One Rank One Pension Issue

One Rank One Pension (OROP) Policy

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : NA

Mains level : OROP Policy

The Supreme Court has said that the Centre’s hyperbole on the One Rank One Pension (OROP) policy presented a much “rosier picture” than what is actually given to the pensioners of the armed forces.

What is OROP Policy?

  • OROP means the same pension, for the same rank, for the same length of service, irrespective of the date of retirement.
  • The concept was provoked by the then decision by Indira Gandhi-led government, in 1973, two years after the historic victory in the 1971 Bangladesh war.

How did the issue escalate?

  • The Rank pay was a scheme implemented by the Rajiv Gandhi-led govt in 1986, in the wake of the 4th Central Pay Commission.
  • It reduced the basic pay of seven armed officers’ ranks of 2nd Lieutenant, Lieutenant, Captain, Majors, Lt. Colonel, Colonels, Brigadiers, and their equivalent by fixed amounts designated as rank pay.

How was it reviewed?

  • In 2008, Manmohan Singh led Government in the wake of the Sixth Central Pay Commission (6CPC), which discarded the concept of rank-pay.
  • Instead, it introduced Grade pay, and Pay bands, which instead of addressing the rank, pay, and pension asymmetries caused by ‘rank pay’ dispensation, reinforced existing asymmetries.

Issues with this pension policy

  • The causes that inform the OROP protest movement are not pension alone, as armed forces veterans have often tried to make clear, and the parliamentary committee recorded.
  • The issues, veterans emphasize, are of justice, equity, honor, and national security.
  • The failure to address the issue of pay-pension equity, and the underlying issue of honor, is not only an important cause for the OROP protest movement but its escalation.

Present status

  • PM Modi-led government has accepted the OROP.
  • It has already released Rs. 5500 crores to serve the purpose, but still, there are some grievances from the veterans’ side.
  • It refined Pensions for all pensioners retiring in the same rank as the average of the minimum and maximum pensions in 2013.
  • The veterans noted governments’ proposal as one rank many pensions since the review of 5 years would lead to differences in pension between senior and a junior.

 

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