Thursday, May 15, 2014

BPS revised draft memorandum proposed to be submitted to 7th CPC

Ms Meena Agarwal,
Secretary  GOI
Seventh Central Pay Commission
 New Delhi
Through : Joint Secretary GOI M/O Personnel, PG & Pensions-DOP &PW
Subject: Memorandum to 7th CPC
Reference: Public Notice dated 04.05.2014
‘Bharat Pensioners Samaj’. Is One of the identified Pensioners Federation of GOI  M/O Personnel,  PG & Pensions-DOP& PW, is member of SCOVA & recipient of Grant-in-aid from DOP &PW. It has been looking after the welfare of Pensioner since 1955. With over 550 Central Government Pensioners Associations  including those of  Railways, Defence Civillians , Telecommunication   affiliated to it. It is the largest & one of the oldest Pensioners Federation in the country  is which also a member of International Federation on Ageing Toronto (Canada). It also has the distinction to have found a mention in UNFPA publication “SITUATION AND VOICES / THE OLDER POOR AND EXCLUDED IN SOUTH AFRICA AND INDIA” Issue No. 2 of 2002, p 108".
‘Bharat Pensioners Samaj’ in its capacity as a responsible stake holder in Pension & Pensioners affairs,  submits herewith a Memorandum on behalf of the fraternity of pensioners’ for sympathetic consideration  by the Honorable 7th Central Pay Commission of Govt. of India.

BPS draft Memorandum
As Pension is not independent of Salary. Salary structure also, is a matter of concern to pensioners as such following points enunciated hereunder may kindly be considered while arriving at the maximum & minimum revised Salary
1.      Salary Structure:
Any Commission which considers the question of emoluments for employees/workers should first be inspired by the Amendment in the preamble of our Constitution where-by the words “socialist & secular” were prefixed to the word “Republic”, as also the Directive Principles of State Policy enshrined in Article 43 i.e. the state should endeavor to secure living wage for its employees/workers.
The commission may consider that Group C employee is a skilled worker. MTS  is the lowest category of Group C. The 6th CPC evolved the MTS by amalgamating some of the unskilled, semi-skilled and skilled functions without any scientific basis or logic. From the standpoint of the stipulation in the recruitment rules, eligibility criteria etc, MTS deserves to be categorized as a skilled worker. In practice, most of the departments have outsourced or contractorised the unskilled or semi skilled jobs leaving the MTS to cater to the requirements of the skilled functions.

Wage structure in civil service is to be determined on the basis of the computation of the minimum wage; fair comparison of wages elsewhere, growth in the economy etc. The living wage, which is a constitutional guarantee, has not been defined. The 15th Indian Labour Conference held in 1957 brought in the concept of “Need Based Minimum wage” on the basis of Dr. Aykhroid formula. The need based minimum wage is required to be provided for an unskilled worker whenever one is employed. The definition underwent minor changes, when the Supreme Court revised the norms later.
Presently there are no unskilled regular employees’ cadre in Government of India services. The Commission is required to first determine the need based minimum wage as per the Dr. Aykhroid formula and make necessary adjustment to determine the wages of MTS which is the lowest category in Government of India services. The co-relation of the wages of the skilled and unskilled worker at the lowest grade had always been of the order of 130% for the skilled worker. The minimum of the pay of the MTS/SS has therefore to be determined at 130% of the need based minimum wage.
The minimum maximum ratio obtaining in different countries as per information gathered by V CPC was as under:
Malaysia -        1:3
Sweden           1:4
USA -              1:4
Britain -           1:6
France -           1:6.6
Indonesia -      1:6.9
Australia -       1:7.7
Thailand -        1:9
 Considering the importance of disparity in ratio between the minimum and maximum pay the Fourth Central Pay Commission opined (Para 7.58) that an effort should be made not only to reduce the number of pay scales, but also to reduce the disparity between minimum and maximum scales of pay. The Fifth CPC had retained the minimum: maximum salary ratio of 1:10.7 inherent in the Fourth CPC pay scales even though the ratio had become 1:8 in 1996 on account of unequal rates of Dearness Allowance neutralization where the highest category was allowed neutralization at 65%.
Hence, in order to reduce vast inequality between income & wealth of haves & have lots , the ratio between the minimum & maximum Salary should be brought back to 1:8. (Taking the salary of Cabinet Secretary  to be the maximum salary)
Retirement Benefits
1.      Pension
1.1 New pension Scheme: The retirement benefits of all Central Government employees appointed on or after 1.1.2004 are covered by the New Pension Scheme (NPS). Bharat Pensioners Samaj  pleads for Withdrawal of New Pension Scheme for Govt. employees: On following reasons:
       (i) Pension of Govt. employees is a deferred and its absolute entitlement has been confirmed by               Hon. Supreme Court while disposing of D.S.Nakara case.
(ii) wage paid out to them during the course of work tenure is kept low by design, to cater for pension.
(iii) He /She forgoes with interest 8.33% of govt. matching contribution to PF.
(iv) Pension is a social security measure & cannot be subjected in anyway to Market risks.
(v) It does not guarantee minimum return & thus lacks the basic fiber of Social Security Scheme
(vi) It is in no way better than the existing Pension  Scheme.
(vii) It does not provide guaranteed Family Pension to dependents & disabled siblings which exist in present scheme, even in case of spouse & dependent parents where death of the employee occur in early years of service there is no adequate social security.
(viii)The New pension scheme has in fact created a class within class amongst the Central Government employees which is discriminatory and impermissible. It is clearly in contravention of the dictum pronounced by the Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court in Nakara Vs Union of India and therefore deserves to be rescinded.
 1.2 Pension  For  pre 2004 appointees
1.Pension should not in any case be less than 65% & family Pension 45% of the last Pay in Pay Band i.e. Pay in Pay Band+ GP  /Pay scale or of average of last 10 months emoluments (Whichever is more beneficial) as was worked out & recommended by TECS (Tata Economic Consultancy Services) consultant to Vth CPC (Para 127.9 Vol III 5th CPC report).Esuring that,
(i) the inequality created by different multiplication factors  adopted  in arriving at  Pay Bands/  Pay Scales by 6th CPC and by the govt; while implementing the 6th cpc recommendations,  is rectified.

(ii)  exactly same fitment benefit  & revision formula as given to working employees is allowed to pensioners
(iii)Equal % rise in pension of all pensioners is given irrespective of pre retiral  status by, adopting uniform multiplication factor.

2. One Rank one pension i.e persons retired from same rank, same seniority & equal length of service should get equal pension irrespective of date of retirement = full parity : ‘Justice must be equal for all’, otherwise, it breeds contempt, discontentment, inefficiency, corruption & finally the insurgency. We have seen it happening in Tribal areas of N.E, Chhatishgarh, Jharkand, Orisa, MP etc.
Vast inequality of income and wealth between lowest & the highest paid, violation of Article 14 has already induced contempt, discontent, inefficiency & corruption, in Civil services.
Govt. granted One Rank One Pension (OROP) to Armed forces, Judges granted it to themselves. Even a period of private practice of lawyer judges, is to be counted towards qualifying service. Higher Bureaucracy got it through modified parity. All other Central Govt. Pensioners are definitely not the 2nd grade citizens!  One Rank One Pension to all retirees is now a constitutional requirement to ensure equality.
Therefore, the concept of modified parity introduced by the 5th CPC as a measure to reduce the financial implication must be replaced with the full parity concept as was made applicable for the personnel retired prior to 1.1.1986. In other words, the pay of every retired person must be re-determined notionally (corresponding to the post from which he/she retired & not corresponding to the scale from which retired) as if he/she is not retired and then his pension to be computed under the revised rules. This alone will protect the value of pension of a retired person & ensure justice.
       3.  Injustice to those born on 1.1.1996/1938/1928 & to those who are born on Ist of July.
The modified  FR56(a),  requires every one whose date of birth is the first of a month to retire from service on the afternoon of the last day of the preceding month on attaining the age of superannuation .As a result of this modification    pensioners born on 1.1.1946/1938/1928 are deprived of all the central pay commission benefits in terms of pay revisions & Pensionary benefits owing to their retirements on31.12.2005/1955/1985. 
This proviso singled out the Ist Jan. 1946/1938/1928-born pensioners for deprivation of  the  Pay Commission benefits. Such of the pensioners are made to suffer for no fault of theirs and are deprived of EQUALITY of status and of opportunity. This violation of Article 14 of constitution need to be set right immediately.                                                                    Similarly those who are born on Ist of  july and are made to retire on superannuation in the afternoon of 30th June. Loose their due increment falling on Ist of July, inspite of working for full  365 days and thus suffer recurring loss throughout the life . Bharat Pensioners Samaj suggests that one retirement increment be allowed to save the pensioner from this recurring loss.
4. Defence Civil Pensioners:  Civilian in Defence Services’ belongs to Defense Forces are paid from defence budget and are also accorded Rank equivalency as such they may be classified as ex servicemen and their case may be considered under Para 2(b) of the terms of reference of 7th CPC along-with other personnel of the Defense Forces.
5. Enhanced Pension to spouse: The advantage of enhanced family Pension for a period of 10 years (as provided vide para 5.1.42 of 6th CPC Report) may please be extended to all cases .
6. Disability Pension: In the case of 100% disability where the pensioner/family pensioner is completely dependent on somebody else for day to day functions, provision for  Constant Attendant incase of disability arising post retirement, it is requested that an allowance may be granted on the lines as existing in Defence Forces under the CCS(Extraordinary) Pension Rules, 1939
7. Dearness relief :
a) 100% neutralization of Price Rise; and
b) Automatic merger of DA with Pension whenever it goes to 50%
Pension of Central Government Pensioners undergoes revision only once in 10 years during which period the pension structure gets seriously dis-aligned; 50% increase in prices takes place even in less than 5 years. This results in considerable erosion of the financial position of the pensioners. DR does not adequately take care of inflation at this level. As such, DR may please be automatically merged with Pension whenever it goes to 50%.
8.   Additional Pension / Family Pension:
Sixth Pay Commission had recommended additional Pension of 20, 30, 40, 50 and 100 % for retirees and family pensioners on attaining the age of 80, 85, 90, 95 and 100 years respectively. However, in the present scenario of climatic changes, incidence of pesticides and rising pollution, old age disabilities/diseases set in by the time an employee retires and go on manifesting very fast, needing additional finances to take care of these disabilities and diseases, especially as the cost of health care has gone very high. Recommendation of Sixth Pay Commission for grant of 100% additional Pension after 100 years of age was rather illusionary  in view of  chances of survival up to or beyond age of 100 years being rare.
It is therefore requested that 10% Additional Pension should be granted every 5 years from the age of 65 to 75 years & thereafter 20% every 5 years from 80 years onwards and 100% after 90 years of age.
9. Pension and Dearness Relief to be net of Income Tax :
The 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/Senior 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, 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 far 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 on Pension and  the DR – as recommended by 5th Pay Commission.
10. Death-cum- Retirement Gratuity (DCRG):
Death-cum- Retirement Gratuity (DCRG may please be paid @ one month for every completed year of (actual) service - without limit of maximum 33 yrs and without ceiling of Maximum Rs.10.00 lakh
h) Hon’ble Supreme Court of India pronounced the judgment in the case of Jeewan Lal vs. Appellate Authority { 1984 SCC (L&S) 753} that for the payment of gratuity in the case of a monthly rated employee, the fifteen days wages shall be calculated by dividing the monthly rate of wages last drawn by him by twenty-six and multiplying the quotient by fifteen. Subsequent to the above decision of the Supreme Court an explanation has been added after second proviso to Section 4(2) of the Payment of Gratuity Act, by Act of 1987 (w.e.f. 01.10.1987), which reads as under:
“Explanation – In the case of a monthly rated employee, the fifteen days wages shall be calculated by dividing the monthly rate of wages last drawn by him by twenty-six and multiplying the quotient by fifteen.”
Whereas, Rule 50 of CCS (Pension) Rules, 1972 states that retirement gratuity equal to one – fourth of his emoluments for each completed six monthly period of qualifying service subject to a maximum of 16½ times the emoluments will be paid and emoluments means basic pay as defined in Rule 9(21)(a)(i) of the Fundamental Rules which a Govt servant was receiving immediately before his retirement or on the date of his death; and in addition DA admissible on the date of retirement/ death of the Govt. employee shall also be treated as emoluments. Hence, we demand that CCS (Pension) Rules, 1972 should be amended as under:-
“Emoluments- Fifteen days wages shall be calculated by dividing the pay in pay band plus grade pay last drawn by him by twenty six and multiplying the quotient by fifteen and in addition DA admissible on the date of retirement/death of Govt employee will be added”
11.(a) Restoration of commuted value of Pension with respect to Central Govt Pensioners other than PSU absorbee Pensioners:
Commutation value in respect of employee superannuating at the age of 60 years between 1.1.1996 and 31.12.2005 and commuting a portion of pension within a period of one year would be equal to 9.81 years Purchase. After adding thereto a further period of two years for recovery of interest, in terms of observation of Supreme Court in their judgment in writ petitions No 395-61 of 1983 decided in December 1986, it would be reasonable to restore commuted portion of pension in 12 years instead of present 15 years. In case of persons superannuating at the age of 60 years after 31.12.2005 and seeking commutation within a year, numbers of purchase years have been further reduced to 8.194. Also, the mortality rate of 60 plus Indians has considerably reduced ever since Supreme Court judgment in 1986; the life expectancy stands at 76 years now. Therefore, restoration of commuted value of Pension after 12 years is fully justified.
11.(b) Restoration of Commuted value of Pension with respect to PSU absorbees:
It is stated that Commutation is an advance sanctioned to a pensioner at a specific rate of interest applicable at the time of sanction and is recoverable from his pension in regular monthly installments. Thus the recovery must stop the day total amount with specified interest is recovered & the excess if any recovered must be refunded with interest. Presently for pensioners other than PSU absorbees, this period is specified to be 15 years which too is longer.  Whereas,  in case of PSU absorbees recovery continues till survival which is unfair & discriminatory. Thus need to be taken care of. In their case also full 100% pension should be restored the day sanctioned amount of commutation  with specified rate of interest  is fully recovered. The honorable Pay Commission therefore, is requested to give specific recommendation in this regard.
11 (C).Refund Excess Recovery of Commuted Pension by the Govt
As per extant rules, commuted pension is restored after 15 years after the Govt makes full recovery of the commuted amount with interest. This period of 15 years is arbitrary, hypothetical and without any mathematical basis. Calculations show that the recovery with interest exceeds  the amount of Commutation.
 Retirees between 1986 and 1995
The age of retirement during the period, was 58 years. This category of retirees have all completed the prescribed period of 15 years for restoration of pension. Since 1.3.1971 and until 31.12.2005, the Commutation Factor (CF) was 10.46 for the 59 year old (age next birth day) retirees and the officially prescribed rate of interest was 4.75% p.a. Commutation allowed was 1/3rd of the basic pay.
For example, the basic pension of Secretaries who superannuated between 1.1.86 and 31.12.95 at the top of their pay scale (Rs. 8,000) was fixed at Rs.4,000 and the commuted portion of their pension was Rs.1,67,318 with a deduction of Rs.1,333 per month. The principal amount of Rs. 1,67,318 was fully recovered in 10.46 years [10.46 x 12 x 1333 = 1,67,318].
·         If we consider the prescribed interest rate of 4.75% p.a. as simple interest, the total interest works out to Rs.36,250. This is recoverable in 2.27 years [36250/1333 = 27.2 months or 2.27 years]. Thus, total recovery period of the commuted amount works out to 10.46 + 2.27 = 12.73 years. Even after full recovery, the pensioner kept on paying for 15 – 12.73 = 2.27 years. Thus, excess recovery = 2.27 x 12 x 1333 = Rs.36,311.
·         If we consider the prescribed interest rate of 4.75% p.a. as compound interest, the total interest works out to Rs.54,750. This is recoverable in 3.42 years [54750/1333 = 41.07 months or 3.42 years]. Thus, total recovery period of the commuted amount is = 10.46 + 3.42 = 13.88 years. Even after full recovery, the pensioner kept on paying for 15 – 13.88 = 1.12 years. Thus, excess recovery = 1.12 x 12 x 1333 = Rs.17,916.

i)                    Retirees between 1996 and 2005
 The age of retirement was raised to 60 years after the 5th Central Pay Commission (CPC). Permissible commutation was also raised to 40% of the basic pay. Those who retired between 1996 and 1998 have already completed the prescribed period of 15 years for restoration of pension. Since 1.3.1971 and until 31.12.2005, the Commutation Factor (CF) was 9.81 for the 61 year old (age next birth day) retirees and the officially prescribed rate of interest was 4.75% p.a. 
Secretaries  who superannuated between 1.1.96 and 31.12.05 at the top of their pay scale (Rs.26,000), were sanctioned commuted pension amount of Rs.9,18,216 with a deduction of Rs.7,800 per month. The principal amount of Rs.9,18,216 is fully recovered in 9.81 years [9.81 x 12 x 7800 = 9,18,216].
·         If we consider the prescribed interest rate of 4.75% p.a. as simple interest, the total interest works out to Rs.2,12,114. This is recoverable in 2.27 years [212114/7800 = 27.2 months or 2.27 years]. Thus, total recovery period of the commuted amount works out to 9.81 + 2.27 = 12.08 years. Even after full recovery, the pensioner keeps on paying for 15 – 12.08 = 2.92 years. Thus, excess recovery = 2.92 x 12 x 7800 = Rs.2,73,312.
·         If we consider the prescribed interest rate of 4.75% p.a. as compound interest, the total interest works out to Rs.3,20,367. This is recoverable in 3.42 years [320367/7800 = 41.07 months or 3.42 years]. Thus, total recovery period of the commuted amount is = 9.81 + 3.42 = 13.23 years. Even after full recovery, the pensioner keeps on paying for 15 – 13.23 = 1.77 years. Thus, excess recovery = 1.77 x 12 x 7800 = Rs.1,65,672.

ii)                  Retirees from 2006 Onwards
 The age of retirement continues to be 60 years. After the 6th CPC, since 1.1.06, the Commutation Factor (CF) has been downgraded from 9.81 to 8.194 for the 61 year old (age next birth day) retirees, thereby reducing the commuted amount by a whopping 16.5% !!! On top of that, the prescribed rate of interest has been enhanced from 4.75% to 8% p.a. which is an astronomical jump of 68% even in this low interest regime!!!
The basic pension of Secretaries who superannuated on or after 1.1.06 at the top of their pay scale (Rs.80,000) was fixed at Rs.40,000. Their commuted pension amount is Rs.15,73,248 with a deduction of Rs.16,000 per month. As per the old CF of 9.81, they would have been entitled to a commuted sum of Rs.18,83,520. Thus, there is a huge drop of Rs.3,10,272 !!! The currently sanctioned principal amount of Rs.15,73,248 is fully recovered in 8.194 years [8.194 x 12 x 16000 = 15,73,248].
·         If we consider the prescribed interest rate of 8% p.a. as simple interest, the total interest works out to Rs.5,10,417. This is recoverable in 2.66 years [510417/16000 = 31.9 months or 2.66 years]. Thus, total recovery period of the commuted amount is = 8.194 + 2.66 = 10.85 years. Even after full recovery, the pensioner keeps on paying for 15 – 10.85 = 4.15 years. Thus, excess recovery = 4.15 x 12 x 16000 = Rs.7,96,800.
·         If we consider the prescribed interest rate of 8% p.a. as compound interest, the total interest works out to Rs.9,93,007. This is recoverable in 5.17 years [993007/16000 = 62.06 months or 5.17 years]. Thus, total recovery period of the commuted amount is = 8.194 + 5.17 = 13.37 years. Even after full recovery, the pensioner keeps on paying for 15 – 13.37 = 1.63 years. Thus, excess recovery = 1.63 x 12 x 16000 = Rs.3,12,960.
The above calculations are only illustrative, applicable to retired Secretary rank officers who retired on or after 1.1.86 at the top of their pay scale and their pension was fixed at the maximum. Calculations can be made similarly for other cases and the results would tally.
We may point out that the interest charged on various Govt. advances like House Building Advance, Car Advance, Festival Advance, Marriage Advance etc. is simple interest and not compound. Applying the same policy, the commuted amount of pension was fully recovered with interest in 12.73 years in case of 1st category of retirees (who retired between 1986 and 1995), in 12.08 years in case of 2nd category of retirees (who retired between 1996 and 2005) and in 10.85 years in case of 3rd category of retirees who retired in 2006 or after. There is no justification for the Govt. to recover anything more than what it has advanced to the retirees.

 Logical Recovery Period
 The Govt. should be moved to rectify this wrong and modify the period of restoration of commuted pension as under:-
 1st category of retirees (who retired between 1986 and 1995): They have already repaid the entire amount with interest. The excess amount recovered should be refunded to them with the same rate of interest as was charged from them for recovery (i.e. 4.75% p.a.).
·         The same policy should be adopted towards those who retired before 1986. Similar calculations can be done in their case.
  1. 2nd category of retirees (who retired between 1996 and 2005): Those who retired 15 years ago have already repaid the entire amount with interest. The excess amount recovered should be refunded to them with the same rate of interest, i.e. 4.75% p.a. For others, the recovery should be stopped and full pension  be restored after completion of 12.08 years.
  2. 3rd category of retirees who retired in 2006 or after: The recovery should be stopped and full pension should be restored after completion of 10.85 years.

12. Qualifying Service for Full Pension – Applicability to Pre 2006 Pensioners:
The 6th Central Pay Commission’s improved/new benefits, like full pension for 20 years of service/10yrs service etc  have been limited only to post-1.1.2006 retirees.  This is in violation of the letter and spirit of Hon’ble Apex Court judgment in Nakara Case.
We appeal to the 7th CPC to extend the above benefits to all pre-1.1.2006 retirees with monetary benefit from 1.1.2006 to do them equal justice. And that new/improved benefits which 7th CPC may recommend, too be made equally applicable to present & past pensioners.
13. Medical facilities to Pensioners:
“Health is not a luxury” and “not be the sole possession of a privileged few”. It is a Fundamental Right of all present & past Employees!
To ensure hassle free health care facility to Pensioners/family pensioners, Smart Cards be issued irrespective of departments, to all Pensioners/Family Pensioners and their Dependents for cashless medical facilities across the country. These smart cards should be valid in
•   all Govt. hospitals
•   all NABH accredited Multi Super Specialty hospitals across the country which have been allotted land at concessional rate or given any aid or concession by the Central or the State govt.
•   all CGHS, RELHS & ECHS empanelled hospitals across the country.
•   Medical attendants.
· For reimbursement of bills for treatment & for hospitalization.
·   No referral should be insisted in case of medical emergencies. For the purpose of reference for hospitalization & reimbursement of expenditure thereon in other than emergency cases Doctors/Medical officers working in different Central/State Govt. department dispensaries/health units should be recognized as Authorized medical attendant.
The enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health is recognized as a fundamental right of all workers in terms of Article 21 read with Article 39 for a 41, 43, 48A and all related Articles as pronounced by the Supreme Court in Consumer Education and Research Centre & Others vs Union of India (AIR 1995 Supreme Court 922) The Supreme court has held that:
“the right to health to a worker is an integral facet of meaningful right to life to have not only a meaningful existence but also robust health and vigour. Therefore, the right to health, medical aid to protect the health and vigour of a worker while in service or post retirement is a fundamental right-to make life of a worker meaningful and purposeful with dignity of person. Thus health care is not only a welfare measure but is a Fundamental Right”.
We suggest that, all the pensioners, irrespective of pre-retiral class and status, be treated as same category of citizens and the same homogenous group. There should be no class or category based discrimination and all must be provided Health care services at par. We also request the commission to recommend to govt. to make preventive health care  an essential ingredient of all health care schemes for retired Persons. And that CSMA Rules 1944 may be extended to pensioners residing outside CGHS area.
13(a) Medical facilities to Family Pensioners other than the spouse:
Though as per accepted recommendations of Sixth Central pay commission widowed/divorced/unmarried dependent daughters when they gain the status of family pensioner on their turn are provided medical facilities under CGHS. But In Railways these family Pensioners & their dependents are deprived of medical facilities & are not allowed to join RELHS. This is discriminatory. Commission is requested to give suitable recommendation in this regard.
14. Hospital Regulatory Authority: To ensure that the hospitals do not avoid providing reasonable care to smart card holders and other poor citizens, a Hospital Regulatory Authority should be created to bring all NABH-accredited hospitals and NABL-accredited diagnostic Labs under its constant monitoring of quality, rates for different procedures & timely bill payments by Govt. agencies and Insurance companies. CGHS rates may be revised keeping in mind the workability as per market conditions.
15. Fixed Medical allowance (FMA): As is recorded in Para 5 of the minutes of Committee of Secretaries (COS) held on 15.04.2010 (Reference Cabinet Secretariat, Rashtrapati Bhavan No 502/2/3/2010-C.A.V Doc No. CD (C.A.V) 42/2010 Minutes of COS meeting dated 15.4.2010) which discussed enhancement of FMA. “CGHS card estimates for serving Personnel: Since estimates are not available separately for pensioners M/O Health & Family Welfare had assessed the total cost per card p.a. in 2007-2008 = Rs 16435 i.e. Rs.1369 per month for OPD”. Adding to it inflation, the figure today is well over Rs 2000/- PM. Ministry of Labour & Employment, Govt. of India vide its letter no. G-25012/2/2011-SSI dated 07.06.2013 has already enhanced FMA to Rs 2000/- PM for EPFO beneficiaries. Thus, to help elderly pensioners to look after their health, adequate raise in FMA will encourage a good number of pensioners to opt out of OPD facility which will reduce overcrowding in hospitals. OPD through Insurance will cost much more to the Govt.
We suggest that FMA for all C.G. Pensioners be raised to at least Rs 2000/- PM without any distance restriction.
Distance restriction is discriminatory to those who do not choose Govt schemes/hospitals) linking it to Dearness Relief for automatic further increase. We further suggest that FMA be exempted 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.
16.House Rent Allowance :All the pensioners do not have a roof over them.  After retirement, their pension income is nearly reduced to 40% of gross salary they got at the time of retirement.  We would like to point out in concrete terms that one employee (in B class city) was having a Basic Pay of Rs.27,570/- in March 2014 and his gross salary was Rs.58,738/-.  He retired on 31/3/2014 and he received a Basic Pension of Rs.13,785/- and DR of Rs.12,475/- in April 2014 (Total Rs.26,260/- which works out to 44.7%).  This sudden drop in income creates financial problems.  The pensioners do not get the same treatment and dignity even from their own family.   After retirement, financial institutions are not granting loans.  The pensioners have to continue in rented houses and the rent in Metros and other cities are exorbitant.  Hence the commission is requested to recommend same percentage of HRA (on basic pension) as being given to serving employees in respective places.
17. Travel Concession: After retirement, most of the pensioners spend the time on spiritual activities.  They like to visit important religious places in the country.  The Commission’s attention is drawn to the fact that Government of Punjab is granting Travel Concession to all its pensioners by paying one month’s Basic Pension for every block of 2 years.  It was introduced from 1/1/1989 and the payment is made in January every two years (Source: Punjab Government letter No.1/15/89-IFP-II/8078 dated 31/8/1989). In the past 25 years the cost of everything has gone up.  The Commission is requested to recommend to the Government to pay 3 months Basic Pension as Travel concession and the facility may be extended once in 2 years to all those pensioners/Family Pensioners including family Pensioners other than spouse, who are at present not getting travel facilities as departmental advantage.

18. Death Relief:
In the last decade, the social fabric has undergone a drastic change.  The Indian Parliament had to enact a law for the kith and kin to look after their parents.  After the death of a pensioner, cremation/burial has to take place in an honorable manner.  Each religion has got its own custom and rituals and the cost is very high.  It is to be noted that Andhra Pradesh Government is granting an amount of Rs.10,000/- as ‘Death Relief’ to its pensioners, Family pensioners (Source: AP Govt. G.O. MS.No.102 Finance (Pen.I) Department dated 6/4/2010 & G.O. M.S. No.136 dated 29/6/2011).  The Commission is requested to recommend an amount of Rs.10,000/- as ‘Death Relief’ in the event of death of pensioner, pensioner’s spouse or Family Pensioner.
19. Grievance redressal Mechanism:
Pensioners/Family Pensioners are exploited, harassed and humiliated by their own counterparts in chair, who at the sight of an old person adopt a wooden face and indifferent attitude. Pensioners do not have representation even in Forums & Committees wherein pension policies and connected matters are discussed.
The forum of Pension Adalat too is not of much avail as it meets only once a year which is too long a period for an elderly nearer to his end. Moreover, these Adalats deal with settlement claims only.
SCOVA too meets only twice a year for about 3 hours at each occasion. Moreover, the scope of SCOVA is limited to feedback on Government policies. DOP&PW is perceived as a toothless authority which lacks direct Service Delivery Capability. It has been striving over the years to redress the Pensioners’ grievances through the ‘Sevottam’ model of the Department of Administrative Reforms & Public grievances; in the absence of strict timeline with punitive clause it is, however, proving to be a failure. Grievances are either not resolved for years or closed arbitrarily without resolving correctly.
We therefore, appeal that for resolving Pensioners complaints,
i)     A strict time line with punitive clause be introduced in “Sevottam model”
(ii) Grievances are not allowed to be closed without resolving.
(iii) SCOVA be upgraded to JCM level covering all Pensioners by introducing suitable legislative amendment if required.
 20. Representations in various committees : As recommended vide Vth CPC report Vol III para 141.30 Pensioners’ representatives should be included in various committees & other Fora of Govt where issues relating to the welfare of pensioners are likely to be discussed & debated :
Discussing and deciding the matters relating to Pensioners, with representatives other than those of pensioners, is unfair & against the Rules of ‘Natural Justice’. At present various Committees like National Anomaly Committee (NAC) and JCM (on Pensioner matters), are there, wherein matters / policies relating to pensioners’ welfare are discussed and decided, but they do not have pensioners’ representatives with the result their viewpoints, hardships & anomalies are not properly represented. As pensioners are a homogenous class, there is an urgent need to constitute separate Committees for pensioners wherein matters / policies / anomalies relating to pensioners of all Groups, categories & departments may be discussed.
21. Lingering Litigation on Pensioners matters due to uncalled for Appeals by Government: Govt. should not indirectly pressurize courts by appealing again & again to get judgments reversed in its  favor & must implement all court  judgments  in  case of all similarly placed persons.
Fifth CPC recommended in para 126.5 that any Court Judgment involving  a common policy matter of pay/pension to a group of employees/pensioners, should be extended automatically to similarly placed employees/pensioners without driving every affected individual to the Courts of law. This recommendation is never followed by GOI, with the result Pensioners in the evening of their life, are forced to approach the legal forums, seeking  the same relief. This in turn, bulges court dockets.
Seventh CPC is requested to look into this matter once again and to issue suitable guidelines as deem fit and necessary. 
22.Interim relief: The commission is expected to submit its recommendations in about 18 months to two years and the Govt. will take about another over six months  for implementation. To mitigate the sufferings of Pensioners commission is requested to immediately recommend an interim relief of 20% of the existing basic pension and to recommend merger of 50% Dearness relief with basic Pension.
In the end commission is requested to grant the oral evidence to the representatives of Bharat Pensioners Samaj to enable it to explain its viewpoints.
Thanking you, With regards
Truly Yours,

 Secretary General.
Bharat Pensioners Samaj

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