'Example of bureaucratic apathy and lethargy...' Veterans at lower ranks fume over OROP calculation formula
Asianet Newsable has learnt that the Services have no stakes in deciding the pension matters. A source said that there is no transparency in arriving at the average OROP pension.
Lack of transparency and bureaucratic apathy in the calculation of One Rank One Pension have disenchanted retired junior commissioned officers and other ranks personnel who are irked against their respective Services and officers. Asianet Newsable has learnt that the Services have no stakes in deciding the pension matters.
The Controller General of Defence Accounts, Principal Controller of Defence Accounts (Pensions) and the Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare in the defence ministry decide and calculate the pension amount for the soldiers who retired from the services.
"The data has been sought from the ministry since 2015-16, but it still has not been provided to them. The Services headquarters wanted to know the methodology adopted in the calculation of OROP," sources in the defence establishment said.
Over the anomalies in the pension scheme, soldiers from across the country have been protesting against it and also blaming the officers for consuming most of the funds.
"Out of Rs 23,000 crore OROP fund, the officers consume over 85 per cent and the remaining by the other ranks -- Sepoy and Havildars. We, the junior commissioned officers, got nothing,” Subedar Major Sukhdev Singh (Retd) said.
While calculating the pension amounts, the Controller General of Defence Accounts, Principal Controller of Defence Accounts and the Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare (DESW) take the maximum and minimum salary of retired personnel of the same rank and same range of service.
A source said that there is no transparency in arriving at the average OROP pension.
"Despite the Services having no role in deciding the pension amount, they are facing the brunt of the aggrieved pensioners. The OROP 2 can be seen as a perfect example of bureaucratic apathy and lethargy," said another source.
Since 2015, the Indian Army and its sister organization -- Indian Air Force and Indian Navy -- have been continuously flagging the issues to the Ministry of Defence for clarity on it. "No response has been provided yet," sources said.
On being asked about its resolution, the sources said that the "Service Headquarters thinks that transparency is the way ahead in removing the anomalies. We also want to know the basis of formulation of the table that decides the pension."
Data here is referred to the number of havildars, naib subedars, sepoys and others who got retired in the same rank and length of service and what is the maximum and minimum amount taken in its calculation.
Besides, the Army also found anomalies in pensions at various levels with a glaring one for those who completed 15 years of service.
"While the pension authorities have clubbed the pensions for people serving between 15 to 18 years, there exist problems in pensions for the soldiers granted Honorary Ranks," sources said.
It is pertinent to mention here that the rank and length of services are being considered for deciding the pension amount.