Saturday, July 4, 2009

Budget may ratify ex-servicemen's wish- OROP

A Correspondent in New Delhi
June 26, 2009 12:38 IST
A long-pending demand of ex-servicemen for 'one rank, one pension' may find a place in the Union Budget to be presented to Parliament on July 6.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday met the committee of secretaries that is considering the long-pending demand of ex-servicemen for parity in pension of personnel retiring in the same rank.

At the meeting, the prime minister is said to have discussed the pros and cons of granting the demand of retired armed forces personnel, popularly known as 'One Rank-One Pension' (OROP).

Cabinet secretary K M Chandrasekhar, who heads the committee, made a presentation to the prime minister based on the nearly two-month study that the committee carried out on the subject.

The Congress poll manifesto was silent on the retired armed forces personnel demanding 'one rank, one pension' that was promised by the Bharatiya Janata Party in its manifesto. The prime minister, however, constituted a committee headed by the Cabinet secretary, to consider it.

"The committee of secretaries headed by Cabinet Secretary on matters related to OROP made a presentation to the prime minister today (Thursday)," a PMO release said, without elaborating.

Others present during the presentation included Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Defence Minister A K Antony, Home Minister P Chidamabaram and Minister of State (Personnel) Prithviraj Chavan.

The defence personnel's grouse has been that their issues have been customarily bogged down by IAS officers in the decision-making system and that is why they resorted to an agitation after the Sixth Pay Commission report was tabled.

After coming to power in 2004, Dr Manmohan Singh had constituted a separate department of ex-servicemen's welfare. In view of the ex-servicemen constituting a large cadre of trained and dedicated persons, the Congress manifesto promised to utilise their services extensively in the crucial nation-building tasks.

The UPA government has already committed itself to taking a decision on the subject by end of June in President Pratibha Patil's Address to the Joint Sitting of Parliament on June 4 after the first session of the 15th Lok Sabha convened.
Budget may ratify ex-servicemen's wish

Rupees 50,000 help to ex-servicemen's wards who join NDA

Nagpur, Jun 27 : The Maharashtra Government today announced a financial assistance of Rupees 50,000 for the for the wards of former-servicemen upon their selection to the National Defence Academy (NDA).

This was among a slew of measures aimed at improving the welfare and resettlement of former-servicemen and their dependents in the state, announced by the government.

Addressing a Maharashtra-level convention of ex-servicemen and their dependents here this afternoon, Minister for Ex-Servicemen's Welfare Anees Ahmed said the government had decided to pay a pension of Rs 1,000 per month to the widows of soldiers, who died in harness between 1947 and 1995.

It had also decided to reserve five per cent of the seats in BEd courses for widows of former-servicemen to help them get jobs as teachers, he said.

The government had decided to appoint ex-servicemen in the state as Special Executive Officers (SEO's), Mr Ahmed said. Besides, the government had decided to hike the financial assistance for self-employment from Rs 17,000 at present to Rs 34,000, and that for blind former-servicemen and widows of former-servicemen from Rs 300 at present to Rs 1,000 per month, he added.

Mr Ahmed said the government was actively considering a hike in the pension for ex-servicemen and their widows, who served during World War II, from the present Rs 1,275 per month.

The Finance Department had granted approval for a hike in the cash grant for gallantry award winners from the state, which ranged at present from Rs 12,000 to Rs 1,75,000, the Minister said, adding that the proposal would soon be placed before the Cabinet for its approval.
--- UNI
Rupees 50,000 help to ex-servicemen's wards who join NDA

IESM: Chairman's Desk

Date: Friday, 3 July, 2009, 10:14 PM
Dear Colleagues,
The wait for OROP announcement continues.
Best regards,
Lt Gen (Emeritus) Raj Kadyan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM
Chairman IESM

AWWA a major source of pain for Army wife

Friday, July 3, 2009

IESM: Chairman's Desk

Date: Thursday, 2 July, 2009, 10:38 PM
Dear Colleagues,
Many ESM have been calling from all over the country to check the status of OROP. Govt orders are still awaited.
Best regards,
Lt Gen (Emeritus) Raj Kadyan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM
Chairman IESM

Date: Thursday, 2 July, 2009, 1:17 PM
Dear Brig Kamboj,
Please find Pension Tables recommended by IESL: Click Me
Brig RKS Gulia

Pension Tables and visible flaws: Click Me

A 21 Salute to Raj Chatterjee

Dear Friend,
I am an avid reader of 'middles' by Raj Chatterjee, and I had always wondered why he had not published an anthology of his writings in the form of a book. Last week, I saw on the Internet that a collection of his published pieces has been brought out by Penguin under the title, "The Boxwallah and the Middleman" To my surprise, the book was not available in any bookstore here in Chandigarh. Old Thomas came to my rescue, and against his credit card the book was shipped from Bangluru to me within 48 hrs.
What followed was an enchanting six days of reading and re-reading his 550 word stories told in an inimitable manner. The book was un-put-downable. It took me away from the humdrum of pensions and their iniquities/inequities. Suddenly, life seemed less serious. After a long time I read this form of prose. I think the world is the poorer ever since PG Wodehouse went off the scene. No on reads him any more, and old "Jeeves" has passed into the pages of history.
I have, nonetheless, been glancing at all the mails emanating from the veterans on their suggestions to 'rationalize' pensions and thus resolve anomalies. Some of the tables amuse me rather than educating me. I really wonder whether any one of us oldies (me included,of course) can create a table which would satisfy every body. Old Raj Chatterjee would have put it in the following manner:

"I have authentic information to believe that the government has decided to withhold the issue of the revised instructions on pensions until all associations of the ESM have had a fair opportunity to present their case, along with the suggested tables. This is to ensure that no one is denied an opportunity to have his say in the matter. Indeed, the government is indebted to the author of the suggestion that all past pensioners be given a 3% rise every year. This would reduce the immediate burden on the exchequer and also give the pensioners something to look forward to. Indeed, since this is an 'increment' it should be linked with the performance of the veteran during the year. Therefore, every pensioner would be required to prove that he has been a gentleman all through the year. With the 'life certificate' the veterans will be required to produce a certificate from all the members of the family and the neighbours that he has conducted himself in a congenial manner during the year. Of course, the document will need to be certified by an appropriate authority"

I think Mr Raj Chatterjee has a valid point. This mechanism will improve the image of the old soldiers and also keep tempers in check.

My hero took pre-mature retirement from ITC in 1964 and receives no pension. OROP means a lemon to him. He has survived since then on a regular regime of churning out words. And he has not starved!
Maj Gen Surjit Singh

Thursday, July 2, 2009

OROP: Contempt Notice to Army Chief and Defence Secretary

The Supreme Court has issued a contempt notice to the Army chief and Defence Secretary for not implementing the court's order on the 5th pay commission. This comes after some retired army officers approached the Court over discrepancies in pensions.

The apex court in October 2008 had said that there should not be any discrimination between pre-1996, post-1996 defence pensioners. However, the Defence Ministry did not implement the order.
And so we ask, are the armed forces being given a raw deal over the Pay Commission?
On Verdict, join Vikram Chandra, for a discussion on 'ONE RANK, ONE PAY' on NDTV 24x7.
Q. Are the armed forces being given a raw deal over the Pay Commission?
Yes 92.61%
No 6.43%
Can't say 0.96%
Total Votes: 1150

What's Your Take: Click here to pen your Verdict

IESM: Chairman's Desk

Date: Wednesday, 1 July, 2009, 10:33 PM
Dear Colleagues,
As far as OROP is concerned, we remain in a waiting mode. Various figures being circulated by some well meaning ESM are at best conjectural.
Best regards,
Lt Gen (Emeritus) Raj Kadyan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM
Chairman IESM

OROP For the guardians of security and integrity of India. Read the current status and Present Pension Tables: The stark disparities of Pre 1996, Pre 2006 and Post 2006 by Raj Kadyan: Click me

J R VATSA said on Saturday, June 27, 2009, 11:44
Of course belately, yet the wisdom has dawned on the concerned leaders for serious consideration of the issue of OROP of defence services personnel. Dear all, let me tell you that there is no compromise on the aspect of nation’s security needs. I have my heart with the armed forces personnel who never think twice before laying down their lives for the sake of our nation. Let us all unite and give them their due without any rancour. It should be a matter of serious concern for all of us to have the armed forces personnel on the street agitating for their legimitate dues. Let us all unite and be with them in their hour of need.
Govt working on next-best option to one-rank, one-pay

OROP: The Pension Proposal Projected by IESM

Much has been expressed on the net by numerous officers on the preparation & presentations of the IESL paper, inadequacy of IESM paper, need for joint effort (unity is a Utopian idea, joint effort should be immediate objective) between the ESM organisations- primarily IESL & IESM. Here is some information for you all.

True that IESM is not recognised by the GoI. Besides anything else, recognition demands a membership base of one lakh, spread across India. We were told by Secy ESW in our meeting with her a few days back that the GoI cannot consult all and sundry ESM orgs and has therefore invited only the recognised bodies for consultation. We have learnt that orgs like the AFA and the War Disabled Association, have been specifically exempted form the requirement of having one lakh members. IESL and these two were therefore invited.

Wishing that IESL should have insisted on IESM presence at the presentation/ discussion with the Cab Sec, for the sake of ESM solidarity is again a Utopian wish under the present circumstances. IESL sub-committee tasked to prepare the paper was not ready to even discuss their thinking with us during the formulation stage, having been so instructed by the IESL. I had personally made a request to each member of the Committee. To be fair to AVM Mishra, he told me that we should send him our paper and that if necessary, he would ask for clarifications etc. I do wish that we had sat down across the table and discussed our views threadbare and then presented a paper acceptable to all.

In the event, however, IESL submitted a paper of their own. As already indicated by Maj Gen Satbir Singh in another mail, we learnt from extremely reliable sources that although a presentation had been sought by the Cab Sec, none was given by IESL on the pretext that their paper had conveyed all that they wished to. The IESL however, submitted the following four options to the Cab Sec:
1. Pensions to be based on 'top of the band'. However, if that cannot be given;
2. These may then be based on 'middle of the band'. If that was also not possible;
3. Convert our old pensions to the equivalent stage in the pay band. However, if that too was not possible;
4. Fix each rank's pension to the lowest level in the fixation tables for the rank, issued vide SAI/SNI/SAFI - 1 & 2 of 2008. (The source did not exactly remember this option but felt that it was as stated here).

To remove any misgivings about IESM 'non-paper', let me clarify that IESM too had prepared its paper. It, however, decided to only send the bare concept to the GoI rather than a full paper along with the tables. This was done by Lt Gen Kadyan in his letter to the RM, MoS (Defence), Cab Sec, Secy ESW amongst others (recently circulated by Maj Gen Satbir Singh via e mail to all). However, a presentation was also prepared with complete details & tables, should we be called upon to discuss our proposal with the Cab Sec. We were never called!!

We are not aware how the IESM paper reached IESL but what they presented in the meeting of 15 jun to all attendees was the 'first draft' prepared by us, which underwent changes as the proposal finally took shape. Be it as it may, but the IESL proposal presented at this meeting did not meet the very stringent criteria that we had set for ourselves in evolving our paper. IESM has always stood for equity between all pensioners, irrespective of vintage, rather than seeking more for the sake of asking. In our judgement, therefore, we did not find that the IESL proposal was supported by logic and thus did not endorse it.

Please click here for a very brief insight in to the making of the IESM proposal.
Best regards,
Maj Gen (Retd) PK Renjen, AVSM

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

IESM: Chairman's Desk

Date: Tuesday, 30 June, 2009, 11:14 PM
Dear Colleagues,
Waiting for the govt decision on OROP, the mind wanders to lighter moods. The election debate had closed last month after the IESM had asserted that it was not apologetic about the voting advisory and had taken the right decision under the circumstances. With the subject having been obliquely reactivated, some ESM colleagues, who had earlier been critical of the IESM approach, have now veered round to the view that the primary reason for the govt to reopen the OROP issue is the IESM actions and its election advisory (right or wrong). The proverbial debate between means and ends has come alive. It brings to recall the lines of an old doggerel:
I eat my peas with honey
I have done it all my life
It no doubt looks funny
But it keeps them on the knife
Best regards,
Lt Gen (Emeritus) Raj Kadyan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM
Chairman IESM

SCPC: OROP/ APIP is almost finalised

Dear Friends,
1. Thanx for sending cool showers to Tricity.
2. MOD Secy has submitted OROP/ PIP report to Govt on 29/6/09 & Govt may announce it any day for implementation.
3. Sources say that Report contains Recommendations very very near to OROP. This OROP is on the basis of an average of Min & Max pension of each serving pay band.
4. It is on the lines of recommendations given by IESL/ NFDC/ AF Assn & other ESM/ NGOs, ie on popular demand of ESM community.
5. More than 95% ESM looks to be much satisfied with this report. So this report will benefit 96% left over PBORs.
6. However, final & next course of action will depend on public reaction & response after seeing the final outcome of report. For more details, please contact Manmohan veer jee.
7. But certainly, we should go ahead with our pending 27 points/ problems, to make the ESM community comfortable in society.
With regards
Col SS Sohi(Retd)

Dear All,
Sending you the scales of revised pension given in link below, as recommended by the Committee Of Secretaries formed to remove anomalies in the pension structures of ex-serviceman. I understand the recommendations have been accepted by the Govt. The Notional pay recommended for each rank is more than 80% of the maximum scale of pay recommended by the 6th pay commission , indeed a very fair decision. Taking into account the 22 %DA , the present monthly pension of a Col & a Brig works out to be Rs 42761 & Rs 44259 respectively.
Ravi Mayor
Scales of Revised pension as recommended by CoS for Officers

Sadly the Recommended Revised Pension Tables of PBORs is not traceable

ECHS: Some Sane Suggestions to overcome teething problems

Reference mail in "REPORT MY SIGNAL" and write up of Brig Kuthiala on ECHS. By Grace of God, so far, I have never used the services of ECHS but reading the paper of Brig, I understand that a lot of time and effort is wasted by ESM in fixing the appointments, giving the samples, getting the reports and then meeting the specialist / Dr.
I have the following to suggest:
a) In present day scenario of e-communicating, why can not we place Scanner in ECHS polyclinics and hospitals like R & R, where reports form R & R can be scanned and sent by email to concerned polyclinic. This will save a lot of time of ESM.
b) All ECHS polyclinics should be given emailing facility in addition to FAX machines.
c) Existing MHs and other hospitals, should be made responsible to attend to ESM cases post 1600h situation till 0800h, next day. All such cases, should be handed back to ECHS polyclinic, the next morning.
d) For storage of standard drugs based on average consumption, existing 'Services' procurement set up should be used, for which ECHS should pay some money to 'Services set up' for this assistance.
e) The suggested system should have details of all such cases, where the medicines were NOT provided due to being NA in store or NO money to make local purchase. I have a feeling that except for some senior ranked ESM, rest are left to fend for themselves, if the medicine is costly.
f) Role of OC/ CO of MH requires to be redefined with relation to ECHS polyclinics.
Warm regards,
Lt Col Inderjit Singh Gill, Veteran

Monthly Audit Report of ECHS Health Care at Polyclinics must be displayed giving indication of Percentage of Officers and PBORs treated and the respective costs. There should be no preference for the so called VIP category. Rules must be common for everyone. Those who violate rules must be indentified and penalised.

Implications of tax evasion

June 30th, 2009
Simply put, tax evasion occurs when any trust, individual, or firm, seeks to avoid paying taxes by illegal and unfair means, by, for example, deliberately hiding income from the tax authorities to reduce the liability of tax. People have been known to submit dishonest reports, including declaring less gains, profits, or income than what was actually earned. Other means of evading tax are smuggling, and avoiding paying out customs duty, value added tax, and income tax.

In May 2009, searches and seizures by the Income Tax Department in the NCR, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Himachal Pradesh revealed astonishing figures: jewellery and cash hauls in hundreds of crores as a result of crackdowns on tax evaders. In the country’s capital alone more than Rs 860 crore is owed, from real estate firms and infrastructure leasing and building companies, to pan masala outfits and retail businesses.

In Bangalore, major global IT players have been hauled up for evading service tax. Industry experts estimate the loss of a billion dollars of revenue from the evasion of tax.

What is tax evasion?
Simply put, tax evasion occurs when any trust, individual, or firm, seeks to avoid paying taxes by illegal and unfair means, by, for example, deliberately hiding income from the tax authorities to reduce the liability of tax.

People have been known to submit dishonest reports, including declaring less gains, profits, or income than what was actually earned. Other means of evading tax are smuggling, and avoiding paying out customs duty, value added tax, and income tax.

Smuggling involves the export or import foreign goods through unauthorised routes, to avoid paying customs duties, or to bring in contraband.

Importers evade paying customs duty by submitting false declarations of the description of the product and the quantity imported.

Producers or retailers that collect VAT from consumers evade paying taxes by showing lowered sales amounts.

The double taxation system that includes VAT and service tax has resulted in a lack of clarity with respect to tax-related issues.

What is the direct result of evading tax?
Tax evasion results in the loss of revenue for the government. It generates more and more black money - money that is acquired through illegal means - that people try and offload as quickly as possible, by purchasing real estate, jewellery, gold, automobiles, paintings, expensive clothes and accessories, and so on. This distressed purchasing artificially inflates prices and therefore the market.

The greater the income in the black money circuit, the greater the freedom of external economic transactions, and the greater the leakage into foreign financial institutions and markets.

Not only is tax evasion detrimental to the progress of the economy, but also harmful to the individual.

Paying taxes, and on time, means better health care and education. The risk-reward for tax evasion is highly unfavourable. It’s better to pay your taxes on time, and sleep well.

If you are a salaried employee, then TDS (Tax deducted at Source), helps you to pay your taxes.

If for any reason it is found that taxes have not be accurately paid the individual or tax payer can come under scrutiny.
Read More: Understanding the implications of tax evasion

Comment: All elected Lokh and Rajya Sabha members, MLA's of state, the local bodies (including councillors) and all Politicians should have a PAN number and ensure submission of income tax. Black money is mostly generated by members of all Political Parties who travel in multiple luxury vehicles donning Party Flags and violate all rules of the land.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

SCPC: Pension commutation blues of Pre- 1996 Retirees

After 6th pay commission basic pension has increased for all ranks. It is expected to go up further with something coming out from Committee of Secretaries streamlining Pension anomalies created by the Pay Commissions. Those retiring after 1.1.2006 have been issued fresh PPO and again 50 percent of revised pension has been commuted, thus giving them more commutation value than what they got earlier. In my opinion the same concept should be applicable for all pre 06 defence pensioners up to the age of 75 years or 15 years, whichever is earlier. Civilians retire at the age of 60 and pension commuted for 15 years ie upto the age of 75 years. Armed forces personnel who retired before 1.1.06 got hardly any commutation value compared to those who retired after 1.1.06 with same rank. It is far worse for those who retired before 1996.
Col A K Sarkar(Retd)

Comment: I wonder if the commutation woes will be addressed at all for all ESM who retired prior to 2006. The bureaucracy would love to push this issue under the carpet forever!

Criminalisation of Citizens: A typical case

UPA Minister approaches HC judge to bailout CBI accused
Chennai/New Delhi: A Madras High Court judge's stunning declaration that a union minister had asked him to give bail to a father-son duo accused of forging marksheets prompted the BJP to demand Tuesday that the prime minister probe the matter and sack the as yet unnamed ministerial colleague.

Madras High Court Judge R. Reghupathi said in court Monday that a union minister asked him to give bail to two men - a medical student and his doctor father - accused by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) of forging marksheets.

Said Bharatiya Janata Party spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad: "In Indian history, it has happened for the first time that a sitting judge of the high court has accused a central minister of calling him to request anticipatory bail to the accused."

Labelling it a "very serious matter", Prasad told reporters in New Delhi: "A high court judge has accused a cabinet minister. The Madras High Court judge has said if the minister does not apologise, his name would be taken in the proceedings."

"So, we demand and expect that the prime minister would look into the matter at his own level and sack the minister."

Responding to the controversy, union Law Minister Veerappa Moily said: "First we cannot talk like this. Secondly, we cannot talk to the judge that what has happened. These are the limitations. Judiciary works on its own parameters and we cannot make any queries on judges' remark."

The judge was hearing the anticipatory bail petition of S. Kiruba Shridhar, a third-year MBBS student in a private medical college of Puducherry, and his father C. Krishnamurthy.

Reghupathi did not name the minister but threatened to complain to the central government and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh about the interference.

He transferred the case to Chief Justice H.L. Gokhale and said he would incorporate the details in his order unless an unconditional apology was tendered.

Shridhar, who had been failing in his exams for two years, joined hands with his father and allegedly replaced his answersheet to get extra marks in the subject. Later, he and his father were found by the CBI to be involved in the forging.
UPA Minister approaches HC judge to bailout CBI accused

Sonia Gandhi to inaugurate Bandra-Worli sea link today

UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi will inaugurate the much awaited Bandra-Worli sea link, India's first open sea and largest cable stay bridge in Mumbai on Tuesday.
Its developer Hindustan Construction Company (HCC) treated Mumbaikars with a spectacular laser, lights and fireworks show, turning the bridge into a sparkling jewel on Monday.
DD News

Media Reports: OROP- Bridging the Gap is it Pension Parity?

Hindu- ‎Jun 25, 2009‎: Defence pay committee makes presentation before PM
New Delhi (IANS): A committee looking into the defence personnel's demand for pay review Thursday made a presentation before Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, an official release said.

"The committee of secretaries headed by the cabinet secretary (K.M. Chandrasekhar) on matters related to 'One Rank-One Pension' made a presentation to the prime minister. Those present were Finance Minister (Pranab Mukherjee), Defense Minister (A.K. Antony), Home Minister (P. Chidambaram) and Minister of State (Personnel) (Prithviraj Chavan)," the statement said.

The government formed the panel after many ex-servicemen returned their medals to protest against the Sixth Pay Commission recommendations and the rejection of their 'one rank one pension' demand.
Defence pay committee makes presentation before PM

Express news service Posted: Friday , Jun 26, 2009 at 0424 hrs IST A High-powered Committee of Secretaries looking into the One Rank-One Pension demand put forward by ex-servicemen on Thursday presented a concept of ‘modified parity’ to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
In a meeting with the PM, the committee suggested that a new concept of modified parity be drawn up which would ensure that ex-servicemen get a substantial increase in pension. According to the concept, new pay grades would be drawn up for each rank in the Armed Forces, based on which the pension would be awarded. As per current practice, pension is decided on the existing pay bands. This has led to discrepancies as officers of different ranks often fall in the same pay band.

The new pay grades would be fixed specifically for the purpose of deciding pension. The new concept presented before the PM also ensures that retired officers, no matter which year they demitted service, will get pensions lesser than that of their juniors officers. For example, a Brigadier who retired in 1955 would not get a pension that is lesser than the pension being drawn by a Colonel who retired in 2008. The presentation also contained the proposal to increase the pension of jawans to 70 per cent of the last drawn pay, an increase from the earlier proposal of 50 per cent.
Panel suggests modified parity, new pensions for ex-servicemen

SCPC: Pension Arrears Delayed By Banks

Dear sir,
I share the views of your readers and your concern regarding the delay caused by all Public Sector banks in disbursing the Pension arrears. While the individual pensioner's loss may not be considerable due to this delay, Banks/ Govt stand to benefit a lot by delaying this payment.
A small calculation
Let's assume SBI, Mumbai region has about 10000 Lt col Pensioners with an average arrears due as Rs 1 Lac. That is a conservative assumption, i guess. By delaying this payment even for a month, there is Rs 10000 x 1 lac= Rs 100 crores in the kitty which @ a nominal 8% interest fetches Rs 66 Lac per month. If we include arrears due to PBOR and other officers ranks which remain unpaid and consider it at all India Level, the amount gained by the banks by this unethical practice of delaying payment shall be phenomenal. No wonder the banks don't respond and with the kind of governance we have, the pensioners woes are only multiplying.
The solution for this lies probably in getting a firm directions issued to all the banks that should there be a delay in credit of arrears beyond a reasonable period (say 1 month from the date of promulgation of govt orders), the banks should pay a penal interest of say 12% on the uncredited arrears for the period of delay. This will make the banks scramble for fast clearance and credit of dues to Pensioner's accounts, and the pensioners can relax knowing that should there be a delay at all in getting their dues, there is a decent interest coming alongwith it. Of course, we do have some thick skinned banks who will still not respond, but at least the pensioners interests are protected through courts.
This suggestion may be considered for what it is worth.
Col Rajaraman (Retd)
Blog link to main post: click me

ECHS: Medical facilities for ECO's and SSCO's currently in vogue

Army Headquarters clarifies that medical facilities to SSCOs and ECOs have not been withdrawn
Well, this should end the controversy perpetrated by some self-styled interpreters in M-Block who brought disrepute to the medical top brass and in a way to the entire services medical set-up by writing to all Commands that SSCOs and ECOs were not entitled to medical facilities in service hospitals.

Earlier, Medical facilities were only available to the following categories of retired defence personnel:
(i) Ex-Service Pensioners
(ii) Families of Ex-Service Pensioners
(iii) Families of deceased personnel drawing pension of some kind

Then in the year 1996, the Ministry of Defence in the name of HE The President of India amended Paragraph 296 (O) of the Regulations of Medical Services Armed Forces (RMSAF, 1983) and directed that the term ‘Ex-Service Pensioners’ shall be replaced by the term ‘Ex-Servicemen’ thus leading to the following entitled categories with effect from 26 Sept 1996:
(i) Ex-Servicemen covered under the definition of ‘Ex- Serviceman’ issued by Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) from time to time
(ii) Families of Ex-Servicemen
(iii) Families of deceased personnel drawing pension of some kind.

In 1998, an amendment to the existing Army Order on the subject of entitlement was also issued vide AO 08/98 whereby the term ‘ex-service pensioners’ was replaced by the new term ‘ex-servicemen’, needless to say, the AO was issued under the hand and seal of the COAS. The following was explicitly stated in the AO 08/98 : “AO 10/97 is amended as follows:(a) The term ‘Ex Service Pensioners wherever used in the AO is replaced with the term ‘Ex Servicemen’.”

However despite the fact that the above mentioned amendments had been carried out more than a decade ago and Regulation 296 (O) RMSAF stood amended, still in blatant contravention of the Presidential sanction, no correction was carried out in the copies of RMSAF available in service medical establishments and the old (unamended) Para 296 (O) in which the word ‘pensioners’ appeared was being quoted to refuse treatment to SSCOs and ECOs who were ex-servicemen but not pensioners. Vague letters were also issued asking MHs to withdraw such facilities from SSCOs and ECOs.

The Army HQ has now clearly stated that such facilities have not been withdrawn and the Secretariats of COAS and AG have also been informed about the same. It is only hoped that such letters leading to total chaos in the system are not allowed to be floated by functionaries in the M-Block again. It is also hoped that the executing authorities give due regard to Presidential and government sanctions by proper application of mind rather than to locally issued letters by self-styled interpreters which have no value in the eyes of law.
Posted by Navdeep / Maj Navdeep Singh at 5:17 AM

Pertinent Question?
If ECO's and SSCO's are entitled for medical facilities why is there a bar on them to opt for ECHS?

IESM: Chairman's Desk- OROP

Date: Monday, 29 June, 2009, 10:50 PM
Dear Colleagues,
In the last couple of weeks various proposed OROP tables have been doing the rounds of the net. The ESM who have produced these have been painstaking in their research and deserve our gratitude. The recommended figures in different tables vary. Something seems amiss. OROP is simply seeking equation of old pensions with the new ones. Rank-to-rank and service-to-service we should not ask for less than the new pensions and we cannot ask for more than these. Since the benchmark for the latter is already fixed and changing it is beyond our purview, it reduces OROP to a mere arithmetic equation that obviates the need for intricate tables.
The government decision is expected any time. There is a possibility that if the government does not sanction OROP in full, the issue will be raised in the Parliament.
Best regards,
Lt Gen (Emeritus) Raj Kadyan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM
Chairman IESM

Plank of Bureaucracy
To keep the ESM organisations in bitter battle amongst themselves the bureaucracy has invited Proposed Pension Tables from various ESM Organisations. What a waste of time! We just need to stick to Pension Parity, Uniform Rank based Pension for all Ranks or Absolute Parity in Pension. Let us not fall into the bureaucracy trappings.

OROP: ESM Unity is Paramount

Date: Sunday, 28 June, 2009, 10:02 PM
Lets not be too critical of each other. I was at the meeting at the IESL HQ a couple of weeks ago alongwith heads of a number of ESM organisations. Though I have been a member of IESL since my retirement in 1990, I regret to say that I have not been aware if this org did any work that was helping exservicemen. So much for its ability to communicate with its members.

I heard Lt Col Inderjit Singh also, who seemed to have done wonders by being Advisor to Mr P Mukherjee's GOM and also meeting the RM and of course Mrs Sonia Gandhi to help our cause. He also claimed that "all the benefits we have been getting since the Vth Pay Commission" were due to his sole effort. Fortunately, Brig Gulia cut short his bluster and the Colonel left.

Then it came to deciding the contents of the paper on OROP to be put up to the Committee under the Cabinet secretary. It was decided that Option 2 of the suggested pension scales put up by Rear Adm Ramsay, be submitted. This was despite Lt Gen Raj Kadyan's objection that we should not give any scales as the Goverment knows what the serving pers get on retirement. I however disagreed as I felt that it would be giving a handle to the Committee to fix the pensions as they felt like.

However, on getting back to Som Vihar I showed the recommended scales to Lt Gen S Mehrotra, who has a great head for figures, which I don't have. He was extremely unhappy and felt that the tables needed to be corrected. With the help of Gulia a meeting was arranged between Mehrotra and Ramsay. Gen Mehrotra presented the scales worked out by him over two nights which gave PBOR about Rs 4000 pm extra and similarly for everyone else. Ramsay was very receptive and took down all the figures. Mehrotra and I requested that the revised tables be sent to the Committee and the earlier ones withdrawn.

A couple of days ago Brig Gulia telephoned me and informed me about the meeting with the Cab Secs Committee which was attended by IESL, Air Mshl Chaturvedi of IAF Foundation and a rep from War Disabled Org. What surprised me was that IESM was not invited. Neither by the Govt or requested by IESL, to accompany their team. I wish we all were more big hearted and take help of all the ESM. I reiterate that no one is a repository of all the wisdom and help, where available, should be welcomed.

It has to be accepted by all it was the IESM which brought the problem of ESM pensions to the notice of the Govt, people and media as never done before by much older ESM orgs. (The bureaucrats are aware but do not want do anything). Be it due to the relay fast or the return of medals. Remember that the bureaucrats are nobody's friends and politicians only move when they are under threat, like the one UPA felt after the BJP promised us help.

Now let us plan what we have to do if the Government once again lets us down. I think we should get all ESM politicians of all parties together, with the help of Rajeev Chandershekhar, and have a meeting under the IESM, invite IESL and other orgs and chalk out a course of action. This is urgent. Let us forget our egos. We have to win this battle AND WE MUST UNITE.
Lt Gen SK Bahri (Retd)

Taliban State of Pakistan

Islamabad diary Friday, June 26, 2009 by Ayaz Amir
If the present fight against the Taliban leads to a new Pakistan, it is worth fighting and winning. But if our ways don't change, if our ruling elites remain as corrupt and self-centred as they have always been, then doubts will arise whether the blood being shed was worth anything. The Taliban are a threat to our way of life. But the Taliban, it bears remembering, were the product of our folly, the general staff and our military intelligence agencies (ISI and MI) chasing shadows and fantasies at the altar of muddled strategic theories.

Two things must happen at once if Pakistan is to even approximate to the republic of our dreams: the first steps towards a common education policy--one syllabus, one set of books, one medium of instruction, one examination for all Pakistani boys and girls, from the highest mountains to the shores of the Arabian Sea; and a heavy emphasis on public transport--a revitalisation of our railways, the discouragement of the automobile industry and more and better buses for the general public.

And if Pakistan is to become a modern republic we will have to revisit the morality tales of that prince of hypocrites, General Ziaul Haq, whose preaching and enforced piety, added to his Afghan follies, gave us first the 'mujahideen' and then the Taliban. America tried prohibition and what did it get? Secret drinking and organised crime centred on the alcohol trade. It is common knowledge that many of our leading doctors of the faith are closet imbibers. Whom do we deceive?

All power to the people and an end to all unconscionable privileges for an already pampered elite: this is the only way to make sense of the war against the Taliban.
Read the full article at: What are Pakistan Soldiers dying for?

Lessons for India
If the corrupt Politicians do not mend their ways soon the revolutionary forces like the Naxals, Maoists, Rebels, and Terrorists will take thousands of lives of our jawans, policemen and citizens. There is great lesson for India if war on Terror and Taliban is to succeed in India; as we discern the true picture being revealed in Pakistan.

Monday, June 29, 2009

SCPC: Pension Arrears- Delay caused by all the Public Sector Banks

29 Jun 09.
Dear Friends,
I have been receiving very large number of similar complaints from officers. I met a few PBOR in last one month, who had the same complaint. Collecting data of PBOR by "Report My Signal" (RMS) is very difficult, because they are not available directly on email, we can get it through the Ex PBOR organisations."Sample Data" of officers can be directly connected by RMS. Data so collected can be sent to Ex Servicemen Department of MoD. We can list say about 200 or more names of ESM with their bank details and PAOR details, which will cover probably names of all banks and PAOR, who are authorised to disburse pension.

We should also collect data of PBOR through Col Bhardwaj and others who have ground contact with PBOR. If approved by the Steering Committee, Admiral Ghose or Gen Surjit or both be requested to look into the problem.

For collection of sample data RMS is at your service. Gen Renjen may kindly initiate an email as to what data is required. That email will be sent to all members of RMS email service and will also be placed on the net by all the websites, including RMS website and IESM website.

I request early action on this issue as I find much unrest among the ESM on this issues. Some of the emails have even stated - " ... please help us in getting what has already been sanctioned by the Government ..... "
Regards to all,
Chander Kamboj

Sample Appeals
Dear all,
I have tried all but to no avail. I have met the Branch Manager on innumerable occasions. I have sent online complaints to SBI and to PCDA all to no avail. The problem with SBI is that they have centralised the issue of pension to one branch in the state HQ's and they are overloaded and do not respond to telephones. Canara Bank dealing officers in Bangalore blame it on their computer section to who we have no access.
My father in law aged 89 and mother aged 84 are fed up with making their rounds to the bank and have given up trying to get the additional pension for old age.
In my case (post 2006) PCDA has finally relented and issued the corrigendum to PPO, and my bank ICICI has obliged me by overpaying me by giving me the new pension but deducting the old commuted amount and not the new 50% thereby overpaying to the tune of 1.5 lakhs for the moment!!!
Col Deepak Gopinath

Dear Sir
I am afraid you will have to take up with the Branch manager and follow up with their headquarters. This is what i said after the Kolhapur visit. The banks are taking us for a ride and centrally we need to take this up on a war footing. Just imagine the money the banks make with everyday delay.
R W Pathak

Dear Sirs,
Canara Bank Bangalore and State Bank of India Coimbatore have not paid the PB-4 scales with pay for Jun. Nor have they paid the additional amount for aged over 80 years.
Col Deepak Gopinath

Date: Monday, 29 June, 2009, 1:58 PM
This is one amongst at least over 50 similar complaints from ESM that I have read over time. Only officers!!!
It is a very serious problem and needs our immediate attention. The decision of the GoI not to issue fresh PPOs and make do with instructions alone to the Secy Banking etc, has caused an enormous confusion amongst the PDAs (banks) in pension disbursal. They are genuinely flummoxed. Too many different instructions, lack of understanding of the system and pressure of work on the banks!
An equally disturbing complaint has been of the aged veterans of 80 and more. They are not getting enhanced pensions as their ages are not reflected on their PPOs. Most would die without getting any benefit.
Problems of PBOR & widows are far worse.
A letter from Gen Kadyan in the least to RM, MoS (Defence), Secy ESW would be in order.
Best regards,
Maj Gen (Retd) PK Renjen, AVSM

My experience with IOB Chennai
Indian Overseas Bank is a shade ahead of other Public Sector Banks for crediting Sixth Central Pay Commission Arrears. Though some coaxing and effort was involved, I have been able to get all my arrears including Lt Col PB4 arrears calculated by IOB Head Office and then credited by the Branch Office. The software is excellent but basic inputs need to be correctly fed in. This is where personal liaison is required as the clerical staff dealing with Defence Pensions are clueless about age, and whether Selection Grade or Time Scale. One needs to hand over photo copy proof from our own records. Otherwise the staff do not take any initiative if they do not have the basic input data or if some doubts arise they keep the the whole issue pending. This is the bane of bureaucracy!
Lt Col James Kanagaraj (Retd)

Mumbai Mayhem: Captain Amitendra Kumar Singh who lost his left eye

Having witnessed the 60-hour battle against terror in Mumbai unrelentingly on television, images of bullets whizzing around, bloodied streets, grenade blasts and courageous men -- scaling walls and dropping from helicopters -- have been etched in our minds.

What many of us did not see were images of some brave men, caught in the path of the devastation they were trying to curb -- images of their homes and lives rocked by a stray bullet or a carelessly chucked grenade.

One such braveheart, Captain Amitendra Kumar Singh of the National Security Guard, found himself alone at the Bombay Hospital on November 27, injured in the attack, and unable to get in touch with his family and fiance.
The captain and his team arrived in Mumbai on the morning of November 27 and were sent straight to the site of action: The Oberoi Hotel.

As they closed in on terrorists, shrapnel from a grenade hit Amitendra's eye. He was immediately evacuated and sent to Bombay Hospital.

Captain Singh was preparing himself for surgery the next morning even as he recounted the horrors of that fateful evening for Doctors believe his vision will be impaired after the surgery; in fact, he might even lose complete vision in his left eye.

His fiance, Dr Madhu Singh, a dentist, was at home in Lucknow [ Images ] when she received the news -- two whole days after the incident. She was getting ready to go to work and her husband-to-be called her from a borrowed cell phone, informing her of his injury.

Her heart literally stopped at the news, and she got on the next flight to Mumbai, arriving even before his parents. The frail-looking lady has been a pillar of support for her fiancee, wiping his bad eye and repeatedly assuring him of how proud she was of him.

The captain hails from Lucknow and has been posted in Gurgaon, near Delhi. It is easy to forget how young this man is as he smiles and tells you his horror-laden yet heroic tale of the terrorist attacks. However, his emotions come pouring through in tears when he remembers details that are too painful to bear, and one realises that this hero is barely 25 years old.

Once the tears have been wiped and traces of his mischievous smile start playing at the corners of his mouth again, he jokes, saying, "Arre, don't take my photo today. Take it tomorrow when I have shaved."

Image: Captain Amitendra Kumar Singh with his fiance a day before surgery. Text, photograph: Insiyah Vahanvaty

Present status: The officer who lost an eye at The Oberoi.
Here is a heart-wrenching tale of Captain Amitendra Kumar Singh, a National Security Guard commando, who lost sight in his left eye while fighting the terrorists inside the Oberoi Hotel. While the apathy of the nation towards the war-heroes is an oft-repeated story, his angst-ridden bitterness towards the army is unusual, to say the least.

After shuttling back and forth between Lucknow’s Command Hospital, Chennai’s Sankara Netralaya Eye Hospital and Delhi’s R&R Hospital, Captain Singh was discharged a day before Holi and allowed to return to the NSG camp in Manesar, where he is posted.

“I was so sick of hospitals by then — they all said the same thing, that my eye was damaged beyond repair, and that I would have to get a glass eye, which I didn’t want to do.”

Once he was back at the NSG camp, Captain Singh realised that people have short memories, and if you are injured in the army, you are little more than a liability.

“People’s attitudes towards me have changed. Earlier, they had the utmost confidence in my abilities — I was given plum tasks to take care of. Now even though I can do everything, including driving, firing and physical tasks, all the meaty jobs go to others, and I am given things to do that are not in keeping with my rank. That makes me feel bad.”

“But what can I do? I have to serve here. Now I am doing a desk job — I take care of the administration and running of the camp. I’ll never be able to participate in operations again. It’s not like the US army where any capable person can serve. Serving in the army always been my dream, which is now shattered.”

He makes it clear that the Shaurya Chakra did not serve as salve to his wounds. “I don’t want the Shaurya Chakra. Take it back and return my eye to me. P V Manish (the other Shaurya Chakra awardee) and I were together at the Oberoi. I lost my eye and he was hit in the head by a grenade. The right side of his body was paralysed for some time, but is getting better now. In such operations, you should either die or come back safe and sound. If you come back injured, you don’t get any respect.”

Climate Change Your Biggest Enemy: Dr. Pachauri Warns Indian Army

Source: The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI)
Saturday, June 27, 2009 07:50 PM IST (02:20 PM GMT)
New Delhi, Delhi, India, Saturday, June 27, 2009 -- (Business Wire India)
Dr. R.K. Pachauri, Padma Vibhushan, Director General, The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) and Chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), gave this warning while delivering the keynote address at the convocation ceremony at the Military College of Telecommunication Engineering, Mhow. As the Chief Guest, he presented the Chief of Army Staff Trophy and other awards to the winners.
In his Valedictory Address, Dr. Pachauri complimented the officers for their performance on the course. He praised the Corps of Signals for their good work in the field of modern communications and computer networks and their remarkable use of advanced systems of Optical Fiber, Satellite Communications, and other networks to conduct its operations, including Low Intensity Conflict Operations and UN missions. Corps of Signals has done exemplary work during various natural calamities across the length and breadth of the country. He stressed on the global issue of climate change. “Climate change poses new threats to India.” “Melting snows in the north open up passages for terrorists, just as melting glaciers affect water supply in the subcontinent’s northern part, sharpening possibility of conflict with our neighbours. Changing rainfall patterns affect rain fed agriculture, worsening poverty which can be exploited by others.”

He added, “Our defence forces might find themselves torn between humanitarian relief operations and guarding our borders against climate refugees, as rising sea-levels swamp low-lying areas, forcing millions of ‘climate refugees’ across India’s border.”

The Commandant, Military College of Telecommunication Engineering in his farewell address, exhorted the passing out officers to apply their knowledge in their units and to keep abreast with the latest in the field of technology.
Climate Change Your Biggest Enemy: Dr. Pachauri Warns Indian Army

IESM: Chairman's Desk

Date: Sunday, 28 June, 2009, 10:29 PM
Dear Colleagues,
While the government announcement is awaited, there are a number of tables being circulated speculatively. The sad part is that the tables invariably pertain to officers. One sincerely hopes we are not losing sight of our Chetwodian motto.
Best regards,
Lt Gen (Emeritus) Raj Kadyan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM
Chairman IESM

The ESM welfare organisations main interest should be to get Pension Parity for PBORs who matter, as they comprise 95% of of the Ex Servicemen/ Veteran community. There is no meaning in wasting time drawing Pension Parity tables for the Officer community. Only one pension table for PBORs should be projected at all forums. The Officers Pension Tables should be left to the AHQ and MOD who will get it revised if PBORs Pension Parity fructifies.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Chennai City will come to a grinding halt by 2020

Transportation crisis in Chennai by K. P. SUBRAMANIAN- The Hindu
Traffic congestion in Chennai is frustrating. The volume capacity ratio on many roads during peak hours is more than one. Increase in road space accounts only 3 to 4 per cent of the total area, while about 425 vehicles are added every day.

The city’s vehicle population has zoomed to 32 lakhs from a mere 8 lakhs barely 12 years ago. Car and two-wheeler ownership in Chennai per 1000 population is 45 and 181 respectively. In Mumbai, the corresponding values are 24 and 30 respectively. Two-wheelers and cars occupy more than 90 and 60 times the road space than buses for the same travel demand.

The per capita trip rate per day in Chennai is 1.30 while that in Delhi and Mumbai are 1.05 and 1.15. The average trip length in Chennai was 11.25 km while that for Delhi and Mumbai has been 10.2 km and 11.4 km , notwithstanding the fact that the population of Chennai is only around half of that for Delhi and Mumbai.

The share of trips in public transport has diminished from 52 per cent during 1970 to 25 per cent in 2008. In Delhi and Mumbai, the corresponding values are 48 per cent and 52 per cent. The patronage for the Mass Rapid Transit System (MRTS) in Chennai is abysmally low. The effect of increased bus strength from 2700 to 3200 during 2008 was nullified by launching 36 new routes to places located outside the Chennai Metropolitan Area, instead of augmenting the existing routes. The Urban Mass Transport Authority (UMTA) exists only on paper in the absence of a statutory footing. Parking demand in the city was 13,000 PCE (Passenger Car Equivalency) against a supply of 5100 PCE. On-street parking has led to a loss in the road capacity that ranged between 15 to 60 per cent. Traffic stream crawls at an average speed of 20 km/h.

Demand management
A car and a two-wheeler consume 5 and 2.6 times more energy than a bus. The carbon monoxide load in the city ranged between 1908 to 4198 mg/m3 against the permissible level of 200mg/m3. The emission load of the pollutant SPM (Suspended Particulate Matter) ranged between 264 to 451mg/m3 while the permissible level is 200mg/m3. The average noise pollution level in residential areas across the city is to 70 decibels (db) against the permissible level of 55db. On an average, about 620 persons die on the City roads annually in accidents. The fatality rate is around 35/10,000 vehicles. About 40 per cent of road accidents involve pedestrians and 10 per cent cyclists.

Most transport plans and projects overwhelmingly focus on supply side management, ignoring Demand Management (DM). The demand can be curtailed by raising price, through levying taxes on the use of public roads and parking places. In other words, those who are responsible for traffic congestion should be made to pay extra. In countries like Singapore, owning a car is extremely difficult. Trainers’ fee is hefty and the licence test includes two theory examinations.

Hunt for alternatives
Before you buy a car you need to prove that you can maintain it and show documentary evidence for car parking space. Commuters without the using capacity are levied a fine. Road pricing is a technique that requires a special licence to enter certain designated areas during peak hours.

The levy of high parking fees that totally represents the value of land should be used as a means to make the use of public transport more attractive. Bus priority techniques like ‘priority at signals’ may be introduced. Inter-modal connectivity among the MRTS, suburban trains and the MTC to provide seamless travel across modes is indispensable.

Patronage of the MRTS must be augmented. Any encroachment on footpaths and main carriageways should be strictly dealt with, akin to that on water bodies. A cynical school of above thoughts is that out of box solutions and unconventional thinking are all too much and will never work in the Chennai context. However, the moot point is, “Is there an alternative?” “What is the consequence of not making a beginning now?” Even a journey of thousand kilometres begins with the first step.
Transportation crisis in Chennai by K. P. SUBRAMANIAN

Future Predictions
The city will come to a grinding halt by 2020 going by present statistics. The motor vehicle population has increased by 400% in the last decade and corresponding increase in road space was a mere 3%. By 2020 vehicle population is predicted to be 64 lakhs and increase in road space by mere 2%. The compounding problems of the city are:
1. Poor quality of existing infrastructure which are poorly maintained. Subways for Public occupied night and day by vendors.
2. All footpaths hijacked by vendors, hoardings, touts, goons and roadside makeshift worship idols.
3. Absence of parking space. Road space hijacked for illegal parking by commercial vehicles and taxis limiting flow of traffic. The traffic police do not have tow vehicles to impound defaulters.
4. Total absence of road crossings for public. No safety for children and elderly. Public jump the medians to cross roads, leading to accidents.
5. Poor traffic and erratic lane discipline. Untrained traffic Police unable to manage traffic jams.
6. Incubation period for poor quality and badly planned infrastructure projects is anywhere from 5 to 15 years.
7. Traffic signalling and road signs of poor standards leading to accidents.
8. Poor traffic discipline where there is no enforcement of rules nor punishment of violators.
9. Poor sewage works and open storm drains used for flow of sewage from residential colonies. Digging up newly surfaced roads by agencies like electricity, communication, water works, sewage, and councillors who illegally permit cutting of newly laid roads.
10. Dumping of construction material on all roads thereby reducing road space and smooth flow of traffic and causing congestion.
11. Last but not the least "Criminalisation of Citizens" by the state, leading to and creating chaos where the rule of law is blown to the winds. Once the State has more criminals than citizens then the state is doomed forever. The process will become impossible to reverse. Decriminalisation of Politics and education are the only remedies which can reverse the trend and also coupling it with total "Election and Electoral Reforms".

OROP: Brief to Cabinet Secretary

Date: Thursday, 25 June, 2009, 8:34 AM
Dear Veterans,
I had sent a DO letter addressed to the Secy Public Grievance of the Cabinet Secretariat, along with a brief on ‘One Rank One Pension’ meant for the Cabinet Secretary as attached below.
Kindly read the brief if interested and think over if you also can do something to promote the cause.
With regards,
RN Radhakrishnan (Retd Major General)

A Brief to the Cabinet Secretary (Version 2) on Absolute Parity in Pension ‘OROP’ by Major General (Retd) RN Radhakrisnan

Definition of OROP
1. "One Rank One Pension" (OROP) was the terminology, presumably, coined by Sri KP Singh Deo, while reviewing the pension policy for the Armed Forces personnel, way back in 1985. OROP existed prior to 1970. A soldier (the word is used to mean all ranks in all the wings of the Armed Forces), in those distant days, was granted pension based only on the rank he held when he retired, provided that he was eligible for pension. More length of service put in by him did not earn him more of pension. Sri Singh Deo suggested, again presumably, that OROP should mean ‘same rank same length of service same pension’. Since then OROP meant just that.

The President’s Promise
2. The pension issue of the soldier has been addressed by a number of CPCs and the Standing Parliamentary Committee; yet the concept of OROP has, sadly, never been recognized by any of these Agencies. Thus, it is indeed a matter of great jubilation that the President of India has set the path to settle the issue once for all by, perhaps, the historic announcement during the joint session of the Parliament on 04 June 2009. To quote:
“The Committee, headed by the Cabinet Secretary to look into the issue of One Rank One Pension, has already commenced its work and expects to complete it by the end of June 2009”.

Expectations from the Cabinet Secretary
3. As on today, the 25th of June 2009, there has been no word from the Cabinet Secretary on the modus operandi to consult the ex-servicemen community (ESM). ESM hopes that the Secretary will consult some of them in some objective manner before submitting his final recommendation. I am taking this opportunity to express my understanding of the possible solution and hope that the Cabinet Secretary is inclined to discern some possible rationale in my expression.

4. Fixing the Pay in the Revised Scale. Bound by the mandate that ‘pensioners of the same rank with same total length of service must draw the same pension’, the pension has to be related to the prevalent revised pay. Therefore, the fixing of pay, in the revised scale of pay (RSP), has to be judiciously done. According to the present system of initial pay fixation as on 01-01-2008 (refer SAI 1/S/2008) the revised pay for a sepoy, who has reached the top of the existing pay scale (ESP) in the 16th year of service, is fixed at 8650 in the revised pay scale. However, the SAI has adopted bunching up two levels in the ESP at one level of increment in the RSP for most of the soldiers in the various ranks, who have earned more number of increments and hence higher pay.

5. Anomaly. This shall lead to anomaly in fixing pension in contradiction to the concept of OROP. Let us illustrate the case of a sepoy, belonging to ‘X’ Group.
  • Pay in his 1st year of service as on 01-08-2008 in the RSP 6840
  • Pay on completion of 16 years of service with increments 12750
  • Grade pay 2000
  • Military Service Pay 2000
  • X Group pay 1400
  • Total on completion of 16 years of service 18150
  • Pension @ 70% (rounded to near 10) 12710
    Comparing with a sepoy of the same group, retiring in the year say 2009 with 16 years of service
  • Pay as on 01-08-2008 with 16 years of service 8650
  • Grade pay 2000
  • Military Service Pay 2000
  • X Group pay 1400
  • Total on completion of 16 years of service 14050
  • Pension @ 70% (rounding off) 9840

    Thus, the pension of a senior sepoy is short by Rs2870 ie 29.17% and it is the effect of wrong fitment formula of the SAI. Similar shall, obviously, be the situation in the case of every rank. It may be noted that the effect due to the concept of ACP has not been taken into account and, on taking that into account, the disparity will widen. Hence it becomes apparent that in order to ensure OROP, one has to, first, address the issue of proper initial fixation of pay.

    6. Initial Fixation of pay. It becomes necessary, at this juncture, to deliberate and accept the special status of a soldier due to his and his family’s sacrifices and, the hardships he has to undergo while serving and on forced early retirement. Having accepted the special status of the soldier, the initial fixation of pay for a soldier must, more appropriately, be done as described below:
  • First step – Take the bottom of the ESP as basis for fixing pay.
  • Second step – Build up his pay granting annual increment, for each year of his service, taking into account the financial upgrade due to the concept of ACP / time scale promotion.
  • Third step – Thus, arrive at the pay commensurate to the total number of years of service to the soldier’s credit.
    This may sound complicated. But for an accountant, it is a simple matter of drawing two tables one for the commissioned officers and one for the others, in a time frame of a few hours. I have already drawn these tables and can make them available, if needed.

    7. Fixing Pension. If one is guided by the recent Supreme Court Judgment of Sep 2008, ignoring the context in which it was pronounced, the pension for ESM may be revised as per the procedure given below.
  • First step - Notionally fix the pay of the ESM in accordance with the relevant SAI for initial fixation of pay applicable to the serving soldiers, in each rank.
  • Second step – Revise the pension in accordance to the existing rule (described in para 8 below). The pension, so calculated however, is not in the spirit of OROP.
  • Third step – Authorize an annual increment on the basic pension less the MSP component, till such time the maximum possible pension, commensurate the rank and total length of service is not attained. OROP is now likely to be achieved, in the true spirit, but over a time.

    8. The Correct Method. By the method mentioned above a soldier gets his due pension only over a time. On the contrary, if the notional pay for an ESM is correctly fixed as described in para 6 above, the correct pension is easily and in a fair manner calculated for the ESM. As the notional pay in the revised scale, commensurate to his rank and the total length of service is known, his correct pension is easily and in a fair manner calculated for the ESM. The pension is worked out as a proportion (70% in the case of ranks from sepoy to Havildar and 50% in others’ case) of the total of the pay so determined, the Grade pay, the Military Service Pay and Group pay where applicable.

    9. Conclusion By either of these two methods, OROP can be assured. However, the method under para 7 delays the entitlement by quite a few years for the ESM; hence opting for the correct method as described in para 8 is fair and just. While addressing the issue, it is worthwhile to consider the possibility of
  • treating the retired soldiers other than the Commissioned officer as of one group namely X Group, so that an ESM of the same rank with same length of service gains equality in the retired life by earning same pension,
  • granting pension at pro-rata basis for those who have served for a few years (say a minimum of five years) as a token of recognition of the noble service they rendered in protecting the nation, so that they have a sense of pride attached to them.
  • Granting pension at 60% to Junior Commissioned Officers who are also retired quite early in their life.
  • Granting any other awards and special components of the pension (like the disability pension) as a proportion or a multiple of the basic pension.
  • IESM: Chairman's Desk- OROP

    Date: Saturday, 27 June, 2009, 10:27 PM
    Dear Colleagues,
    Details of the government’s exact stand on OROP are still awaited.
    Best regards,
    Lt Gen (Emeritus) Raj Kadyan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM
    Chairman IESM


    The Cabinet Secretary
    Government of India
    The Ex Servicemen community is greatly indebted to the new government for having included re-examination of our long pending request for ‘one rank one pension’ (OROP) in the Presidential address to the Joint Session of Parliament on 4 June 2009. It is fervently hoped that this issue would be finally resolved to the satisfaction of all concerned.
    OROP has already been studied in great details by various government committees and all its ramifications are well known. However, in case there are still some grey areas that require further study, examination, or discussion, we from various ex servicemen organisations will be happy to help the committee and the government in whatever way we can. Please do not hesitate to call upon us to help you in any way we can in getting this issue that has been agitating our community for so long laid finally to rest.
    Sd..... Raj Kadyan

    The Ex Servicemen community is greatly enthused by the new government having included re-examination of the ‘one rank one pension’ (OROP) issue in the Presidential address to the Joint Session of the Parliament on 4 June 2009. This is the first time this long pending request has received its due acceptance. It is fervently hoped the issue would be resolved to the satisfaction of the Ex Servicemen who have long been requesting it.

    Concept of OROP
    OROP is a request for equal pension for all defence pensioners retiring in the same rank and after equal length of service, irrespective of their date of retirement.

    ECHS Seminar: ESM Wish List Vs Aspirations

    Photo courtesy: Samachar

    Dear brig Kamboj,
    I have been asked by MD ECHS to speak at an ECHS seminar in Chandimandir on 15-16 Jul 2009. Topic ESM's view of ECHS- wish list vs genuine aspirations. I had written an article on the subject which was included in Report My Signal and is being attached as link below again. Through your blog may I invite views of readers at the earliest.
    I remember a team of offrs who were doing considerable good work on the subject I forget exactly who they were but inputs would be very useful. thanx
    Brig Sateesh Kuthiala (Retd)
    ECHS by Brig SC Kuthiala (RETD)


    The contents posted on these Blogs are personal reflections of the Bloggers and do not reflect the views of the "Report My Signal- Blog" Team.
    Neither the "Report my Signal -Blogs" nor the individual authors of any material on these Blogs accept responsibility for any loss or damage caused (including through negligence), which anyone may directly or indirectly suffer arising out of use of or reliance on information contained in or accessed through these Blogs.
    This is not an official Blog site. This forum is run by team of ex- Corps of Signals, Indian Army, Veterans for social networking of Indian Defence Veterans. It is not affiliated to or officially recognized by the MoD or the AHQ, Director General of Signals or Government/ State.
    The Report My Signal Forum will endeavor to edit/ delete any material which is considered offensive, undesirable and or impinging on national security. The Blog Team is very conscious of potentially questionable content. However, where a content is posted and between posting and removal from the blog in such cases, the act does not reflect either the condoning or endorsing of said material by the Team.
    Blog Moderator: Lt Col James Kanagaraj (Retd)