Broad approval for one rank, one pension scheme

 

Bowing to the long-standing demand of ex-servicemen for one rank, one pension (OROP) and other benefits, the Union Cabinet on Monday broadly approved the scheme and also gave its nod for enhancement of family pension and dual family pension that will cost the government about Rs. 2300 crore annually.

The Cabinet, which met here under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, also approved the grant of family pension to mentally and physically challenged children of armed forces personnel. The decisions on pension issues of ex-servicemen may be implemented from a prospective date and payment made accordingly, an official release said.

On the OROP, the demand of the defence forces and ex-servicemen associations was that an uniform pension be paid to the defence personnel retiring in 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.

The difference in the pension of present and past pensioners in the same rank occurs on account of the number of increments earned by the defence personnel in that rank. The UPA government on two previous occasions has taken decisions to narrow the gap between the present and past pensioners, particularly those belonging to ‘JCOs and Other Ranks.’

On the issue of one rank, one pension, the Cabinet approved the following:

Bridging of the gap in the pension of pre-January 2006 and post January 2006 JCO/OR retirees by determining the pension of pre January 1, 2006 retirees on the basis of a notional maximum for ranks and groups across the three Services as in the case of post-January 1, 2006 retirees. In addition, the weightage of qualifying service in the ranks of Sepoys, Naik and Havaldar would be increased by two years for both pre and post-January 1, 2006 retirees.

The pension of pre-January 1, 2006 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.

Referring to the enhancement of family pension, the Cabinet decided that the pension of pre-January 1, 2006 family pensioners (Commissioned Officers, Honorary Commissioned Officers, JCOs/ORs) be stepped up, based on the minimum of the fitment table instead of the minimum of the Pay Band.

Establishing linkage between the family pension and the pension of JCOs/ORs, in those cases where the death takes place after the retirement of the JCO/OR since such a JCO/OR drew a pension based on the maximum of the pay scales, 60% of the pension applicable to JCO/OR pensioners would be granted to the family pensioner in case of normal family pension calculated at 30% of last pay drawn.

Accordingly, based on the rank, group and length of service of the deceased JCO/OR pensioner, his pension would first be determined on notional basis. In cases where death of JCO/OR took place after retirement, the family pensioners in receipt of normal family pension would become entitled to 60% of the said pension determined on notional basis and those in receipt of enhanced family pension will be entitled to 100% of this pension. Similar entitlements would be determined in the case of Special Family Pension and

The family pensioner of the JCO/OR would be granted pension arrived at on the basis of the family pension worked out as per the formulation at (i) above or the pension on the basis of stepping up with reference to the minimum of the fitment table, whichever is beneficial. Further, the linkage of family pension with retiring pension be applied in the case of post-January 1, 2006 family pensioners of JCOs/ORs also.

Dual family pension

The Cabinet also decided that dual family pension would be allowed in the present and future cases where the pensioner drew, is drawing or may draw pension for military service as well as for civil employment.

In yet another welfare measure, the Cabinet approved that the grant of family pension to mentally/physically challenged children who drew, are drawing or may draw family pension would continue even after their marriage.

Panel report

The Cabinet nod for the OROP came weeks after the six-member committee, set up by the Prime Minister, submitted its report. The committee was headed by Cabinet Secretary Ajit Seth. It was set up after a Rajya Sabha panel last year recommended granting one rank, one pension to defence personnel.

The Rajya Sabha Committee on Petition in a report tabled on December 19, 2011 recommended grant of OROP to defence personnel. It found the government contention to deny ex-servicemen “untenable.”

Source: http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/cabinet-clears-one-rank-one-pension-scheme-for-exservicemen/article3932758.ece

 

Antony Asks States to open up more Avenues for Ex-Servicemen

Defence Minister Shri AK Antony has called for opening up more avenues for Ex-Servicemen. Presiding over the 29th Meeting of the Kendriya Sainik Board, the apex body of the Central Government and States/UTs for Ex-Servicemen Welfare (ESW), here today, Shri Antony said the nation cannot afford to waste this vast reservoir of disciplined workforce bearing skills in a wide range of trades.

“Sometime back I had written to Chief Ministers of all states to provide more avenues of employment for Ex-Servicemen. You must devise ways and means to open up more fields of economic activity where the rich and practical experience of Ex-Servicemen can best be utilized. I also urge all the State Governments to take steps to ensure that the provision for reservation in jobs for Ex-Servicemen provide tangible employment opportunities on the ground for Ex-Servicemen,” Shri Antony said.

Pointing out that about 50 to 60 thousand defence personnel either retire or are released from service every year, the Defence Minister said that most of them are in the productive age group.

“They possess hands-on work experience in about 300 trades and are a young, disciplined workforce that can be of immense benefit for the society and the nation. We cannot afford to waste such a young and vastly trained reservoir of wokforce,” Shri Antony said.

The Defence Minister also expressed concern on jobs earmarked for Ex-Servicemen lying vacant for long in the central and state governments.

“I wish to exhort all the Ministries and Departments under the Central Government to do their best to fill all the existing vacancies earmarked for Ex-Servicemen. Of late I find, instead of filling vacancies, they are rather taking away the (Ex-Servicemen) vacancies on one plea or the other,” Shri Antony said. “This must not be encouraged,” he remarked tersely.

Calling upon the public and private sector to provide maximum opportunities to the Ex-Servicemen, the Defence Minister observed that the benefits of reemployment were not percolating to the lowest ranks.

“The corporate and industrial sector has provided employment to several Ex-Servicemen. However, while most of these reemployed personnel are from the Officer level, it has come to our notice that there are not enough jobs for PBORs (Personnel Below Officer Rank). I am sure that the corporate and the private sector leaders will devote their energies to this aspect too,” Shri Antony said.

The Defence Minister announced that the Central Government has hiked its share of contribution to the functioning of Rajya and Zila Sainik Boards.

“…I strongly appeal to the Chief Ministers to extend their full cooperation by filling up vacant posts in Rajya Sainik Boards and Zila Sainik Boards. On its own part, Central Government has enhanced its contribution for office expenditure and salaries at Rajya and Zila Sainik Boards. The enhancement from the existing ratio of 50:50 to 75:25 in case of special category of states and 60:40 in cases of other states will be operational soon,” Shri Antony said.

Reiterating that the Government is committed to setting up another 199 polyclinics across the country and also in Nepal under the second phase of the Ex-Servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS), as approved by the Union Cabinet, Shri Antony called upon the states to provide the land for purpose at the earliest.

“Money is not the problem; process of land acquisition and construction needs to be done. I have no doubt that the State Governments will provide all the necessary assistance in removing all obstacles and making these polyclinics functional at the very earliest,” Shri Antony said.

Addressing the gathering, the Minister of State for Defence Shri MM Pallam Raju announced that an IT-enabled Grievance Redressal Mechanism for the Ex-Servicemen is in the process of being set up that would make efforts to resolve their problems right up to the district level.

The Governor of Punjab, Shri Shivraj Patil, Chief Minister of Haryana, Shri Bhupinder Hooda and Chief Minister of Delhi, Smt. Shiela Dikshit, Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal PV Naik and Chief of Army Staff General VK Singh, besides several state ministers and top officials took part in the deliberations.
Source: http://pib.nic.in/newsite/erelease.aspx?relid=72886

Kothrud may get its own ECHS clinic, third in city – Indian Express

Kothrud may get its own ECHS clinic, third in city – Indian Express.

ECHS Polyclinic for serving personnel dependants

Families of soldiers, who are forced to travel to city centers for free medical treatment in military hospitals, may soon be able to avail the facility at their local ex-servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS) polyclinics.

A proposal in this regard is being worked out by the Army and plans are also on anvil for increasing the number of ECHS polyclinics in the remote areas are.

“It is view the army chief to make available medical facilities at the doorstep of the dependents of the serving jawan and officer residing in remote villages who otherwise could not get medical treatment,” Lieutenant General H L Kakaria, Director General Medical Services, Army said.

“A proposal for the same is being processed. According to the plan, the dependents of the serving soldier can avail treatment at the ECHS polyclinic where till now only ex-servicemen were entitled to avail treatment,” Lt Gen Kakaria said.

Already 219 ECHS polyclinic exist in different corners of the country and a proposal to set up 199 more in remote areas is being considered.

“The dependents of a serving soldier are entitled to medical facilities at military hospitals only. Their family members, especially the elderly, living in remote areas faced difficulty in traveling all the way to the service hospital. It was a cause of concern for our soldier. After the proposal is approved, things will be easier now,” he said.

Source: http://in.news.yahoo.com/clinics-ex-servicemen-may-soon-open-doors-soldierskin-20101229-062200-767.html

Computer training centre is on anvil to rehabilitate ex-servicemen, India

Computer training centre is on anvil to rehabilitate ex-servicemen, India

17 October 2006

The Hindu

Department of Sainik Welfare has planned to open a computer centre to train ex-servicemen at Thrissur district in Kerala, India.

It was felt that making ex-servicemen, especially those under the age of 45, computer-literate, as an important step towards rehabilitation. Of the 1.46 lakh ex-servicemen in the state, 11,842 are from Thrissur. They include world war veterans, retired short-service commissioned officers and personnel who opted for retirement after fifteen years of service. The Department of Sainik Welfare plans to associate with national agencies in this regard. Qualified teachers from these agencies would handle the classes. Basic courses such as MS Office are on offer to start with. The total fee for each course is Rs.100. The basic qualification of the candidates should be SSLC.

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