What is One Rank, One Pension of Armed forces?

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The Minister of State for External Affairs General V K Singh on Monday reiterated again that Modi government is committed for 'one rank, one pension' scheme for ex-servicemen.

"The BJP-led government at the Centre has allotted Rs 1,000 crore for the implementation of one rank one pension scheme, which is insufficient. I have requested the Finance Minister to allocate more funds for it. The government remains committed to implement the scheme at the earliest," Singh said in Mumbai. [Pros and cons of One Rank One Pension scheme]

orop

What is the OROP?

• ‘OROP' implies equal amount of pension for having served in the same rank and also having rendered the same length of service. [Govt dedicated to One Rank One Pension, says PM Narendra Modi]

• For an example, a Sepoy who retired in 1995 would get the same amount of pension as the one who retired in 1996.

Pay commission makes thing worse

• Discontent among ex-servicemen is largely because of the reason that with every successive pay commission the gap between past pensioners and their younger equivalents grows further. [One Rank One Pension issue: War veterans boycott govt functions]
• According to Lt Gen Raj Kadyan, who is the chairman of Indian Ex Servicemen Movement, "The stark difference can be seen after implementation of the Sixth Pay Commission".
• He further says, "for equal service, a Sepoy, who retired prior to 1996, gets 82% lower pension than a Sepoy who retires after 2006. Similarly, among officers, a pre-1996 Major gets 53% lower pension than his post 2006 counterpart".

What Judiciary says on the matter?

• "Pension is not a bounty nor a matter of grace depending upon the sweet will of the employer. It is not an ex-gratia payment, but a payment for past services rendered", the Supreme Court in its 1983 ruling had stated.
• Even the Chandigarh Bench of the Armed Forces Tribunal had accepted this demand of ex-servicemen.
• In 2010 ruling, the court had said that the State can't adopt different criteria for the scheme on the basis of cut-off date of retirement
• And if that is being done then that will be considered as the violation of Article 14 which gives a person constitutional right to be treated equal before law.

2001 Parliamentary panel recommendations

• The Standing Committee on Defence had submitted the report regarding the issue in 2001.
• According to report, the Third Pay Commission in 1973 had abolished this scheme and till then it had been in vogue.
• Had acknowledged that servicemen had to go through with tough service conditions i.e high risk to life and disturbed family life.
• The Committee had questioned that when it was successfully ran for 26 years after the independence then what was the problem in implementing it further.

BJP seems in mood to walk the talk

• It was a part of BJP's manifesto.
• Prime Minister Narendra Modi had reiterated about the scheme so many times during his election campaign.
• The BJP Government allocated Rs 1,000 crore for the scheme in Union Budget.

For years, Congress bluffed only

• In theory, UPA Government had accepted the scheme many a times but didn't implement.
• During interim budget 2014, former Finance Minister had earmarked Rs 500 crore for the same, though aimed to get dividends in Lok sabha election.
• BJP termed it a bluff, saying they only believe in lip-service.
• Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had said, "This year again, in the budget speech, the former finance minister announced the acceptance of this demand. However, again the ex-servicemen have been bluffed. No notification has been issued to give enforcement effect to this demand,".

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