07 Nov, 2020 10:44a.m.

Congress attacks government over defence officers pension cut proposal

congress-attacks-government-over-defence-officers-pension-cut-proposal

The congress has attacked the government proposal to cut down the pension for those officers opting premature retirement in the defence services. 

Party general secretary Randeep Surjewala asked the Prime Minister to clarify on the government’s proposal to reduce the pension amount for the officers who are seeking premature retirement after serving 20 years. Mr Surjewala was speaking at a press conference. He also demanded that the PM take back the anti-Army decision of October 29.

A letter issued by Office of Secretary Department of Military Affairs (DMA) dated October 29 says a draft Government sanction Letter (GSL) may be kindly processed for perusal by Secretary DMA. The DMA, headed by Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Gen. Bipin Rawat has proposed to increase the retirement age of officers and also cut down the pension of officers opting for Pre Mature Retirement 

As per the proposal, officers will be eligible for full pension only if they put up service of 35 years or more in the armed forces. The fact is that around 90% of the officers take retirement before this 35 years. So the reality is that this 90% of the officers will be denied the full pension.

Currently an officer 50% of their last drawn salary as their full pension after twenty years of service. Under the new proposal, 50% of the full pension will be given for 20 to 25 years of service, 60% for 26 to 30 years of service, 75% for 31 to 35 years of service and full pension for more than 35 years of service. So an officer retiring after twenty years of compulsory service will be getting only half of the pension they used to get.

The proposed also suggested increasing the retirement age of the Officers. It is proposed to hike the retirement age of Colonel and equivalent positions in the Navy and Air Force will be increased from existing 54 to 57. The retirement age of Brigadier and its equivalent officers will be increased from 56 to 58 years. For the Major General and equivalent officers from 58 years to 59 years. No changes are proposed for changing the retirement age of Lieutenant General and above. For junior commissioned officers and their counterparts in the military and navy-airforce, the retirement age will be 57.

Mr Surjewala questioned on how the government can change the officers’ service conditions retrospectively as they have signed a compulsorily a 20-year bond at the Indian Military Academy.

The government, he stated, didn’t fully the implement ‘One Rank, One Pension (OROP), something the Ministry of Defence (MoD) had denied in an official statement. The Ministry said ₹10,795.4 crores had been disbursed to 20,60,220 pensioners/family pensioners as arrears on account of OROP implementation.

The government not only didn’t provide full protective gear to the troops on the border but also shelved the Mountain Strike Corps – meant to be deployed along the China border with 70,000 additional soldiers – citing lack of money, he added.

 

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