Wednesday, August 15, 2012

BPS & RREWA joint draft Agenda for 21st SCOVA meeting

BPS & RREWA  joint draft Agenda for 21st SCOVA meeting for the comments of members &supporters.


For M/O P,PG & Pensions DOP & PW

1. Implementation of web based Pensioners portal

Time bound grievance redressal & real time dissemination of information are the two main ingredients of this novel venture for the welfare of pensioners.

Unfortunately several ministries especially the M/O Railways has not taken the issue seriously.

Grievances recorded by identified Association are being dealt with in most casual & irresponsible manner so much so that Grievances are being forwarded to incorrect destinations & are being closed unilaterally on incorrect grounds w/o resolving. Out of many only two cases are being quoted here to highlight the situation.

i. Complaint No : P&PW/W/2010/00997 of 12/10/2010 followed by complaint No;

DOPPW/E/2011/00510 Registration Date 14.09.2011 closed on 03.01.2012 stating ; ASSOCIATION NOT GIVEN COMPLETE PARTICULARS. When followed through RTI & Vigilance Case resolved on 16/5/2012 But in the process Pensioner lost substantial amount of interest on arrear payment for almost four years. ii. Complaint No MORLY/E/2012/03427 Naresh Chandra Pramanik 01/06/2012 despite giving everydetail. The Complaint, concerning DRM E. Rly Malda, has been wrongly sent to N.Rly. HQ .This is not an isolated case, several other complaints have met similar fate with the result complaints recorded in 2009 are still pending. Reasons being : a). DOP &PW simply forward the complaint to the concerned authority and leave it there. b). Concerned authorities now can close the complaint at their level w/o resolving it.c). Complete details recorded by the identified association while registering the grievance are not forwarded to concerned authority.d). Concerned authorities at ground level do not get the enclosed supporting documents.e). Authorities are not sensitive enough.2.Dissemination of information in real time : i) Previously Pensioners’ portal was being updated on daily basis .Circulars /orders/clarifications were being uploaded on the day of issue but now posting is delayed by two to three Days.ii) M/O Railways Rly. Bd, Directorates of Finance, Health , Establishment (Welfare) & 6th CPC are not posting upto date circulars/orders/clarifications on their respective website/web page Similarly M/O H &FW is not posting upto date circulars/orders on CGHS website. For the successfulImplementation of ‘Pensioners Portal, which is an e. governance venture, dissemination of information real time is very important. The concerned Ministries be requested to ensure it.3.Hindi version of every orders/circulars/clarifications should simultaneously be provided by all Ministries /Departments.For .M/O Railway1.i )Time line fixation for grievance redressal through CPENGRAMS: M/O Rly has not so far taken suitable action for Implementing the guidelines circulated vide Govt. of India Department of Pension & Pensioners' Welfare F.No.41/30/2011-P&PW(C) dated 13.1.2012 regarding fixation of time line for resolving grievances recorded through CPENGRAMS so much so, these instructions have not so far been circulated down the line. Similarly, action is pending on GOI DOP PW F.No 41/38/2011-P& PW(C) dated 2.9.2011 Even the list of identified Associations and SCOVA members has not so far been circulated to Zones & the Divisions.1.ii) Meeting pensioners’ representatives: Though Rly Board has circulated more than once, instructions to zones & Divisions to meet pensioners’ representatives & to attend to their representation. But unfortunately Board officers themselves are not following these instructions/ guide lines.2. Reduction of Pension of pre-1996 pensioners w.e.f. 1.1.2006.& recovery of excess amount paid: The subject was discussed vide Agenda item 10.19 in 20th SCOVA Meeting held on 21.9.2011 and Railway Board was advised to sort out the issue after hearing the representatives of Pensioners Assns. E.D. Est.(F) who is the concerned authority does not have time to discuss the issue with pensioners’ Representatives. Whenever Bharat pensioners Samaj attempted to approach the officer. Her PS replied that she was busy. Even in response to the request for appointment through Fax, PS replied that she was too busy too give an appointment . As such, the nodal Ministry is requested to intervene immediately .As a first step, stop recovery of huge amount from the pensioners/family pensioners. : 14 Sep 2011

3) RELHS facilities to family pensioners, other than spouse, and to the kids of Divorced & widowed dependent daughters.:

Widowed / Divorced / Unmarried dependent daughters of Rly. Epmployees / Pensioners are included in the definition of family members & get family Pension on their turn in all the Central Government departments including Railways. Such family Pensioners & their minor kids are provided healthcare facilities under CGHS of Ministry of Health & Family Welfare as well as under ECHS of Ministry of Defence.

But Indian Railways have denied Health care facility as well as Fixed Medical allowance in lieu of OPD to these Family Pensioners

Para 612 (2) iii of Indian Railway Medical Manual 2000 debars Widowed/Divorced / Unmarried dependent daughter Family Pensioners from Joining ‘Retired Railway Employees Liberalized Health Scheme-1997’. This discrimination against women and gender bias need immediate rectification. A suitable amendment be immediately introduced to permit all such family pensioners (i.e. other than the spouse) to join RELHS-97 for their healthcare needs.

3 i) RELHS facilities to dependent parents ; The then Rly Minister in her budget speech on25th February 2011 vide para 56 announced extension of medical facilities to both dependent father and mother of railway employees.. Executive Order to this effect needs to be issued w/o delay.

3ii) On 24th February 2010 during the budget speech Minister for Railways, vide para 51, announced that Rly. outpatient Departments (OPD) and diagnostic centers will be set up at Gurgaon & other cities. But there has been no progress on the ground so far. This needs to be implemented without delay.

3iii) Separate nominated days for Pensioners/family pensioners for specialist consultation in Rly hospital.

In Railways specialist consultation is available only in Central Hospitals at Zonal head quarters, which covers a jurisdiction of more than a hundred Kilometers. In the absence of separate consultation facilities for pensioners/family pensioners, they have to face torture of standing for hours in the common queue and often they miss the opportunity for specialist consultation on the same day of visit.. Thus to save them from this inconvenience, it is desirable that a week day is nominated for them for this purpose.

3iv) Inclusion of representatives of identified Associations & SCOVA members in Rly Hospital grievance committees.

Healthcare is a major issue with pensioners. A number of complaints keep dropping in Federation/association office about poor attention to pensioners in Rly hospitals and about doctors’ misbehavior. In the absence of a grievance committee with Pensioners’ representatives therein, these complaints are not properly addressed .Thus it is desirable that the working of Rly hospitals is streamlined on the basis of CGHS guidelines & Hospital grievance committees are constituted with adequate representation of Pensioners through identified associations & SCOVA members.

4) Allow dependents in Widow passes : In widow pass, only the mother of the deceased employee/pensioner is allowed to be included as dependant.. It is cruelty to debar a widow to include her own dependent children in the pass. Thus it is desirable to allow dependents in the widow pass at the same scale, as was allowed in the post retirement pass of her late husband

4i) Provision of passes to family pensioners other than the widow:

The facility of widow passes was introduced in Rlys in lieu of surrender of two sets of privilege ticket order during the service life of the employee, as such it is desirable that after the death of widow, the facility is passed on to the next family pensioner if any.

5. Widen scope of pension Adalat to include all payment cases & to allow SCOVA members/representative as well as representative of identified Associations to actively participate

PENSION ADALATS ON RAILWAYS.

Master Circular 63 dt 12.10.95 (reiterated vide No. E(W)2011/PA-1/4 dated 20.12.2011) Para 2.13 provides Pension Adalat at Divisional level every 3 months interval. But these instructions are not being followed. Number of Pensioners/Family Pensioners & their grievances have considerably increased over the past one & a half decade. In the absence of strict time line & punitive clause, Grievances recorded through Pensioners Portal “CPENGRAM” are not being timely resolved by the Rly Admn, quite a number of such grievances are either pending for over two years or have been unilaterally closed w/o resolving. SCOVA meetings too are at best once a year & the Forum has limited scope. An year is too long a time for the pensioner who has outlived the normal life expectancy. Thus keeping up the spirit of M.C. 63, scope & periodicity of Pension Adalat need to be increased urgently. Also:

(a) Make Pension Adalats functional also at the Railway Board level.

(b) Widen scope of Pension Adalats to include all payment related grievances.

(c) Ensure that in compliance of Para 2.13. of the Master circular 63 on the subject, Pension Adalat at Divisional level is held every three months.

6. Un-discussed pending SCOVA 20th Agenda item 21(2): Renting/allotment of office accommodation to Pensioners’ associations :

Railway administration is following a dual policy in renting/allotment office accommodation to Rly Pensioners’ Associations.

Following details will explain the issue clearly:

1. With reference to SCOVA 20th Agenda Item 21(2) - Provision of office accommodation to Pensioners Associations M/O Railways (Railway Board) replied::



“Provision exists in para-1963 of Indian Railways Engg Code for allotment of spare buildings to house Staff Welfare Organizations at a nominal fee/rent. Zonal Railways can be approached accordingly in the matter”. Para-1963 of I.R.Engg. Code provides “ allotment with prior approval of the Rly.Board”.

2. With reference to Bharat Pensioners Samaj Memorandum dated 04.03.2011 Item 5(iii) M/O Railways (Railway Board) Vide their No E(W) 2011/PA-1/2 dated 02.01.2012 S.No.5(iii) replied:

“There is no policy regarding allotment of office accommodation to Pensioners’ Associations. However, an item regarding grant in aid to pensioners’ associations was raised in the 20th SCOVA meeting and the same is under examination by DOP &PW”.

3. With reference to RTI Act query sought by Shri A.Venkatappaiah, in Case No.RTI Cell /2010/010013050, M/O Railways (Railway Board) stated:

“Railway quarters and buildings not required for housing railway staff or other railway purposes may at the discretion of the General Manager be let, in consultation with the Financial Adviser, to outsiders, on the highest rent that can be secured. This power may, subject to such restrictions as the General Manager may impose, be delegated to officers not below the rank of Divisional Manager”

4.In case of another RTI enquiry regarding allotment of office accommodation to a particular Pensioners’ Association .Railway administration vide DRM (P) Guntur vide his No SCR/PGNT/740/3/Vol.VII/RTI Act dated 30.06.2011 concluded.:

“No prior approval of financial advisor or Rly Board is required since Rly pensioners Associations being welfare organization do not come under the ambit of outsiders as mentioned in Rly Bd reply in RTI Case No.RTI Cell /2010/010013050 and that allotment to Rly. Pensioners association can be done in accordance with Rly Board Letter No 79/W2/18/130/0 of 12th August 1980 on a nominal rent as amended from time to time” and rented out a RB Type II accommodation @ Rs 1000/- per year, to a particular association at Guntur, that too, cancelling earlier allotment done to another association w/o valid reason.

Whereas Rs 6440/- licence fee with provision of yearly increase, is being charged from NF Rly Pensioners’ association for a strip of 675 sft unbuilt area in Rly colony DTS Hill/Lumding, Assam which is much higher than the market rate there.

Thus with reference to allotment/renting of accommodation to Welfare organizations such as ‘Pensioners Association’ no norms are being followed and as is clear from the examples sited in fore going Para & in Agenda item 21(2) of the 20th SCOVA. Several allotments have been given on the whims & fancies of S,C. Rly officers concerned, to favour affiliates of a particular Federation who is using it as a bait to woo Rly Pensioners Associations to its side & is falsely propagating to be the only recognized Rly Pensioners Federation by the Rly Board. This amounts to corrupt practice.

As such, in the interest of transparency and fairness. Rly Board, should lay down definite parameters & norms for allotment/renting of office accommodation to Pensioners Associations

For M/O Defence

1..Refusal by PCDA(P) Allahabad to issue revised PPO to pre 2006 pensioners & family pensioners;

GREF Records Dighi Camp Pune vide letter No2602/137/NER (P) dated 06.3.2012 & Director Genl. Border Roads vide No15175/RO/DGBR/37/EIC “C” dated 16.3.2012. have informed that:

PCDA(P)Allahabad has refused to issue revised PPOs to Pre2006 Pensioners & Family Pensioners with the result that several of them are deprived of the benefit of modified parity (reg. minimum pension/family pension) and old age additional pension/family pension. Issue need to be sorted out immediately.

2.Two family pension to widows of reemployed ex servicemen:

As per Govt of India decision No (21) published below rule 54 of the CCS (Pension) Rules 1972 dependent parents and widowed / divorced daughters were also included in the definition of family with effect from 1-1-1996. An income criterion for dependency was prescribed. Now Government of India, Dept. of Pension & P.W vide O.M. 1/11/2011-P&PW (E) dated 30-11-2011 have clarified that “ Family pension admissible to a beneficiary in respect of one deceased employee / pensioners is not to be counted as income for the purpose of determination of another family pension”.

On the death of a military pensioner his wife will be entitled for family pension under the military pension rules. If her unmarried son serving under another ministry also dies then she will be entitled for 2nd family pension. The family pension being drawn from the military source shall not be counted as income for the determination of eligibility for 2nd family pension. If for two different spells of service rendered by two different persons under two different ministries one common family member can be entitled for two family pensions, then why not for two different spells of service rendered by one person under two different ministries, his family is not entitled for two family pensions.

3.Refusal to sanction Family pension to dependent daughters by defence authorities on the plea that the employee during his service life did not include the name in the details of dependents.

This attitude of the defence authorities is causing undue hardship to Widowed/Divorced daughters in whose case event occurred after the retirement of their parents.

In cases where no office records are available self declaration of dependency and the legal heir certificate issued by court for the specific purpose of Family pension be accepted as a valid document to claim family pension.

4.CDS canteen facilities to defence civilians:

Defence Services Civilian Pensioners should be entitled for CSD Canteen facility because ; (Firstly) they are being paid pension from Defence Services Estimates and their entitlement is covered under para 4 (b) of Army Order No 02/2006 and (Secondly) they are ex-servicemen as per laid down definition and all ex-servicemen are entitled for CSD Canteen facility.Thus this facility be restored to them w/o further delay

ForM/O Finance

1.Stepping up FMA

INCREASE FMA (FIXED MEDICAL ALLOWANCE) TO RS 1200 PM:

i. The meager amount of Fixed Medical allowance (FMA) of Rs 300 P.M. in lieu of, day to day OPD facility was sanctioned w.e.f. 01.09.2008 on the basis of cost of OPD treatment per card holder under CGHS during the year 2003-2004, which has increased by more than 6 times since then.

ii. As per the figure disclosed by M/O Health & Family Welfare under RTI Act 2005, the Average cost of OPD treatment per card holder under CGHS during the year 2007-2008 went up to Rs 1369/-PM. This has further gone up considerably since then. M/O Labour & Employment, is already paying Rs 1200/- as FMA to its beneficiaries. It is therefore, urged that to help elderly Pensioners to look after their health, FMA for all C.G. Pensioners be raised to at least Rs 1200/- PM linking it to Dearness Relief for automatic further increase. Especially as Ministry of Health and Family Welfare have no objection in raising FMA from Rs 300/- to Rs1200 P.M as intimated vide their number MOH &FW F.No20020/45/2012-CGHS (P) dt 22.02.2012.

iii Adequate raise in FMA will encourage a good number of Pensioners to opt out of OPD facility, which will reduce overcrowding in hospital. OPD through Insurance is likely to cost much more to the Govt. As such the proposal for raising Fixed Medical allowance to Pensioners is fully justified & financially viable.

iv. EXEMPT FMA 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.

2.Incorrect implementation of modified parity as recommended by 6th CPC :

Two identically Placed Officers getting different pensions Mr. A and B both are Additional Secretaries and have been drawing Rs.24500 i.e. maximum of their pay scale Rs.22400-24500. Mr. A retirees on 31.12.2005 and get pension of Rs.24700 as on 1.1.2006. Mr B retires on 31.1.2006 and his pension is fixed as on 1.2.2006 at Rs.35190 i.e. more than Rs.10000/- (Rs.10490) than the former

The VI CPC has recommended that pension will be subject to the provision that revised pension, in no case, shall be lower than 50% of the sum of the (minimum pay in the pay band and the grade pay thereon corresponding to the prerevised pay scale from which the pensioner had retired. This recommendation has been accepted by the Government vide para 4.2 of O.M.No.38/37/08-P&PW (A) dated 1.9.2008. The Government of India vide their OM. No.38/37/08 P&PW (A) Pt I dated 3.10.2008 reiterated vide their OM F No. 38/37/08-P& PW (A) dated 11.2.2009 have modified and ordered that the Pension calculated at 50% of the minimum of the Pay in the Pay Band Plus Grade Pay would be calculated at the minimum of the pay in the Pay Band (irrespective of the prerevised scale of pay) plus the Grade Pay corresponding to the prerevised Pay Scale. By so doing the 50% of pay in the Pay Band has been brought down to the minimum of the lowest Pay Scale in the Pay Band. In other words minimum pay in the Pay Band of PB 1 has been fixed at Rs.5200 in respect of all the pay scale of that Pay Band, PB 2 has been fixed at Rs.9300 in respect of Pay Scales of that Pay Band.

Mr. A who is in the prerevised Pay Scale of Rs.7500-12000 will be getting Rs.7050/- by way of 50% of minimum of Pay in the pay band Rs.7050 (i.e. 50% of 9300+4800) and not Rs. 9380 (Rs.7500 X 1.86 + Rs.4800) Qualifying the term “ minimum pay in the pay band” by the clause “irrespective of prerevised scale of Pay” is, therefore, a modification in the Government decision taken and conveyed vide OM dated 1.9.2008. By doing this the very objective of ensuring at least parity in pension in respect of those retiring at the minimum of the prerevised Post revised Pay Scales / Pay Band has been distorted. All employees have been brought to the level of minimum of Pay Band. This distortion in the Government decision has to be rectified appropriately.

 3. 50% DR merger

MERGER OF DR WITH PENSION WHENEVER IT GOES ABOVE 50%:-

The Pension of Central Govt. Pensioners undergo revision only once in 10 to 13 years during which period the pension structure gets seriously disaligned, fifty % increase in prices takes place in less than 5 years, this result in considerable damage to the financial position of the pensioner with otherwise inadequate Pension. The working employees are getting automatic relief by way of 25% increase in their allowances with every 50% rise in Dearness allowance. As pensioners do not get any allowances, they feel cheated. In order to strike a balance, DR should be merged with Pension whenever it goes beyond 50% or pension be revised every 5 years.

4.Restoration of Comutation in 12 yrs

RESTORATION OF COMMUTED PORTION OF PENSION IN 12 YEARS: -

The commuted value of pension is calculated with reference to a commutation table based on the mortality rate among pensioners & the recovery of interest at a fixed rate of 4.75% per annum. These tables were revised in Nov 63, Nov 67, March 1971 & now latest by CPC 6 but the years of recovery/restoration have not been revised or reviewed. Average life expectancy in 1961 was 40 yrs where as life expectancy at 60 years i.e. the age of retirement is 18 years. Thus percentage of recovery today is very high as compared to 1971.

. The commuted amount along with interest element stands fully adjusted in 12 years. That is why, States are restoring commuted portion of pension of their pensioners in 12 years. Thus there is no reason why the Central Govt. should also not restore it in 12 years, as was recommended by 5th CPC more than 10 years back vide their Para 136.19.

For M/O/ H &FW

1.Merger of 19 P& T dispensaries in CGHS in 12 cities-

Item 6.21 of 20th SCOVA meeting is still pending. The merger may be expedited.

2.Grievances Committees at the Additional Director (CGHS) Level at Delhi :

Grievances Committees consisting of representatives of pensioners and serving employees are successfully functioning in cities other than Delhi. However, no such grievances machinery is available at the Additional Directors of various CGHS Zones at Delhi. Consequently, important issues like settlement of reimbursement of medical expenses are out of the purview of any scrutiny at these zones. It is requested that Grievances Committee with representatives of Pensioners be constituted at Additional Director level at Delhi without any further delay.

2.i)A similar grievance committee at national level may also be constituted.


Shyam Sunder                                                                                            S.C.Maheshwari

Secy.Genl.                                                                                                      Genl. Secy.

Bharat Pensioners Samaj                                                  Retired Railway Employees Welfare Association

New Delhi                                                                                                     Gurgaon



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