Monday, May 25, 2015

All about One Rank One Pension Scheme for Ex-servicemen


New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to announce implementation of the one rank one pension (OROP) scheme concerning ex-servicemen at his rally in Mathura on Monday to mark one year of his government.

Defence ministry sources on Sunday said modalities relating to the long-pending demand of ex-servicemen have been thrashed out. They said the prime minister could make an announcement about OROP at the rally in Mathura to mark one year of the National Democratic Alliance government. [Read at Zee News  ]

Before this One-rank, one-pension issue: Rahul Gandhi meets ex-servicemen

NEW DELHI: May 23, 2015 Attacking the government over non-implementation of 'one-rank, one-pension' scheme, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Saturday said he will "pressurise" the Centre to act on the issue at the earliest.

After meeting a delegation from the ex-servicemen cell of the party, Gandhi said the UPA government had made provisions for the scheme and had even allocated money but the Narendra Modi government failed to implement the scheme.

"One year has passed of the NDA government, of the Modi government and it has not proceeded ahead with the issue. They (ex servicemen) had knocked the doors of the government, but nothing materialised. Army, Navy, Air Force take care of the nation, secure our borders, their demands should be met.  [Read at Times of India  ]

After the political pressure made by Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi the Hon'ble Finance Minister Arun Jetly said 'One rank, one pension plan still being worked out'

New Delhi, May 22, 2015: The issue over one-rank-one-pension (OROP) scheme may not be resolved in the near future as Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Friday said the “methodology of calculation” was still being worked out in consultation with the Defence Ministry.

Asserting the government’s commitment towards implementing the OROP, Jaitley said the Finance Ministry was in dialogue with the Defence Ministry on the methodology of calculation, hinting at no immediate resolution of the complicated issue.[Read at Deccan Herald  ]

Journey of One Rank One Pension Scheme

Where is the One Rank One Pension Scheme? - 
The only one question is on all Ex-servicemen's mouth when the government will approve the OROP.  All hopes will move on PM's Mathura Rally as mentioned above.  The journey of One Rank One Pension Scheme started by the approval of committee [as mentioned below] and it is still in media only the journey will complete with the black and white order by govt.  In following paras the journey of OROP is described in breif:- 

What is One Rank One Pension?
The One Rank One Pay scheme implies that uniform pension be paid to the armed forces personnel retiring in the same rank with the same length of service irrespective of their date of retirement, and any future enhancement in the rates of pension be automatically passed on to past pensioners.

Committee, Panel and its recommendations: - 
Though the demand for One Rank One Pension (OROP) has been considered by various Committees in the past but it has not been found feasible to accept it. However, keeping in mind the spirit of the demand a Committee was set up under the Chairmanship of Cabinet Secretary to look into the issue of OROP and other related matters, which submitted its report on 30.6.2009. The Committee made seven recommendations to substantially improve pensionary benefits of Personnel Below Officer Rank (PBOR) and Commissioned Officers, which have been accepted by the Government. Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare, Ministry of Defence has accordingly issued orders in implementation of the same vide Government letters dated 30.10.2009, 19.1.2010, 20.1.2010 & 8.3.2010 which are also available on www.pcdapension.nic.in. These orders have substantially increased the pension of pre 2006 retirees. [PIB News dated 03rd Aug, 2011]

The Committee on Petitions of Rajya Sabha under the Chairmanship of Shri Bhagat Singh Koshyari, MP, presented its Hundred and Forty-second Report to the Rajya Sabha on 19th December, 2011 on the petition praying for grant of one rank one pension to the armed forces personnel. [Click here to view]

Following are the important recommendations of the Committee:-

4.1 The Committee has taken note of the fact that a sum of Rs.1300 crores is the total financial liability for the year 2011-12 in case OROP is implemented fully for all the defence personnel in the country across the board. The Committee was informed that out of this, 1065 crores would go to retirees belonging to Post Below Officer Ranks (PBOR) while the Commissioned Officers would be getting the remaining i.e. 235 crores. The Committee felt that 1300 crores is not a very big amount for a country of our size and economy for meeting the long pending demand of the armed forces of the country. The Committee understand that this 1300 crores is the expenditure for one year which might increase at the rate of 10 percent annually. Even if it is so, the Committee does not consider this amount to be high, keeping in view the objective for which it would be spent.
(Para 11 of the Report) 

4.2 The Committee was not convinced with the version of the Ministry of Finance that the grant of OROP to the defence personnel would eventually generate similar requests from the civilian work force of the country under the Central Government and the State Governments. The Committee feels so because of the quite different terms and conditions of service of the two different categories of employments. The terms and conditions of armed forces are tougher and harsher than the civilian Government employee. On the issue of returning of service medals by the defence personnel of our country to the President of India in view of the Governments' apathetic attitude towards their demand of grant of OROP, the Committee was of the view that our defence personnel should not feel alienated to this extent again and they are not forced to surrender their hard earned service medals in this manner to exhibit their discontent with the government policies.
(Para 11.2 of the Report) 

4.3 The Committee also felt that the decision of the Government to bring our defence personnel on the pattern of the civilians with regard to their pay, pension, etc. (from Third Central Pay Commission onwards) is not a considered decision which has caused hardship to the defence personnel and has given birth to their demand for OROP. The Committee understand that before the Third Central Pay Commission, the defence personnel were getting their pay / pension on the basis of separate criteria unconnected with the criteria devised for the civilian work force. That criteria acknowledged and covered the concept of OROP which has been given up after the Third Central Pay Commission.
(Para 11.4 of the Report)

Again by Cabinet Secretariat vide his Order dated 13-July-2013 the Government has decided to constitute a Committee, under the chairpersonship of Cabinet Secretary, to look into pay and pension related issues of relevance to defence services personnel and ex-servicemen.  The One Rank One Pension was included in terms of Reference of the Committee with other issues of Defence Personnel & Ex-servicemen.  The committee was asked to submit the report to Prime Minister by 8th August, 2012 [within the time of less than one month]. Click here to view

In this meeting the committee had arrived that according to calculations done by the military, the annual outgo for granting One -Rank-One-Pension to the approximately 21 lakh ex-servicemen would not be more than Rs. 1300 crore.  Read the outcome of meeting  

Approval of One Rank One Pension: In the line of correct the anomalies and pension parity created by previous Pay commissions the govt on 24-09-2012 approved a pension plan of Rs 2,300 crore for ex- Armed forces personnel under the ‘One Rank One Pension’ scheme.  Actually this was the enhancement of the amount of Minimum Pension fixed by the Sixth Pay Commission was to be approved by 01.01.2006.  An another struggle was started to get the arrears of pensionery benefit from 01.01.2006 instead of the date of approval i.e. 24.09.2012 and after the Hon'ble Supreme Court judgement the pre-2006 pensioner are still waiting for this.  On the time of approval of 2,300 crore the govt. said that UPA Government on two previous occasions has taken decisions to narrow the gap between the present and past pensioners, particularly those belonging to the ranks of JCOs and Other Ranks.  [Click here to view what the govt was approved on 24-09-2012 ]

As expected the Ex-servicemen Welfare Association had showed their dissatisfaction on above approval and termed it an ‘eyewash’ and a feeble attempt at “rectification” of a fault dating back to 2006. "It is deceiving. Government has wrongly interpreted the term 'One Rank One Pension' (OROP). They have not given OROP, instead they have just merely made an enhancement in pension," Chairman Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement (IESM) retired Lt Gen Raj Kadyan told PTI [Click here to read full article on dissatisfaction of Ex-servicemen with the Version of BJP who was in opposition at that time

And the orders regarding approval on 24-09-2012 was on the floor Click to view collection of orders on One Rank One Pension  .  After issue of these orders govt. had clarified that Government has always been sensitive to the demand for One Rank One Pension. Keeping in view the spirit of the demand, several Commissions/Committees have gone into the matter.  All the recommendations of the Committee have been implemented by issue of Government letters on 17.01.2013. [click here to view One Rank One Pension: Status of Implementation ]

After this approval the following major improvement was seen in this matter:-

1. Govt. has denied Defence Personnel due in Pension & Rank Pay in spite of several Court Judgement [Click to view]


3. The Government has accepted the principle of ‘one rank one pension’ for the defence forces and has allocated Rs. 500 crore for the Interim Budget 2014-15 by UPA Govt.


5. Grant of pensionary benefits from 01-01-2006: Govt's curative petition dismissed by Supreme Court


7. In Budget 2014-15 the Union Finance Minister Shri Arun Jaitley also proposed a further sum of Rs 1,000 crore to address the pension disparities while implementing the policy of “one rank one pension” for soldiers. Click to view


In place of phrase "narrow the gap in pension" a new word "modalities" being used by govt. for One Rank One Pension
9. OROP will be implemented once the modalities are approved – "The principle of One Rank One Pension for the Armed Forces has been accepted by the Government. The modalities for implementation were discussed with various stakeholders and are presently under consideration of the Government." Govt Statement in Rajya Sabha on 15-11-2014 Click here to view

10. One Rank One Pension promise in peril? - Times of India Article


12. Parrikar Asks MoD Officials to Evolve A Policy for Reducing Court Cases on Pensions

After this only promise and future dates on dates given for approval of One Rank One Pension Scheme:-
13. On 27-12-2014 ‘One rank, one pension’ scheme before next Budget: Parrikar View

14. Government will keep its promise of one rank, one pension: Union minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore on 13-01-2015 View


16. One Rank, One Pension proposal this week - अगले हफ्ते होगा 'वन रैंक वन पेंशन' पर निर्णय 01st Feb, 2015 Click to View

17. Achchey Din For Retired Faujis - "वन रैंक, वन पेंशन" की घोषणा अगले सप्ताह 17 Feb, 2015 Click to View

18. Withdraw the privileges of MP & MLA and utilize the money for One Rank One Pension: Tarun Vijay, MP BJP Click to View

19. Meeting of IESM Delegation with RM Sh Manohar Parrikar on 2 Mar 2015 Click to View

20. Promise of One Rank One Pension fulfilled in Budget: Chairman IESM Click to View

21. One rank-one pension by April-end, Army chief says Click to View

22. One Rank One Pension: Modalities will finalized by 1st week of April, 2015 & 1st Payment on 1st week of May, 2015, arrears in 4 equal installments: Defence Minister Assured in NEXCC meeting Click to View

23. OROP already finalised, prepared properly, involves an amount 8,000 crore approx: Parrikar Click to View

24. One rank One pension - Shadow of A Promise Click to View

25. NExCC meeting with Defence Minister: One Rank One Pension required a second approval from Parliament Click to View

26. Non-implementation of One Rank One Pension: Parlimentary panel slams govt Click to View

27. 8th May 2015 One Rank One Pension: News by Live Hindustan in Hindi - Big announcement soon and Complete OROP in 7th CPC Click to View

28. Narendra Modi may announce one-rank one-pension later this month - Rao Inderjit Singh 05-20-2015 Click to View

Conclusion
At the time of writing this article, eagerly waiting for sharing the news about approval of One Rank One Pension Scheme for our real national heroes Ex-servicemen.  In last the comment of Shri Harsh Vardhan  on our Facebook Page   

"I will believe it when my bank says the amount is in my acct. Till then I don't even want to dream about it." 

(Source- CG Employees news blog)

Delay in OROP Decision by a Govt that is advertising speedy decisions? No Funds??

Quote “The issue over one rank one pension (OROP) scheme may not be resolved in the near future as Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Friday said the ‘methodology of calculation’ was still being worked out in consultation with the Defence Ministry.” Asserting the government’s commitment towards implementing OROP, Jaitley said the Finance Ministry was in dialogue with the Defence Ministry on the methodology of calculation, hinting at no immediate resolution of the complicated issue” Unquote


[Source: Deccan Herald, Bangalore edition, Page 13, Saturday, 23 May 2015.] 

Just going back 21 months ...

The much reviled UPA Govt constituted a Cabinet Secretary (the same gentleman who is functioning in the same post in the present Govt) Committee vide orders dated 9th July 2012 and amended on 12th July 2012 to examine anomalies in pay, pension and allowances related to the Defence Forces. The Committee submitted its report in late August 2012.

PCDA (P) in the reviled UPA regime issued the Minimum Guaranteed Pensions for retired officers vide Circular No. 500 (13 pages of which 6 pages were tables), and Improvement of Pensions for JCOs & ORs vide Circular No. 501 (49 pages of which 42 pages were tables), both on 17thJanuary 2013 and the effective date was 24th September 2012, i.e the date when the Govt approved the modified enhanced pensions, as has been argued in different cases in the Courts. The effective date has since been directed to be 1st January 2006 (CA 8875 of 2011 refers) by the Supreme Court.

The calculations, to prove a point that if needed bureaucrats can move with alacrity, were completed in under 4 (FOUR) months and detailed tables were provided in the said circulars, after due approval of the Ministry of Finance.

But Today.....

So, if the PCDA (P), the DESW of MoD, the Deptt of Expenditure of MoF could compile complicated sets of calculation and tabulation and implement them, then are the same Departments suddenly deprived of expertise on methodology, tabulations, calculations et al that the NDA Govt is delaying implementation of OROP on the pretext of what the Finance Minister has been quoted as stating?

 It gives the inescapable impression that the “tareek per tareek” by the Honourable Defence Minister was just to keep ESM, widows and NoK dangling by pretending that the matter is so complicated and so difficult to resolve.   

So much for the promise of the Honourable Prime Minister, the Honourable  Finance-cum-Defence Minister and the now Honourable Defence Minister to 25 lakh ex-servicemen, widows and NoK of deceased ESM!

Or is there something more to the OROP issue than meets the eye? If there is a shortage of funds as evidenced by Nil amount set aside for OROP in the Revised Estimates for year 2014-15? Please see accompanying article where a humongous amount has been given as exemptions to corporates! And is a 8% increase over what the UPA gave in year 2013-14!  

May be we will get know first hand from the Honourable Prime Minister on 26th May 2015!
*        *        *        *        *

P.P.S: 

Concessions to corporates at Rs 62,398 crore in FY'15: Arun Jaitley

PTI May 5, 2015, 05.49PM IST

(Arun Jaitley said the…)
NEW DELHI: Tax exemptions and incentives to corporates have resulted in a revenue impact of Rs 62,398.6 crore to the exchequer in 2014-15, 8 per cent higher than the previous fiscal, Parliament was informed today.

In a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the details of revenue impact on central taxes due to various concessions and exemptions have been detailed in the Budget document for 2015-16.
"The revenue impact in respect of corporate tax payers during the year 2013-14 is Rs 57,793 crore (after taking into account collection due to MAT)," he said.

The revenue impact figures in respect of corporate tax payers for 2014-15 fiscal has been estimated at Rs 62,398.6 crore," he said.

Jaitley said an assessee can claim deduction under various sections of the Income Tax. "Tax incentives or exemptions under central taxes have been provided to promote exports, balanced regional development, creation of infrastructure facilities, generation of employment, rural development, scientific research and development, cooperative sector and also to encourage savings by individuals and donations for charity to achieve the policy objectives of the government," he said.

In reply to another question, Jaitley said the Budget 2015-16 proposes to reduce corporate tax rate from 30 per cent to 25 per cent over the next four years. The reduction, he said, would be accompanied by rationalisation and removal of various kinds of tax exemptions and incentives for corporate taxpayers.
  1. Sir, OROP will get implemented, if at all, when some level of sincerity, sense of honour and/or political necessity become part of the ongoing process.

    The real concern is how the other important issues, Rank Pay "phase 3" for instance, have now been pushed into the background. Those are the issues on which armed forces veterans have some degree of control as the judiciary has oversight.

    But, judging from some statements, from RDOA and their legal team, indicating rather pro establishment sentiment and excessive confidence in political structures, there is a need to review whether a more hard headed realism needs to prevail in resolving those matters.
  2. for solution of defence veterans problems and demands political will and open mind set is required.AT PRESENT BOTH R MISSING.listening to the SHOCKING DM interview on IBN 7 it is clear that nothing is going to materialise in near future.YESTERDAY TIMES NOW DEBATE ON OROP AT 19.00 HRS DEBACLE WAS SHOCKING AND INSULTING TO ALL DEFENCE VETERANS.
    FRIENDS ARE V 2 GULLIBLE A COMMUNITY!!!!!!!!!
  3. My take on this issue is that the FM & his ministry are the stumbling blocks.The RM seem to be a sincere man & has completed his work of calculating the OROP.The final figure may not have been palatable to the finance babus & they may want it to be brought down by a certain factor
    PM has to take the final call & what ever happen s FM is in for a drubbing
    The way the Times no debate was called before the Gens could air their opinion,show the BJP is not ready for the political fall out of OROP non implementation & had pulled strings to get the program halted
    Rank pay seem to have gone into hibernation & RDOA silence is a little surprising indeed
    1. @Venkatesh VT : "..The RM seem to be a sincere man & has completed his work of calculating the OROP.."

      Where is the need for us to give certificates of merit? They are all sincere in following whatever strategic vision the Government has worked out.

      I don't think they need any medals for sincerity from anyone, leave alone veterans who, for reasons known and unknown, keep trying to analyse the workings of minds at the political and bureaucratic levels with fairly small profit, as the record shows.

      RDOA have come out with just one brief update on these matters recently. You have a point about their silence as also the nature of their views on OROP, as pointed out by @sunlit.
  4. 14 Jul 15 is the complete hearing on Contempt Petition No. 328 of 2013.
  5. (Source- Aerial view blog)

Musings of an Armed Forces Veteran on OROP

Monday, May 25, 2015

Even after its announcement by PM designate Narendra Modi at Rewari Rally and by the NDA on assumption of office various authorities are dilly dallying the whole process on some pretext or other and have so far  been denying the veterans, the fruits of their sacrifices committed during their long tenures in the Defence Forces. The RM who had been giving expected dates of issue of Government orders off and on, seems to have been thoroughly let down not only by the concerned ministries who have displayed least inclination to fulfill PM’s promise in giving OROP to the highly expectant veterans but also by the bureaucracy itself who seem to be bent upon opposing and sabotaging the implementation process on most unjustified arguments now being given by the Raksha Mantri. The NDA obviously has yet to live upto fulfilling PM’s oft repeated promise of OROP to the veterans.

One Rank One Pension (OROP) is perhaps the longest playing Reality show in India today. It even beats popular cinema, including the phenomenal ‘Dil Wale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge' (DDLJ) being screened at the Maratha Mandir, Mumbai for over twenty years. 

OROP however differs from DDLJ in its vibrancy. The political paradigm, the legislative cast, and the level of the latter’s honesty of intent keep changing. There is one constant; the Babu, lying in ambush, watchful of any improvement in the Fauji's service conditions, pay or perks, and ever ready to scuttle such effort. This may appear a harsh pronouncement, but Babudom's demonstrated apathy towards the Faujis does not inspire confidence in Fauji mind. Need evidence? There is enough to write a book.

The current legislative cast centre stage is, Defence Minister, Finance Minister and the Prime Minister. The verbal jugglery and contradictory public statements of these three keep stoking the suspense and confusion around the implementation of OROP-somewhat like the Finale' of TV Reality shows when winner is announced. Him? Me? Him? Me? OROP? No OROP? When OROP? How OROP? Twisted Definition masquerading as OROP- Kaddu being passed off as Mango? Dhak Dhak ! Dhak Dhak! Dhak Dhak! 

NDA Government's assumption of power in 2014 raised expectations that implementation of OROP would be one of the first items to be ticked off the new government's 'To Do' list, specially with Mr Modi's oft repeated and apparently passionate commitment to its early implementation. The hopes were raised further when Mr Arun Jaitley assumed dual charge of Ministries of Defence and Finance, as he could have synthesized the two ministries to act in concert for early implementation of OROP. 

Unfortunately Mr Jaitley failed our expectations. His apathy and lack of sincerity about the subject demonstrably stood out during a meeting with ex-servicemen (ESM) soon after assuming office. Walking in an hour late for this scheduled meeting, the Defence cum Finance Minister went through the meeting without making eye contact with participants and left them with two insights.

One. That promises made during elections are not meant to be honored-hinting that NaMo's commitment to Faujis about OROP was just an election ploy. Really? But we Faujis-men of honor, took our prospective PM seriously, assuming him to be ethical (Pran Jayein par vachan na Jaye). The meeting left the veterans confused if Mr Jaitley had got it all wrong or whether PM was indeed unethically promising something he knew he would not honor.

Two. Continuing to avoid eye contact, Mr Jaitley asked the shocked veterans to "Lower your expectations" regarding OROP. Hullo? Veterans are not beggars looking for alms. Expectations? OROP is a term precisely defined by several Parliamentary Committees over decades, AFTER hearing all stake holders including MoD and other ministries and departments.

“OROP IMPLIES THAT UNIFORM PENSION BE PAID TO THE ARMED FORCES PERSONNEL RETIRING IN THE SAME RANK WITH SAME LENGTH OF SERVICE IRRESPECTIVE OF THEIR DATE OF RETIREMENT AND ANY FUTURE ENHANCEMENTS IN THE RATE OF PENSION TO BE AUTOMATICALLY PASSED ON TO PAST PENSIONERS. THIS IMPLIES BRIDGING THE GAP BETWEEN RATE OF PENSION OF CURRENT PENSIONERS AND PAST PENSIONERS AND ALSO FUTURE ENHANCEMENTS IN THE RATE OF PENSION TO BE AUTOMATICALLY PASSED ON TO PAST PENSIONERS.” 

So what does 'lowering of expectations' mean?  Is Mr Jaitley suggesting a change of definition? Reinventing the wheel? How illogical. If you want a Mango shake, and are served a Pumpkin Shake, and told it is 'Mango Shake', would you call it Mango Shake? It stays Pumpkin shake. Not a Mango Shake. Amazing, this simple point missed Mr Jaitley’s legalistic mind. Change of definition does not stay OROP and is NOT acceptable to Faujis. Period. This was the 'Dhakka Start' we had with the First Defence Minister of NDA 2014, who showed little empathy for his watch, little understanding of issues involved, and little ability to control, guide or steer the well-entrenched and obstructionist MoD bureaucracy, congenitally hostile to Faujis.Little wonder OROP stayed in cold storage during Mr Jaitley's part time, disinterested and casual stewardship (?) of MoD. Veteran disenchantment with the NDA consequently started growing. 

Mr Manohar Parrikar's appointment as Defence Minister towards end 2014 was welcomed with a collective sigh of relief by the Veteran community. An unassuming, hands on, modest, hard working and result oriented man, Mr Parrikar has been an extremely successful Chief Minister of Goa over two terms. Alumni of Indian Institute of Technology Mumbai, he possesses a scientific tamper, a remarkable clarity of mind in getting to the crux of issues, and excellent peoples skills.Within weeks of assuming office he got to grips with the long pending issues gathering dust in MoD, including OROP, by not just listening to the 'ghisa pita' MoD briefings, but also by interacting closely and extensively with stake holders - in case of OROP, with ESM. He thus got a better balanced picture of the situation, and then applied his technical and analytical skills to work a way around the obstacles, of which there are plenty in his ministry. 

Despite every argument 'against' OROP having already been heard by successive Parliamentary and Defence committees and being either rejected or resolved, the Babus of the parent ministry of Faujis never tire of pulling them out and presenting them as fresh logic against OROP time and again! Mr Parrikar has painstakingly worked with a sense of purpose to fulfill the BJP’s commitment of implementing OROP. His resolve is a welcome change, and in contrast, to the argument that election promises are just hoax. Veterans believe NaMo‘s commitment to OROP is real; and feel Mr Parrikar is much more closer to PMs Line of Thought than Mr Jaitley is.

Despite Mr Parriikar's clearly visible efforts and resolve, while OROP is YET to be implemented and the case file keeps shuttling leisurely from Finance Ministry to other ministries – we are familiar with this bureaucratic delay tactic- a regular confusing Tamasha is played out in media daily, with contrary signals of the 'announcement' being just 'three days away' or ' just there'. There are also (laughable) rumors of the OROP issue being addressed to the 7th CPC for resolution. 

Hullo!! Are you kidding? Do Legislative decisions/ award get addressed to Pay Commissions for 'resolution'? CPC has different terms of reference as any professional knows. So such irresponsible and tension inducing 'maza lene wali khabar' from portals of power are certainly malicious. No marks guessing who is playing games.

The daily Nautanki resembles the 'Mutt and Geoff' technique of interrogation of suspects, which involves one interrogator roughing up and being tough towards the prisoner, while the other is sympathetic, soft, friendly; ensuring one or the other 'breaks his will'. The OROP drama has its own Mutt and Geoff, and while the Veteran community has so far played along, now the idea of being taken for a political Mutt and Geoff Drama, is dawning on most. 

Far from ‘breaking Veteran will’ it’s strengthening it.There are also Red Herrings floated around, like 'If you give OROP to Faujis, EVERYONE will ask for it'. While this obstructionist and illogical idea has been put across ad nauseam and killed repeatedly by various Parliamentary Committees on OROP, let me re-explain. 97% of Faujis are compulsorily retired between age 35 and 42, to keep a young profile in the Defence forces (That is the reason that soldiers are referred to as 'Jawan'. Oddly, term 'Jawan' also gets used by the ignorant, to refer to anyone in uniform- CRP, BSF etc, where the right term is 'constable'). Faujis don’t' get to serve till 60 like other government employees. Consequent monetary loss to Faujis as compared to their civilian counterpart is minimum 60 Lacs at age 60. 

It is partly to address this that OROP is needed for Faujis. If there are any other departments or forces that send people home before superannuation, compulsorily, the same could be applied to them, but aside from that, it is a reasoned demand approved for Faujis by all political parties.Shockingly the 'All will Ask for it' logic does not get extended to the Parasitical and one of its kind illogical and unjust loot in the world, called 'Non Functional Financial Upgrade' (NFFU). 

Self served by civil services to themselves at the officer level (Non Officer Civil employees are not covered), this parasitical dole implies that if your batch mate is promoted, you, despite not being promoted, will start drawing the same salary as him even if you continue to poodle fake in the lower job. Nuances vary, with IAS having 2 year lead over others; which the others are now fighting to get parity over this loot of tax payer's money for rewarding mediocrity. 

Tell me, which corporate would pay a guy higher salary for doing same lower work just because his colleague gets promoted? Government of India does this. Its like all life Happy Hour. And there are provisions to rise to be equivalent of a Lieutenant General at retirement time, even if you mark time all your life. Just stick around and enjoy, maybe work if inescapable, and enjoy the fruits of your friend’s promotion. 

Wow! Can it be any better?And mind you, this NFFU Club is ONLY for Civil Services Officers. Forgotten is the lower bureaucracy who have no such system. There is a strong case to squash NFFU totally- its anybody's guess how much money goes into this parasitical scheme.With above mind set, little wonder similar divide and rule suggestions keep appearing for 'selective application of OROP' to certain ranks/groups. 

This divide and rule tchnique has never got us anywhere as a nation, and yet Babudom keeps coming up with such pearls of unimaginative ideas. OROP as a principle is a universal system applicable to ALL defence personnel. Officer Men mix is undeniably the sole battle winning factor that fetches results. One cannot split them. Sadly, the Fauji has to explain, fight, go to court, and still not have OROP till the Almighty calls. Many have died waiting for OROP. 

Many more would likely do the same, as Mr Jaitley advises to 'lower expectations' and scrutinize till cows come home. Finance can afford the luxury of 'time being limitless'. For others, it is limited. As indeed it would be individually even for the minister. 

The THIRD legislative cast on OROP stage is PM Modi (NaMo earlier in this narrative). An extremely sharp man with a vision for India, he has risen from grass root levels of political pyramid and learnt lessons along. His views have been consistently developed, refined and self tested. He has deep rooted understanding and intuitive insights into political maneuvering. I personally believe the BJPs loss in Delhi elections was more an effort at 'AAP Mukti' as the preceding strategy of 'Congress Mukt Bharat'. Had it not been so, the many almost juvenile blunders would not have been made in Delhi. 

No Sir, NaMo is too smart for that.With a firm hand on affairs of state, while policy is clearly centralized, execution is largely delegated but closely monitored. NaMo has an excellent sense of timing and PR. The large emotional issue of OROP is clearly a card that can be played again and again, normally before elections.So when does the OROP card get played? It’s anybody's guess, but 2019 seems long way off. There will be multiple opportunities, like during Bihar elections or Bengal or UP elections. Or both? A multi-use will be attempted.

The veteran community is closely watching this with concern. In an era of connectivity and an active media, secrets, intrigue and double speak is difficult to conceal. The Fauji finds NaMo's volte-face to a commitment that catapulted him to power difficult to come to terms with. They are aware that last minute , perhaps mellowed down/ watered down version (Mango and Kaddu? ) of OROP may be announced closer to some sensitive timing, to garner support/ votes. 

First, it must be clear that OROP is a defined concept and needs implementation in letter and spirit. Dilution will NOT be acceptable to Faujs. Second. A 'Fail Safe' time line needs to be defined- Kargil Divas seems good, 26 July, by which time 'Money iin Bank' with OROP credits must be affected. This is a Legislative award, already been cleared in parliament and money set aside for it. 

All that remains is not so much an "Announcement" but the issue of implementation letter by MoD, on which the CGDA can credit money to pension accounts. Necessary tables are ready with Service Headquarters. How come fresh tables are being talked about? Reiniventing the wheel? Whichever way, beyond the ‘Fail Safe’ time line, a confirmation of betrayal would be assumed by ESM organizations that OROP has not been given. No last minute announcements would help change the situation.

It would therefore be most desirable for the PM to conclude the OROP story now, by clearing the implementation of OROP to slip into veteran bank accounts NOW, in the manner of "Ja Simran Ja, Apni Zindagi Ji Le", when Amrish Puri lets go of Kajol's hand to grasp Shahrukh's on the moving train in DDLJ.

Really, the train is steaming off. Many Veterans have already 'Gaddi Chadh Gaye' waiting for OROP, and many are boarding every minute. 

Why delay Mr PM? And Why ‘Doodh mein Mainganen Daal Rahe ho’ Jaitley Saab'?

With Warm Regards,

Col RP Chaturvedi,

(Source- India of my dreams)