Subject: Re: Someone needs to blow the whistle on this
I happened to speak to some long retired Major/ eqvts fighting for an improvement in their pensions, and to some other officers regarding OROP recently. I was surprised by the extent of damage and it is quiet clear that this is not going to be resolved till officers(serving/retired) understand what the real problem is, and find a permanent solution. I am once again reminded of our friend Pragmatic's quote from Chesterton, "It is not that they don't know what the solution is, what they don't know is the problem".
OROP and Major's Pension
Despite a reasonable understanding of pay/personnel issues, I cannot comprehend the on-going OROP theatrics. I may be wrong, but Pension rules providing past pensioners 50% of the minimum of the relevant ‘replacement pay’ in the new pay band actually provides something very close to OROP for all. In any case, the argument that you are progressively getting ‘downgraded in pay' and a demand for old pensioners to get the same pension as new ones do not exactly compliment each other. I hope I am wrong, but I suspect OROP is another red herring and an effort to cover up somebody's monumental incompetence at CPCs and of course at the Bagga/ AVS report. This is starkly evident in the Major's predicament on pensions.
Take a look at the pension orders for pre-2006 pensioners. In principle, it is the same for both military and civilian officers. 40% increase above 'existing pension,' subject to 50% of the minimum on the 'replacement pay'. Sounds fair and just. But gets absolutely unjust when you look at the actual figures!
I used to call these as self-inflicted damages. But that is not really true. These are damages inflicted by selected individuals against their own colleagues. CPCs, MOD, bureaucracy et al may be complicit in the crime. But the instigators are from Service HQ. After retirement, they compound matters by calling for OROP, return medals, hold jamborees at Jantar Mantar and so on to continue leading the credulous up the garden path. But if they claim to speak for all ESMs it is an insult to my (and many other veterans') intelligence.
In retrospect, I feel really relieved that the scope of the CPCs and Cadre Reviews did not cover uniforms. Or else, our 'experts' would have proposed 'the Emperor's new clothes' for those serving. May sound funny, but past experience is depressing and indicates that our guys would have not only worn them happily, but strutted about in them like the Emperor in all his glory.
I know these are harsh words. But it is time somebody blew the whistle on these shenanigans that have taken away the financial security and dignity of officers and reduced them to the level of supplicants. Nor does it speak well of the officer corps that the individuals responsible are not shown up for what they have done. Above all, I do not understand the compulsion of Service HQs to be less than forthright with serving and retired officers. This fudging of the factual situation leads to delusional behaviour by some officers, abusing all and sundry and generally making a laughing stock of themselves. What is worse, it is symptomatic of the lack of 'downward accountability' that seems to have become the norm at Service HQs. Service HQ need to merely publish the following data in respect of the VI CPC (include IV & V CPC too if you want to see the full extent of perfidy) to start an informed discussion.
A. Pre VI CPC pay of Defence Services Officers Vs corresponding/ nearest civil pay scales
B. Services proposals to the CPC regarding pay grades and equivalence of officers
No one needs to take my word on this and I am willing to have a public conversation on the subject and apologise if I am wrong. Hence I am posting it to many who may have an interest in resolving the matter. You may also post it on your blog if you think it's appropriate.
All the best
Date: Wed, 15 Jun 2011 15:58:30 +0530
At the outset, thank you for giving a prompt response to my mail. I have had no earlier dealings with RDOA and just happened to find the mail id on the net and shall attempt a detailed reply to your mail. The RS Petition Committee route was suggested to me when it was formed. I shall copy verbatim, my response at the time:
The Secy RDOA had also responded to me directly, questioning the timing of my mail. Copied below is my response to him (again I know nothing about him except that he wrote to me as Secy RDOA):
I presume I have answered what you wanted to know about me from 'Jaspal Bhinder' (who too is unknown to me). If there's anything more, don't hesitate to ask.
Thank you for your prompt mail.
My point all along has been that almost the entire reduction in pay, perks, status, pension etc has been the consequence of acts of commission (had it been omission some excuse could be considered) by the Service HQ:
1. The seeking of lower pay and perks by the Service HQs as opposed to a very liberal one that is available for the Organised Gp A Services and would have been automatically available to us if we had not sought to be 'different' for the sake of being different. 15 years after raising this issue in the lead up to the V CPC, no one has been able to answer this or indicate even a small benefit that we have got by being 'different'.
It is not really for me to say what the IESM, RDOA or anybody else must do. But I can say with conviction that the primary error is at the Service HQs and not the bureaucracy, CPC or MoD. So the actions taken so far are misdirected, shall we say?
I don't think this requires any calls to battle. Just a rational (not emotional) proposal that a few guys can sit down and write!
And I am willing to continue the conversation if you need my support for a rational proposal. In the meantime, I would still say that for pre-2006 pensioners (officers only, I haven't looked at others) restoration of pension is the way to go and not OROP.
Date: 31 October 2011 11:46
Subject: FW: [IESM_GovBody] Fwd: Someone needs to blow the whistle on this
I suspect Navdeep had been holding back for so long out of sheer politeness and respect for those in uniform.
My last mail yesterday and your mail below crossed each other and some aspects you have raised in this may have already been addressed. All the same, I'll reply to these one by one. In my first post on these issues (still available on Navdeep's blog) I had said that if we put all our proposals to the GOI/CPC together, we would generally get what the VI CPC recommended. Do have a look at it.
I still have not seen our proposals to the VI CPC and when someone send me a copy of the presentation for 'correction of anomalies', I really thought (as I said at the time) that it must be a spoof by some prankster. Then I was told that it was the real thing. I hold no brief for the CPCs, bureaucracy or MoD. They may also have no sympathy for the armed forces. But that is usually irrelevant to the issue at hand. What you get out of the CPC or GOI/MoD is a response to the proposals from Service HQs, not a unilateral decision. If it is a unilateral decision it can be challenged, logically. If it is what you asked for or better, you are stuck with it. Hence my stand that Service HQs must publicise what they asked for and what was given.
I have also said on the blog in another post that the CPC were "less than honest brokers". That is true, but it could be rather embarrassing if it is revealed that the manipulation was necessary to accede to demands from Service HQs. More often than not, skulduggery by CPCs, ill-intentions of bureaucracy etc seem to be in the nature of 'anticipatory bail' by our own guys.