this statement,” Major Gen (retd) Satbir Singh said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Yesterday, Jaitley had virtually ruled out annual revision of pension under OROP. To this, the veterans had yesterday said they were ready for biennial revision. “I have my own formula on what OROP means. Somebody else may have their own formula on OROP but it has to be within reasonable and rational criteria. You can’t have an OROP where pensions are revised every month or every year,” Jaitley had said.Reacting to Jaitley’s comments, Singh said, “We are very sad and feel anguished with his statement.” As the agitation at Jantar Mantar here reached 79th day, Havladar (retd) Ram Niwas Yadav of the Medium ART was rushed to the hospital after his blood pressure dipped. Yadav, who joined the protest yesterday, was taken to the Army Research & Referral Hospital. Until now, 12 persons have participated in the fast-unto-death protest.

Centre releases Rs 2,000 crore for Employees’ Pension Scheme

The contribution of central government is calculated at a rate of 1.16 per cent of the monthly wages of the members contributing to the scheme.

Centre has released Rs 2,000 crore to Employees’ Pension Scheme as its contribution for the year 2015-16, Minister of State for Labour and Employment Bandaru Dattatreya said on Monday.This contribution is in addition to the Rs 250 crore contributed by the government as grant-in-aid in the Employees’ Pension Scheme, 1995 for providing minimum pension of Rs 1,000 to pensioners under the scheme, the Minister said in a statement.The contribution of central government is calculated at a rate of 1.16 per cent of the monthly wages of the members contributing to the scheme. It is in addition to the contribution made by employers covered under the Act. Employers contribute 8.33 per cent of the monthly wages of the scheme members.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Since last September, EPS pensioners have been assured of a guaranteed minimum pension of Rs 1,000 per month and it has been necessary to infuse additional amount as grants-in-aid by the Centre to sustain the continuance of the minimum pension.

Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan has failed, says OROP supporting bikers group

We are the Harley Owners Group in Delhi. We are a 1000-plus community. We all feel for this cause and that is why we are here. If need be, we will make riding to Jantar Mantar a regular affair, added a biker.

The Bikers Group of Delhi on Sunday, came out in support of the ex-servicemen’s protest for the One Rank One Pension scheme.We want the government to know that our ex-servicemen are not alone. The nation is with them. We will not let our veterans suffer alone, said the group’s leader.We are the Harley Owners Group in Delhi. We are a 1000-plus community. We all feel for this cause and that is why we are here. If need be, we will make riding to Jantar Mantar a regular affair, added a biker.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Another biker said how the country which is based on the Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan slogan, has failed to live by it time and again. Both the farmer and the soldier have to come on the streets for getting their share of justice.The OROP protest is being spearheaded by the Indian Ex-servicemen’s Movement (IESM), which represents nearly three million ex-servicemen.

OROP deadlock to end? Manohar Parrikar hints at govt’s approval of scheme

“The Prime Minister Office is personally taking interest in this issue. It will be sorted out soon,” he said.

Even as Parrikar hints at OROP issue resolution, veterans continued their protest for specific demands

File Photo
Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Friday hinted at the possibility of the government approving the One Rank-One Pension scheme for retired armed forces personnel. In principal the Prime Minister had approved it on the fifteenth of the month, Parrikar said.He also asked the protesting ex-servicemen to give the government some time to finalise it. “The Prime Minister Office is personally taking interest in this issue. It will be sorted out soon,” he added. However, the army veterans have said that the protest will gain strength but added that they will wait for a few days for PM Modi to call them for a meeting.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Deadlock persisted over the ‘One Rank One Pension’ row as the protesting ex-servicemen had a few days ago rejected government’s formula for its implementation saying an attempt was being made to “short change” them. “Government is hell bent on short changing. There are only three points of contention,” a key functionary of the ex-servicemen community said. The government wants 2011 to be the base year besides no three per cent annual increase, he said, adding it also wants payment to begin from April 1, 2015 as against the agreed date of April 1, 2014. “We have rejected the proposal. Escalation of our protest in expected. The complicated arithmetic will mean reduced payout,” he said. With PTI inputs

PM will make announcement on OROP ‘as and when time comes’, says Defence Min Parrikar

Kutch (Guj): Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Friday said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will make an announcement on the implementation of ‘One Rank One Pension’ policy for ex-servicemen “as and when time comes”.

Image courtesy: ibnliveImage courtesy: ibnlive

Image courtesy: ibnlive

“Prime Minister Narendra Modi had spoken about One Rank One Pension in his speech on August 15. He will take a decision and will announce as and when time comes,” Parrikar told reporters after attending inauguration of a war memorial.

The ex-servicemen have been protesting against the delay in the implementation of OROP at Jantar Mantar at New Delhi. Close to 22 lakh retired servicemen and over six lakh war widows stand to be the immediate beneficiaries of the OROP, which envisages a uniform pension for the defence personnel who retire in the same rank with the same length of service irrespective of their date of retirement.

On a query whether the Director General of Military Operations (DGMO)-level talks between India and Pakistan will take place as the NSA talks had been called off, Parrikar did not give a specific answer.

DGMO-level talks and NSA talks were two different issues and former are routine, he said.

PTI

OROP: Ex-servicemen to meet Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar

With no breakthrough over OROP seen till now, army veterans will meet the Defence minister on Thursday night.

File Photo
In a fresh bid to break the One Rank One Pension impasse, representatives of ex-servicemen will be meeting Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Thursday night. Defence sources said the meeting will take place in the minister’s office in South Block to thrash out the differences.Deadlock persisted over the ‘One Rank One Pension’ row as the protesting ex-servicemen today rejected government’s formula for its implementation saying an attempt was being made to “short change” them. “Government is hell bent on short changing. There are only three points of contention,” a key functionary of the ex-servicemen community said. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Meanwhile, the health condition of Major (Retd) Pyar Chand and retired Halavdar Sahib Singh who are in a fast-unto-death for OROP demand has deteriorated, reports NDTVOROP scheme has been a long-standing demand of nearly three-million ex-servicemen and war widows in the country.It seeks to ensure that a uniform pension is paid to defence personnel, who retire at the same rank with the same length of service irrespective of their date of retirement.With agency inputs

One rank one pension row: Deadlock continues, talks fall through

The key differences between the protesters and govt offer are the year of implementation and the fact that the govt wants to take 2011 as the base year

Widows of retired army soldiers participate in hunger strike on Wednesday

AP
Any hope of a timely solution fell through as the ex-servicemen demonstrating at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi rejected the government’s revised One Rank One Pension proposal. Reports emerged soon after talks between the representatives of the protesters, led by Maj Gen Satbir Singh (retd), chairman of the Indian Ex-Servicemen Front, and army chief General Dalbir Singh did not lead to the hoped for breakthrough.On the 73rd day of the protest and the 11th day of the fast-unto death undertaken by now a total of eight former defense personnel, the protesters rejected the government proposal of implementing the scheme from 2015 instead of 2014. Two of the men on fast joined on Wednesday itself, while two men have already been hospitalised for deteriorating health. Though they are stable now, their fast continues.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>It seems unlikely now that talks of the Prime Minister announcing the implementation of OROP on 28 August, the 50th anniversary of the 1965 war, will come to fruition. The key differences between the protesters’ demands and the government offer are the year of implementation and the fact that the government wants to take 2011 as the base year and leave out the three per cent annual increase. This formula will reduce the amount of money that has to go into OROP, a scheme that will benefit 22 lakh retired servicemen and over six lakh war widows.The PM is being held directly accountable for the failure to so far implement the scheme, by the protestors. His previous promises given during his election rallies are being brought up time and again. The ex-servicemen on protest have long said that their support during elections helped the government come to power. Inability to resolve this issue could have dire consequences for the central government, even though questions of the large sums of money needed for the scheme are being routinely raised.The protest meanwhile seems all set to intensify further, as the men and their families sitting in Jantar Mantar seem determined to go on. Post the talks with the government representatives falling through, leaders of the protest were seen secreted away in huddles, figuring out the way forward.

I have full faith in PM Modi, OROP will soon be implemented, says VK Singh

OROP scheme has been a long-standing demand of nearly three-million ex-servicemen and war widows in the country.
File Photo
dna Research & Archives
Minister of State for External Affairs General (Retired) VK Singh on Wednesday said that he has full faith that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will soon implement One Rank, One Pension (OROP) scheme.’Prime Minister has said that he has taken oath under our national flag that OROP will be implemented. So, I am sure OROP will soon come into practice,” Singh told the media.OROP scheme has been a long-standing demand of nearly three-million ex-servicemen and war widows in the country. It seeks to ensure that a uniform pension is paid to defence personnel, who retire at the same rank with the same length of service irrespective of their date of retirement.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

OROP protest set to escalate as back channel talks fail

We have rejected the proposal. Escalation of our protest in expected: Ex-servicemen

OROP protest (File Photo)

A final solution to the ‘One Rank One Pension’ row remained out of reach despite hectic back channel talks, as the protesting ex-servicemen on Wednesday rejected government’s formula saying an attempt was being made to “short change” them. “Government is hell bent on short changing. There are only three points of contention,” a source here said.Sources said that the government wants 2011 to be the base year besides no 3% annual increase. The government also wants payment to begin from April 1, 2015 as against the agreed date of April 1, 2014. “We have rejected the proposal. Escalation of our protest in expected. The complicated arithmetic will mean reduced payout,” source in the ex-servicemen movement said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The development came after a nearly two-hour long meeting was held between representatives of ex-servicemen and Army chief Gen Dalbir Singh Suhag. Government sources have now said that in the wake of these differences, an announcement on OROP in the next few days is unlikely.It was speculated that the government might announce OROP on August 28, the 50th anniversary of 1965 war with Pakistan. This comes even as six Army veterans are on fast-unto-death and two of them are currently in hospital.The Army veterans currently on fast-unto-death are Colonel Pushpender Singh, Havaldar Major Singh, Havaldar Sahib Singh, Havaldar Ashok Chauhan, Major Piar Chand and Naik Uday Singh. Close to 22 lakh retired servicemen and over six lakh war widows stand to be the immediate beneficiaries of the scheme, which envisages a uniform pension for the defence personnel who retire in the same rank with the same length of service, irrespective of their date of retirement.Currently, the pension for retired personnel is based on the Pay Commission recommendations of the time when he or she retired. So, a Major General who retired in 1996 draws less pension than a Lieutenant Colonel who retired after 1996.

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