Saturday, September 5, 2015

Modi Government announces OROP

The announcement of OROP by the Union Defence Minister is a event of importance. He was flanked by the 3 service chiefs; those black sheep who only know  to say words like " yes sir, yes sir three bags full".
The first point at issue   concerns VRS  or premature retirement. All credit to Narendra Modi in his address at Faridabad announcing that premature retirees who draw pension will be eligible. This was a needless red herring introduced and needed the PM to clear it. We can say thank you for this. But I have a question how could the 3 service chiefs be sitting like pussycats when the earlier negative announcement was made.


The second point is the period of revision which is proposed as after  years. Once the principle of OROP was accepted, where was the difficulty in revising pensions every 2 years as demanded ? This is the age of computers, and with an appropriate software in fact pensions can be revised almost instantaneously, with a touch of a button. Why does it require 5 years ?.

We still come to the last point. OROP was about equalisation of pension for all. But the Modi government has thrown in a rider and that is that fixation of pension will not be the maximum of thr scale, but a average of minimum and maximum pension drawn. This will mean that pension will go down for a soldier  by a few hundred to a few thousand rupees.

 Lastly what will a one man judicial commission do ? It will be an exercise in futility.But despite these failings the action by the Modi government is historic and needs cooperation.
General Satbir did a great job in fighting for soldiers, but I am afraid he was fighting with one arm tied behind his back, as the 3 chiefs of staff just sat on their roosts. One is pained with all these happenings. Why do we have so supine chiefs? May I say gutless fossils who just sit in their chairs.

What next? The agitation must go on till the review period is reduced to say 2 years , but the confrontation must stop