Tuesday, 14 April 2015
Pre-mature Thumping of Chests and Patting of Backs?
There is much thumping of chests and patting of the backs (and also incentive to go have a drink) because OROP was approved at 11 am on 9 Apr 15 by the Prime Minister - as reports and breathless twitter chat go.
But in all the woods that we see, the trees appear to have been lost. Nitin Gokhale is quoted to have said that the Defence Minister told him that the PM has approved and all that remains is "detailed calculations"... etc.
Are we to understand that the bureaucracy and Govt procedure have indeed changed?
That the CGDA, spearheading the JWG on the OROP made no detailed calculations and floated a ball-park figure?And the home run for OROP file started?
Then the file running to first first base i.e MoD, obtained the approval on that guesstimate of a ball-park figure from the Defence Minister and the file ran to second base.
At second base, the formidable Dept of Expenditure, that dissected and almost killed the patient (in the Rank Pay case asking why the Apex Court judgement should not be made applicable only to Army Officers), just sprinkled some star dust and let the file runs its way to the Finance Minister for his approval?
So on third base, the PMO, studded with the brilliant and (mostly Gujarat cadre) learned bureaucrats, accepted the ball park figure made more acceptable with the DoE's stardust and sent the file to the PM.
And the PM, took time off his preparation for the foreign visit to France, Germany and Canada, to sign and give political clearance for the OROP.
And we have announcements, pronouncements and invitations to attain spirit highs because OROP is just a matter of days .
Am I being dumb in asking whether a detailed financial calculation is made and scrutinised from the initiation of the file?
And wasn't the political clearance obtained when the UPA included OROP in the Vote of Account/Interim Budget/Whatever in Feb 2014?
Wasn't there political clearance/approval when the BJP led NDA Govt included OROP in the Budget in July 2014?
So, what is the real story? Is OROP still waiting at the batter's plate for the pitcher to throw the ball so that we can have a home run?
Or is OROP mired in yet another misinterpretation of the Apex Court's order in CA No. 8875 of 2011 which is that the date of enhanced pension is 1.1.2006 and not 23.9.2012 as decided by MoD?