Friday, September 28, 2012

OROP demand diluted: Sugar Coated Ruse?

Edits: The Statesman
26 September 2012
To dilute OROP demand
NOT for the first time has the central government, and this criticism is not UPA-specific, hypocritically and sinisterly come up with a seemingly attractive package of pension benefits for ex-servicemen ~ that is actually intended to dilute the demand for a one-rank one-pension regime (OROP). Terms like “close to”, “approximating with” or “bridging the gap” have been used by the establishment to camouflage the reality that the promise of reworking the principle on which defence pensions are calculated has been broken. While initially on Monday evening TV channels flashed misleading reports that OROP had been cleared by the Cabinet they subsequently modified their line: without admitting to have erred when raising the hopes of an anxious pensioners’ community. Once the gift-wrapping of the Rs 2,300-crore package was discarded, distinct dismay and frustration spread through the community that concluded that AK Antony, Manmohan Singh and P Chidambaram had emulated their predecessors in a bid to “sweeten them” via a one-time handout. The reaction from veterans’ association has been scathing: a retired lieutenant-general accused the government of “deceit”, another said “it is a joke, they have cheated.” Some of their calculations point to anomalies persisting, and insisted the “disillusionment continued”. So should we expect a return to the disheartening scenes of veterans protesting in the streets, returning medals they had once cherished, even more drastic measures that could influence elections? Or that the sustained unhappiness impacts recruitment in regions where “serving the colours” has been a matter of family honour? And that the complications created by different scales render the pension disbursing agency hamstrung. The courts and tribunals are replete with horror stories about people spending years (and their limited funds) seeking “justice”.
Arguments against OROP (some do have validity) ought to have ceased after all major political parties promised it in their election manifestos, and a parliamentary committee averred that non-implementation was “not tenable”. So the allegation of political double-speak “sticks” ~ across party lines. The implied alibi (bureaucratically-inspired?) that other sections of government workers will make similar demands is cowardly: most soldiers retire in their early 40s, their pension-dependence is unique. The short-point is that if the government does not accept the OROP principle it should have the guts to say so. Perhaps the only “political” reason for the latest rejection of OROP is that granting it would appear to be buckling under pressure mounted by the previous army chief when taking a reckless exit route to build himself a “constituency”.

No comments:


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)