Thursday, December 22, 2011

One Rank One Pension: Rajya Sabha Press Release

Parliament of India (Rajya Sabha Secretariat)
Press Release
Hundred and Forty-second Report on the petition praying for grant of one rank one pension to the armed forces personnel.
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.
2. The Petition was submitted by Shri Sanjay Prabhu and others, resident of Bangalore and countersigned by Rajeev Chandrasekhar, MP, Rajya Sabha.
3. The Committee during the course of its deliberations interacted with the petitioners, representatives of Departments of Ex-servicemen Welfare (M/o Defence), Expenditure (M/o Finance) and Pensions and Pensioner's Welfare (M/o Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions) and some organizations/individuals.
4. 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)
click here to access Rajya Sabha Press Release

Defence Land Scams an update

Ministry of Defence
21-December, 2011 15:03 IST Defence Land Scams
Adarsh Housing Society and Kandivili cases are being investigated by CBI. Action shall be taken based on the recommendations of the investigation. No defence personnel has been found involved in Pune land case. Suitable action has been taken against Army personnel found involved in the Sukna land case.
It has been decided to resume Audit of defence lands which among others shall cover encroachments also.
The details of Adarsh Housing Society scam, Kandivili land scam, Pune land scam and Sukna land scam are as under:
1. Adarsh Co-operative Housing Society Case
Adarsh Co-operative Housing Society (ACHS) has constructed a multi-storied building on a land measuring approximately 3837.57 sq. mtrs, at Block VI, Colaba, Mumbai. ACHS had sought allotment of land from Government of Maharashtra for the welfare of serving and retired personnel of defence services. Prima facie, there have been irregularities and issues of concern in this regard include issue of `NOC by the Army to inter alia alienate the land in its possession in favour of ACHS; by¬passing Coastal Land Regulation Zone clearance; inclusion of civilians in the membership of the society; change of Floor Space Index; deviation from the commitments made for the welfare of defence services; disregard to security concerns of defence services etc. The Government has entrusted enquiry to CBI with a view to getting the matter thoroughly investigated and fix responsibilities.
2. Kandivili land case
As reported by Director General of Defence Estates, 13.28 acres of State Government land in village Akurli was held on hire by Army since long. In 2007, Collector, Mumbai Suburban District, allotted 5166.50 Sq Mtrs of land adjacent to Central Ordnance Depot (COD) to M/s Neo Pharma Ltd. after receiving its market value. This was objected to by COD and Defence Estates Officer (DEO) on the grounds that this formed part of Defence land on hire. Collector was also informed that COD will not permit any agency to take possession of Defence Land without approval of Ministry of Defence. However, their objections were overruled by the Collector. COD persisted with its objections and resisted handing over possession of the said land. Subsequently, at the direction of Headquarters, Southern Command, all obstacles were removed and Neo Pharma was permitted to go ahead with the planned development of the Plot.
Head Quarters Southern Command has sought that the matter be investigated at appropriate level. Army Headquarters (AHQ) recommended that the case be investigated by the CBI. After considering the matter, Government has asked AHQ to ascertain either by holding a Court of Inquiry or otherwise as to how Head Quarters Southern Command relinquished claim on the said land. The case has been investigated by a Court of Inquiry by Head Quarters Southern Command. The Court of Inquiry has been completed and case has been handed over to CBI on 30th November 2011.
3. Pune Land case
In March 2008 sanction was issued for transferring an area admeasuring 4498.56 sq. mtr. lo the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC). When sanction was issued, it came to notice that while the subject land was entered in Revenue Records as `Military Line Kade’, it was not entered in the Military Lands Register of the Defence Estates Officer, Pune. There were some claimant(s) and the State Government authorities changed entry` in the Revenue records. The matter was therefore referred to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). The case is under investigation
Corrective action has been taken and "Military Line Kade" has been restored in the Revenue records, the land has also been entered in the Military Lands Register.
4. Sukna land case
Sukna Land case pertains to land in Chumta Tea Estate neighbouring defence land and not defence land. This is a case of incorrect issue of No Objection Certificate (NOC) by HQ 33 Corps. A Court of Inquiry was ordered by HQ Eastern Command to investigate the circumstances under which No Objection Certificate was allowed to be given and MoU agreed by HQ 33 Corps for land in Chumta Tea Estate. The Court of Inquiry has been finalized and suitable action taken against erring officials.

This information was given by Defence Minister Shri AK Antony in written reply to Dr. Gyan Prakash Pilania in Rajya Sabha today. HH/NN (Release ID :79106)
Defence Land Scams
CBI to probe defence land scam

Army Officer honey trapped

An Army Lieutenant Colonel was embroiled in an alleged honey trap and then blackmailed by ISI which reportedly asked him to spy for Pakistan during his posting in Bangladesh. The Army has ordered a Court of Inquiry (CoI) against the officer whose name has been withheld by the Army Headquarters in New Delhi. The Infantry officer was doing his Staff College course in the Bangladesh's Military Academy in Dhaka.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

One Rank One Pension will it get the Parliament nod

One-Rank-One-Pension for Ex-Soldiers Likely to be Implemented
By Odisha 360 News Bureau
Bhubaneswar: The Parliament Committee of Petitions constituted under the Cabinet Secretary is likely to favour the long pending demand of ‘one-rank-one-pension’ (OROP) scheme for retired defence personnel.

With this move as many as 2.5 million retired soldiers, who have been running since long will be benefitted by this scheme.

Earlier the Defence Ministry had cleared that it would not be able to meet the ‘One Rank-One Pension’ demand of ex-servicemen due to administrative, financial and legal implications. Following this, thousands of ex-servicemen and war veterans had returned their gallantry medals.

Sources said, the scheme was finally supported as the Parliament Committee of Petitions has been considering the petition submitted by MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar and 24 others in October 2010, where in they had argued that the demands of the ex-servicemen may be considered on the lines of the pension for MP’s, which is Rs 20,000 for all first-timers.

In 2009, based on the recommendation of the committee headed by Cabinet Secretary on ‘one rank-one pension’ (OROP), the Government had decided to substantially improve the pension of pre-January one, 2006 defence pensioners below officer rank and bring pre-October 10, 1997 pensioners on par with post- October 10, 1997 pensioners.
OROP tabled in Parliament

Dear Colleagues,
The Rajya Sabha Petitions Committee has presented its report to the Parliament today. They have thus met their deadline of presenting it during the Winter Session.
The Committee’s report defines OROP exactly as the IESM has been doing:
“…OROP 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 to be automatically passed on to the past pensioners…”
The 14-page report makes a strong case in favour of grant of OROP. Depositing of medals has been specially cited as one of the reasons in support of their recommendation. The report has included all the points we had made during our PP Presentation to the Committee on 16 May 2012. I telephonically thanked the Committee Chairman Shri Bhagat Singh Koshyari on behalf of the IESM.
It is fervently hoped that the government will show grace and good sense to accept the recommendations.
Best regards,
Lt Gen Raj Kadyan
Chairman IESM
I tried attaching the report but the size is too large. I am therefore re-sending the sitrep without the report.


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