EX-SERVICEMEN DEPLORE PRIME MINISTER’s STATEMENT
1. The Executive Committee of the All India Defence Brotherhood (Regd) in a meeting today strongly deplored the answer given by the Prime Minister to a question raised in the Parliament on 03 March by Hon’ble Shri LK Advani, Chairman of the NDA, as to why the "One Rank One Pension" (OROP) had not been implemented. The Hon’ble Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh made a WRONG statement on the floor of the House, which was telecast live by the Lok Sabha TV Channel, that the enhancement of pensions to JCO’S and Jawans announced by the Govt on 06 July 09 had been implemented.
2. The fact is, till today, NO Jawan or JCO has received due enhancement of their pensions. Even the Service HQs, where an inquiry was made, have confirmed that NO orders for enhancement of pensions of JCOs and Jawans, as announced by the Govt on 06 July 2009 have been received. Only the fifth Pay Commission (pre- 1996) retirees have been brought closer to post 1996 retirees. PARITY BETWEEN PRE AND POST 6TH PAY COMMISSION RETIREES HAS NOT BEEN ADDRESSED AT ALL. To cover up his govt’s neglect of the defence forces, the PM blatantly accused Mr Adavani of trying to create a rift between the govt and the Defence Forces by raising such a question, even though it was a most pertinent one for the ‘Morale’ of the latter, which is a ‘Battle Winning’ factor.
4. As per the Hon’ble Supreme Court’s ruling, ‘Pension’ is ‘Deferred Wages’ for the ‘Services Rendered’ (earlier). Irrespective of their date of retirement, two persons who rendered the same service, both in terms of ‘Quality’ and ‘Quantity’ should get the same ‘Deferred Wages’ (Pension). In the Defence Forces the ‘Quality’ of service is defined by the ‘Rank’ attained and the ‘Quantity’ by the length of service under similar ‘Determinants’ of Pension. Hence the demand of the OROP, which goes back to 1980s and had been accepted ‘in Principle’ by many Prime Ministers including Mrs Indira Gandhi, Mr VP Singh and Mr AB Vajpayee, etc. Unlike the Civilians, the Soldiers are the only people whose everything depends upon “Ranks”, whether it be, age of retirement, length of service in a ‘Rank’etc. The world over "Ranks" conform to internationally accepted norms, eg a Battalion is commanded by a Lt Colonel/ Colonel and a ship by a Captain. If everything depends upon "Rank", their pension should also depend upon it, irrespective of their date of retirement. An old Naib Subedar, who has enormous responsibilities, gets LESS pension than a newly retired Civilian ‘Chaprasi’ (Peon). An old Sepoy gets much less than a newly retired Sepoy. IS THIS JUSTICE?
5. Mrs Sonia Gandhi, the Congress President promised, in a vast Ex-Servicemen’s "Rally" in November 2002, to grant them One Rank One Pension if voted to power. Tragically that promise has NOT been fulfilled. Reference to OROP was also made in their 2004 election manifesto.
6. The ‘Standing Committee on Defence’ (13th Lok Sabha) in its 20th Report had strongly recommended implementation of OROP and even to make a ‘Precedent’ in this regards. This Report was tabled in both the houses of the Parliament by December 2003. It thus has the sanction of the Parliament. But unfortunately it has not been implemented till date. Denying the OROP at this stage is gravely unjust.
7. Misguiding the Parliament and the Nation, by no less a person than the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India, is a very serious matter of impropriety. The Bureaucrats have again connived by wrongly advising the Prime Minister, which is condemnable. We strongly protest and request the PM to honour the commitments made on One Rank One Pension.
BRIG HARWANT SINGH (RETD)
ALL INDIA DEFENCE BROTHERHOOD (Regd)