Gist of discussions in SCOA 23rd SCOVA meeting on 23/09/2013
20.09.2013 MOS Sh V. Narayanasamy took the chair at 4.00 PM. Joint Secy. DOP &PW Welcomed the Minister, officers from different departments / Ministries & the SCOVA members. After JS welcome address introduction of members & officers started S.C. Maheshwari Genl. Secy. BPS while introducing himself pointed out to the Minister that while BPS was thankful to the minister for increasing frequency of SCOVA meetings, organization will be grateful if instead of few hours at least one full day is earmarked for these meetings and that a system need to be put in place to lay down as to what type & numbers of items will be accepted for inclusion in SCOVA Agenda. After introduction the MOS addressed the meeting highlighting the work of the DOPPW & the important circulars issued in the recent past. He assured that pensioners issues will be dealt on priority by his Ministry.
Final ATR on 22nd SCOVA meeting was then taken up for review. Lively discussion followed each item members expressed their concern over the delay in issuing revised PPOs representatives of every Ministry/Department tried to blame pensioners for the delay stating that they were not getting details from pensioners & sought assistance of Pensioners’ Associations. MOS however directed all departments/ministries to suo-motto issue PPOS to all pensioners within the target dates.
Commenting on item No2 of ATR i.e. revision of exgratia to cpf/srpf retirees, Secy. Genl. BPS pointed out that the amount of ex-gratia of Rs 645/- per month was too little for the survival of a person. Secy DOPPW retorted that these retirees were not pensioners. Secy. Genl BPS pointed out that these retirees too have a right to survive but no positive reaction could be evoked from official side or the honourable Minister. Position of items 3to 9 remained the same as given in the ATR .However, While discussing item9 of ATR it was pointed out that the M/O Rlys was still not uploading on their website all the orders & circulars issued by Rly.Bd.
Regarding item 10 & 11 of the ATR regarding anomaly in fixation of pension to DOT employees &merger of 78% IDA with basic pension benefit to the absorbed BSNL Pensioners, after discussion it was decided that the department of Telecommunication will put up positive proposals by 30.09.2013.
Discussion on new Agenda items:
Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions
(Department of Pension & Pensioners’ Welfare)
AGENDA ITEMS WITH COMMENTS FOR 23rd MEETING OF STANDING COMMITTEE OF VOLUNTARY AGENCIES (SCOVA) TO BE HELD ON 20th SEPTEMBER, 2013, AT VIGYAN BHANVAN ANNEXE, NEW DELHI
|1.||Submission of application in Form 14 be dispensed with for sanction of Family Pension:- As details of family members eligible for family pension in the event of the death of the pensioner, joint photograph with the spouse and the amount of family pension payable in the event of death of the pensioner are available under Part II of the Pension Payment Order issued by the Pay and Accounts Officer or other designated authority. It is redundant and unnecessary to insist on submission of all these details in Form 14 for sanction of Family pension. On the death of the pensioner, a written request from the spouse along with a death certificate of the pensioner is sufficient to sanction the family pension. So the extant cumbersome procedure may be dispensed with and a simplified procedure introduced.
Action : D oP&PW
|D/o P&PW :- The matter has been examined in the Government. Necessary instruction for grant of family pension without Form-14 where pensioner has a joint account with the spouse and using Form-IA in other cases without having it attested are being issued shortly.|
|2.||Extension of benefit of upgraded Grade Pay to pre-2006 retirees of S-12 grade :- Benefit of upgraded Grade Pay Rs 4600, introduced subsequently in place of already implemented GP Rs.4,200/- for 5-12 grade in pre- revised scale of Rs 6,500-10,500 w.e.f 01.01.2006 in terms of 0.M No. F.No 1/1/2008-IC dated 13.11.2009 of Mb o Finance, Department of Expenditure is not extended to pre-2006 pensioners retired from S-12 grade. The clarification assumes importance in view of the need for protection of 50% of the minimum Pay in the Pay Band & Grade Pay in 0.M dated 28.1.2013.
(Action: D/o Expenditure, D/oP&PW)
|D/o P&PW:- The Department has sought following advice from D/o Exp: (i) Whether the grade pay of Rs.4600/- is to be treated as the grade pay corresponding to the pre- revised pay-scale of Rs.6500-10500/- or it is to be treated as upgraded grade pay. (ii) In case, Grade Pay of Rs.4600 is to be treated as grade pay corresponding to the pre-revised pay scale of Rs.6500-10500/-, the pre- 2006 pensioners who retired before 2006 would be entitled to the benefit of this Grade Pay in terms of Para 4.2 of this Department’s OM dated 1.9.2008 and OM dated 28.1.2013 issued by this Department. The D/o Expenditure has been asked to clarify as to what would be the minimum pay in the pay band plus grade pay as per the fitment table, which is to be reckoned for calculation of minimum pension for those pensioners who retired from the scale of 6500/- 10,500/- in terms of OM dated 28.1.2013|
|3.||Complaints Against The System of Lodging of Pension Grievance :- At present the complaints lodged with Public Grievances is forwarded to the Ministry. Therefore, complaints on Subordinate Officer take a long time to reach them (Subordinate Officer). It is therefore necessary that the complaints are forwarded directly to the officers against whom the complaint is lodged to avoid undue delay.
(Action: D/o P&PW)
|D/o P&PW: This Department has been forwarding the grievances on pension related matters, received in this Department either on line through CPENGRAMS or otherwise, to designated nodal officers of concerned Ministries/Departments/Organisations. Since even for monitoring those grievances, this Department has been interacting with the designated nodal officers, it is neither prudent not feasible to send grievances directly to subordinate formations.|
|4.||Broad Banding of Disability Element for Pre-1996 cases. Welfare):- In implementation of the 5th CPC recommendations, Dept of Pensions & PW had issued OM dated 03.02.2000 for revision of disability and family pensions for post 1996 disabled pensioners which, inter alia, applied the principle of broad- banding to compute reckonable percentage of disability. Vide OM dated 11.09.2001 the same benefits were extended to pre-1996 pensioners with effect form01.01.1996, These orders, like others issued by D/o P&PW, are equally applicable to civil as well as defence pensioners. MOD, however, extended the broad-banding benefit to post-96 disabled pensioners only, vide its order dated 31.01.2001, denying it to the pre-96 lot. The 2009 Cabinet Secretary’s Committee, agreed to eliminate this anomaly. However, MoD(DESW) orders dated 19.01.2010 granted the benefit w.e.f 01.07.2009 only, completing ignoring the fact that the same benefit on the civil side has been extended w.e.f 01.01.1996. The matter was asain raised with Deptt/ESW in August 2010. The need to apply the orders w.e.f 01.01.96 was accepted. However, the revised orders are yet to be issued even after lapse of nearly 2- 1/2 years. (Action: M/ o Defence )||M/O Defence (D/o Ex-Servicemen Welfare):- The matter regarding extension of benefit of broad banding to pre-1.1.96 invalided out individuals was processed and referred to MoD(Fin) for concurrence. But MoD(Fin) returned the matter back for knowing the financial implications involved. CGDA, expressed its difficulty in furnishing the requisite information. MoD(Fin) was persuaded to process the matter without the financial implications. The case has been referred to M/o Finance by MoD(Fin) in March,2013. The DESW has been in constant touch with the D/o Expenditure to get the case finalized.|
|5.||Appointment of Specialists and General Medical Officer in CGHS :- Aged Pensioners are unable to go to crowded Government hospitals and obtain specialist’s prescription as the Specialists in the Government Hospitals are not only reluctant to issue such prescription on one hand but also the waiting time is enormous in the hospital. It is suggested that Specialist of various disciplines may be appointed on contract as is now resorted to.
( Action: M/o Health & FW_)
|M/o Health & FW:- Keeping in view the difficulties being faced by the aged CGHS pensioner beneficiaries, feasibility of appointing specialists of various disciplines in CGHS dispensaries on part time/contract basis is being explored|
|6.||Problems faced by non -Smart Card (old card holders) of CGHS:- As per instructions issued by the Govt. of India, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare vide letter No.6024/2007/CGHS(HR)CGHS(P) Dated 17.12.2012 the beneficiaries of CGHS can get treatment in all CGHS covered cities in India and there is no need for obtaining temporary attachment while on a visit to another CGHS city. It has been brought to the notice of this Association by the members that if they carry CGHS cards while on visit to out stations, their dependant members, who do not accompany them, face great difficulty in case of emergency as without card Wellness Centers do not entertain any patient. Even in case of serious emergency empanelled hospitals do not entertain any patient if the CGHS card is not produced to them within four hours of admission and treat the CGHS beneficiaries as ordinary patients and cashless treatment is not permitted. Similar is the position of the card holder if he leaves the card behind for use of his dependents in his absence or the dependent(s) goes to outstation. The Ministry of Health & Family Welfare is requested to find out a viable solution to this problem so that the beneficiaries of CGHS do not suffer during their visit to outstation.
( Action: Mb o Health & FW)
|M/ o Health & FW:- It was decided to replace the old cards by the plastic cards meant for each beneficiary including dependent family members. Now, a beneficiary can avail CGHS facility in any wellness centre anywhere in the country on production of his CGHS Plastic Card or Paper Card. Inpatient medical treatment facility is also available in empanelled private hospitals on production of the same. CGHS has already started issuing plastic cards at all its locations (except Jammu). Beneficiaries may apply for the same with the requisite details and get their plastic cards made from the Office of Add. Director, CGHS of the city concerned.|
|7.||Extension of benefit of OM dt. 28.1.2013 w.e.f 1.1.2006 instead of 24.9.2012:- Govt. of India, M/o P&PG & Pensions, Department of Pension and Pensioners Welfare, New Delhi’s Order No. F-38/37/2008-P&PW(A) dated 28.1.2013. In the light of the judgement of the Hon’ble High Court of Delhi dated 29.04.2013 delivered with reference to Writ Petition No’s WP(C) 1535/2012, WP(C) 2348/2012,WP(C) 2349/2012 and WP(C) 2350/2012 read with Hon’ble Supreme Court of India’s decision in SLP (C) 23055 of 2013 of the Union of India Vs CG S-(29) (SAG) Pensioners Association dated 29.07.2013, the date of effect mentioned in the GOI order dated 28/1/13 may be revised retrospectively from 1.1.2006 and arrears paid to the eligible Pensioners.
|D/o P&PW :- The advice in regard to further course of action on the dismissal of SLP No. 23055 of 2013 by the Hon’ble Supreme Court on 29.7.2013 has been sought from Department of Expenditure. The advice is still awaited.|
Item No.1 position as given under comments was agreed-item closed.
Item No.2. Members were informed that DOE has not agreed. However, on the insistence of members, item kept open.
Item No.3. while discussing this item following was brought to the notice of the Minister
(1) That though quiet a number of buildings are lying vacant over the Indian Rlys but inspite of the fact that Pensioners Associations are ready to pay the rent, vacant accommodation is not being allotted to them & that some Rly. Divisions do not accept pensioners associations to be the welfare organizations. Honorable Minister took note of it.
(2) That several items submitted by the members for inclusion in SCOVA agenda were forwarded by DOP &PW vide their letter dated 23.8.2013 to the concerned Ministries/ Departments for direct reply but no replies have been received & that departments generally do not reply
(3) That inspite of repeated assurance given in earlier SCOVA meetings M/O Rlys is not uploading on its website the circulars/orders issued by different Directorates of Rly Board neither these are circulated to SCOVA members
(4) That though as per Indian Rly Master circular on Pension Adalat. Pension Adalat at Divisional level are to be conducted quarterly but these instructions are not being followed & that SCOVA members are not being informed about the date/place of Adalat and the Agenda