At the centre of the controversy around ex-serviceman Ram Kishan Grewal’s death was his ostensible frustration over what he alleged was the non-implementation of One Rank One Pension (OROP). At the State Bank of India branch in Bhiwani where he drew his Army pension from, there’s another reason that may have added to his frustration — a Rs 3.5-lakh loan that he took against his pension account.
It was a loan even his family is unaware of but sources in the Bhiwani SBI branch said Grewal had taken the loan in 2015. “In May last year, Grewal had taken Rs 3.5 lakh loan against his pension account,” said an officer from the bank.
But Grewal’s son Jaswant said he was unaware of his bank transactions or loans. “Neither my brothers nor I know about our father’s transactions in the bank,” he said. Before April, when OROP was implemented, Grewal drew a pension of Rs 21,927 and last month drew a pension of Rs 22,608. According to Jaswant, his father had told him his pension should have increased to around Rs 30,000 “if the government had implemented OROP correctly.”
The SBI branch said claims, made by some officials yesterday, that Grewal’s lower pension was a result of the bank “miscalculating the amount” were wrong.
Branch Manager Ram Singh told The Indian Express that since April this year Grewal has been paid Rs 22,608. Singh said,” From April he has been paid this amount and there is no chance of any miscalculation. Neither did he orally or, in writing, provided us with any complaint regarding this issue.”
Singh added that calculation of the pension depends on Pension Payment Orders (PPO) sent by the previous employer to the Centralised Pension Processing Cell of State Bank Of India in Panchkula. “The bank disburses the pension according to the PPO issued by the employer and in this case too we have done the same,” said Singh.