Wednesday, July 30, 2014

BPS supplementary memorandum to 7th CPC

 No. SG/BPS/Supli. memo/7CPC/2                                                                           Dated : 30. 07.2014

Supplementary Memorandum to 7th CPC
Discrimination  & Disparities caused by 6th CPC

1. Widening of disparity in income & wealth due to Minimum Maximum Salary Ratio raised to 1:12: The minimum maximum salary ratio which had come down to 1:8 in 1996(Para 2.2.16 sixth CPC report)  which in conformity with  preamble to Constitution  should have further gone down, but was increased to 1:12 by the sixth CPC, overlooking the spirit of Indian constitutions. As pension is directly proportionate to Salary widening of minimum maximum salary ratio created vast disparity in income & wealth of highest & lowest paid . Minimum guaranteed Pension is 50% of the revised basic salary. As is clear from Para 2.1.12 to 2.1.15 of 6th CPC recommendations, while drawing comparison of Group A civil service officers’ pay packages  with that of  Public & private Sectors, VI th CPC did not accounted for service security , powers enjoyed & the latent benefits. This resulted in recommendation of disproportionate package at highest level, raising   minimum maximum salary ratio to 1:12. Causing Vast disparity in income & wealth of lowest & highest paid in civil services (Minimum salary Rs 7000 & Max. Rs 90000 of cab. Secy . 
 and causing Vast disparity in income & wealth of lowest & highest paid in civil services (Minimum salary Rs 7000 & Max. Rs 90000 of cab. Secy) .  Pensioners at lower levels especially those corresponding to S4 to S23 pre-revised 5th CPC Scales have been  discriminated against & are the worst hit. We appeal to the commission to bring back minimum maximum Salary ratio to 1996 level i.e. 1: 8
 2. Discrimination in Parity between past and present Pensioners & within pre 2006 group of Pensioners: In India there already exist complete parity in pension for judges of Supreme Court, High Courts, Comptroller and audit General of India(Para 137.11 of 5th CPC report) , Cab Secy & Appex Scale of 80000/. Complete  parity  has also been conceded for defence forces through OROP and to great extent  to  Scales 24 to 32 (pre-revised Vth CPC Scales) i.e. PB 4, HAG & HAG + who  are now nearer  full parity  through  varied multiplication factor  adopted by 6th CPC  & minimum guaranteed pension formula. As their revised Basic pay in pay Band 4,HAG & HAG+ revised Scales of 6th CPC is much higher (2.44 to 3.37 times) than the pre revised maximum  Basic Salary. Varied multiplication factor has also created inequality within pre2006 Pensioners group. Definitely remaining Pensioners too belong to the same category of citizens & cannot be discriminated against.
     The V CPC  had observed in para 137.13 of their report that “while it is desirable to grant complete parity to all past pensioners irrespective of date of retirement, this may not be feasible straightaway as the financial implications would be considerable.  The process of bridging the gap in pensions of past and present pensioners has already been set in motion by the IV CPC. This process of attainment of reasonable parity needs to be continued so as to achieve complete parity over a period of time”.  The recommendation made in para 137.14 of their report had been accepted and implemented by the government.  While the process had to be continued further, this was not continued on the plea that VI CPC did not recommend the same (though 6th CPC did not recommend separate Scales for S,31 & 32 &33 but were given) VIth CPC going against the spirit of constitution & accepted norms of 5th CPC instead of bridging the widening gap, increased it by adopting a varying multiplication factor from 1.86 at lower levels i.e S7to S23(pre-revised 5th CPC scale) to 3.37 (S 31/HAG+Scale) at the higher level as brought out in the attached table . This resulted in denial of equal treatment within the homogenous group of  pre-1.1.2006 pensioners which  needs to be rectified retrospectively, ensuring equal rise in pension to all, through common multiplication factor.We appeal to the commission to recommend full parity to all past pensioners.  The country is on the path of registering phenomenal progress, with economy is looking up & fiscal deficit set to reduce to 3.6 by the time commissions report is expected to be out. Govt. is considering pegging-up pension of former MPs by 75%. OROP for defence, improvement in EPS 95 beneficiaries has been conceded, Parity in pension for Supreme Court, High Court Judges , CAG, Cab Secy. & apex Scale(S 33pre-revised scale) exist. Pensioners corresponding to PB4 (S24 to S29), HAG (S 30) & HAG+ (S31-32) Scales are very close to parity. Thus Pensioners corresponding to other pre revised scales & Pay Bands should not be discriminated against.
3. Anomaly  in assigning Grade pay: .  6th CPC vide their  Para 11.4 recommended: All the employees belonging to Groups ‘A’, ‘B’ , ‘C’ & ‘D’to be placed in distinct running pay bands {means one pay band each for Group C, B & 2 BP for group   ‘A’ (Para 2.2.8 of 6th CPC report). Group D stands merged with Group C } Every post, barring that of Secretary/equivalent and Cabinet Secretary/equivalent to have a distinct grade pay attached to it. Grade pay (being a fixed amount attached to each post in the hierarchy) to determine the status of a post with (apart from the two apex scales of Secretary/equivalent and Cabinet Secretary/equivalent that do not carry any grade pay) a senior post being given higher grade pay.  Its very clear from the above that Grade Pay is indicative of the status of the post as such it needs to be assigned according to the post from which the pensioner retired & not according to the scale from which he/she retired. But In implementation of modified parity injustice has been done to several sections of pre 2006 pensioners who retired from the posts held during IV CPC and V CPC period.  This happened mainly due to denial of modified parity as per corresponding Grade Pay of the post.  This has resulted in those who retired from the same posts & same length of service prior to revision falling behind their counterparts who retired from service after revision.  Some categories of staff suffered downgrading.  To illustrate the point, it is submitted that a Group ‘B’ Gazetted officer who retired in IV CPC scale on or before 31.12.95  has been  equated to a non-gazetted senior supervisor .  With grade pay of Rs.4200 w.e.f., 1.1.2006 indicating his status as Group C non- Gazetted . This puts a question mark on the very concept of GP & need rectification retrospectively. We suggest that modified  parity  may be implemented as per the post from which the pensioner retired.

Same fitment formula for absorbed BSNL pensioners

   BSNL (Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited) was carved out of DoT and the employees working in Department of Telecom were enmasse transferred to BSNL on optional basis.  Before formation of BSNL, there were several rounds of discussion with unions.  It was agreed to extend the retirement benefits on combined service in accordance with CCS Pension Rules 1972.  The Government of India agreed to pay pension/family pension from ‘Consolidated fund’.  Accordingly Rule 37-A was incorporated in CCS Pension Rules 1972 which was published in Government Gazette on 30/9/2000.
     The employees of DoT were absorbed in BSNL in the year 2002 but with retrospective effect from 1/10/2000.  Their pay scales were also revised from CDA pattern to IDA pattern retrospectively from 1/10/2000 with industrial dearness allowance.  The employees who retired from BSNL after 1/10/2000 have rendered their maximum service in Department of Telecom.  Most of them have served in DoT for more than 30 years.  Most of the 6th CPC recommendations like Gratuity, Enhanced Pension, Age-related additional pension, Minimum/Maximum pension etc. were made applicable for those BSNL retirees.  The Government of India is honouring its commitment of paying pension from the Consolidated fund.  Infact those who retired from BSNL after 1/10/2000 are actually BSNL retirees but Government Pensioners. 
     Their pension was calculated on the basis of last 10 months average emoluments for those who retired prior to 1/1/2006 and 50% of last pay drawn or last 10 months average whichever is beneficial for those who retired after 1/1/2006 as per 6th CPC recommendations and they are getting industrial dearness allowance every three months.  Their pension was revised w.e.f. 1/1/2007 on the basis of pay revision effected from 1/1/2007 for serving employees in BSNL.  The pay revision from 1/1/2007 for BSNL employees was implemented on the basis of recommendations of Second Pay Revision Committee for Public Sector Employees headed by Justice Jagannath Rao.  But for those who retired from BSNL after 1/1/2006, the recommendations of 6th CPC, like 50% of last pay drawn as pension, Minimum pension of Rs.3500/- Enhanced family pension for 10 years for those who died in harness etc. were implemented from 1/1/2006 onwards.  This duality should be put an end to. 
     The absorbed employees in BSNL from DoT are covered under CCS Pension Rules 1972.  Explanation under sub-rule 8 of Rule 37-A of CCS Pension Rules 1972 states “The amount of pension/family pension of the absorbed employee on retirement or on death from Public Sector undertaking shall be calculated in the same way as calculated in the case of a Central Government servant, retiring or dying on the same day”. 

The Department of telecom vide its O.M.No.40-13/2002-PEN.(T) dated 15/1/2003 clarified the following doubts:-Doubt 3 – What will be the emoluments for determining the retirement Gratuity/Death Gratuity on IDA pay scales?

Clarification – As per Rule 50 (5) of CCS (Pension) Rules, the emoluments for the purpose of Gratuity admissible shall be reckoned in accordance with Rule 33, provided that if the emoluments of the Government servant have been reduced during the last 10 months of his service, otherwise than as a penalty, average emoluments as referred to in Rule 34 shall be treated as emoluments.

Doubt 4 – Whether the minimum pension of Rs.1275 p.m. as well as maximum pension of Rs.15000 p.m. (i.e., 50% of average emoluments in all cases) as applicable in the CDA pay scale is also to be applicable in IDA pay scales?

Clarification – The ceiling minimum and maximum pension as existing in CCS (Pension) Rules shall continue unless specifically approved otherwise by the Government.

Doubt 5 – Whether commutation of pension as applicable at 40% (maximum) on CDA pay scale is also to be applicable in IDA pay scales?

Clarification – Yes.

     Hence they should be considered as Government Pensioners.  6th Pay Commission’s recommendations were made applicable to them except the fitment formula.  We request that the fitment formula recommended by 7th CPC, be made applicable to them also.  The only difference may be, it would be in IDA Pay and IDR instead of CDA Pay and CDR.  Sub-rule 10 of Rule 37-A of CCS Pension Rules 1972 states “In addition to pension or family pension, as the case may be, the employees who opted for combined service shall also be eligible to Dearness Relief as per industrial dearness Allowance pattern”.  Further, as per the Apex Court judgement, Pay and DA/DR should be on IDA pattern only after 1980. 
     The commission is requested to consider this demand, applying the same fitment formula to absorbed BSNL pensioners on par with Central Government Pensioners, without changing the IDA pattern, positively and recommend to the Government accordingly. 
            Additional new benefits sought :
1.   Children’s educational allowance and hostel subsidy: These benefits need to be extended mutatis mutandis to children of retired and deceased employees.  The death or retirement of an employee should not make any difference in the above regard.  Many retired employees have school and college going children because of late marriages.
2.   Festival advance or grant: Festival advance equivalent to one month’s basic pension/family pension to be recovered in 12 equal  monthly installments will not only  help the pensioner to celebrate at least one festival in a year with children and grand children giving them gifts etc., on the occasion but also serve as an interest free advance.  Alternatively, they should be granted a substantial amount every year as festival grant.
3.   Secondary Family Pension to dependent unmarried son up to 28 years of age: This may kindly be considered as recruitment age for certain posts under central government is presently 28 years.  Marriage of a dependent son should not be a bar for this benefit as marriage does not make any difference to the financial position unlike in the case of a married daughter.
4.   Secondary family pension to dependent widowed/divorced daughter: It is now being restricted only to those daughters who become divorced or widowed during the life time of deceased employee/pensioner/family pensioner.  This restriction is contrary to the very purpose for and the spirit with which this benefit was conceived.  The idea is that an unmarried/widowed daughter should not be left in the lurch and exposed to undue financial hardship after the death of the parents with no other support.  The commission are therefore requested to remove the above restriction.
5.   Secondary family pension to dependent widowed daughter-in-law: The responsibility of widowed daughter-in -law and her minor children devolves on the pensioner/family pensioner after son’s death. It is a cause of great anxiety and worry for the pensioner/family pensioner having dependent widowed daughter-in-law.  Though dependent widowed daughters of pensioners/family pensioners are extended the above benefit, in many cases they don’t have parents drawing pension/family pension.  Even otherwise, the primary reasonability of looking after them is that of the father-in-law as he cannot leave them to their fate after the death of the son.  As such the above benefit will go a long way in helping such hapless widows and their minor children.  Such cases will be very few and do not entail much financial burden to the exchequer.  This issue has earlier been raised in the SCOVA.  Matter needs to be considered from a humanitarian angle in the context of Indian family system. 
6.   Physically handicapped allowance: This is granted to PH employees while in service.  This needs to be continued even after their retirement also.
7.   Financial assistance to pensioners: Pensioners irrespective of age have to be provided with bank loans at concessional rates of interest to meet expenditure on children’s higher education, marriages of daughters and construction/purchase of dwelling units.
8.   Running of old age homes: All Central government departments should run old age homes for their retired employees with attached medical facilities.  Railways should run such homes for their retired employees.
9.   Transport Allowance: The phenomenal increase in the cost of transport needs no proof.  Pensioners perforce have to spend considerable amounts towards transport.  They have to attend to their day to day needs either themselves or by engaging someone for the purpose in view of the nuclear family system.  The traffic not only in big cities and towns but also in smaller places has been growing by leaps and bounds.  It is difficult for pensioners to venture out alone and they need a companion to go to hospitals and dispensaries or to attend social functions.  As such, transport allowance in one form or another has to be granted to pensioners.  The Commission are requested to consider the demand sympathetically’.

Secy. Genl Bharat Pensioners Samaj

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