Secretary General’s Report to 60th BPS AGM held on 29.11.2015 at
Respected Chief guest ,Delegates, Dignitaries & Sr Comrades ,
The period between 59tth to this 60th AGM has been very eventful, BPS gained new heights and support . In short during the past three yrs BPs could achieve what it could not in 57 years . Thanks to digitalization, internet & Social media not only that BPS has reached every nook & corner of the country, it has reached 33 countries internationally . In an historical event BPS was short listed by 7th CPC to represent C.G. Pensioners in the final round table discussion/ evidence on 17.02.2015. It was perhaps the first time in the history of pay commissions that a pensioners Federation was invited twice to give presentation &to tender evidence, BPS could discuss with 7th CPC & forcefully represent pensioners burning issues such as 100% parity ,Pension to be 2/3rd of last drawn, adequate hassle free medical facilities to all pensioners with smart card for cashless treatment in emergencies etc etc It continues to be a a member of Advisory Committee for Web-based Pensioners Portal, Govt. of India. It also continues to be one of the identified Pensioners organization of GOI . BPS continued to be involved in social welfare activities for the good of the Civil Society BPS Vice president (WZ) Com, J.N.Rao once again carried BPs greeting to Japanese counterparts and represented at International Seminar on Space and Peace - Space for Peace from 29th July to 2nd August at Kyoto, two papers relating to 'Weaponisation of Space - where India stands?' and 'Global Military Bases, in 2013 BPS had succeeded in getting OM dated 28.1.2013 regarding 6th CPC modified parity wef 24.9.2012 even when the case was subjudice. In July 2015 after a long struggle BPS succeeded in getting the benefit extended wef 1.1.2006 BPS could also get benefit of CSD canteen to defence civilian pensioners& CGHS facilities to KVS pensioners. After years of struggle Rly Bd had agreed to issue Smart cards to RELHS beneficiaries orders though issued on 18.7.2012 were not implemented. However, due to BPS pressure through Social media Rly Bd has now constituted a committee on 11.9.2015 for implementation of Smart card facility to RELHS beneficiaries and have delegated powers to GMs to enter into MOU with CGHS empanelled hospitals. Similarly we are constantly pursuing with DOP&PW to improve Grievance redressal mechanism CPENGRAMS so that grievances are not closed on flimsy grounds. BPS once again donated Rs one lac for the assistance of earthquake victims. However, if you ask me to quote one good achievement then I will quote the case of a Dalit Tribal widow whose name was not existing in the PPO of her late husband. BPS could get family pension sanctioned to this poor lady 3 yrs after the death of her husband. Bharat Pensioners Samaj today stands accepted as the largest pensioner’s body in the country & is held in high esteem by Pensioners as well as by the administration. Not only that we have been seeking Govt. support in deficient areas but have been actively involved in the Welfare of the Civil society. BPS campaign for Organ & body donation through its affiliates NFRPA Guwahati , S.E.C.Rly Pensioners Association Nagpur, RPWA Sharanpur, Govt pensioners associations Mujaffar Nagar and Sharanpur is catching up with good response. BPS is a participant in the activities of All India Peace & Solidarity Organization through its Vice President (West Zone)Sh. J.N.Rao..
S G BPS and other office bearers have been moving over the length & breadth of the country to connect with stake holders, MOU partners, well wishers & supporters. BPS Balance Sheet for the financial year 2014-15 has been the highest ever. BPS in its own office which can be viewed live online, has 4 computers with operators and video conferencing facility. BPS today has an audience of well over 17lac on Social media. It also has facility of sending mass SMS & Mass email. BPS today within minutes can share information with its affiliates, associates, MOU partners & members in every corner of country & internationally. BPS monthly magazine ‘Bharat Pensioner’ circulation has been rising, its E. Edition is also being published simultaneously which has a circulation of around 64000 (soft copies) every month. There have been hassles & complaints in delivery of hard copies of monthly Journal. Secy. PR Sh K.L.Malhotra is now regularly monitoring & removing glitches we are sure to improve its delivery shortly..
BPS 3C action plan 'communicate, coordinate and consolidate' is now catching-up with MOU partners & sister organizations. On popular suggestions & feed back 4th 'C' has been added to it i.e. 'Contribute' : Let every superannuated person contribute wisdom, thoughts ,ideas, efforts, knowledge, experience and whatever she/he can conveniently afford including money to the common cause to make ‘3C’ “ROAD MAP” a success. BPS has recently launched Pilot project-'Pensioners own media' through which it is trying to make available publications of pensioners organizations on one Platform.
Besides adoption of modern methods and digital technology, BPS continue time-tested conventional system to remain connected with grass-root levels.
During the past three years we have been moving ahead making amends, improvements and weaving a network for better wkg which has resulted in heavy gains for the organizations. Bharat Pensioners Samaj is a Federation of Pensioners Associations as such emphasis is to give more representation in BPS MC to affiliated Associations covering different departments and regions of the country especially t o induct computer/internet savvy representative of affiliates. BPS is committed to this policy & will continue its efforts in this direction.
VP (SZ) Somashekhar RaoVP(WZ) J.N.Rao,VP (NE) Yaikul Singh, Secretary Railways Bimalandu Chakraborty, Onkar Singh Secy.(Defence civilians),Secy. BSNL D.D. Ministry, Secy Postal & othrs M. Chandramowli ,Secy. States RLN Ratnam, Secy EPS 95 Prakash yende, Editor M M Kapur & Treasurer Sh. Rameshwar Kumar have been doing very good job. Managing committee members S.M.Kanjilal & K.B.Krshna Rao are now SCOVA members.
Country is moving fast with digital technology & paperless working, for survival we will have to keep pace with changing scenario. Change is law of nature, leaders need to be visionary & amenable to change. We will be failing in our duty if we do not strive to bring in younger blood equipped with modern technology & nurture next line of leadership to match changing digital scenario. There is urgent need to handover the organization to a new computer/internet savvy younger persons capable of taking the organization forward, meeting the rising aspirations of our affiliates & members at least by 2017’.
Ladies & gentlemen : Success, Name & Fame do not come alone, certain evils too creep in along-with. Unfortunately wrong feeling start inculcating giving rise to takeover aspirations. There may also be attempts to takeover through unconstitutional methods, thus we have to jealously guard against destructive mindsets.
Ladies & gentlemen as all of you know 7th CPC report is out. BPS President Sh. Shyam Sunder and I as Secy. Genl. BPS on the basis of our critical analysis have sent a representation to Finance Minister on 25.11.015, appealing him to set right following shortcomings:
1. Ratio between minimum and maximum: Instead of reducing it is raised which is against the preamble of the Constitution of Indian Republic.
2. Minimum salary has been intentionally calculated to be lower to keep common fitment factor low. Counting employees’ wife as 0.80 unit is gender biase and is totally unjustified. Quantities & rates taken for the items in basket are unrealistic, for example Rs 524.07 per month is provided .Even the lowest category of Govt. accommodation is not available at this rate. Similarly rate of ‘Dal’ is taken to be 97.84 per Kg. No ‘Dal’ is or was available in the market at this rate.
Quantity of Milk is taken to be 200ml per unit per day which is too little for a vegetarian, rate of Milk is taken to be Rs 37.40 per Kg which is lower than market rate.
3. According to 7th CPC, 2.57 fitment factor is for all employees. But, in fact, 2.81 fitment has been given at Secy level. This is robbing Peter to pay Paul, violative of CPC own recommendation and that of Article 14 of the constitution of India. 2.81 fitment benefit should be provided to all employee without any discrimination.
4. Raising Percentage of pension, based on sustenance: Analysis given by CPC is silent on sustenance-this is unjustified rejection.
5.OROP recommended by 7th CPC for all. But, through the jugglery of pay matrix, for promotee officers and group ‘C,’ it will end up only in modified parity.This needs rectification to ensure absolute parity for all.
6. Additional pension at 75yrs of age is denied only because Defence Ministry did not agree, this is rather absurd. If Defence Ministry does not want to have it, let them not have it. Why make others suffer on this account?
7.Medical facilities : While the Commission’s recommendations regarding merging of all postal dispensaries with CGHS dispensaries and inclusion of non CGHS covered postal Pensioners are welcome.
However, its recommendations regarding Health insurance for pensioners do not suit existing pensioners on account of no coverage of existing disease without lock-in period, no provision of OPD facility , payment of premium and less amount of coverage.
Under signed, wish to draw your kind attention to para 9.5.18 (iii) of the 7th CPC and request you to creat without delay a combined entity of CGHS, ECHS-RELHS which in terms of 7th CPC would result in a very strong network of health facilities for the Central Government employees/pensioners across the length and breadth of the country.
8.Scraping of New Pension scheme( NPS) :It has come out through 7th CPC report that though NPS was introduced more than a decade back Govt; to date could not firm up rules in this regard. With the result over 300000 employee recruited after 2004 may not have enough funds in their accounts at retirement to ensure financial security. Center and state Govt’s share of contribution is insufficient and these governments are not depositing their contribution in time, investments are subjected to service tax & withdrawals are taxable under Income Tax with the result there would not be enough money for reasonable post retirement financial security. Due to ever rising inflation, this situation will go on worsening year by year and will go out of hand by the time of retirement of the beneficiary. This is more than sufficient reason to scrap NPS & to revert to pre 2004 defined benefit Pension Scheme.
The Vision ahead
After going over the length & breadth of the country & interacting with different organizations I realize that less than20% pensioners have joined one or the other organization out of which not even1% are active participants. Most of the organizations have not developed 2nd line of leadership & running the risk of going down the drain. As standard of fitness of civil pensioners is not as good as of ex servicemen, due to their immobility & old age disabilities at National level we are not in a position to gather few thousand pensioners for protest march etc at local level also this strength gets limited to few hundred only.
There is urgent need for each one of the pensioners’ organization to launch membership campaign & persuade more & more pensioners to join hands, more & more pensioners should come on social media sites to shatter the misconception being created against pensioners at National level I feel we must revive BCPC to provide a common platform to all Federations, National/state/district level pensioners organizations to come together. Additionally as a long term remedy all pensioners organizations are requested to consider adoption of 4 "C" fomula i.e. Communicate coordinate, consolidate & contribute
In the days ahead, BPS along with likeminded organizations, plans to play a big role in forging unity amongst all superannuated persons and in consolidating Elderly Vote Bank through its 4 C action plan. We are happy that our Honourable MOS (PP) Dr Jitendra Singh ji has realised that pensioners are retired but not tired. We will emphasize that his press release dated 21.09.2015 be given practical shape in a time bound manner.
Through Social media BPS will convince the civil society and the Govt. that we are asking only for which we have contributed , which is in accordance to our service conditions , is provided in the country’s constitution & pronounced by the Supreme Court of India. We will apprise the civil Society that our Pension is not a burden on them but is our deferred wage and that we pensioners make endless contributions to families, communities and the society. we contribute as family care givers, as workers, consumers, volunteers and taxpayers. Stand shoulder to shoulder with fellow citizens in distress. Even in death, give life & vision to the needy through organ donation .
There are enormous challenges to pensioners that need to be faced. Overcoming age discrimination, which is rampant in societies, as well as ensuring adequate income security and good health care, are few important challenges. Keeping pace with time, while seeking support from the Government in deficient areas , BPS will strive to develop systems which enable all of us to act as one family with mutual confidence, support and growing interdependence.
The most powerful weapon of pensioners is their vote. So let's strive to consolidate elderly vote power, if we wish our voice to be heard.BPS will be moving ahead with its 4 "(C)formula and will continue struggling for pensioners cause with “Samanvay” of traditional & modern technological methods.
Brothers & sisters I thank you all for your cooperation &support afforded to me so far.
Bharat Pensioners samaj