Dear Madam --
In response to your OM sent out recently on the subject of Items for the Agenda for the SCOVA scheduled to meet in January 2015, I have prepared a Note. It is Attached.
Proposed Items for the Agenda to SCOVA Meet in January 2015
1. Gains from SCOVA
What is coming up in January 2015 is the 26th meeting of SCOVA, instituted by late Shri Rajiv Gandhi, then Prime Minister.
(Incidentally, when he alighted from the aircraft at Stuttgart on June 8, 1988, there was a sudden pour. I had an umbrella and held it over him. Later, his Chief Security Officer Shri Defender Singh, known to me, came down the aircraft ladder, called me up by name, and took over the umbrella. I got fully drenched with my suit on. I had wished the Prime Minister, and his small smile is still in my memory. I was a junior diplomat attached to the Indian Embassy then at Bonn, and was on duty.)
That is to say, the SCOVA has met over 20 years. It is time some ‘retrospection’ is done. The Department should not find it difficult to review how many decisions the SCOVA has taken in the past years, and conveyed to the different Departments of the Government.It may be made known how many GOs/OMs are issued on these recommendations/decisions. This becomes necessary, as good funds are spent in the name of SCOVA meets, and both the stake-holders involved in the SCOVA tasks should know whether there are corresponding results. The position may be intimated to the forthcoming SCOVA meet in January 2015.
2. Exercise on Revision of PPOs
The Exercise has been on,after the Recommendations of the 6th CPC have been accepted by the Government in late 2008. Since then, the Ministry of Pensions has held several rounds of meetings with the Departments and Ministries to check up the progress, to hasten the progress, and the present mandatory direction is to complete the task by December 2014. At every succeeding, the SCOVA is given certain number of PPOs revised; but yet the task is not complete as many many PPOs remain to be revised. That is to say, numbers do not answer the exercise, but the completion. Even while giving these numbers, the stake-holders would prefer to see it in a table-format, indicating number of PPOs on hand, number of PPOs revised, number remaining with remarks on reasons. This would be clearer.
A glaring instance that is dogging the Karnataka CGPA Bangalore is that of Shri A S Pereira, on 93rd year. He was hospitalised for UTI. He was back home, but remained on wheel chair. His voice has gone down. He is now on sick bed. The CGPA has taken up his case on the CPENGRAMS portal in March 2014; nothing has come through, with the lapse of eight months. On behalf of the CGPA, giant-strength BPS Secretary-General took it up through his Blog and by writing to all the concerned officers, the MP and the Minister; but yet the stone has not moved. How, repeat how, can the Depatments or the P/CDA Allahabad remain rigidly silent so long. The SCOVA should be told, and the pensioner should get the Revised PPO fast.
(PS: Yes, the subject of Revision of PPOs has been discussed and debated almost in every SCOVA meeting. But what is projected should be cleared at the SCOVA meet. Sometimes, ‘inconvenient’ subjects are set aside. It should not happen, here.)
3. The IR and the Merger
The Government/Ministry is aware that the earlier Pay Commissions had recommended the Interim Relief, as the monetary relief would come years later. The 6th Commission remained defiant. But, the 7th Commission has made it clear that on a Reference by the Government, they would consider it. Various unions and organisations including the pensioners associations have written to the Govt to make such a Reference to the Commission. This has not been considered favourably by the Government, as yet. Can the SCOVA hear the views of the Representatives at the January meet, and convey it to the Government, for consideration and action thereon? There is clear meaning in the Grant of IR; for, today’s rupee is tomorrow’s ten rupees!
Similar is the case with the Merger of 50% of DA/DR with pay/pension. Can the SCOVA express an opinion in this regard?
4. Court cases
On the Question of parity, many cases are in different courts. In respect of the Judgement of May 15, 2014, by the CAT-PB New Delhi, the Government, on the reported advice of the Dept of Law, has agreed to give the arrears to the petitioners of the S-29 Grade Pensioners Assn w.e.f. 1.1.2006. This is at great variance with the Nakhra Judgement. What should the pensioners community do in this inconsistent situation? Should they all join together, and go to the court, as and when possible? Many of them are quite aged, and they would not be alive to see the judgement – let alone get the results to their hands. What is the considered view of SCOVA?
5. Commendatory Awards
The Bharat Pensioners Samaj, New Delhi, has instituted Awards for ‘outstanding performance’ by the Pensioners Associations on year to year basis. It has two Trophies, and Commendation certificates. The Karnataka CGPA had proposed to the DoP&PW to consider the institution of such Awards/Certificates, in addition to the Grants-in-Aid. The SCOVA should favourably consider this item.