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Friday, 4 November 2016

Veterans only getting enhanced pension, not OROP, says Rahul

Veterans only getting enhanced pension, not OROP, says Rahul; asks PM to stop 'lying' A combative Rahul Gandhi on Friday stepped up pressure on the government over OROP, accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi of "lying" on the issue and insisting what the retired defence personnel were now getting was "enhanced pension" and that 'One Rank-One Pension' demand was yet to be fulfilled. The Congress vice president asserted that OROP was the right of military personnel and the government "will have to give it".

"What PM says is One Rank-One Pension is actually pension enhancement and not OROP. PM should stop lying on the issue. "OROP is the right of armed forces personnel and government will have to give it," Rahul, who was detained thrice over two days during protests over the suicide by army veteran Ram Kishan Grewal, told reporters. Grewal had allegedly committed suicide over OROP.

An unfazed Gandhi said he was not bothered by his detention. Accusing the government of waiving loans of a staggering Rs 1.10 lakh crore of 15 big industrialists, Gandhi said it has nothing to give to soldiers and farmers. "The government has not given respect and the right which is due to soldiers. If it had, why these ex-servicemen been protesting for the last 509 days at Jantar-Mantar," he said after meeting around 60-70 military veterans at the AICC headquarters. Gandhi, who has been in the forefront of the protests after Grewal's suicide, accused the government of not "doing justice to soldiers who sacrifice their life for the country."

(Source- DNA)

7th Pay Commission – Cabinet may nod this month – May Accept 7th cpc Recommendations – No Hike expected.

The report of the ‘Committee on Allowances’, headed by Finance Secretary Ashok Lavasa, on allowances under the 7th Pay Commission recommendations is likely to get Cabinet approval in this month.

The ‘Committee on Allowances’ is unlikely to suggest any hike in allowances and would stick with the recommendations of the 7th Pay Commission. reliable sources indicate. The ‘Committee on Allowances’ is ready with its report on allowances under the 7th Pay Commission and will submit it to the Finance Ministry soon. The Cabinet meetings in this month is expected to approve the proposal of ‘Committee on Allowances’. According to reports, Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has directed the Finance Ministry to obtain report from the ‘Committee on Allowances’ and to prepare cabinet note in this regard.

Sources in the Finance Ministry said Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will soon place allowances note before the Cabinet for approval after receiving the ‘Committee on Allowances’ report. The central government employees have been waiting for the allowances to be announced since July when the government issued the notification for the implementation of the 7th Pay Commission recommendations. The 7th pay commission had recommended abolition of 51 allowances and subsuming 37 others out of 196 allowances, which was opposed by the central government employees’ unions. In order to review the suggestions, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley formed the ‘Committee on Allowances’ on July 22 for examination of the recommendations of 7th Pay Commission on allowances other than dearness allowance.

This is turning out to be a farce to buy time, as per reports. The ‘Committee on Allowances’ was given four months to submit report on fatter allowance, however the special committee is ready with the report before deadline and waiting for Cabinet’s approval. The ‘Committee on Allowances’ is unlikely to give any respite to central government employees as it is not going to make any changes in the recommendations of the 7th Pay Commission on fatter allowances. Sources indicate that the Finance Ministry has made it clear that the National Anomaly Committee on behalf of the government won’t consider any hike in basic pay and fatter allowances recommended by the 7th Pay Commission. Sources also said that the government has decided to stick to the recommendations of the 7th Pay Commission on basic pay and there will be no hike in basic pay or allowances. As per the notification for the implementation of the 7th Pay Commission, central government employees will get 14.27 per cent hike in basic pay at junior levels, which is the lowest ever.

Source: India.com

OROP issues will be resolved

Indian Military Veterans


OROP issue will be resolved in 2 months: Parrikar
PTI | 2016-11-03 10:29:00 +0000
BUDGAM(J&K): Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Thursday said only one lakh ex-servicemen were facing problem in getting pension as per One Rank One Pension scheme and it will be resolved within two months.

"Only one lakh ex-servicemen (out of over 20 lakh) are not getting pension as per OROP scheme due to some technical difficulty or documentation problems. We will resolve these problems in coming two months," he said addressing army veterans here.

The Defence Minister, accompanied by Army Chief General Dalbir Singh, was here to pay homage to Major Somnath Sharma, the first Param Vir Chakra awardee of independent India, and other soldiers who laid down their lives while pushing back an offensive by Pakistani raiders to control Srinagar Airport in 1947.

Parrikar said the government is sensitive to OROP issue as it was not implemented for the past 43 years.

"We did it. Every year Rs 7,500 crore (will be incurred) and Rs 11,000 crore arrears have been paid. There has been 23 to 24 per cent average increase in pension," he added.

After interacting and listening to the problems of the ex-servicemen, Parikkar assure them that their grievances would be resolved.

"Whatever (problems) has been conveyed to me today will be resolved by the time I come again. Today, I was given 10 minutes for an interaction with you but I extended it to 40 minutes. Next time, I will spend half a day with you," he said, adding he will make all efforts to resolve the problems of the ex-servicemen.

"Several of these (problems) will be resolved at the local level. I know that the reservation (benefits) and facilities of the state government have not been fully extended to you.

"I will seek a report from the state government on this issue. The facilities of central government will also be extended to you. I will look into it. I will find solution to the Ex-Servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS) problem also," he said.

OROP suicide

Indian Military Veterans

OROP suicide: Unanswered questions over Subedar Ram Kishan Grewal's death

"But anybody, who is getting Rs.22,000, would not end his life just for another 5,000 which he would have got anyway had he written a simple letter," defence ministry sources said . 

Ajit Kumar Dubey  | Posted by T A Bharadwaj 
New Delhi, November 3, 2016 | UPDATED 10:02 IST 
Image for representation.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • 1
    Subedar Ram Kishan Grewal allegedly took his life over not receiving adequate pension.
  • 2
    He should have been receiving a pension of Rs.28,000 per month but got only 23,000.
  • 3
    General VK Singhsaid called for an investigation into whether someone provoked him to take the extreme step.
Did Subedar Ram Kishan Grewal take his own life over a mere five thousand rupees per month? This is one among a clutch of unanswered questions clouding the army veteran's alleged suicide over pension woes, an incident that spawned a swirling political storm on Wednesday. 
Grewal served in the Territorial Army and Defence Security Corps for a combined period of nearly three decades at different locations across the country before retiring in 2004.
ONE RANK ONE PENSION
Defence personnel have been demanding that the same pension should be paid to armed forces retirees with the same rank and the same length of service, regardless of the year they retired. The One Rank One Pension (OROP) scheme was announced by the Narendra Modi government on September 6, 2015, but several ex-servicemen say it has failed to address their concerns. Former Defence Minister AK Antony too attacked the BJP-led Centre over "mishandling" of the OROP issue, saying the scheme should be implemented immediately. 
"As per calculations, Grewal should have been receiving a pension of `28,000 per month but due to some miscalculation by the bank, he was getting only `23,000, which is `5,000 less than what was due to him," defence ministry sources said. The bank had not added the hike due to him because of the OROP implementation and had he communicated the issue to the department concerned, the anomaly would have been done away with, the sources said. 
His case could have been resolved amicably like hundreds of others even if he had directly approached the ministry, they added, showing letters on the issue from different locations. "But anybody, who is getting `22,000, would not end his life just for `5,000 which he would have got anyway had he written a simple letter," they said. 
DID GREWAL FEEL THAT OROP IMPLEMENTATION WOULDN'T BE ADDRESSED
Grewal's salary at the time of retirement was `14,000 in 2004 and from the next month onwards, his pension was a meagre `6,500 per month. But after that, the pension of Grewal and other jawans like him rose almost four times due to the implementation of the sixth pay commission and intermediate hikes due to partial acceptance of OROP by Congress governments. The amount would have gone further up to `31-32,000 due to implementation of the seventh pay commission. "The issues related to OROP are still being considered by the Reddy commission. How could the soldier get the feeling that his issue would not be addressed?" asked union minister and former Army chief Gen VK Singh while interacting with Mail today. 
OTHER UNANSWERED QUESTIONS
Another question that has arisen is why is it that the soldier got a request typed on October 31 for meeting the defence minister and then did not submit it and committed suicide the very next day. "His letter dated October 31 and his suicide on November 1 raise several questions. It also demands serious investigation about who was with the deceased when he took the extreme step," government sources said. 
Another key point is that the veteran, who was at the forefront of public matters related to ex servicemen's issues, did not even wait to submit the letter to the defence minister's office and used the same letter as his death note. "It should also be looked into that why and how he took the extreme step and why was he forced to write his suicide note on the same page. Is it his own handwriting or someone else did it?" said the sources. 
"It should be investigated that whether someone took advantage of his troubled mind to provoke him to take the extreme step." Gen VK Singh said in a similar case last year, a man was abetted to commit suicide at Jantar Mantar in the middle of a crowd during an AAP rally and nobody helped him. Grewal allegedly consumed poison behind the new MEA building on Janpath Road in central Delhi and was brought to Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital. His colleagues and friends from his village said he left his native place in a pleasant mood and did not appear to be on the verge of taking such an extreme step.

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