The One Rank One Pension scheme is for providing retired soldiers with the same pension, holding the same servicing length and rank, no matter whenever they retire. As per the recent date, the retirement date determines the current pension amount. But this is about to be changed through this plan. With each one of the Pay commissions coming up, military veterans who retired early have gone on receiving less pension, when compared to those who retired later with same length of service and rank. OROP is meant to bring an equity between all retirees.
All the ex-servicemen drawing pension under OROP scheme will be the beneficiaries, especially the ones who retired before 2006. At present, pensioners, who retired before 2006, draw less amount of money as pension when compared to their counterparts and even some of their juniors. OROP scheme is mainly targeted those ex-servicemen, who retired before 2006. It is going to benefit all the three services: navy, air force and army. It is even going to give a massive hike in their current pension plans.
Officials working within ministry of defence were against the implementation of OROP, due to various administrative, financial and legal reasons. In 2011, the Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare pointed out to parliament that OROP was not quite feasible to be implemented, as the documents of military personnel are weeded after 25 years. However, this is not quite true. The truth is, the pension payment orders, which comprise of relevant details like length of service and last rank held, are retained during lifetime of pensioner.
After going through various demands and protests, the Manmohan Singh government agreed towards its fag end to clear the scheme in the year 2013. However, it was PM Narendra Modi and his party that gave renewed hope to the ex-servicemen and their families, and promised to charge up OROP, as soon as possible. It was on April 9, 2016, when the Defence Minister, Manohar Parrikar, said that the hurdles were removed and actual administrative details and actual calculation had been worked out.
In the interim budget plan of the United Progressive Alliance government, it was announced that the amount of OROP scheme will be around Rs. 500 crore. However, the amount was pretty tight for the people, because the government was not quite sure of the importance the plan holds. So, after going through much discussions, the Financial Minister of NDA, Arun Jaitley said in this budget announcement, that an amount of Rs. 1000 crore was allotted for the scheme. It was again later revised by PM Narendra Modi to Rs. 5500 crore.
There are some basic fields required for revising pension under the new OROP order. You have to mention the type of pension you have been dealing with. Some of the options are service pension, retiring pension, special family pension or war injury pension, to name a few. Other than that, you have to provide details like rank of pensioner, record officer, group of pensioner and qualifying service, without weightage. You might even have to mention your date of retirement and date of commencement, to get proper pension, at the end of your service period.
There are four major categories which are based in the record office. Those four sectors are Air force record office, naval record office, DSC Cannanore record office and all the other record offices, apart from the three mentioned. There are different tables allotted for catering to these categories. Therefore, it is important to grab the record office information. This is an important question, mostly asked by ex-servicemen.
It was in the year 1986, when the concept of rank pay was first introduced. It clearly affected 10,000 of retired and serving officers of army, air force and navy. It started with undermining military ranks and making them subordinate to police. The discriminatory provisions further reinforced the growing distrust between the veterans and MOD. It further debased the military ranks of majors, captains, colonels, It-colonels and brigadiers. The same structure took place in the Indian navy and air force sections.
The potential beneficiaries of the OROP are nearly about 2.6 million ex-servicemen. This group also comprises of around 60,000 widows and that include war widows, as well. Therefore, it shows a combined number of 3.2 million, among which, 86% are JCOs, widows, NCOs and some of the other ranks. And the rest 14% was allotted to the officers. According to this estimated outlay of 8400 crores of OROP, nearly 6200 crores will be given to the accounts of JCOs, NCOs, widows and other ranks. And the rest of 2200 crores will be allotted for the office.
The current expenditure of defence pension has gained silence, as a result of protracted OROP protest. To counter the demand for OROP scheme, the government cited increased expenditure on armed forces pension. In the current India Defence pensions, the package comprises pension bills for nearly 400,000 defence civilians, along with Ministry of Finance, as attached to the MOD. The 7th Pay Commission did not pay much heed to the expenditure because of growing pension bill for the police security apparatus and defence civilians.