4th National convention of Rly Pensioners’ Associations
R E P O R T By
D.Balasubramanium . Genl. Secy.AIFPA Chnnai
The 4th National Convention of the Railway Pensioner’s Association was held on 09.02.13, between 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., at Goonjan Conference Hall, Central Railway DRM’s Office Complex, Nagpur. Shri J.N.Rao, Chairman, Reception Committee, welcomed the gathering. The Working President, Bharath Pensioner Samaj, Shri R.N.Tripathy presided over the meeting. Nearly 1100 delegates all over the country participated in the convention. After chanting of Vande Mataram by lady comrades, Shri Brijesh Dixit, DRM, Central Railway, Nagpur inaugurated the convention. Shri Maheswari, General Secretary presented the discussion paper and Draft resolution. S/Shri R.N.Mittal, President, AISCCON, , D.Balasubramanian, General Secretary, AIFPA, Chennai, Shri K.Srinivasan, Zonal VP NFRP, Palghat, addressed the convention sporting the issues raised in the discussion paper. S/Shri S.Somasekara Rao, VP(south), R.N.Dutta (VP East), Sakthimay Kanjilal, NFRPA Guwahati, Bimlendu Chakraborthy addressed the meeting elaborating the issues listed in the workpaper. Shri C.N.B.Guptha read the message received from Syam Sundarji, President BPS,K.L.Malhotra readout the message of N.C.Gupta President RPWA New Delhi. Following delegates participated in the discussion on the workpaper. They endorsed the resolution generally.
1. H.S. Singh G. S.RPWA Mugalsarai
2. Shri Paul S.G., Central Excise & Customs retired officers Association, Kolkata.
3. Shri Kalivaradan J.S., AIFPA, Chennai.
4. Shri Sakthimai Dhandekar, NFRPA , Guwahati.
5. Shri Samar Sen Guptha.
6. Shri D.S.Sastri. S.C. Rly Secunderabad
7. Shri K.G.Boss, Madhupur.
8. Shri Kameshwar Rao, S.C.Rly.
9. Shri M.M.Hemanth Deshmuk, Matheran.
10. Shri R.S.Lavania.
11. Shri B.L.Varma, Mathura.
12. Shri P.N.Mittal, New Delhi.
13. Shri P.Chinnasamy, Erode.
14. Shri R.N.Goswami, Bhardaman.
15. Shri T.P.Sinhayas Rao.
16. Shri C.V.Sampalkar.
17. Shri S.Royal, Vizag.
18. Smt D.Bagyavathi, S.Rly, Secundarabad.
19. Shri Dan Sharma, Vizag.
20. Shri Rohans Narker, C.Rly, Nagpur.
21. Shri M.K.Kapsey, NRFA, C.Rly.
22. Shri S.M.Bagia, N.C.Rly.
23. Smt. Tripti Chakarborty Secretary NFRPA DimaPur
Shri Maheswari, S.G. summed up the debate and replied to the delegates.
Shri Chakravarty, while concluding remarks enunciated the programme of action:
- 1st May, 2013 to 15th May, 2013 Campaign Week.
- Forwarding demands to PM through Principal Division Officers.
- Central Office shall write to PM, leader of L.S/R.S., Pension Regulatory Authority, Leader of political parties etc.
Shri M.K. Kapse proposed the Vote of Thanks.
Convention ended with the singing of National anthem
Welcome Speech of Chairman Reception committee
Respected Chief Guest, Office Bearers of the Bharat Pensioners Samaj, various Pensioners Associations, other fraternal Organizations and Fellow Delegates
While welcoming you to this historic event of 4th National convention of Railway Pensioners Associations under the aegis of Bharat Pensioners’ Samaj in the land of Marathas. I express our deep gratitude and indebtedness to Shri Dixit, DRM, C.Rly, Nagpur but for whose kind cooperation and help, success of this event might not have been possible.
Over 12 lakhs of Railway Pensioners in the country have several problems/grievances pertaining to the Ministry of Railways, the Ministry of finance & the M/o Personnel, PG & Pensions. Bharat Pensioners’ Samaj in an attempt to connect to grassroots and gather feed back to understand the aspirations of Rly Pensioners has been holding National Conventions of Rly Pensioners Associations in different parts of the country The experience from previous three successful conventions has helped in achieving mutual understanding among ourselves by reaching out to Pensioners/Family pensioners even in remote parts like Dimapur in Nagaland and we are now better equipped to seek govt. assistance in deficient areas.
BPS adopts persuasive approach and the results are positive. Several of our issues got resolved and several are under active consideration of the authorities. Our individual grievances too are getting better attention. Besides connecting with grass roots, BPS approached sister organizations too to share knowledge, experience and wisdom. Consequently today we have the support of All India Senior Citizens Confederation (AISSCON), AIFPA/Chennai and NFRP Palakkad.
In an attempt to empower pensioners through information and knowledge, BPS, with the help of M/O Personnel, PG & Pensions –DOP & PW, has introduced digitalization. Its important stake holders and office bearers in different parts of the country are now connected through internet. Its website www.bharatpensioner.org Blog, Face book pages &Twitter are now internationally popular. Today we are able to flash instantly any information to our stake holders across the Country.
The formation of BCPC has given strength to the Central Government Pensioners movement in the Country. We have to use this strength not only to improve the conditions of the Pensioners but also in the service of the Country. Why not we come forward for “Body Donation” which will be beneficial not only for medical education but also for those who need “Organ Transplantation”. We in S.E.C.Rly Nagpur Divison have started this Campaign. I invite you to join the Global Peace Movement against Nuclear Weapons, Weaponisation of Space and growing military budgets. Beware that imperialism is bouncing back with perpetual wars.
It will be our endeavor in coming days to continue to help our pensioners brothers and sisters 24X7 and to achieve better understanding and co-ordination with sister organizations
Ladies and gentlemen, we have tried our best to provide you a comfortable stay here during the Convention with active co-operation and help of both S.E.C. Railway and Central Railway Administrations; we may not be up to the mark. Kindly bear with us.
Thank you all. Jai hind
February 09, 2013 By. R.N. Mital President AISCCON
The Secretary General of Bharat Pensioners’ Samaj has very aptly and correctly set the main theme for today’s convention by quoting the famous axiom “ United we stand and divided we fall”
I am reminded of an episode which teaches the same. When Kofi Annan, the previous Secretary General of UNO was about to give up his office, a delegation from AARP went to him and asked for his advice for Senior Citizens in USA. Kofi Annan replied, “ You Senior Citizens inspite of your number, experience and collective wisdom will continue to be ignored, will continue to be marginalised unless you unite.”
It was true in
. It is very
much true in USA . India
We all know that the concerns of Senior Citizens are generally ignored. Most of the politicians are indifferent towards our issues.
We are today more than 12 crores, 10.3% of the population. According to a survey 73% are illiterate, 70% belong to BPL category and 66% are so poor that they can not afford two square meals a day. We all are working specially for this category. Our objective is to see that they can live during the last few years of their life in reasonable comfort.
You may have noticed that only 27% of Senior Citizens are educated that is roughly around 3.34 crores. You, the pensioners are educated, experienced and well versed with the ways of the bureaucracy and governments. According to statisics you are today 1 crore 39 lakhs of the educated segment and thus are in a very comfortable position to provide leadership to the Senior Citizens welfare movement in our Country.
Another big advantage which you have is that yours is a closely knit organization having presence in every city and taluka of the Country and thus you can reach suffering senior citizens at the grass root level.
Hence, I request you to take interest in the welfare of Senior Citizens at large, provide the movement leadership and guidance. We can thus, together fight for the betterment of the disadvantaged and underprivileged colleagues of ours who are uneducated, unfit to earn their livelihood or suffering with disability or terminal diseases.
Most of the problems with which Senior Citizens suffer are common with the pensioners also where we can work together for their redressal.
They could be broadly defined as follows,
1]Age related financial problems
2]Age related health problems
1] Age related Financial problems.
They are caused due to the fact that due to globalization, our Country has shifted from low cost economy era to high cost economy. Most of the elders are those who have worked during the period when their earnings and hence the savings were much lower than at present. Therefore, they find surviving in the present high cost economy with galloping inflation a challenge. In an effort to at least partly remedy this situation the we look for concessions in various services.
Also as partial solution we have demanded universal pension of Rs 2000 to each BPL senior citizen and each pensioner whose pension is less than this amount. Universal pension has already been adopted by many Countries such as Nepal, Namibia, Mauritius, China etc. in addition to the Western countries.
It is interesting to note that the amount spent on pensions to Elders as a proportion of GDP in these Countries is much higher than in our Country. India spends 8400 Crore on the existing IGNOAP against a GDP 0f 843 lakh crores, it means ‘001% against .03% for
Nepal and 1.9%
for . Namibia
2] Age related Health problems –
Elders are more prone to health problems but quality health care is so expensive that most of the elders can not afford it. In fact studies have shown that it is the major cause of poverty in
Planning Commission has recommended adoption of RSBY all over the Country. It
is a very unsuitable scheme for senior citizens. The floater cover is just Rs 30,000
and the family size is limited to 5 giving rise to a fear that Senior Citizens
in a household are likely to be left out. India
Abroad about 2% of the older persons prefer to shift to Old Age Homes when they find that they can not manage their life independently. In our Country this number is likely to be even more as the need for shelters for the destitute and the abandoned is much larger.
You will be surprised to know that every day hundreds of Senior Citizens are abandoned in our Country in hospitals, temples even in grave yards and on highways. According to The Hindu on an average two elders are found daily abandoned in Chennai alone. Many women are abandoned in Brindaban and
have an Old Age Home which specializes
in giving shelter to such abandoned elders. They send their team once in a week
to hospitals to pickup such unfortunate Senior Citizens. Hyderabad
We need Old Age Homes for such elders. The MWPSC Act has mandated an Old Age Home to be set up in each District but unfortunately the proposal in this regard has been shot down by the Planning Commission. The issue has to be taken up strongly with the Planning Commission.
Similarly Health Care of the inmates in Old Age Homes almost does not exist. The State Human Rights Commission in Andhra Pradesh has directed the Government to ensure that every Senior Citizen inmate is covered under Health Insurance. We can take up with SHRC’s in other States also to direct the governments to cover all poor inmates of OAH’s under Health Insurance.
4] Elder abuse –
In a survey 31% of senior Citizens complained that they were being ill treated. It’s a major problem in our society of which we see only a fraction like the tip of an iceberg. We have to work together to create awareness of this problem and see that it is eliminated all together.
Friends I have placed before you some of the evils which are existing in our society and which can be eradicated if we work together. Our effort should be to establish a society for all ages where Senior Citizens can live with dignity and in reasonable comfort. I invite you to take lead in achieving this objective.
R.N.Mital President AISCCON
Speech of General Secretary, AIFPA on 9.2.13 - 4th National Conference of the
Railway Pensioners, Nagpur
Respected President,Dear Comrades/Friends,
I am very happy to be with you during this historic conference of Railway Pensioners. We are proud that we, the AIFPA, Chennai, is a partner with the Bharat Pensioners’ New Delhi, in their efforts to mobilize the Railway Pensioners to-day and the entirety of Central Civil Pensioners during Oct/Nov.2013 at Central Civil Pensioners during Oct/Nov.2013 at Hyderabad. The understanding between the Bharath Pensioner Samaj and AIFPA will be strengthened by our understanding of the Problems faced by the Pensioners’ community and the common approach to solve them quickly. We cannot exist in isolation, when the rest of the Senior Citizens are suffering silently due to inflationary pressure and lack of Medical care and social/Financial security. Let us therefore unite to put forth our demands before the Govt. of India effectively, while we are sympathetic to the sufferings of the community of “Aged” Citizens of this country.
Social/Financial security to the aged is our primary concern. The latest orders issued by the Government of India, with prospective effect from September 12 will not be beneficial to the Majority of employees. It did not meet our demand for parity in Pension between the Pre-2006 and Post 2006 Pensioners. Therefore the deletion of this ‘Agenda’ citing pendency of Court cases, have to be got reviewed by the Cabinet Secretariat of this country , so that the justice as was done by the V CPC, is secured for the Pre-2006 Pensioners. We are also concerned about the’ out right’ rejection of our demand for (a) Merger of DR with Pension/FP (b) Restoration of Commutation Pension on Completion of the 12th year, (c) Enhancement of FMA to Rs.1200/- P.M and (d) the abolition of ‘New Pension Scheme’ from 2004” by the SCOVA without assigning any reason.
Though our experience with the “JCM” is not rosy it is useful to exhaust the legal remedy by demanding “ a machinery for arbitration” in the mechanism of ‘SCOVA’ in respect of the items where there is no agreement between the Govt. and the Pensioners Organisation, so that arbitrary rejection can be minimized.
Regarding the Health care , we must insist that the existing cashless Medical fecilities under the Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Railways and the CGHS may be extended to the entirety of the C.G. employees by issue of ‘Smart Cards’. So that Pensioners/F.P, can get treatment at the nearest Hospital without difficulty. Institution of AIIMS type of Hospitals at all State/Dist.Head quarters may also be insisted upon with the Hon’ble Minister of Health and Family Welfare.
The Constitution of the VII Central Pay Commission is the inevitable reality as the anomaly Committee had failed miserably to solve the anomalies’ created by the recommendations of the VI CPC. Let us press for Interim Relief while demanding for the appointment of VII CPC.
Let us unite to achieve the above Objectives immediately and reserve our demands peculiar to our Department s for the next Pay Commission to resolve.
I thank you for this opportunity and look forward the endured co-operation between Pensioners’ Samaj & AIFPA. We assure our solidarity with your efforts.
Pensioners Unity Zindabad.
Speech delivered by K.Srinivasan, Zonal Secretary, (South) NFRP/Palghat at the IV th National Conference of Railway Pensioners at NGP on 09.02.2013
Respected dignitaries on the dais and fellow pensioners assembled here, I introduce myself as K.Srinivasan, the Zonal Secretary of National Federation of Railway Pensioners headquartered at Palghat. NFRP is closely associated with this IV th Conference organized by Bharat Pensioners’ Samaj & have joined here with 12 delegates . At the outset, I thank Sri S.C.Maheswari Ji Secy. Genl. BPS and Sri J.N.Rao, the Convenor for having given me an opportunity to address this gathering.
The Discussion paper already circulated, deal with most of the common issues pertaining to CG Pensioners and Railway Pensioners in particular. From NFRP side, we have suggested inclusion of following 3 items in the Discussion paper, arising out of our experience in S.Rly. ( Details attached separately)
1. Delay in sanction of Family Pension to Secondary pensioners
2. Delay in Transmission of PPOs to the CPPC
3. No response from Railway Board to Representations from various
This is from our experience in the S.Rly. Hope other Zonal Rlys. may be facing similar problems and will agree for inclusion of these 3 items in the Memorandum, to be submitted to the authorities concerned, after this Conference is over.
I wish to put forth following specific issues for the consideration of this august gathering:-
1. Modified parity between pre and post 1.1.2006 pensioners is conceded vide DOP & PW latest
of 28.1.2013, but effective from 24.09.2012, instead of from 1.1.2006. As a
result, all pre 2006 pensioners will not be benefited. Only those, in whose
cases, the existing consolidated pension in VI PC is less than the minimum
guaranteed pension specified in the concordance table, same will be stepped up.
For instance take the case of S13 pensioners retired from scale Rs.7450-11500.
Their pension will be stepped up to Rs. 9230 w.e.f. 24.9.2012, in the case of
those drawing less than this amount
already. i.e. Rs. 9230
2. We have to explore all possibilities to see that the Revised OM of 28.1.2013 is made effective from 1.1.2006 and not from 24.9.2012. The Cabinet approved the recommendations of Committee of Secretaries headed by the Cabinet Secretary which considered various issues on pension of Armed Forces and ex-servicemen. This date of approval cannot be applied to CG Pensioners for whom VI PC already approved Modified parity in para 5.1.47. When it comes to implementation of Judgment of S.P.S. Vains case . DOP & PW issued O.M. stating this is not applicable to civilian pensioners. On the same lines, date of approval for Armed Forces cannot be applied to CG Pensioners.
3. Grant of GP Rs. 4600 to S12 grade pensioners retired from scale Rs.6500-10500 while revising min. pension based on DOP OM of 28.1.2013. This latest OM para 2 reads “.. as arrived at with reference to the fitment tables annexed to MOF(DOE)
of 30th Aug 2008.”. Vide MOF(DOE) OM
of 13 Nov 2009, GP is
revised as Rs.4600 w.e.f. 1.1.2006 for S 12 grade. Hence, the fitment
table also has undergone change, as in the case of S30 grade, subsequently placed in HAG scale Rs.
67000-79000. For S12 grade min. guaranteed pension should be Rs. 8345 in place
of Rs. 8145.
4. DOP & PW are not dealing with representations from affected Pensioners or from Pensioners Association on merits of the case. Even in cases involving policy matters in which a decision is to be taken by DOP & PW, the same is simply forwarded to Ministry of Railways who in turn, forward same to various Zonal Rlys. without going thro’ the representations. Finally, the grievance is shown “as closed” in the Pensioners’ Portal CPENGRAMS website. Redress of grievances should be streamlined, instead of simply forwarding the representation from one authority to another without serving any purpose.
Before I conclude I want to convey our sincere thanks to Organizers of this Conference for the excellent arrangements made for our stay, food etc. etc. I also thank the audience for having given a patient hearing to my speech. Thank you all.
SUMMARY OF SPEECH OF SRI M. SOMASEKHAR RAO, VP/BPS/SOUTH ZONE AT THE 4TH NATIONAL CONVENTION OF RAILWAY PENSIONERS ASSOCIATIONS HELD ON 9.2.2013 AT NAGPUR FOR INCORPORATION IN THE PROCEEDINGS OF THE CONVENTION.
“Sri M. Somasekhar Rao, Vice President, Bharat Pensioners’ Samaj, South Zone addressing the 4th National Convention of Railway Pensioners Associations of BPS held on 9.2.2013 at Nagpur had said that when Bharat Pensioners Samaj decided some time ago to hold National Conventions of Railway Pensioners, many were sceptical about BPS’ capacity to organize such conventions and the series of successful conventions being held right from 2010 onwards had proved the sceptics wrong. The overwhelming response to these conventions went to prove beyond any doubt the confidence of railway pensioners across the country in Bharat Pensioners’ Samaj. He also said that the very fact that 1042delegates came to attend the Nagpur convention from as far as Manipur,Tripura,Meghalya,Nagaland,Assam,Arunachal in the North East and places such as Madurai, Tiruchi, Dindigul, Erode and Palghat in the far south &Kerala apart from all states and regions in the country provided ample testimony to this spread of Bharat Pensioners’ Samaj throughout the length and breadth of the country.
Sri Somasekhar Rao also said that Bharat Pensioners Samaj worked for all pensioners championing the cause of every section of them. He further stated that BPS also worked for senior citizens in the country as well in collaboration with All India Senior Citizens Confederation and that was the reason why its National President Shri R.N. Mital was there in the convention. The BPS has been coordinating with other central government and railway pensioners’ organizations and the presence of General Secretaries of AIFPA/Chennai & NFRP/Palghat were proof of it said Mr. Rao. He also invited other central government and railway pensioners’ organizations to join hands with BPS in building a strong pensioners’ movement. Sri Somasekhar Rao also thanked the railway administrations for extending all help and support to the conventions which spoke of their concern for the welfare and wellbeing of railway pensioners and their families.
Referring to government of India’s revised orders on modified parity Sri Somasekhar Rao hailed it as a victory of central government pensioners. He said it remained a priority with BPS to have modified parity implemented retrospectively from 1.1.2006 and also to achieve full parity to benefit all pre 1.1.2006 pensioners. He also assured the house that the BPS would not rest till the demands such as 50% DR merger, appointment of VII CPC, enhancement of FMA to Rs.1200/- per month, restoration of commuted pension after 12 years, extension of new benefits of VI CPC to pre 1.1.2006 pensioners etc., were fully achieved.
Sri Somasekhar Rao also congratulated on behalf of BPS the SEC Railway Pensioners’ Association, its General Secretary Sri J.N. Rao and others for the exemplary arrangements made for the convention and also saluted the railway pensioners and family pensioners of Nagpur and neighbouring places for overwhelmingly participating in the convention and making it a memorable one. He also thanked the delegates who came from different parts of the country and enthusiastically participated in the convention. He expressed his confidence that all of them would carry back happy memories with them.
SRI M. SOMASEKHAR RAO, VP/BPS/SOUTH ZONE
Discussion paper presented to the4th National Convention of Rly Pensioners Associations (under the aegis of bharat pensioners’ samaj) At Nagpur on 09.02.2013
Bharat Pensioners’ Samaj while welcoming you to this conference wish to remind you of the famous axiom “United we stand & Divided we fall”. If we struggle jointly and severally, results are bound to be positive and this has been proved by BPS through achievements during the intervening period of 3rd National Convention of Rly Pensioners Associations and the present 4th Convention at Nagpur.
When on 29th of March 2012, over fifteen hundred delegates from every part of the country sang ‘Vande Mataram’ at New Jalpaiguri, the echo generated through the peaks of kanchanjanga not only reached New Delhi but also sounded throughout the world via Facebook, Twitter, Blogs & IFA e.NEWS
Giving a new direction to pensioners’ movement in the country BPS called upon Senior citizens and Pensioners’ organizations to share knowledge, experience and wisdom and to forge an understanding to struggle for our rights jointly and severally. Consequently, today AISCCON, AIFPA, NFRP and Senior Citizens Council, Delhi are with us in our endeavors.
Friends, we, the pensioners, are passing through difficult times. Inflation is unrelenting. Prices of essential commodities have been sky-rocketing. It is becoming increasingly difficult for the pensioners and family pensioners to make their both ends meet within their meager pensions and family pensions. Government has not conceded our demands such as same fitment benefit to pre 1.1.2006 pensioners as given to working employees, implementation of modified parity w.e.f., 1.1.2006, 50% DR merger w.e.f., 1.1.2011, raising of FMA to Rs.1200/- per month, restoration of commuted portion of pension after 12 years, extension of new benefits of VI CPC such as full pension for 20 years of service and last pay drawn for pension calculation to pre 1.1.2006 retirees, RELHS & FMA benefits to secondary family pensioners, revision of ex-gratia rates of SRPF [C] retirees and their families w.e.f..,1.1.2006, time-bound disposal of pensioners’ grievances, liberalization of retirement and complimentary and widow pass rules for companion in the same class without paying the difference, etc. Benefits such as house rent and transport allowances, festival advance, funeral grant, ex-gratia in lieu of PLB, reduction of age limit for additional pension, etc., are all essential for pensioners and family pensioners to live in reasonable comfort. There are no satisfactory answers to all these demands in the meetings of SCOVA. There is no other effective grievance redressal machinery for pensioners. There is all round frustration among pensioners all over the country. It is high-time that we raised our voice for immediate steps to meet our just demands and aspirations. Railway pensioners are requested to come together to be part of a larger community of Pensioners and Senior citizens.
As part of its mandate and role, BPS the largest and the oldest organization of Indian Pensioners organizes National level Conventions to empower pensioners by sharing information, knowledge and experience and to provide support to members
We meet periodically in different parts of the country and think of our welfare as aged persons and (1) to gather feedback from grass root level (2) to understand and achieve consensus on our demands and (3) to draw up a strategic plan of action not only to seek support from the Government in deficient areas but also to develop systems which enable all of us to act as one family with mutual confidence, support and growing interdependence.
Friends, the experience of earlier three conventions at New Delhi, Secunderabad and New Jalpaiguri has been very encouraging. We could achieve cohesion among ourselves as a result of which we could successfully draw attention of the government to our problems of some of which have been met while some others are now in the process of being resolved.
To name a few: we have now been provided with online grievance redressal system, Nodal officers have been nominated in every Ministry & Department to deal with Pensioners’ grievances. Instructions also have been issued by the Nodal Ministry to all ministries and departments to meet and listen to the representatives of Pensioners. Inclusion of Pensioners representatives in National Council of Senior citizens under the MOSJE. SCOVA meetings are now regular and will be twice a year instead of once a year. Improvements to the institution of Pension Adalat also are in the pipeline. RELHS has been made open-ended. Issuance of Smart cards for medical treatment has been agreed to. Norms for empanelment of private hospitals by Rly administration have been relaxed and medical emergency has been defined. Sanction of Family pension to widowed/divorced daughters and disabled children has been streamlined and the modified parity as per 6th CPC has been restored, etc.
However, implementation/proper delivery has to be insisted and pressurized along with other outstanding issues (as detailed in the discussion paper) through this and future conventions.
However, at the outset, before coming to our main agenda today, this convention under the aegis of Bharat Pensioners Samaj expresses its deep concern and anguish over the poor compliance and delivery systems prevalent in almost every Govt. department and the dismal treatment being meted out to Sr. Citizens and Pensioners.
With these words I present to this august house, this discussion paper and invite your comments and suggestions thereon.
Grievances & demands of Railway Pensioners
Over 12 lakhs of Railway Pensioners in the country have several problems/grievances pertaining to the Ministry of Railways , the Ministry of finance & the M/o Personnel, PG & Pensions A few of these are detailed hereunder for early consideration and resolution.
For M/O Finance & M/O P,PG & Pensions
Amend definition of complainant to include retired persons in Bill No. 131 of 2011 (The Right of Citizens for Time Bound Delivery of Goods and Services and Redressal of their Grievances Bill, 2011) popularly known as Citizens Charter Bill: Chapter 1 Section 2(f) definition of ‘Complainant’ seeks to exclude over 15 million Central/State Gov./PSU retired persons from its purview as the retired personnel have no other effective channel or mechanism for the redressal of their grievances. They are victims of rampant corruption in the Govt. departments dealing with their affairs i.e. Personnel, Finance & Health departments as well as the Banks.
a) This convention urges the Govt. to include retired persons in the definition of ‘Complainant’ in the said Bill.
1. Provide Rs. 5,00,000/-basic Income Tax exemption to Senior Citizens:
This convention under the aegis of Bharat Pensioners Samaj expresses its deep concern and anguish over the treatment meted out to Senior citizens in the current budget 2012-13
For and upto F.Y.2004-2005 Sr. Citizen were getting concession in income tax payable (under Section 80CC) to the tune of Rs 20,000/-, as compared to other citizens with similar taxable income. In 2005-2006 this was changed, basic exception for other citizens was raised to Rs 1,00,000/- and that for Sr Citizens it was made 1,85,000/- This resulted in actual tax relief of Rs l2,000/- instead of Rs 20,000/-.Thereafter it has been progressively reduced and today it stands at just Rs 5,000/-
Right from its inception, the basic Income tax exemption is related to cost of living. Where as in comparison to the year 2004-05, cost of food items have gone up by more than 5 times and that of health care has gone up more than 7 times. Income Tax exemption in terms of tax payable for Sr. Citizens have gone down from 20,000/- to Rs 5,000/-
In view of the facts mentioned above, this Convention appeals to Govt. of India to provide Rs5,00,000/-basic income tax exemption to Senior Citizens
2. Pension to be net of Income Tax: Purchase value of pension gets reduced day by day due to continuous high inflation and steep rise in cost of food items and medical facilities. Retired persons/Sr citizens do not enjoy fully public goods and services provided by Government for citizens due to lack of mobility and many other factors. Their ability to pay tax gets reduced from year to year after retirement due to ever-increasing expenditure on food and medicines and other incidentals. Their net worth at year end gets reduced considerably as compared to the beginning of the year. Inflation, for a pensioner, is much more than any tax. It erodes the major part of already inadequate pension. To enable pensioners, at the fag end of their lives, to live in minimum comfort and to cater for ever rising cost of living, they be spared from paying Income Tax . Pension therefore, should be net of income tax as recommended by V CPC vide their Para 167.11
3.Withdraw New Pension Scheme :
As (i) Pension of Government employees is a deferred wage. Since wage paid out to them during the course of work tenure is kept low by design to cater for pension. (ii) Pension is a social security measure and cannot be subjected to market risks (iii) It does not guarantee minimum return and thus lacks the basic fiber of Social Security (iv). It is in no way better than the existing Scheme (vi) It does not provide guaranteed Family Pension to dependents and disabled siblings which exist in the present scheme.
4. Increase FMA (Fixed Medical Allowance) to Rs 1200 pm without imposing distance restriction of 2.5 Kms:
(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 gone up 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/- p.m., linking it to price index for automatic further increase. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare have clarified that they have no objection to raising FMA from Rs 300/- to Rs1200 p.m as stated vide their No. MOH &FW F.No20020/45/ 2012-CGHS (P) dt 22.02.2012.
(iii) OPD through Insurance is no option to a majority of central government pensioners in as much as it causes severe inconvenience and hardship to old and infirm pensioners and family pensioners as well as to those residing in rural areas. Moreover, the VI CPC’s recommendation is that it should be optional for existing employees and pensioners. As such, our demand for raising Fixed Medical allowance to Pensioners is fully justified. Hence FMA needs to be raised to Rs.1200/- per month retrospectively from 1.1.2011.
(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.
5. 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 dis-aligned, 50 % increase in price index takes place in less than 5 years. This results in considerable deterioration to the financial position of the pensioner with otherwise inadequate Pension. As admitted by Shri Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission in his statement to PTI on 27.2.2008, DA does not adequately take care of inflation. As on date, compared to 01.01.2006, price rise is 152% where as DR sanctioned is only 72% . All 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 discriminated against. In order to strike a balance, DR may be merged with Pension whenever it reaches 50% or pension revised every 5 years. VI CPC grossly erred in recommending discontinuance of 50% DR merger benefit without suggesting an alternative to protect the pensioners from ravages of high inflation and in the absence of pension revision at frequent intervals as in other spheres in the country.
6. Restoration of Commuted portion of pension after 12 yrs
The commuted value of pension is calculated with reference to a commutation table based on the mortality rate among pensioners and the recovery of interest at a fixed rate of 4.75% per annum. These tables were revised in Nov 63, Nov 67, March 1971 and now latest by VI CPC and every time years of purchase have been reduced. But the period of restoration has not been revised or reviewed. Average life expectancy in 1963 was 40 yrs where as it is much more now. Thus percentage of recovery today is very high as compared to 1963.Therefore, period of restoration of commuted value need, immediate revision. The commuted amount along with interest element stands fully adjusted in less than12 years. That is why, States are restoring commuted portion of pension of their pensioners before 12 years. There is no reason why the Central Govt. should also not restore it after 12 years, as was recommended by V CPC more than 10 years back vide Para 136.19 of their report.
7 Additional old age pension to all superannuated persons of Central/state govt. /PSU. Pensioners’ should start from the age of 65yrs @ 5% of the basic pension with provision of enhancement by 5% every 5 yrs and @ 10% from 80 years onwards.
8. Differential treatment in fixing pension unfair-(SC CIVIL APPEAL No.8857 of 2012 decided on 17.01.2013).
Remove disparity in revision of pension within the homogeneous group of pre 2006.: A common multiplication factor needs to be adopted for the revision of pension of all pre 2006 retirees so that all pensioners in this group irrespective of pre retirement status get equal enhancement i.e. if basic pension of pensioners’ of one pre retirement scale/pay band is getting enhanced by three times, then all other pensioners/family pensioners should be extended similar benefit and both pre and post 2006 pensioners be brought at par to maintain equality and to honor Apex Court judgment in letter and spirit.
9.SCOVA - Upgrade SCOVA to the level of JCM :Pensioners especially those belonging to B group do not have any negotiating tool like JCM Wherein issues and policies pertaing to them are discussed and decided
1. End discrimination against women
Eligibility criteria for joining RELHS 97 laid down vide Para 612 (2) iii of Indian Railway Medical Manual 2000 debars dependent Widowed/Divorced / Unmarried 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 to join RELHS-97 for their healthcare needs.
1.(i) Provide RELHS-97 facilities to family pensioners (other than spouse) and to the minor children of Divorced & widowed dependent daughters as recommended by VI CPC & accepted by M/O H &FW.
Widowed/Divorced/Unmarried dependent daughters of Rly. Employees/Pensioners are included in the definition of family members & get family Pension in their turn in all the Central Government departments including Railways. Such family Pensioners and 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. Early orders in this regard need to be issued.
1.(ii) RELHS-97 facilities to dependent parents ; The then Rly Minister in her budget speech on 25th 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.
2. Implement immediately Rly Board’s orders vide their No 2007/H/28/1/RELHS/Smart Card dated 18.7.2012 regarding issuance of Smart Card & signing MOU with Private hospitals
3. 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.
4. Companion facility on post retirement complimentary passes:
The cut-off age for this may be brought down to 60 years as it is the cut-off age for all senior citizen concessions including exemption limit for payment of income tax. All retirement complimentary pass holders may be allowed companion in the class of their entitlement without collection of additional charges. Physically handicapped retired employees be allowed companion in one class higher without surrendering a set of pass as at present. All secondary family pensioners may be extended the facility of complimentary pass. All pre 2006 Group C&D retirees and their families be allowed passes at par with serving group C staff as per post 2006 revised privilege pass entitlement
5.Revision of ex-gratia rates to pre 1986 CPF/SRPF(C) beneficiaries and their families w.e.f., 1.1.2006; Early action is requested to revise these rates w.e.f., 1.1.2006 raising minimum ex-gratia to Rs 3500/ pm to bring these rates on par with minimum pension and family pension in Central Government. The ex-gratia beneficiaries have also to be extended FMA. Widows getting ex-gratia are being paid 8% less relief now which is discriminatory and they have to be paid full relief on par with the beneficiaries. Dependent unmarried, widowed and divorced daughters above 25 years of age of these beneficiaries also need to be extended the benefit of ex-gratia after the death of both parents.
6. Exgratia to all pensioners and family pensioners once an year: Every year working employees are granted productivity linked bonus for their contribution to the progress and safe running of Railways. While in service, present pensioners worked hard for the progress and protection of Indian Railways. Now it is the turn of the Organization to look after them in the evenings of their lives and grant them and their families ex-gratia once an year in lieu of productivity-linked bonus.
7. Grievance redressal
7.1. Fix strict timeline with punitive clause for redressal of grievances recorded through CPENGRAMS:
Strictly Implement the guidelines circulated vide Govt. of India Department of Pension & Pensioners’ Welfare F.No.41/30/2011-P&PW(C) dated 13.1.2012& F.No 41/38/2011-P& PW(C) dated 2.9.2011 regarding fixation of time-line for resolving grievances recorded through CPENGRAMS and also create online mechanism at every stage to monitor redressal of these grievances.
7.2. Meet pensioners’ representatives as and when requested: Though Rly Board has circulated more than once instructions to zones & divisions to meet pensioners’ representatives and to promptly attend to their representations, unfortunately Board officers themselves are not following these instructions/ guide lines.
7.3. Hold Pension Adalat every quarter widening its Scope
Widen the scope of pension Adalat to include all payment cases and to allow SCOVA members as well as representatives of identified Associations to actively participate. 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 at every 3 months interval. But these instructions are not being followed. The number of Pensioners/Family Pensioners as well as their grievances have phenomenally increased over the past one and a half decade. In the absence of strict time line and punitive clause, grievances recorded through Pensioners Portal “CPENGRAM” are not being promptly resolved by the Rly Administration.
7.4. Streamline working of Rly Hospitals as per CGHS guidelines
7.4 (i)Constitute Hospital grievance committees and include representatives of Associations identified by DOP &PW & SCOVA members in Rly Hospital grievance committees.
Healthcare is a major issue for pensioners. A number of complaints are coming up about poor attention to pensioners in Rly hospitals and about doctors’ apathy and negligence. 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 and Hospital grievance committees are constituted with adequate representation of pensioners through identified Associations and SCOVA members.
7.4(ii) Allot separate nominated days for Pensioners/family pensioners for specialist consultation in Rly hospitals.
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 requested that a week day is nominated for them for this purpose and that specialized medical consultation is out-sourced to private hospitals so that Pensioners/Family pensioners do not have to travel long distances.
8. Stop recovery and restore Pension of pre-1996 pensioners retired from IV CPC scale of Rs. 1400-2300 and other similarly placed Pensioners : 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 Associations. As a first step, recovery of huge amount from the pensioners/family pensioners be stopped and refunded where recovered.
9. representation to Pensioners’ Associations in all the Forums and committees: While this Convention appreciates Govt. of India’s positive gesture in agreeing to include representatives of Pensioners’ Associations in the constitution of Sr. Citizens Council, it urges the Govt. to provide adequate representation to Pensioners’ Associations in all the Forums & committees like JCM on Pension matters, National/Departmental Anomaly committees/Hospital committees etc wherein issues/policies concerning Pensioners are discussed and decided and also to upgrade the institutions of SCOVA/ Pension Adalat to the level of JCM.
10. Pension (Fixation, Revision & Disbursement): This Convention wishes to draw Governments’ particular attention to H’ble Supreme Court‘s Constitution Bench historic judgment delivered in case of D. S. Nakara on 17.12.1982 and request that it be implemented in letter and spirit. Pensioners should not be divided on the basis of their date of retirement, otherwise a uniform formula be adopted for the revision of pension of all the pensioners irrespective of Class, Category or status while in service, i.e., if pension of pensioners belonging to one pre revised corresponding scale is raised by 3 times, then by sheer logic, it should uniformly be adopted as common factor for all the pre 2006 pensioners . We therefore, urge that all pre 2006 Pensioners be given a multiplication factor of 3 at par with HAG + level or their pension be consolidated as per the following formula
Basic Pension on 31/12/2005+86% DR+50% Grade pay as per VI CPC and the pre 1996 pensioners be given, full parity as on 01.01.2006 as per V CPC recommendations.
ITEMS INTRODUCED by NFRP Palghat
1. Delay in sanction of Family Pension to unmarried/widowed/divorced daughters on the demise of the Pensioner and spouse. Pension sanctioning authorities unduly delay sanction on the pretext of non-availability of records and also direct the claimants to produce unwanted/unconnected certificates from various authorities. In a recent case, certificate from the school was insisted to confirm the date of birth of the claimant, since name of the father was not available in the school leaving certificate. In another case, the income details of the claimant’s son and deceased husband etc. were insisted. To obviate such hardships, the responsibility to sanction F.P. within a time frame of say six months from the date of receipt of application, should be laid down fixing the responsibility on the PSA. Presently, it takes more than one/ two years to sanction F.P.
2. Transmission of PPO to PDAs should be streamlined and on line electronic transmission of PPO from the office of FA&CAO to the PDA ( CPPC) to be introduced to avoid delay of 2 to 3 months, presently experienced, for the pensioner to get first pension after retirement and to get arrears in case of revision of pension by existing pensioners. In the present electronic era this is not impossible.
3. Representations from Pensioners’ Association to Railway Board are not replied to especially by Finance Directorate. So far, hundreds of letters have been sent to FC/Rly. Board reg. Revision of pension of pre 1996 pensioners. BPS has also sent similar letters . But, No Response/Reply so far, compelling us to take the
RTI Route, which unnecessarily increase
the workload at Railway Board office.
Bharat Pensioners’ Samaj
Resolutions adopted by the 4th National Convention of Railway Pensioners being held at Nagpur on 9.2.2013
1.Implementation of modified parity to pre 1.1.2006 central government pensioners retrospectively w.e.f., 1.1.2006 as per Hon’ble Principal bench, CAT, New Delhi’s Order dated 1.11.2011;This convention urges on the central government to implement the above order w.e.f. 1.1.2006 so as to do equal justice to all pre 1.1.2006 pensioners and family pensioners. Granting this benefit w.e.f., 24.9.2012 is discriminatory and violative of article 14 of constitution of India in as much as some pre 1.1.2006 pensioners and family pensioners have already got this benefit implemented w.e.f., 1.1.2006 itself. Imposition of the above cutoff date amounts to dividing the homogenous group of pre 1.1.2006 pensioners on the basis of a date which runs contrary to the letter and spirit of Hon’ble Supreme Court of India’s judgment in Nakara case. This convention therefore urges on the government to end the above discrimination and extend the benefit of modified parity to all eligible pre 1.1.2006 pensioners and family pensioners w.e.f., 1.1.2006 as per Hon’ble CAT/Principal Bench, New Delhi’s Order dated 1.11.2011 to do them equal justice.
2.Extension of same fitment benefit as implemented to serving employees from 1.1.2006 to all pre 1.1.2006 pensioners and family pensioners;. The VI CPC did not do justice to pre 1.1.2006 pensioners by recommending to them a different fitment benefit from what was recommended to serving employees. This resulted in invidious discrimination against pre 1.1.2006 pensioners and family pensioners as it resulted in widening the disparities in pensions and family pensions of pre and post 1.1.2006 pensioners and family pensioners retiring from the same or similar post with equal number of years of service. The aim of a pay commission should be to progressively bridge the gap in pensions of past and future retirees and not to widen it, causing grave and undue financial hardship to the past pensioners. This convention urges the government of India to extend the same fitment benefit as given to working employees (in the shape of grade pay) to all pre 1.1.2006 pensioners i.e., basic pension + 86% DR and 50% of grade pay. Further different % rise in pension within the pre 1.1.2006 homogenous group of pensioners and family pensioners is grossly unfair and unjust. This has left a trail of deep discontent and frustration among a majority of pre 1.1.2006 pensioners and family pensioners. As such, pending extension of same fitment benefit as urged above, Pension of all pre 2006 pensioner from S4 to S31 be raised by equal % w.e.f., 1.1.2006.
3.Carrying forward the parity principle enunciated by V CPC; The V CPC recommended a parity principle for pensions of past pensioners to keep pace with the rising trend of salaries and pensions with every successive revision and to avoid undue financial hardship to them in the evenings of their lives. As a part of this principle, the V CPC recommended full parity to pre 1.1.86 pensioner’s w.e.f., 1.1.96 and the same was accepted by the government of India and implemented. However their recommendation to extend full parity to pre 1.1.96 pensioners as on 1.1.2006 was not endorsed by the VI CPC. The reasons advanced by VI CPC in this regard are factually incorrect apart from being untenable. There is no link between parity and cent percent neutralization of price rise which the commission sought to establish. The parity principle enunciated by V CPC is an important one for all the pensioners, past and future. All pre 1.1.96 pensioners and family pensioners are deeply disappointed over the unhelpful and unsympathetic attitude of the government in the above regard. This convention therefore appeals to the government to extend the benefit of full parity to pre 1.1.96 pensioners and family pensioners as recommended by V CPC and do them justice. Non-carrying forward of the above principle had adversely affected pre 1.1.96 pensioners and family pensioners, the fate of family pensioners being still worse.
4.50% DR merger benefit for pensioners w.e.f., 1.1.2011; The V CPC recommended 50% DA/DR merger with basic pay/basic pension on their reaching 50% to serve as a mid-revision in view of wage and pension revisions taking place for central government employees and pensioners once in 10 years while their counterparts of the state governments and public sector units get them once in every 4/5 years. While recommending discontinuing of this benefit, the VI CPC had not suggested an alternative for pensioners though they recommended 25% increase in the allowances of employees on DA reaching 50%. The VI CPC had not only ignored the spirit in which the V CPC made the above recommendation which was implemented w.e.f., 1.4.2004 but also shown their lack of concern to the pensioners in the above regard. Though the issue was raised in the SCOVA meetings, there was no favorable response from the government as a result of which there is deep frustration among all central government pensioners on the above score. This convention appeals to the Government to sympathetically consider the hardship being faced by the pensioners in the matter and announce an early relief retrospectively from 1.1.2011 corresponding to 50% DR merger.
5.Appointment of VII CPC; There are fast changes occurring in the country due to the high targeted economic growth as well as relentless inflationary spiral. In these circumstances, there is fast erosion in the real values of pensions becoming irrelevant within a short interval after revision. It is, therefore, essential to undertake frequent revisions of pensions not only to maintain their real values but also to update them in line with fast economic and other changes. The V CPC also felt the need for more frequent wage and pension revisions. This convention therefore appeals to the central government to take immediate steps to appoint VII CPC and to give effect to its recommendation from 1.1.2011 to ensure revision once in every 5 years.
6.Extension of VI CPC’s new benefits to past pensioners; The VI CPC’s new benefits such as full pension for 20 years of service/10 years in superannuation cases, last pay drawn or average of last 10 months’ pay whichever is beneficial to the retiring employee as emoluments for computation of pension etc., have been limited only to those who have been retiring from 1.1.2006 onwards. This is in violation of the letter and spirit of Hon’ble Apex court judgment in Nakara case. This convention appeals to the government to extend the above benefits to all pre 1.1.2006 retirees with monetary benefit from 1.1.2006 to do them equal justice.
7.Additional pension for qualifying service above 20 years; The V CPC’s recommendation for additional pension for qualifying service above 33 years has not been accepted and implemented by the government leaving a trail of serious discontent and frustration among employees as well as pensioners. The VI CPC while recommending full pension for 20 years of qualifying service had not thought of rewarding service rendered above 20 years. While full pension for 20 years qualifying service is an incentive for those seeking better prospects elsewhere, there is no incentive, whatsoever, for those who stick to government service till superannuation. This approach is no doubt counter-productive as it does not inspire the latter for better performance and more dedicated service. This convention calls upon the government to come forward with much needed incentive for longer service by way of granting additional pension for service beyond 20 years.
8.Restoration of commuted portion of pension after 12 years; The V CPC made this recommendation taking into consideration all relevant factors and gave a reasoned recommendation. Whatever be the grounds for disagreeing with the above recommendation by the VI CPC, delay in taking a decision to restore commuted portion of pension after 12 years especially after new commutation tables have been introduced is untenable with no justification, whatsoever. This convention therefore appeals to the government to issue early orders in the above regard as commuted portion gets repaid within much less than 12 years.
9. Pension to be net of Income Tax: Purchase value of pension gets reduced day by day due to continuously high inflation and steep rise in cost of food items and medical facilities. Retired persons/Sr citizens do not enjoy fully public goods and services provided by Government for citizens due to lack of mobility and many other factors. Their ability to pay tax gets reduced from year to year after retirement due to ever-increasing expenditure on food and medicines and other incidentals. Their net worth at year end gets reduced considerably as compared to the beginning of the year. Inflation, for a pensioner is much more than any tax. It erodes the major part of the already inadequate pension. To enable pensioners, at the fag end of their lives, to live in minimum comfort and to cater for ever rising cost of living, they may be spared from paying Income Tax. This convention therefore demands that pension should be net of income tax as recommended by 5th CPC, vide their para 167.11
10.Enhancement of FMA to Rs.1200/- per month; Bharat Pensioners’ Samaj had earlier provided enough justification for raising FMA to Rs.1200/- while raising this issue in the meetings of SCOVA as well as in its memorandum dated 11.10.2012 submitted to the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India. There is unrelenting inflation in the country for the past several years abnormally pushing up cost of medicines as well as consultation charges of doctors. Rs.300/-FMA granted w.e.f., 1.9.2008 is too inadequate and there is a strong case to enhance it to Rs.1200/- per month as the government has been incurring much more per capita expenditure on OPD treatment of its pensioners availing it under the schemes such as CGHS, ECHS, RELHS etc. Insurance for OPD as being proposed by the government will be of no avail at all due to the procedures involved. Moreover, insurance will be optional for existing employees and pensioners as per VI CPC recommendation. The railway pensioners are scattered all over the country and many of them live in rural and remote areas. Non-members of any health scheme as well as members of RELHS,CGHS& ECHS taking OPD treatment for specified chronic diseases are also eligible for FMA subject to distance restriction of 2.5 kms. This convention therefore urges on the government to pass early orders enhancing FMA to Rs.1200/- per month. This convention also demands removal of distance restriction for sanction of FMA as the restriction in question is irrational and discriminatory in its very nature and application.
11.Enhanced family pension for 10 years even in cases of death of the pensioner after retirement; While extending this benefit in cases of death in harness is indeed laudable, even in cases of death after retirement also the benefit needs to be extended as sudden drop in income after death of pensioner causes undue hardship to the family.
12.Extension of constant attendant allowance to all pensioners and family pensioners; Pensioners and family pensioners who suffer total disability for whatever reason and at any juncture of their lives may be extended this benefit as the need for constant attendant is the same in such cases also.
13.Issue of Smart Cards; Railway Board’s instructions as contained in their letter No.2007/H/28/I/RELHS/Smart Card dated 18.07.2012 have not so far been implemented by many zonal railways disappointing the RELHS members. This convention urges on the concerned authorities to expedite the process of issue of Smart Cards. This convention also appeals to the government to cover even other places not covered so far under this scheme so as to enable all the members of RELHS and their families to avail themselves of the benefit.
14.Extension of RELHS; This convention appeals to the authorities to reduce the period of service for eligibility to join RELHS to 10 years and also to extend this benefit to all secondary family pensioners and their children below 18 years of age. Early action is requested to extend RELHS facilities to minor children of dependent widowed and divorced daughters of RELHS members. This benefit has already been extended to members of CGHS. Denial of this benefit to RELHS members is discriminatory.
15.Issue of revised PPOs to pre 1.1.2006 pensioners and family pensioners as per VI CPC; There are several cases pending till date. Many old and infirm pensioners and family pensioners and also those living in remote areas are not able to apply for revised PPOs for one reason or another and consequently they are not able to avail themselves of VI CPC benefits. This convention therefore appeals to the authorities to arrange to review the position at each unit level and make special efforts by sending their staff to such pensioners and family pensioners and help them by giving special assistance. The original orders are to issue revised PPOs suo motu by the departments. The aim should be to ensure that VI CPC benefits reach all the pre 1.1.2006 pensioners and family pensioners without exception and it is the responsibility of the railway administration to ensure it. This convention urges necessary steps in the above regard and also a monitoring mechanism at various levels to complete the process in a time-bound manner.
16.Additional quantum of pension relating to old age; This should ideally start from the age of 65 years onwards with a jump of 5% every 5 years up to 80 years and at a lighter rate thereafter to enable pensioners and family pensioners to meet the special needs of the advancing age. The rates of pension and family pension remained static for a long time. The demand of employees as well as pensioners associations to raise these rates had been rejected by the VI CPC on specious and untenable grounds. A person retiring on attaining age of superannuation has now to wait for 20 long years to get additional quantum of pension. In the case of those whose superannuation age was 58 years, the wait is for 22 long years for this benefit. The age limit therefore needs to be brought down as mentioned above in view of the fast economic and other changes in our country coupled with high inflation.
17.liberalization of retirement complimentary as well as widow pass rules; Companion facility in the same class has to be allowed for all retirement complimentary as well as widow pass holders without collection of additional charges. The preamble of our Constitution speaks of establishment of a socialist society. As such discrimination in the above regard against second class pass holders is contrary to the spirit of the Constitution apart from being discriminatory. In addition to the above changes, this convention also appeals to the authorities to extend entitlement of R.C. passes to pre 2006 group D staff on par with retired group C staff, extension of pass facility to secondary family pensioners on being sanctioned family pension, companion facility to PH retirees in the higher class without having to surrender one set of pass as at present, extension of widow pass benefit to widows of pre 1986 SRPF© beneficiaries, all as a gesture of goodwill to the retired railway employees and their families.
18.Reduction in period of service to 10 years to join RELHS and for entitlement of retirement complimentary passes; This convention demands reduction of the period in the above regard to 10 years as full pension is sanctioned for 10 years of qualifying service.
19.Amend definition of complainant in the citizens’ charter bill (Bill No.131 of 2011); This convention appeals to the government to include retired employees in the definition of ‘complainant’ in the above bill as pensioners and their families have no effective channel or mechanism for expeditious redressal of their grievances relating to pension and other retirement benefits. This will help not only to create confidence among them of speedy justice but also the much required change in the attitude of concerned authorities.
20. Revision of ex-gratia rates of pre 1.1.86 SRPF© beneficiaries and their families; This convention demands immediate steps for revision of ex-gratia rates of the above retrospectively from1.1.2006 as any discrimination against them in the above regard is unjust in as much as these employees had also rendered satisfactory service during their service period and they and their families also are exposed to ravages of high inflation and other changes as those governed by pension scheme. To condemn them lifelong with low ex-gratia rates for their mere failure to opt for pension when in service does not fit in the welfare state concept of the Indian Constitution. The recommendation of IV CPC to give them one time option for pension was not accepted by the government. They are being continuously given step-motherly treatment. Their families get 8% less relief and their dependent unmarried/widowed/divorced daughters above 25 years of age are not eligible for ex-gratia after the death of both the parents unlike those of pensioners. They are not extended the benefit of FMA though they are admitted to RELHS. Their families are not eligible for widow pass benefit. Those among them who took voluntary retirement on putting in 20 years of service are also denied ex-gratia. This convention urges on the government of India to accord sympathetic and humanitarian treatment to these beneficiaries and their families and ensure that minimum ex-gratia rate is raised Rs.3500/- per month and that they are accorded equal treatment with pensioners and family pensioners in the matter of Dearness Relief, FMA, period of service for eligibility etc.
21. Delay in sanction of Family Pension to unmarried/widowed/divorced daughters on the demise of the Pensioner and spouse. Pension sanctioning authorities unduly delay sanction on the pretext of non-availability of records and also direct the claimants to produce unwanted/unconnected certificates from various authorities. In a recent case, certificate from the school was insisted to confirm the date of birth of the claimant,. In another case, the income & property details of the claimant’s son and deceased husband etc. were insisted. To obviate such hardships,.This convention of Rly Pensioners’ Associations demand that F.P. within a time frame of six months from the date of receipt of application, should be laid down fixing the responsibility on the PSA and that Welfare inspectors be deputed to help & assist claimants in fulfilling the documentary requirements.
22 Transmission of PPO to PDAs should be streamlined. Electronic transmission with online status of PPO from the office of FA&CAO to the PDA ( CPPC) be introduced to avoid delay .
23. Representations from Pensioners’ Association to Railway Board are not replied to especially by Directorates of Finance. Health , Establishment Welfare & the Directorate of pay commission. This convention demands that these directorates Rly Board should strictly adhered to the provisions of Central Secretariat Manual of office procedure Para 66 & 67 & the orders issued in this respect by the Rly Board itself.
24.Extension of family pension to dependent widowed daughter-in-law; The convention appeals to the government to extend the above in cases of hardship deserving sympathetic consideration.
25.Festival advance to pensioners; In order to enable the pensioners to celebrate at least one festival in a year and also give gifts to daughters and grand children on such occasions, the government are requested to extend the benefit of festival advance every year to pensioners/family pensioners equal to one month’s basic pension/family pension to be recovered in 12 equal monthly installments. It will also serve as an interest free advance. This will go a long way in cheering up the pensioners and family pensioners.
26.Funeral grant; Funeral grant is now available for pensioners of various state governments. This convention appeals to the government of India not to lag behind in the matter and to extend this benefit to their pensioners and family pensioners.
27.House rent and Transport allowances to pensioners; In view of the ever increasing cost of housing as well as transport in the country, the pensioners are forced to spend a considerable part of their pensions towards the above thus making it difficult for them to pull on their lives within their meager pensions. This convention therefore appeals to the government of India to grant house rent and transport allowances to pensioners to mitigate their hardship and to ensure a worry-free life to them and their families. There is need to move away from the old notions and concepts and make the pension policy more dynamic and in consonance with the increasing needs in a fast developing economy with high inflationary tendencies.
28.Childrens’ Educational Allowance & Hostel subsidy to the eligible children of retired employees; Many retired employees have school and college going children due to late marriages etc. Such of those children have to be extended the above benefits as the education, school, college and technical, is becoming costlier by the day and it is difficult for the concerned pensioners to cope with the situation within their pensions. This convention appeals to the government to take a broad and sympathetic view and extend the above benefits as a part of welfare of retired employees and their families.
29.Ex-gratia once a year to all railway pensioners in lieu of productivity-linked bonus; This convention appeals to the government to consider this demand as a gesture of goodwill to its past employees and their families for their dedicated service while in service which resulted in phenomenal progress of railways leading to payment of PLB to serving employees. It may be appreciated that the above benefit will fill all the retired employees and their families with the pride of belonging to the great Indian railway family.
30.Control price rise; The abnormal rise in prices of essential commodities in the recent years has pushed up cost of living abnormally seriously affecting the day to day lives of all vulnerable sections of people including pensioners and as a result there is growing unrest among them as they are finding it increasingly difficult to make their ends meet. This convention therefore urges on the government to take strong and effective measures to control price line. This convention also resolves to extend support to the ‘two - day general strike’ called by all the national trade unions on 20th& 21st February 2013 on burning problems of all wage earners which include ‘assured pension for all’.
31.Withdraw new pension scheme introduced w.e.f., 1.1.2004; (i) Pension of Government employees is a deferred wage since wage paid out to them during the course of work tenure is kept low by design to cater for pension. (ii) Pension is a social security measure and cannot be subjected to market risks (iii) It does not guarantee minimum return and thus lacks the basic fiber of Social Security (iv). It is in no way better than the existing scheme (v)It does not provide guaranteed Family Pension to dependents and disabled siblings which exist in the present scheme .This convention therefore demands total withdrawal of the scheme.
32.Roll-back pension fund regulatory and development authority bill; This convention demands total roll-back of the above bill as it is detrimental to the interests of employees and workers in various sectors in the country.
33.Stop FDI in multi-brand retail; This convention opposes FDI in multi-brand retail as it adversely affects the livelihood of small and petty traders with hand-to-mouth existence in the country.
Secy. General BPS
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