Thursday, October 28, 2010

Sr. Citizens Confederation-AISCCON

Sr.Citizens Confederation (AISCCON) 10th Annual Conference held at Mathura, UP from 21st to 24th October 2010
Salient points about Tenth Annual Conference of All Some Salient India Senior

The tenth Annual Conference of All India Senior Citizens Confederation (AISCCON) held in collaboration with the Senior Citizens Welfare Association, Mathura and which recently concluded at Brindaban, UP , was a phenomenal success in many ways.

The All India Senior Citizens Confederation (AISCCON) is the largest national organization with a membership base of 7 lakh members from different states and union territories in India. It is head quartered in Navi Mumbai. It is actively engaged in various welfare activities for Senior Citizens and advocacy with authorities on their concerns and problems.

 It has been organizing regularly for the past ten years (since 2001) an annual conference on various themes concerning older persons with a participation of more than 700 to 800 delegates from all over India. This time more than 1400 delegates from every nook and corner of India gathered to discuss problems faced by Senior Citizens, especially women. HelpAge and Department of Science and Technology partly sponsored the event. Very popular MLA from Mathura, Sri Pradeep Mathur, was a pillar of great support.

Dignitaries who graced the Conference included: Sri BL Joshi, Governor of Uttar Pradesh, Sri Bhupendra Singh Huda Chief Minister of Haryana, Sri Pradeep Jain, Minister of State, Rural Development, GOI, and Sri Sabarwal, President Emeritus of HelpAge India. Sri Napolean, Minister of State, Social Justice and Empowerment, who had confirmed his participation, could not make it at the last moment. Well known for his sympathy towards senior citizens in Haryana, Sri Huda promised a donation of Rs 10 lakhs to the All India Senior Citizens' Confederation [AISCCON]. Sri Mathur, MLA, was with us throughout the confeference.

Several resolutions were passed during this historic meet on important issues like: Implementation of National Policy on Older Persons, fully subsidized health insurance for BPL and on graded sharing basis for APL category of older persons, implementation of Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens' Act by all states without further delay, increasing Old Age Pension to Rs 1000 per month from the current Rs 400 per month, concessions in Bus and Train travel, separate Ministry exclusively for Senior Citizens, parity in payment of pension to retirees of Central and State Government and Public Sector undertakings, etc.(See Text of the resolution at the end)

A very important decision which was taken was to urge the Government to provide subsidized health care to widow senior citizens irrespective of whether they belong to BPL or APL category.  This decision was taken in view of the rampant negligence of the health care of widows. Welfare of older women was the central theme of the conference.

Another important resolution was to ask the Government to provide fully subsidized health care to the BPL inmates of Old Age Homes and payment of Old Age Pension to all those who are eligible; in short their wellbeing should be the National responsibility.

Immediately after the conference, a delegation led by Sri RN Mital, President of AISCCON and Sri Pradeep Mathur, MLA Mathura, met Smt Sonia Gandhi. Appearing to be fairly well informed of senior citizens' issues and problems, she promised to look into the possibility of setting up a separate Commission for Senior Citizens Welfare. AISCCON had been demanding that a separate Ministry and a Commission to be set up exclusively for Senior Citizens. She was also very positive about affordable health insurance for older people and the implementation of various schemes for the welfare of Senior Citizens.  

The delegation also called on the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment. 

It may not be out of place to mention that the softening of the Central Government towards problems of Senior Citizens is probably the consequence of Senior Citizens National Protest Day observed on August 16th all over India and that was widely covered by the press and electronic media.

This Note has been jointly written by Sri RN Mital and Dr P Vyasamoorthy

Resolution (about Pension parity)
1.      This 10th National Conference of AISCCON held during 21st to 24thOctober 2010 at Mathura unanimously resolves and requests the Government of India, with respect to pension to retirees, the following:

Ø  “One Rank – One Pension” to be adopted for    Defense Personnel without delay.
Ø  To bring parity among Central government pensioners and pensioners from Central government Undertakings / PSUs.
Ø  Health care schemes like CGHS, ECHS,RELHS & ESI may be integrated into one uniform standardized scheme so that it is applicable to all government retirees from State / Central / PSUs/ Local bodies etc bringing parity among pensioners.
Ø  To bring at par all central Govt.  & Central Govt. undertaking (i.e. PSUs) pensioners. 
Ø  To apply the principle of minimum Pension of Rs3500 plus DR to all ex –gratia & EPS 1995 beneficiaries.
Ø  Not to divide Pensioners into categories on the basis of their dates of retirement.
                
 Proposed by:  SC Maheshwari
 Seconded by:  PH Patel

Payment of commutation value of additional amount of pension



Rule 10 of CCS (Commutation of Pension) Rules, 1981 may be followed and difference in commuted value be paid without fresh applications to pensioners who retired on/after 1.1.2006 but before of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions
Department of Pension & Pensioners’ Welfare

3rd Floor, Lok Nayak Bhavan,
Khan Market, 
New Delhi – 110003
Date: 
27th October, 2010

OFFICE MEMORANDUM

.: Sub      Payment of Commutation Value of additional amount of pension in respect of employees who reti  red on/af
ter 2.9.2008.  F. No. 38/79/08-P&PW(G)
Government of India
Ministry 1.1.2006 but before 2.9.2008 and expired before exercising option for commutation of additional amount of pension – Regarding. 

          As per the provisions contained in para 9.3 of this Department’s OM No. 38/37/08-P&PW(A) dated 2nd September, 2008, the revised table of commutation value for pension will be used for all commutations of pension which become absolute after the date of issue of this OM. In the case of those pensioners, in whose case commutation of pension became absolute on or after 1.1.2006 but before the issue of this OM, the pre-revised Table of Commutation value for pension will be used for payment of commutation of pension based on pre revised pay/pension. Such pensioners shall have an option to commute the amount of pension that has become additionally commutable on account of retrospective revision of pay/pension on implementation of the recommendations of the Sixth Central Pay Commission. On exercising such an option by the pensioner, the revised Table of Commutation Value for pension will be used for the commutation of the additional amount of pension that has become commutable on account of retrospective revision of pay/pension. In all cases where the date of retirement/commutation of pension is on or after 2.9.2008, the revised Table of Commutation Value for pension will be used for commutation of entire pension. 

2.        References have been received from various Departments seeking clarification from this Department whether the commutation value of additional pension in respect of such employees who had retired during the period between 1.1.2006 and 2.9.2008 and died before exercising option is payable to the eligible member of family or not. The issue has been examined in consultation with Ministry of Finance, Department of Expenditure who has observed that the Pay Commissions’ intention was that the pensioner should exercise a conscious choice in view of the fact that the commutation table has changed w.e.f. 1.1.2006. As such, in these cases, the Rule 10 of CCS (Commutation of Pension) Rules, 1981 may be followed and difference in commuted value be paid without fresh applications. The intention was not to deny the higher capitalized value on account of revision of pension. 

3.       This issues with the concurrence of Ministry of Finance, Department of Expenditure vide their UO No. 456/EV/2010 dated 18.10.2010.

(V.K.Wadhwa)
Under Secretary to the Government of 
India







Wednesday, October 27, 2010

News letter-PENSIONERS NETWORK-RREWA INDIA

Greetings,
Documents uploaded at:  www.rrewa.org






Other affairs:

Rly Pass holders
 Details of  codes
in the  Indian Railways. Reservation system

1. COMRAJ : Retired Rly. Employees   pass in Rajdhani
2. COMSHT : Retired Rly. Employees pass in Shatabdi
3. NRERAJ  : Non Rly. Employees pass in Rajdhani
4. NRESHT :  Non Rly. Employees pass in Shatabdi
5. RTDFA1  :  Retired Rly Board Members
6. RTDFAM : Family members of Retired Board Members
7. RTDPFA : Retired Rly Officer holding First "A" Pass 
8. SDPRRO : Retired Rly Officer on Special Duty
9.COMP65 =Concession for companian in post retirement pass of pensioners aged 65yrs but below 70 yrs.
10. RRECOM  = Concession for companion in Post retirement pass of Rly pensioners aged 70 yrs of age                     
11.PRVFA = Ist A  pass
12.PRVRAJ = Ist A Pass Holders in Rajdhani Shatabdi Trains
13. PRVPFA = Ist A Pass Holders in Trains therthan Rajdhani /Shatabdi


Er. S.C.Maheshwari
Former DEN C.Rly.
General Secy. RREWA


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Health insurance for pensioners

Allowing the profit motive to exist in  health-care system is the real travesty. A mockery  of Article 21, read with Article 39(e), 41,43,48A  of the constitution of India .

The marketing stratagy of  every Private company is to initially provide quality
Servic e/produc t  at a cheaper cost  to make beneficiaries addicted to it & then to go on goofing the cost & reducing the qulity, as they work for profits.

By its very nature, any for-profit business, will try to maximize its bottom line. If a company doesn’t focus effectively on making a profit, it will go out of business. But there are some kinds of services for which the for-profit model is clearly the wrong one. Take, for instance, policing. How well would it work if you had to rely on a group of competing local businesses to fight crime and provide public security?  Surely such matters are not the place for competition and profit making. Enlightened societies recognize that public safety is a common good—a human right—and that it doesn’t belong in the hands of protection rackets.

Health care should be treated the same way: as a common good, a human right. The problem with for-profit medical insurance is that business imperatives are too often in direct conflict with those basic goods.

In developed european countries  the profibilty of Health insurance is around 4% and with which it is difficult for them to sustain, that is why with the pressure of world Bank they have targetted the Indian Market.
Even in developed European countries, those who have coverage  of health insurance are seeing their premiums rise, their benefits cut, and their relationship with their doctors interfered with by insurance company/TPA . There is often a long wait for approval or denial for those with pre-existing conditions.
At present  ‘Heath Insurance’ in India too, is a loosing bussiness .Already the cashless treatment is under dispute.Insurance Companies are demanding higher premium corresponding to the cost of treatment & other services. In the coming days there is bound to be nexus between isurrance providers ,TPAs & The Hospitals,  resulting in higher & higher premiums & inferior services.
In India the law is well settled,  in the Apex court judgment in the case of Consumer Education & Research Center & others v/s UOI & others in writ petition (C) No.206 of 1986 {AIR 95 Vol. 82 Page922} Para 27 wherein the honorable S.C. ruled  ”we therefore hold that right to medical aid to protect the health & vigor of a worker while in service or post retirement is Fundamental Right under Article 21, read with Article 39(e), 41,43,48A and all the related articles and Fundamental human rights to make the life of the workman meaningful and purposeful with dignity of person.”  In another land mark Judgement, the Supreme court has made providers of medical facilities also a subject to the Consumer protection Act 1986 .In Indian Medical Association vs V.P. Shantha and others (1995(6) SSC.651 ) (Para114.6 of 5th CPC report) Recently also Delhi H.C in , W.P.(C) 889/2007 ,DOJ: 12.3.2010, Kishan Chand. Versus Govt. of N.C.T. & Others, has ruled  “It is a settled legal position that a government employee, during his life time (read service life) or after his retirement is entitled to get medical reimbursement and no fetters can be placed on his rights on the pretext that he has not opted to become a member of any scheme” . This means government must bear the complete financial burden of Health care to its present as well as past employees.

The proposed Health Insurance Scheme for the employees / Pensioners provide coverage of Rs 5lakhs to a family of six i.e Self ,Spouse, Two dependent Children plus upto two dependents parents.(all other dependent relatives are excluded) additional premium shall have to be paid for the inclusion of each of the other eligible  dependent relatives.

There will be two scenarios!

Ist Scenario: The Scheme shall provide coverage for meeting all expenses relating to hospitalization of beneficiary members up to Rs. 5, 00,000/- per family per year in any of the Empanelled Hospital/Nursing Home/Day Care Unit subject to stated limits on cashless basis through smart cards. The benefit shall be available to each and every member of the family on floater basis i.e. the total reimbursement of Rs. 5.00 lakh can be availed by one individual or collectively by all members of the family. Suppose ; in the very first month of joining, God forbids, one of the family members gets an Heart attack.5lakhs coverage will go just in one stroke. Then what will happen to other members, if they happen to need major surgeries during the rest of the policy period? Reimbursement?   will be much  more difficult as it is  today and will give rise to corruption/spate of Court cases! Pensioners share of premium will be to the tone of Rs 800/ to 1000/ per month may be more,  w/o any safe guard against future increase, which will drill a deep hole in poor pensioner’s pocket. Picture the case of a family pensioner with minimum pension /a ‘D’ group pensioner. How a pensioner or a family pensioner with a meager Pension of Rs 3500 plus DR is going to afford, is any body’s guess.!

Second scenario: Insurance providers for their own survival will be interested in profits and more & more of it, this will result in premium rise, cut in quality & quantity of service, inordinate delays in approval, interference in Doctor-patient relation ship . Will induce corruption. The situation will be worst than the Govt. District Hospitals! That is why 5th CPC in their Para 114.12 of the report recommended that “CGHS facility should not only continue but to be expanded”
The way out :

1) Strengthen, expand & improve RELHS,CGHS & ECHS. To expand coverage area, Pool together the infrastructure of these Scheme, revise upwards CGHS rates to suit workability as per market conditions and out source emergency,specialize treatment and diagnostic investigations.

2) Preventive Health care. To control expenditure launch on war footing “preventive health care” programmes among present & past employees which will  in the long run reduce healthcare cost. The resources of supper specialty hospitals which have been allotted low cost lands , assistance of Trade unions & Pensioners associations may be availed for this purpose.

3) Doctor at your door step :
Hospital admission is the most inconvenient option for millions of elderly pensioners due to inaccessible convenient transport, non availability of attendant, preoccupation of other family members & management of domestic affairs. Some people can remember when doctors actually went to their patients’ homes. Unfortunately, those days seem to have gone the way of rotary phones and good old-fashioned typewriters .Due to lack of knowledge, information & non availability of a visiting Doctor, often elderly & their family members get falsely alarmed & rush to the nearby hospitals for emergency care. Once you are in. They make it a real emergency. Whether you need it or not they adopt the costliest process to inflate their bill. If you have complained of chest pain, these super spatiality Hospitals will insert one or two stunts inside your chest.
A Doctor on call at your door in lieu of a affordable registration fee per family per year plus per visit charges as per pre settled package rates & the cost of good quality generic medicines which the visiting doctor will carry & dispense if required, is the answer to the situation. It will bring down the incidence of hospitalization by at least 50% & will also save the friends & family from lot of inconvenience Modules for such programmes with some Govt. assistance can be developed & implemented 
co jointly by the pensioners associations, NGOS & housing Societies.

4) In lieu of dispensation of medicines in OPD Increase FMA to Rs 1000/-Per month  &link it to the inflation of medical items. To avoid misuse make stamping of RELHS/CGHS/ECHS card mandatory to show status of disbursement of FMA 

This will avoid over crowding, reducing expenditure on local purchase & reducing pilferage of costly medicines, in lieu of dispensing medicines in OPD. This will reduce over crowding ,bring down expenditure on local purchase of medicine, pilferage costly medicines & pressure of workload  on Doctors ,thus will be financially viable

(5) Constitute Hospital Advisory & Grievance redress committees at all levels with adequate representation of pensioners.

These measures will not only improve service to the beneficiaries but will also keep Govt expenditure within reasonable limits.
Er.S.C.Maheshwari
Secretary, Bharat Pensioners Samaj
Genl. Secy. RREWA