As against 14 lakh serving military personnel , there are some 25 lakh retired military persons , in India , today
They are demanding , ” One Rank , One Pension ”
In simple terms :
> Col Mhatre retired in 1985 , with last drawn salary of Rs 10,000 pm
> Col Chari retired in 2000 , with last drawn salary of Rs 50,000 pm , and
> Col Patel retired in 2015 , with last drawn salary of Rs 100,000 pm
They all served for 30 years at the time of retirement
As per present Pension Rules, by way of pension :
> Col Mhatre may be getting Rs 2000 pm
> Col Chari may be getting Rs 10,000 pm
> Col Patel may be getting Rs 20,000 pm
Under OROP , all of them would today , get Rs 20,000 pm !
And as salaries keep climbing , with each passing year , they will all keep getting the same amount as pension, as the latest retiree in the same rank , who has put in same length of service , at the time of retirement
A kind of ” Indexation ” , aimed at neutralizing the ever-rising ” cost of living ” which is same for all three retirees !
And , the argument goes :
” Why not ?
Those who are serving , get their ” cost of living ” neutralized thru DA ( Dearness Allowance ) which automatically keeps rising every month , as CPI / WPI etc rise !
Why should early-retirees be made to suffer , for having been born earlier / served earlier ? ”
One cannot find fault with such an argument !
But if OROP is implemented , the Governments ( Central + States ) must get ready with answers to the following :
> Will this lead to similar demands from millions of retired para-military forces and Police personnel , in all the States ?
> Could this lead to similar demands from all retired Civil Servants , at the Centre as well as , in the States ?
> Can this demand find an ” Echo ” in all retired Municipal / Panchayat employees , all over India ?
> Will private sector retired employees make similar demands on Corporate Employers ?
After all , no retiree ( of any kind ) , can escape the ravaging effects of ever – rising inflation ( cost of living ) ! Be rest assured , they will all be justified in making similar demands !
This raises following further questions :
> Will this set in motion , a Vicious Circle ?
> Will this make India , a ” High Cost Economy ” ?
Only time will tell
But one thing is crystal clear
Each succeeding generation will be required to bear the burden of ensuring that its preceding generation manages to live a life of dignity , which could well run into Rs lakhs of Crores !
I cannot escape comparing this potential scenario with the present Greek Tragedy , where almost all citizens ( whether serving in Government or in private companies ) ,
> Retire at the age of 50
> For the rest of their lives , draw a pension equal to 90 % of their last drawn salary !
I am not against OROP
I am for creating awareness of the issues and for starting a National Debate
09 July, 2015