Thursday, July 24, 2014

Brief feedback on BPS Preliminary meeting with 7th CPC on 23rd July 2014

BPS and BCPC were the first Pensioners’ organizations to be called for preliminary meeting with 7th CPC on 23rd to discuss the reply to questionnaire, the Memorandum & the allied issue submitted by them. 0nly 45 minutes were given to each organization. S.C.Maheshwari G.S. BPS /Chairman BCPC had the opportunity to discuss the issues from both the Forums:
Following issues were discussed & explained to the full satisfaction of the Chairman & the members of 7th CPC who were very receptive, patient & themselves actively participated in deliberations which ensued.
At the end Chairman remarked that NCJCM Memorandum is very exhaustive, includes most of the issues raised today & that he will take it as a base for consideration.
      1.New Pension Scheme: Response of commission was  negative. Commission was apprised of the back ground, its failure in other countries & the fate of EPS 95.They were also informed that it will be acceptable if 50% of last drawn is ensured.
      2.Reasonable ratio to be maintained between maximum &                 
minimum salary & Pension and adoption & adoption of common multiplication factor for revision
3.Ratio between maximum & minimum paid to be 5:1 for  Defense Personnel  and re-employment of ex servicemen as well as raising status of defense civilian pensioners to ex servicemen.
4.Inclusion of full DA in emoluments for calculating Pension. There was a very lively discussion on the issue in which the entire penal of 7th CPC participated & cross examined Secy.  Genl BPS. Finally they agreed to BPS point of view.
5.100% neutralization of inflation : It was explained to the  Commission  that 100% neutralization is  illusionary and DA is not sufficient, as the very system of calculation is faulty & unrealistic,
6. Payment additional pension to start from the age of 65 years. Chairman agreed that age of 100 years for Pensioners was illusionary.
7. Parity in Pensions :It was explained to the commission that full parity exists for High Court Supreme Court Judges, Govt. has agreed to OROP in case of Defence pensioners & Sr Bureaucrats (S32 & above ) have achieved it through modified parity formula of 6th CPC but for others who too are citizens of same category & same country even the formula for parity given by 5th CPC & accepted by Govt. is not being honored.
8. Pension to BSNL pensioners. It was submitted that since they are governed by CCS(Pension) Rules 1972. They be treated at par with C.G.Pensioners for the purpose of revision of Pension, Chairman advised to submit separate Memorandum
9. Discrimination in medical facilities to pensioners of Postal department & merger of 33 Postal dispensaries with CGHS.
10. Medical facilities. To Pensioners following issues raised in BPS memorandum were discussed in detail & the Chairman was agreeable to BPS views.
(i) “Health is not a luxury” and “not be the sole possession of a privileged few”. It is a Fundamental Right of all present & past Employees!
To ensure hassle free health care facility to Pensioners/family pensioners, Smart Cards be issued irrespective of departments to all Pensioners and their Dependents for cashless medical facilities across the country. These smart cards should be valid in
•        all Govt. hospitals
•        all NABH accredited Multi Super Specialty hospitals across the country which have been         allotted land at concessional rate or given any aid or concession by the Central or the State govt.
•        all CGHS, RELHS & ECHS empanelled hospitals across the country.
·      Medical attendants. For reimbursement of bills for treatment & for hospitalization . No referral should be insisted in case of medical emergencies. For the purpose of reference for hospitalization & reimbursement of expenditure thereon in other than emergency cases Doctors/Medical officers working in different Central/State Govt. department dispensaries/health units should be recognized as Authorized medical attendant.

The enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health is recognized as a fundamental right of all workers in terms of Article 21 read with Article 39for a, 41, 43, 48A and all related Articles as pronounced by the Supreme Court in Consumer Education and Research Centre & Others vs Union of India (AIR 1995 Supreme Court 922) The Supreme court has held that the right to health to a worker is an integral facet of meaningful right to life to have not only a meaningful existence but also robust health and vigour. Therefore, the right to health, medical aid to protect the health and vigour of a worker while in service or post retirement is a fundamental right-to make life of a worker meaningful and purposeful with dignity of person. Thus health care is not only a welfare measure but is a Fundamental Right.
We suggest that, all the pensioners, irrespective of pre-retiral class and status, be treated as same category of citizens and the same homogenous group. There should be no class or category based discrimination and all must be provided Health care services at par .

(ii). Hospital Regulatory Authority: To ensure that the hospitals do not avoid providing reasonable care to smart card holders and other poor citizens, a Hospital Regulatory Authority should be created to bring all NABH-accredited hospitals and NABL-accredited diagnostic Labs under its constant monitoring of quality, rates for different procedures & timely bill payments by Govt. agencies and Insurance companies. CGHS rates may be revised keeping in mind the workability as per market conditions.

(iii).Fixed Medical allowance (FMA): As is recorded in Para 5 of the minutes of Committee of Secretaries (COS) held on 15.04.2010 (Reference Cabinet Secretariat, Rashtrapati Bhavan No 502/2/3/2010-C.A.V Doc No. CD (C.A.V) 42/2010 Minutes of COS meeting dated 15.4.2010) which discussed enhancement of FMA. “CGHS card estimates for serving Personnel: Since estimates are not available separately for pensioners M/O Health & Family Welfare had assessed the total cost per card p.a. in 2007-2008 = Rs 16435 i.e. Rs.1369 per month for OPD”. Adding to it inflation, the figure today is well over Rs 2000/- PM. Ministry of Labour & Employment, Govt. of India vide its letter no. G-25012/2/2011-SSI dated 07.06.2013 has already enhanced FMA to Rs 2000/- PM for EPFO beneficiaries. Thus, to help elderly pensioners to look after their health, Adequate raise in FMA will encourage a good number of pensioners to opt out of OPD facility which will reduce overcrowding in hospitals. OPD through Insurance will cost much more to the Govt. As such the proposal for raising Fixed Medical allowance to Pensioners is fully justified and is financially viable.

We suggest that FMA for all C.G. Pensioners be raised to at least Rs 2000/- PM without any distance restriction linking it to Dearness Relief for automatic further increase. We further suggest that FMA be exempted from INCOME TAX. Fixed Medical Allowance (FMA) is a compensatory allowance to reimburse the medical expenses. As Medical Reimbursement is not taxable, FMA should also be exempted from Income Tax.

    11. DA /DR merger commission did not agree to discuss the issue as it is not covered byTOR
12.Interim relief Commission response did not appeared to be very positive on our stressing the issue they said they will look into.
13. 6th CPC anomalies. Chairman asked for submission of detailed list through supplementary memorandum.
14.Plight of those born on 1.1.1938/46:  Commission said, they will look into.
15. Plight of those retiring on 30June Commission said, they will look into.
16. Restoration of Commutation in 12 years: commission said thy will look into the details provided.
17. Grievance redressed. Chairman was critical of the functioning of   the system already existing  & remarked “ you will not be benefited. Court is the only alternative”
BPS has done its duty well, issues raised by us has  received due attention from NCJCM as well as the 7th CPC.

Secy Genl BPS

Monday, July 21, 2014

Govt to Revive Spy Networks With Better Pay and Perks

     {Hope Govt. will  similarly ask 7th CPC to rectify the anomalies created by 6th CPC & bureaucrats in case of other C.G.Pensioners& C.G.Employees also}

NEW DELHI: The NDA government at the Centre is on a reform spree and topping its list are India’s intelligence agencies. Top sources said Union Home Ministry has prepared a proposal with the approval of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to revisit the salary structure and risk allowance of spies in Central Intelligence Agencies—Intelligence Bureau and R&AW—which was drastically reduced due to rampant red tapism plaguing the system. It is learnt that an anomaly was introduced by bureaucrats in the 5th & 6th Pay Commission which made the spies no different from a clerk working in the ministerial cadre.

The proposal suggests that “Intelligence has specific requirement and they should be treated as Special Cadre,” said a source, adding that in-principle the decision has been taken to submit the recommendation before the 7th Pay Commission.

The NDA has agreed that the function of an intelligence agency is different from other government departments and it cannot be made to work in fixed bureaucratic format drawn by bureaucrats.

Sources said that bringing the salary and other benefits of intelligence agents at par with the state police and clerks was a big mistake. The risks undertaken by spies are unmatched and the field staff is expected to work 24X7. Many of the spies have been working undercover in insurgency hit states of Jammu & Kashmir and the North-East. R&AW officials are often posted in the conflict-ridden hot zones, facing potential risk to life.

“Intelligence officials are unarmed and take risk in venturing into hazardous and conflict zones to generate inputs. R&AW agents are handling covert missions in strategically important countries. The Ministry feels the intelligence officials were also not given enough respect by comparing their salary with that of beat police and clerks in the ministerial cadre,” the source said.

It is learnt that the risk allowance in both the Intelligence Bureau and R&AW was also reduced to 15 per cent whereas Central agencies like CBI get at least 25 per cent risk allowance.

“The risk involved in IB & R&AW operations is much higher than any other agency, including CBI and police. The government will have to re-energise the agency by showing it cares for them,” an intelligence officer said adding that Intelligence Bureau had to face intense scrutiny and its cadre were completely demoralised during the ten years of UPA rule.

The government is set to substantially increase the risk allowance by placing IB & R&AW into a special category. Sources said the Centre is looking at providing comprehensive benefits, including benefit to the families of intelligence officials to ensure they are confident and motivated.

Looking back at the decision which brought disparity, a serving intelligence official said, even the benefits to the field agents, the backbone of any intelligence agency, were drastically reduced.  He further said that it takes almost 10-15 years to get an official accommodation for the officers when they are back in a metropolitan city from a dangerous posting.

Officials maintained that due to less lucrative perks and benefits, the domestic intelligence agency is facing a shortage of over 7,000 skilled professionals to generate and disseminate crucial intelligence input.  According to government figures released in 2013, IB had only 18, 795 personnel against the sanctioned strength of 26,867 officers. External spy agency R&AW has a strength of around 9,000 officers, including field agents serving on deputation. The R&AW cadre is shrinking by the day and in 2012 the agency was forced to seek the help of Department of Personnel & Training to tide over the manpower shortage.

Although, the government has allocated `1196.43 crore in the 2014-2015 budget for the IB to meet establishment-related expenditure, the amount will have to be substantially increased once the recommendation of 7th pay commision is executed by 2016.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

A dream started coming true

A dream started coming true
C.G. & State Govt employees & Pensioners’ leaders decide to pursue common issues jointly.
Decades earlier I used to dream &  wonder, why central & State. Govt. Employees State Govt. employees & pensioners cannot come together to pursue their common aspirations & seek redressal in deficient arrears. For years I had been posing   this question to the persons in field .Last year in Nov. during a visit to Luck now.   I happened to meet Sh. Shiv  Shankar Dubey President Federation of Retired Diploma Engineers(now an affiliate of BPS), discussed the issue with him. Sh. Dubey defeating his age took the initiative & started working on it from Lucknow itself & succeeded on 19.07.20014 in convening a conference of the leaders, of state & Central  Govt. Employees as well as leaders of Pensioners’ Federation (BPS)at  N.Delhi under the chairmanship of Com. Shiva Gopal  Mishra Genl  Secy N C JCM  .31 C.G., State employees & Pensioners  leaders assembled in the library  of AIRF at 4 state entry Road Ne Delhi. Took a decision to take up the common issues jointly & constituted an adhoc  co-coordinating committee with com. Mishra as convener. Thanks to  Com . Sihiva  Gopal Mishra & Dubey ji a new vision is emerging & my dream has started coming True.

Secy.Genl. Bharat Pensioners Samaj


( Estd: 1974;  Regn. S.No.143/1983-84 d/ 9th August 1983 ) “Swarna”, 120/1, 2nd Main, Gayatri Devi Park Extension, Vyalikaval, Bangalore 56000(Affliated to BPS New Delhi, AIFPA Chennai & KCCCGPAs Bangalore)
Email  ID: Tel: 23468438
RNI Regn No: KRENG/2008/27233                                      Postal Regn No: KRNA/BGE/200/2012-14
 President                              Vice-President                            Secretary                               Treasurer
 S SRamanathaRao           S SKargudri                            Ashok S KololgiK S Menon
 Tel: 2661 9394                     Tel: 25837178                           Tel: 9448469351                   Tel: 9743771933

Respected Chairman and Members of the 7th CPC
At the outset, I wish the Commission easy going in its work and hope the Commission comes out with useful recommendations. Presumably, the recommendations apply to the members or some of the members of the Commission too.
Wherever we go and whenever we approach officers for certain help or concessions, as pensioners’ associations; in majority of the cases, the reply has been that they (the presently serving officers) too retire at some time, and that they would like to help out. But help does remain afar. The Ministry of Personnel & Pensions has been doing a great deal to liberalise the situation; but they have their handicaps, as the duty-departments remain lethargic. Not much can be done in this domain, perhaps.
The Point
Several pensioners’ associations/pensioners have written to the Commission on the pensioners’ interests and requirements – I refrain from calling them as ‘demands’ as this is the lot of the beggars. The two imminent issues for  favourable consideration by the Commission, nay, the Government are: the Grant of Interim Relief, and the Merger of 50% of DA/DR with pay/pension, both retrospectively.
Both these requirements in principle have been acceded to in the past by the past Pay Commissions as well as the Government; and hence there should be no qualms at allin recommending/granting the two Requirements, in the interest of social justice, whether the Government has specifically made provision for thisor not in the Terms of Reference.
(To recall, the Terms of Reference to the Commision by the Government stated clearly “(Item) (h) To recommend the date of effect of its recommendations on all the above. The Commission will make its recommendations within 18 months of the date of its constitutionIt may consider, if necessary, sending interim reports on any of the matters as and when the recommendations are finalised. The decision will result in the benefit of improved pay and allowances as well as rationalization of the pay structure in case of Central Government employees and other employees included in the scope of the 7th Central Pay Commission.”
 About a year back, the Tamil Nadu Government, while constituting its Pay Commission, granted two months’ pay as Interim Relief. One of the Central Pay Commissions in the past announced two instalments of Interim Relief. This explains the need for Interim Relief. As such, the two Appeals should be sanctioned without much time being wasted, as there are many pensioners in advanced age-rangewho desire to have this benefit.
The other point
I write this from experience. Over the last 50 (fifty) years,there has been a high and steady rise in the number of posts created in several departments of the Government, particularly so in the Class I senior-cadre, who belong to the All-India Services, in contrast to the number of creation of posts in the junior cadres. There is rise in the volume of work admittedly; but not as much as to have a high number of senior officers. Earlier, the Departments functioned with Section Officer (who managed office), Deputy Secretary (who initiated notings), Joint Secretary(who gave opinions) and Secretary (who took decisions), in the higher rank; and they did well in dealing with papers and in deciding the issues. The file-notings used to be clear, committed, fast and final.
In the past few decades, the ranks of Additional Secretary, Special Secretary and Consultants have crept into the Govt service, with more number of Joint Secretaries. It is my contention that these posts are superfluous and their salary/allowance bills are a dent on the Exchequer. More routine tasks are done after consultations over phone. Too many officers and too much time in dealing with disposal of papers – has been the practice in the Government. I therefore strongly opine that the number of such Class I officers in all the Departments of the Government, including the Ministries, must be drastically brought down. The work will be faster, and the responsibility for decisions is fixed on limited number of officers. The Hon’ble Prime Minister has shown the way. He has cut down on the number of Ministries.
There is a whisper that thirty percent of the retired officers are re-employed in their respective departments/offices after retirement, as Consultants or other-wise, continuing to do the same job! This is something difficult to be gulped. Perhaps, this should be examined and checked. The Dept of Personnel & Training in the Ministry of Personnel may help to know the facts. The Commission may kindly take a decision.
The third
Heading the Karnataka Central Government Pensioners’Association, Bangalore, during the last 12-15 years, the Assn has recently projected many Grievances of the pensioners/members with us; and none of them has been conclusively solved. Various Ministries have come up with Grievances cells; and these have become show-cases or postoffices, with just forwarding the complaints to some nodal officers, who remain unhelpful. The Ministry of Personnel and Pensions contemplated on time-frame for redressal of such grievances; but this has been a far cry. The mechanism to get Redressal to the home of the aggrieved pensioners must therefore be fast and satisfactory.  It must be remembered that the pensioners are aged, and they need results quick. A good debate on this is required within the Government, and a result-orientation infused into these Grievances cells/portals.
The fourth point
In the last few years, it is experienced that the pensioners have been forced to go to different Courts in respect of their dues and needs. These mainly refer to fixation of pension, fixation of cut-off dates and implementation of Court verdicts by the Governments. This is a situation that the pensioners cannot happily face. A good lot of time and money is wasted. The Government must rationalise and liberalise its attitude, when the learned Judges of the Court have given their verdicts after due hearings from both the parties involved. Can the Commission say something on this point, please?
Grateful Regards to a Great Commission.
n     S SRamanathaRao,
n     President,
n     Karnataka CGPA.
D/ July 18, 2014.


Saturday, July 12, 2014

Modi to reach out to govt employees'-Courtesy Staff corner

12 Jul, 2014 10:40p.m.

The Prime Minister has asked for an exhaustive Central database of all Central and state government employees. The creation of the database, which will have the phone numbers and email addresses of all employees, is already underway, and will be first used on Independence Day when Modi's speech is directly sent to the employees by mail and messages.

The prime minister would like his maiden speech from the Red Fort to be directly communicated to one crore government employees, such as school teachers, village sarpanches, healthcare workers etc, in the farthest corners of the country. Most of these are not tech-savvy, Internet users and so frenetic efforts are under way to implement Modi's intent, said government sources.

The government has therefore initiated the process of creating the first-ever countrywide database of central and state government employees and stakeholders. Cabinet secretary Ajit Seth is monitoring the creation of this database after clear instructions by PM Modi. Seth has been meeting officials from all ministries two times every week to monitor the progress.

The National Informatics Centre has created a new portal for the purpose. All states, through their districts and block level offices, have been directed to update their data on this website. "The ministries are also coordinating with their state counterparts to compile this data in a time bound manner," said an official.

The National Informatics Centre has so far collected information of 50 lakh teachers, 30 lakh sarpanches, 10 lakh health care workers and two lakh corporators. The prime minister is likely to use the data to connect with all these employees and stakeholders through social media platforms, much as he had done to connect with voters during the 2014 general election campaign, said an insider.

"He intends to do the same now with government employees. It is an exercise to build a bond," the official said.

Friday, July 11, 2014