Detailed Comments by Brig C S Vidyasagar on Notings of File of Min of Def (ESW) on OROP – 2018
Dear Brig Kartar Singh Sir,
1. Further to our detailed discussion in your IESL Office in 9, Nyaya Marg, New Delhi on 09 and 10 Jul 2019, I am forwarding my comments on the 14 page notings of file of Min of Def (ESW) on OROP – 2018. The noting in file of Min of Def (ESW) is in black colour and my comments are in blue colour.
File No: 1(1)/2019/D(Pen/Policy) dated 23 Mar 2019 of Min of Def (ESW).
2. Para 2. TRIPAS has mentioned that on the basis of calculations of pension as per OROP differs from the basis of calculation of pension in the 7th CPC. This may have resulted in lower fixation of pension for post 2016 retirees than the one who retired prior to 1.1.2016. In view of this and to avoid similar situation in future, TRIPAS has requested that a timeline may be promulgated to review OROP. The data considered for formulating the revised OROP 2019 for pensioners be shared with Service HQs before finalizing the pension tables. Further TRIPAS has mentioned that recommendations of OMJC be declassified at the earliest at it may have an effect on the revision of OROP.
3. The simple explanation for this anomaly where in some of the Post-Jul 2014 retirees get less pension than those who got benefited by OROP-2013 can be obtained in the method of fixation of pension in OROP-2013. The pension for all pre-013 retirees for a rank and a particular qualifying service was equated to the Average of Pension of those retired in calendar year with the same rank and with same qualifying service. For example a Havildar with 26 years’ service & Group Y retired in calendar year 2013 is Average of pension drawn by Havildar / PO / Sgt retired in 2013. The average pension is given in Circular 555 is Rs 7,995. This is arrived by taking Average of Maximum of say Rs 8105 and Minimum of 7,795. The Average comes to Rs 0.5 x (8195 + 7795) = Rs 7,995.
4. Why does Maximum and Minimum pension for a rank with a particular QS comes about? We all know, Sir, that in Armed Forces all do not get promotions at the same time. In the Army, you take any Arm or Service, promotions are given based on the vacancies available. In certain trades, one gets promoted from Naik to Havildar in 8 years’ service and in some other trades in the same Corps / Regiment, another Naik gets promoted to the rank of Havildar with 15 years’ service. Therefore, the one who gets promoted earlier will have more increments in the last rank and the one who got promoted late will have lesser number of increments in the last rank. If they both retire with same QS of 26 years in the same month and year say 2013 they will have different last pay drawn i.e. one with more number of increments gets higher last pay drawn and the one who got promoted late and has lesser number of increments will have less last pay drawn. Pension is 50% of Last Pay Drawn. Therefore, one Havildar would draw pension of Rs 8,195 and another Havildar would have drawn pension of Rs 7,795 at their retirement in 2013 with the same qualifying service of 26 years. To ensure those who draw higher pension do not suffer any disadvantage, the Min of Def (ESW) arrived at fixation of pension based on Average pension. This benefits both i.e. those with higher pension and with lesser pension. Those who got higher pension continue to draw higher pension i.e. their higher pension is protected. Those who got promoted late and got lesser increments and fixed lesser pension than Average like the Havildar with Rs 7,795 has been brought at par with Average of Rs 7,995. You see the Havildar with lesser pension also got benefited by Rs 200 pm.
5. Those who retired from Jul 2014 to Dec 2015 are not given the benefit of OROP i.e. those promoted late with lesser number of increments in the last rank and their pension has been brought up to Average of Pension. That is why this anomaly is only restricted to those whose pay in 2013 is lesser than pay of those with Average pay retired in calendar year 2013. Such number of retirees are few. The same principle of bringing the lesser pension than Average as was done in OROP-2013 should have done to those who retired w.e.f. Jul 2014. This will ensure all will get minimum pension of OROP-2013 and their pension in Jan 2016 and thereafter would not be less than OROP-2013.
6. Officers with Pre-Commission Service. Some of the commissioned officers get benefit of their pre-commission service rendered either in Central or State Govt service before getting commission. If they retired prior to Jul 2014, they got benefit of their pre-commission service in OROP-2013. Their pension is for qualifying service comprising of Pre-Commission service and Commissioned service. For example, a SL Officer with pre-commission service of 15 years and commissioned service of 20 years retired in 2004 gets pension fixed for qualifying service of 35 years. But a SL Officer retired in Jul 2014 or thereafter gets pension fixed for commissioned service only as his last pay drawn is only for commissioned service of 20 years. Such officers who retired post – Jul 2014 will get benefit of their pre-commission service only in OROP-2018. OROP-2018 benefits all those who retire till 30 Jun 2019.
7. Officers with Pre-Commission Service. Some of the commissioned officers get benefit of their pre-commission service rendered either in Central or State Govt service before getting commission. If they retired prior to Jul 2014, they got benefit of their pre-commission service in OROP-2013. Their pension is for qualifying service comprising of Pre-Commission service and Commissioned service. For example, a SL Officer with pre-commission service of 15 years and commissioned service of 20 years retired in 2004 gets pension fixed for qualifying service of 35 years. But a SL Officer retired in Jul 2014 or thereafter gets pension fixed for commissioned service only as his last pay drawn is only for commissioned service of 20 years. Such officers who retired post-Jul 2014 will get benefit of their pre-commission service only in OROP-2018. OROP-2018 benefits all those who retire till 30 Jun 2019.
8. Date of Implementation of OROP-2018. The benefit of OROP-2018 should flow from 01 Jul 2019 as was done in OROP-2013.
9. De-classification of One Man Judicial Committee Recommendation. We do agree that Justice L Narasimha Reddy having heard the views of pensioners in 19 stations would have made his recommendations based on law and equity. Therefore, such recommendations should be accepted and implemented in OROP-2013. Lest, those who suffer will definitely go to the Courts of Law and get their justified pension. How can Naiks with service of 15 to 28 years get the same pension of Rs 7,170 as none with QS of 15.50 retired in calendar year 2013? We all know the MACP (Modified Assured Career Progression) implemented w.e.f. Jan 2006 gave benefit to all soldiers with 16 years’ service to get pay and pension of Havildar. Therefore, you will not find any Sepoy or Naik with service less than 16 years retiring in calendar year 2013 except one Sepoy who retired with QS of 15 years. The PCDA (Pensions) Allahabad fixed pension of all Naiks with service of 15.50 to 28 years at Rs 7,170 which is pension of Naik with 15 years’ service. The justice demands that respecting longer service in Armed forces, those Sepoys and Naiks retired with longer service more than 15 years should be fixed pension by giving them benefit of 3% per year. That way a Naik with 28 years’ service would have higher pension. Another mistake done by PCDA (Pensions) Allahabad is to fix pension based on term of engagement and not actual QS. Naiks are supposed to retire with service of 24 years but there are many Naiks who continued to serve till 28 years. Therefore fixing pension of Naik with 28 year’s service as if he served only for 24 years is bad in law. Service rendered cannot be discounted.
10. Para 3.2. Parity in pension of Defence Services Personnel / Family pensioners has almost been arrived at after implementation of 7th CPC on the Notional Pay fixation method.
11. It appears to me neither Min of Def (ESW) nor CGDA know how Notional Pay Method had NOT equated pension of those retired prior to 6th CPC with those retired in calendar year 2016. The Min of Def (ESW) issued concordance tables showing Notional Pay vide their letter No: 17(01)/2017/(02)/D(Pension/ Policy) dated 17.10.2018 to facilitate fixation of notional pay of pre-2016 defence pensioners/ family pensioners by the concerned Record offices and attached Pay Account Offices in case of JCO/ORs of the three Services and PCDA(O) Pune/ Naval Pay Office, Mumbai/ AFCAO New Delhi in case of Commissioned Officers of Army/ Navy/Air Forces respectively. This letter clearly shows how Notional pay method of pension fixation has to be worked out for all Pre-2016 pensioners. I have received few PPOs and details of pension of those retired in calendar year 2016. As you know the pension has been fixed for Post-2016 pensioners by Notional pay method and New Def Pay Matrix with varying IORs. If the contention of Min of Def (ESW) and CGDA that Notional Pay Method fixed pension of Pre & Post 2016 retirees same then the pension for these class of pensioners as in Jan 2016 should be same. But you will find that it is not so. You can see the difference in pension of those retired in calendar year 2016 is much higher than those retired earlier. A table containing the pensions of these two category of pensioners is given as an attachment.
12. Reason Why Pension by Notional Pay Method has NOT Equated Pension of those retired in calendar year 2016 and Pre- 6th CPC pensioners. The reason is again very simple. All those who retired in calendar year 2016 had got their pension fixed by simple formula of pension in Dec 2015 x 2.57. Since they got benefit of higher pay in 6th CPC, there pay in Dec 2015 is much higher. When multiplied with fitment factor of 2.57 the pay in Jan 2016 is even higher. When this higher pay is to be fixed in Def Pay Matrix they get even higher Notional Pay. Therefore, their pension in Jan 2016 is much higher than those retired in 3rd to 5th CPC. PCDA (Pensions) Allahabad has commenced fixing of the notional pay of Pre-2016 retirees in phases. For example the Notional pay of Brigadier with 33 years’ service and retired in 2004 is Rs 1,43,800 and with MSP of Rs 15,500 the notional last drawn pay is Rs 1,53,900 and pension is 0.50 x153900 = Rs 79,650 pm. Whereas pension for Brigadier with similar service retired in 2016 is Rs 1,01,600. Then where is the equalisation by Notional Pay method?
13. Why Pension of Earlier Retirees by Notional Pay Method can NEVER be same as those Retired in 2016?. The reason is those who retired in 3rd CPC to 5th CPC get their last pay drawn by the pay scale of that CPC which is very less. Even if that is multiplied by fitment factor of 3rd to 4th, 4th to 5th, 5th to 6th and then finally from 6th to 7th (2.57), the notional pay in Jan 2016 is much lesser. For comparison, take the Notional pay given in Circular 608 for all those retried prior to 6th CPC with maximum number of stagnation increments and compare the last pay drawn by Notional pay method. The same is given in the table below. How can anyone least of all CGDA say Notional pay method of pension fixation has more or less equalised pension of Pre and Post 2016 retirees?
|Rank||Notional pay in Jan 2016 of those Retired in 3rd CPC as per Concordance Table given in Circular 608||Notional Pay of those Retired in Calendar Year 2016|
|Lt Col with 33 or more Years of Service||Rs 1,40,500||Rs 1,67,700|
|Col with 33 or more years of service||Rs 1,42,700||Rs 1,82,200|
|Brig with 33 or more years of service||Rs 1,48,100||Rs 1,87,700|
|Maj Gen with 33 or more years of service||Rs 1,88,200||Rs 1,90,100|
14. Para 3.3. Recommendation of One Maj Judicial Committee on Anomalies in OROP-2013. The one man judicial committee, headed by Justice L Narasimha Reddy, former Chief Justice of Patna High Court submitted his recommendations to the Min of Def on 26 Sep 2016. An internal committee was constituted on 19 Jul 2017 to examine the recommendations of OMJC with respect to the feasibility, impact of recommendations on other existing provisions and financial aspects in implementation of the recommendations The issues involved in the recommendations of OMJC are quite complex and required detailed analysis. The recommendations, therefore, are under detailed examination in the ministry.
15. The internal committee was constituted on 19 Jul 2017 to examine the recommendations of OMJC. In spite of detailed examination for almost two years, yet no decision has been taken so far. This abnormal delay indicates that Min of Def (ESW) is not likely to accept any of the recommendations simply on the ground that these recommendations are complex and involve huge financial outgo. In any case, OROP-2018 is not likely to be implemented taking any of the recommendations of OMJC. If Min of Def (ESW) cannot come to any conclusion even after two years, then one cannot expect these recommendations of OMJC will ever be accepted.
16. The only alternative left is all ESM Associations forgetting their differences should come under IESL and file a PIL in Hon’ble Supreme Court to declassify the recommendations of OMJC and do justice to large number of pensioners who suffered less pension in OROP-2013. All veterans should contribute finances for filing PIL in Hon’ble Supreme Court. All ESM Associations must collect contribution from their members and send them to IESL.
17. The criterion adopted for fixation of pension in OROP-2013 is incorrect because of which those with higher QS but not retired in calendar year 2013 got pension same as those who retired with much lesser QS but retired with lesser pension in calendar year 2013. There are many more anomalies which need to be rectified before OROP-2018 is to be implemented. Otherwise the same anomalies will be found even in OROP-2018 tables.
18. Para 4. We may however send a copy of TRIPAS letter to CGDA for looking into the matter and start preparatory work for re-fixation of pension under OROP, as per para 3(v) of Govt letter No: 12(1)/2014/D(pen/policy)-Part II dated 7th Nov 2015.
19. The 7th CPC recommended increments to be fixed either in January or July of each year. The same has been accepted by Govt of India. Therefore anyone retires in July 2018 would have drawn his increment and even if he retires in Dec 2018 or Jun 2019 there is no change to his last drawn pay and hence pension. If CGDA has any interest in OROP-2018, by now they would have worked out OROP-2018 tables like they did for OROP-2013 tables given in Circular 555. With softwares available it will not take more than six months for PCDA (Pensions) Allahabad to find out for each rank from Sepoy to Lt Gen (HAG+) and their equivalents in other two services and for varying QS from 15 years to 33 years in intervals of six months as to what is the maximum pension and minimum pension. The Average is the pension in OROP-2018. But CGDA needs some excuse to delay OROP-2018. In their letter to Min of Def, the CGDA has advised the Govt not to implement OROP-2018 on the false argument that pension of Pre and Post-2014 retirees has been equalied by 7th CPC which I proved as totally wrong. I have also explained why some of Post-July 2014 pensioners draw less pension than OROP-2013 retirees. Such retirees are few and this anomaly is not wide spread as CGDA has painted as if all the Post-Jul 2016 retirees draw less pension. They are advisors to the Govt of India and simply recommended that Post-Jul 2014 pensioners also be given the same pension as in OROP-2013. This is not rocket science.
20. I sincerely hope CGDA now without any more silly arguments sincerely carry out working out tables for OROP-2018. But seeing the hostile attitude of these accountants, I have my doubts whether OROP-2018 will ever be implemented. But the press report of statement of Hon’ble RM in Lucknow that he discussed OROP with hon’ble PM and revision of pension will be carried out holds some hope that OROP-2018 will be implemented. My guess is it will take minimum six months before we see tables of pension of OROP-2018.
File No: 1(1)/2019/D(pen/policy) dated 16 Apr 2019
21. With respect to para 2.1 above, matter may be decided at the level of Hon’ble Raksha Mantri. As regards, the issues raised by CGDA particularly in Para 2.1.2 above requires deliberations in a meeting to be attended by experts from CGDA, PCDA (Pensions) Allahabad and MoD (Finance / Pension). It is therefore suggested that a meeting under the chairmanship of JS (ESW) / Secretary (ESW) may be called in this regard.
22. CGDA has raised basically two issues and recommended not to implement OROP-2018. First excuse is that 7th CPC equalized pension of Pre & Post-2016 pensioners. I have proved with data that it is not so. The pension of OROP-2013 pensioners remained same from Jul 2014 and in Jan 2016 it has been multiplied by fitment factor of 2.57. The pension of all beneficiaries of OROP-2013 is still much lesser than those retired in calendar year 2016. The second excuse CGDA gave is some anomalies have occurred in implementation of OROP-2013 where in some Post-Jul 2014 pensioners draw lesser pension than those of OROP-2013. I gave detailed explanation why this has happened. Such pensioners are very few and it is because they got their promotions to their last rank very late. This is an anomaly but is it not wide spreads as CGDA alleges without any detailed examination of pension drawn by Post-Jul 2014 to Dec 2015 retirees. This is a generalization. If a statement is made by an authority of CGDA, then it should be supported by data. There is no such data. Let CGDA work out the pension of all Post-Jul 2014 from Sepoy to Lt Gen (HAG+) and find out how many of them draw less pension than OROP-2013 pensioners. With very limited data I could get, I can confidently say this is not more than 20% and is not wide spread as CGAD alleges. These two excuses are just to gain some time to work out OROP-2018 tables.
File No: 1(1)/2019-D(Pen/Pol) dated 26 Apr 2019
23. Para 1. Ref meeting held on 24 Apr 2019 in the chamber of JS (ESW), in which the representatives of CGDA, PCDA(P) were also present, to discuss issues raised by CGDA with regards to initiating the preparatory work for second round of revision of pension under OROP.
24. Para 2. In the meeting, among other things, it was noted that PCDA (P) is in the process of fixation of pension of defence pensioners on notional pay basis as per notional pay fixation formula (first formulation of 7th CPC) and that suo-moto fixation is likely to be completed by the end of Jun 2019. The data for comparing past pensioners with the current pensioners will only be available after completion of this exercise and this data will help substantially to start the process of second round of revision of pension under OROP.
25. Circular 608 clearly mentions how pension of Pre-2016 pensioners has to be worked out by Notional Pay Method. This circular was based on instructions issued by Govt of India, Min of Def vide their letter No: Gol, MoD letter No.17 (01)/2017/(02)/D(Pension/Policy) dated 17.10.2018. I do understand that pension by Notional pay method of 25 lakh pensioners will take lot of time in spite of best software available as the data entry operator has to feed the data such as rank, QS and date of retirement of all the Pre-2016 pensioners. But one can make out that Notional Pay method benefits only those retired in 6thCPC only. I have received PPOs and data from PPOs of some of them retired in 6th CPC and you will find that most of them got higher pension by Notional Pay method of pension fixation. The same is attached.
26. Therefore, for comparison of pensions one has to go by 2.57 method for pensioners retired till 5th CPC (Dec 2005) as it is more beneficial to them and notional pay method be worked out only for Post-6th CPC pensioners as that is more beneficial to them. We must understand what is more relevant who gets how much pension as in Jan 2016. The method adopted loses its relevance. In any case, the pension in Jan 2016 of Pre 0 Jul 2014 pensioners benefited by OROP-2013 is less than pension of those who retired in the period Jul 2014 and Dec 2015. I have not understood the relationship between pension as on Jan 2016 when OROP-2018 envisages arriving at pension based on Average pension of Maximum and Minimum pension of those retired in calendar year 2018. Every year about 60,000 pensioners retire. Therefore it is not very difficult for PCDA (Pensions) Allahabad to work out Average pension and submit tables of OROP-2018. All these so called meetings are only to create confusion and make their best efforts to prove to Hon’ble Raksha Mantri that there is no need for OROP-2018.
27. Another point to be noted is that when it suits the Min of Def they call representatives of three Service HQs for discussion. But when the letter of CGDA of Apr 2019 recommending abolition of OROP-2018 altogether, none of the representatives of three Service HQs are called. In fact when the issue of pensions is to be decided then stakeholders need to be invited to seek their views. Serving Officers from three Service HQs, I dare say, have very little knowledge of pensions and OROP as they are not the affected party. Therefore the office bearers of recognised ESM Associations like IESL, DIWAVE and AF Association should be invited for such meetings in the future.
File No: 1(1)/2019-D(Pen/Pol) dated 09 May 2019
28. Para 3.2.1 (a). The CGDA in his UO dated 05 Apr 2019 stated the following :-
The Notional pay formula brings all past pensioners to current rates almost as if they were serving under 7th CPC. This is also the formula used in various court judgments seeking to equate past pensioners with current retirees. For example Hon’ble Supreme Court judgment in SPS Vains Vs UOI (2008) case and DS Nakara case. As such it is a matter for consideration as to whether any logic exists to initiate the process of OROP revision once the pension of past and present pensioners has been equated w.e.f. 01 Jan 2016.
29. With all respect to the august office of CGDA, I am constrained to state that their argument in para 24 not to grant OROP-2018 because 7th CPC equalised pension of Pre and Post 2016 retirees is totally wrong. Time and again, I say with utmost sense of responsibility and based on actual data of pension of those retired prior to Jul 2014 (OROP-2013 beneficiaries) and those retired in calendar year 2016 is not same. The pension of Pre-Jul 2014 retirees is their pension in OROP x 2.57 which is by 2.57 method i.e. second method recommended by 7th CPC. Whereas the pension of those retired in calendar year 2016 is based on Notional pay method. How can the pension by two methods is same in Jan 2016?. If you take the pension of those retired in say 4th CPC and multiply with fitment factor of intervening CPCs till 7th CPC and see his Notional pay is much lesser than Notional pay of those retired in calendar year 2016. I have given examples of this in Para 13 above. The reason is the last drawn emoluments of soldier in 4th CPC is very less. Even that is multiplied by various fitment factors, it will not be same as Notional pay of those retired in calendar year 2016 as their pay by 7th CPC is quite high.
30. Judgments of Hon’ble Supreme Court. The Hon’ble Supreme Court time and again stated in their judgments of DS Nakara (1985) and Maj Gen SPS Vains (2008) that one homogenous class cannot be divided into two classes by an arbitrary date of retirement. Such as action violates Art 14 of the Constitution i.e. equality. It supports OROP. The pension of past retirees has to be same as pension of present retirees. If the judgment is to be implemented, then pension of past retirees should be same as those of who retired in calendar year 2018. In fact it should be same in every year but the Govt of India, Min of Def (ESW) stated that yearly revision is an administrative nightmare though fuel prices can be changed every day.
31. Recommendation of CGDA NOT Based on any Data. CGDA has made a general statement that 7th CPC has equalised pension of Pre and Post-2016 retirees as on Jan 2016. I proved with data that this statement is grossly erroneous. Even if we accept that statement is true, then by the same argument, the pension of those past retirees should be same as those retired in calendar year 2018. For example Pre-2013 Brigadier with QS of 33 years like you is fixed pension of Rs 96,555 from Jan 2016 to Jun 2019. The pension of Brigadier with same QS draws pension of Rs Rs 1,01,600 in Jan 2016 and Rs 1,10,300 in Jan 2018. Then where is equalisation as envisaged by the very same Min of Def (ESW)? The data I collected from all ranks who retired in calendar year 2018 is also attached. You find petitioners of all ranks retired in calendar year 2018 draw more pension than past retirees. It can also be seen that pension of all ranks retired in calendar year 2016, 2017 and 2018 are different. Therefore, pension in any year for the same rank and same QS between past pensioners and those retired in calendar years 2016, 2017 and 2018 are not same. This leads to strong demand that pension should be equalised every year if OROP as per judgments of Hon’ ble Supreme Court are to be acted upon. I am working out pension from OROP-2013, pension of those retired in calendar years 2014 to 2018. But this will take some as I have received large number of PPOs and data from PPOs from veterans retired in the period Jul 2014 to Jun 2019. A quick look at these PPOs or data of PPOs show different pension for those retired in January of any year and those retired in July of every year from Jul 2014.
32. Para 4.1.(a). Principle behind sanctioning OROP for Defence Pensioners is to bring the past pensioners at par with current pensioners. The Notional Pay formula brings all past pensioners to current retirees i.e. pension of past and current pensioners has been equated w.e.f. 1.1.2016 which is akin to OROP.
33. The argument of CGDA as shown above appears to be have been accepted by Min of Def (ESW) in a meeting held in the chamber of JS (ESW) on 24 Apr 2019 sans data to prove that above statement is correct. I have proved with actual data collected from those retired in calendar year 2016 that their pension by Notional pay method is higher than the pension of past pensioners as on Jan 2016. I have not understood how 7th CPC has equated pension of past and current pensioners in 2016. As I mentioned in para 31, the pension of those retired in year 2016 is by notional pay method where pension of all Pre-Jul 2014 pensioners is based on 2.57 method which is more beneficial for those retired till 5th CPC i.e. Dec 2005. As pointed out earlier the pension of Brig with 33 years of service retired in 2004 by Notional pay method is only Rs 79,650 whereas pension by 2.57 method is Rs 96,555 in Jan 2016. Pension of Brig with same QS of 33 years retired in calendar year 2016 is Rs 1,01,600. This also proves that for those retired in 5th or earlier CPCs, the pension by Notional pay method is less than by 2.57 method. Comparison of pension drawn by past retirees in Jan 2016 with Notional pay method and those retired in calendar year 2016 is given at para 13 for Officers.
34. CGDA should carry out thorough working out of Notional pay of Pre-Jul 2014 pensioners and then only should inform us whether their notional pay is same as those retired in calendar year 2016.
35. Para 7. The issue was discussed with Secretary (ESW) in the presence of JS (ESW) on 01.05.2019. It emerged that Revision of pension under OROP is to be taken every five years whereas revision of pension under CPC is taken every 10 years. Following two options are suggested in this case:-
(a) Option A. For implementation of next revision of pension under OROP i.e. with effect from 01.07.2019, CGDA may be asked to take action as under:-
(i) Methodology for next revision of pension under OROP may be the same as it was adopted for implementation of OROP w.e.f. 01.07.2014.
(ii) For implementation of OROP from 01.07.2014 data of 2013 was taken. Similarly, data of 2018 of current retirees may be used for the next revision of pension under OROP.
(iii) OMJC report may not be tagged with the next revision of pension under OROP.
(iv) CGDA may examine the issue pertaining to less pension of current retirees vis-à-vis past retirees after completion of Notional fixation of pension under 7th CPC and thereafter submit a proposal with a specific recommendation to this department.
(b) Option B. CGDA may be asked to get the notional fixation of pay of pensioners completed in time bound manner at least suo-moto revision of pension. After completion of this revision, actual picture may emerge in respect of anomaly whereby past pensioners are drawing higher pension than the current pensioners.
36. Para 8. To look into the above two options and the issues raised by CGDA in their letter dated 05.04.2019, a committee may be constituted under Chairmanship of CGDA to finalize the modalities of implementation of next revision of pension under OROP. The committee may submit report to MOD with specific recommendation on implementation of next revision of pension under OROP. The composition of the committee may be as under:-
(a) CGDA – Chairperson
(b) Jt Secy (ESW) – Member
(c) Addl FA, Def (Fin) – Member
(d) Representatives of Three Services – Member
(e) Addl CGDA – Member
(f) PCDA (Pensions) Allahabad – Member
(g) Joint CGDA (Pension) – Member
37. Kind approval of Hon’ble RM may be obtained on paras 7 & 8 above.
38. File No: 1(1)/2019-D(Pen/Pol) dated 14 May 2019. The matter was discussed in the meeting held with Hon’ble RM on 13 May 2019 in which FA(DS), CGDA, JS (ESW), Jt CGDA(Pension) and DS(Pen/policy) were present. In the first instance, we may refer the file to MOD (F/P) for their opinion on para 7 of note at para 9-10 ante (refer para 35).
39. Had a representative of MOD (F/P) been included in the meeting held in the chamber of Secretary (ESW) on 01 May 2019, the need for sending the file to MOD (F/P) at this stage would not have arisen. This is another delaying tactics of Min of Def. What is the use of such meetings if the guy who has to give his opinion is not present in the meeting and then sending the file to him later? In the meeting many views would have been expressed. The guy in MOD (F/P) will not have the benefit of what transpired in the meeting. He will just examine various notings in the file of Min of Def (ESW) and would not get a clear picture as to what is the issue. MOD (F/P) is again from DAD who will not go against the advice of CGDA.
40. I get the sense that OROP-2018 will be implemented but after some bureaucratic delay. Once the file is received from MOD (F/P), then only the committee constituted under para 8 of the Min of Def file no: 1(1)/2019-D(Pen/Pol) dated 09 May 2019 will commence their deliberations.
41. I do not expect any concrete action plan for implementation of OROP-2018 will come before Dec 2019. Veterans should be prepared for long haul to see benefit of OROP-2018.
42. The OMJC report in all likely hood will be buried forever unless ESM Associations jointly challenge this grave injustice as PIL in Hon’ble Supreme Court once the OROP-2018 is finalized. Again, OROP-2018 will have many anomalies. My fear is Majors / Sqn Ldrs / Lt Cdrs may not get any benefit in OROP-2018 as I have not received even one PPO or details of PPO of this rank retired either in 2016 or 2017 or 2018. The rank has been upgraded to that of Lt Col w.e.f. 16 Dec 2004 by AVS Committee. Hence, all officers would have retired minimum in the rank of Lt Col after 13 years of QS.
43. The committee recommended to implement OROP-2018 does not have a stake holder. I suggest a representation be sent to Min of Def that stakeholders as promised by Hon’ble Raksha Mantri be included in the committee to hear the grievances of veterans. The serving personnel of three Service HQs have very little knowledge about OROP as they are not affected. IESL, DIWAVE and AF Association being recognized ESM Associations should be included in the above committee. Otherwise the views of the majority in the committee who are mostly from DAD will blindly support CGDA i.e. no OROP-2018 is required as pensions have been equalized in Jan 2016 of Pre & Post-2016 pensioners which is a false deduction drawn by DAD without going into the details.
44. I recommend you, Sir, to send my detailed para wise comments to AVM RP Misra, V Adm Paras Nath and Lt Gen Vishnu Kant Chaturvedi for their expert comments. We can also ask veterans who have knowledge on pensions to forward their comments directly to you to improve our stand on OROP-2018.
45. IESL may take the lead to file PIL in Hon’ble Supreme Court for de-classifying and implementing recommendations made by Justice L Narasimha Reddy by asking all major ESM Associations to contribute money for incurring expenditure in filing the PIL. Unless the anomalies of OROP-2013 are not rectified, the same anomalies will crop up in OROP-2018 denying legitimate pension to many. We must wait and see whether the tables of OROP-2018 have been made after taking the recommendations of OMJC report.
46. IESL may send a representation to Min of Def to include representatives of IESL, DIWAVE and AF Association to participate in all future meetings on pensions and OROP in Min of Def (ESW) as participation of stakeholders is very essential as they have vast knowledge on pensions.
47. I have attached the following tables for your perusal.
(a) 7th CPC has not equalized pension of Pre & Post 2016 pensioners. Click here.
(b) Notional pay method of pension fixation gives higher pension than 2.57 method only to those who retired in 6th CPC. Click here.
(c) Comparison of pension by those retired in calendar year 2018 and Pre-Jul 2014 pensioners (OROP-2013 beneficiaries). Click here.
Brig CS Vidyasagar (Rtd)