M A I N   N E W S

Govt moves closer to one rank, one pension; clears Rs 2,300-cr package
Cabinet nod for enhancement in family pension schemes for armed forces
Ajay Banerjee/TNS

How it will work

The new system will bridge the gap in the pension of pre-1.1.06 and post-1.1.06 JCO/OR retirees by determining the pension of pre-1.1.06 retirees on the basis of notional maximum for ranks and groups across the three Services as in the case of post-1.1.06 retirees
Weightage of qualifying service for Sepoy, Havaldar & Naik would go up by two years for pre and post-1.1.06 retirees
The pension of pre-1.1.06 Commissioned Officer pensioners would be stepped up with reference to the minimum of fitment table for the ranks instead of the minimum of pay band

7% more DA for Central staff

The Cabinet has approved a 7 per cent hike in dearness allowance for Central Government employees and pensioners. The move comes following rising inflation in double digits and recent hike in diesel prices and imposition of a cap on LPG cylinders. The DA has been raised from 65 per cent of basic pay to 72 per cent.

New Delhi, September 24
The Union Cabinet on Monday approved a Rs 2,300-crore package that will take retired armed forces personnel closer to their long-pending demand of one rank-one pension (OROP). It also cleared three other demands relating to ex-servicemen of the Army, Navy and the Air Force.

Defence Forces and Ex-Servicemen Associations have been demanding uniform pension to be paid to the Defence forces personnel retiring at the same rank with the same length of service, irrespective of their date of retirement, and that any future enhancement in the rates of pension be automatically passed on to the past pensioners.

Implementation of the scheme will cost the exchequer a sum of Rs 2,300 crore in total and will benefit lakhs of servicemen, who unlike their civilian counterparts, retire early -- sometimes even in the forties -- making it harder for them to make both ends meet in the twilight years.

Today’s announcement is not OROP in the classic sense, but will bridge the gap between existing pensions and pensions under OROP. One possible reason why the government did not meet OROP in totality was that similar demands would have poured in from civilian employees.

The Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh okayed the scheme. In May this year, Defence Minister AK Antony, while replying to a debate in Parliament, said, “We are as near to the goal as possible and I will get maximum for the forces.”

The Cabinet also cleared the following: Enhancement of family pension for those who retired before 2006; dual family pension and family pension to mentally/physically-challenged children of armed forces personnel on marriage.

The move comes after the Prime Minister had on July 8 formed a committee headed by Cabinet Secretary Ajit Seth to study a series of pension and pay related issues of the forces and ex-servicemen that had been downgraded in the Sixth Pay Commission report of 2008. On the agenda of the committee was to study the following: Common pay-scale for in-service JCOs/Ors; initial pay-fixation of Lt Col/Col and Brigadier/equivalent; review and enhancement of grade pay; placing of all Lt Generals in HAG-plus scale; grant of non-functional upgradation (NFU) to armed forces personnel; one rank-one pension; enhancement of family pension; dual family pension and family pension to mentally/physically challenged children of armed forces personnel on marriage The Department of Expenditure will service the Committee. Only the demands of the ex-servicemen were taken up at today’s meeting.





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