NATIONAL COORDINATION COMMITTEE
OF PENSIONERS ASSOCIATIONS..
(Registered undder the T.U. Act.No. RTU01/2021.Dated.7.01.2021
Website: nccpahq.blogspot.in.E mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
13.c Feroze Shah Road,
New Delhi. 110 001
PRESIDENT: COM.SHIV GOPAL MISHRA.(97176 47594)
SECy. GENERAL: COM.K.K.N.KUTTY. (98110 483030)
Dated: 8th February, , 2021
Staff Side, JCM. National Coucil,
13/c/Feroze Shah Roadm
New Delhi. 110 001
Kindly refer to your letter asking the members of the National Council to submit items for the National Council/Standing Committee meeting, which is likely to be held soon. I am sending 28 items for inclusion in the agenda. I have gone through the pending items and to the best of my information none of the following items are pending consideration of the Govt. Some of the items I have included in this list have been discussed earlier. It is reintroduced because of the pronouncements of various courts which are in favour of the employees and pensioners.
Secretary General, NCCPA Member Standing Committee,
National Council, JCM
1. Health insurance for Pensioners:
The 7th CPC had recommended for the creation of an health insurance scheme especially in the background that the pensioners, who are living in non-CGHS cities do not have an alternate system of health care as is available for the working employees. The CCS(MA) Rules are not extended to them. They are presently at the mercy of providence. The demand for extension of CCS(MA) rules to the pensioners was rejected in view of the huge financial outlay. The pensioners are in receipt of a fixed medical allowance, which is presently at Rs. 1000 p.m. The number of pensioners who are beyond the ambit of CGHS runs into lakhs. The Government may evolve a scheme by which the beneficiary will be entitled for an assurance coverage of RS. 15 lakhs for which the premium can be appropriated from the fixed medical allowance. We suggest that 3/4th of the FMA i.e. Rs. 750/- p.m or Rs. 9000 p.a may be taken as premium from the concerned pensioners for a coverage to the extent of Rs. 15 lakhs Every district headquarters of the country may be declared the identified towns for the purpose of hospitalisation and the private hospitals be recognised for this purpose so that the pensioners will get treatment as and when hospitalisation becomes necessary. The other details can be discussed and mutually acceptable understanding could be reached among the stake holders, i.e. pensioners, Government, and the Insurance companies.
2. Opening CAT bench at Madurai in Tamilnadu.
Madurai is the second largest city in Tamilnadu. It is situated at the southern part of the State. Quite a number of Central Government offices are located in and near the region. The Madras High Court has a bench functioning from this city for quite a number of years. The Government had taken steps to open the Bench of the Tribunal at Madurai. However, some interested parties had obtained a stay of operation of that proposal from the Madras High Court. The DOPT had instructed the CAT. Principal Bench to implead in the case and get the stay vacated. However, so far no attempt has been made to get the stay vacated. It looks that the stay has now taken the shape of final decision without hearing even the parties. The Central Government employees and pensioners are required to spend enormous amount to litigate before the Tribunal as they have to undertake journeys and make stay arrangements at Chennai. It is, therefore, requested that expedite action may be initiated to vacate the stay against the establishment of the bench of the Tribunal at Madurai.
3. Pension revision in the case of personnel compulsorily retired.
Compulsory retirement is a punishment meted to the delinquent officials taking into account the seriousness of the charges and allegations levelled against them. Compulsory retirement will curtail the years of active service and consequently bring about a reduction in the otherwise pension entitlement of the employee concerned. When pension is revised as per the recommendations of the Pay Commissions, such revision is also extended to the personnel who are compulsorily retired and those who took voluntary retirement. However, the personnel who were compulsorily retired have been excluded from the purview of the operation of O.M.No. 38/37/08P&PW(1A) dated 6.4.2016 andNo,38/37/2016-P&PWA sated 12/05/2017. Such exclusion appears to be bereft of logic or reason. By denying revision of their pension entitlement , these personnel are punished twice. It is not rught or permissible to punish a person twice for a crime. They may be brought within the ambit of the above said two memos immediately.
4. Establishing CGHS wellness centres at the newly sanctioned stations.
The number of CGHS towns in the country was announced to be raised to 100 by the Government. The said announcement had brought relief and appreciation amongst large umber o CGEs and CG Pensioners. They rightly thought that the facilities will come into operation quickly. But in many such towns even the preliminary steps are yet to be initiated. Coimbatore in Tamilnadu is one among them. There are large number of employees and pensioners staying in the city of Coimbatore Similarly three stations in Kerala were also earmarked for such wellness centre. Though the wellness centres were opened there, it lacks certain facilities.. We request the Govt. to kindly go into the matter and take immediate steps to open the wellness centres at all the announced stations ; sanction requisite funds for establishing the centres without further delay.
5. Ward Entitlement of the CGHS beneficiaries.
The scale of pay (Pay level) or the Grade Pay is the criterion to decide the rate of subscription for the CGHS beneficiaries. However, the ward entitlement is decided on the basis of the basic pay drawn in the pay level or scale of pay. This procedure has created a peculiar situation in as much a person in the higher scale of pay or pay level might some times get a lower level ward entitlement..
For instance: Rs. 250 is the rate of subscription for those beneficiaries in the pay levels from 1.to 5. But if his basic pay is Rs. 48200, he will be entitled as to a semi private ward. In the case of a beneficiary who is in level 6 will pay Rs. 450 as the monthly subscription. But he would be entitled for a general ward as his basic pay is only Rs. 35400. The ward entitlement has therefore to be linked to the basic pay one draws irrespective of the pay level one is placed.
6. Restoration of the commuted portion of pension after 12 years:
Presently the restoration of the commuted value of pension is permitted only after 15 years i.,e. at the age of 75. The Government will recover the full amount of the commuted value of pension after 11 years. It is therefore, not proper to continue the recovery even after the period by which the Govt. has fully recovered the amount. It is, therefore, demanded that the commuted portion of the pension be restored immediately after 12 years.
7. Fixed medical allowance to be increased to Rs. 2000 p.m
The demand placed by the staff Side during the discussion with the Government over the 7th CPC. Recommendations in respect of FMA was to increase the same to Rs. 2000. The Government has, however, raised the FMA only to Rs. 1000. This amount even at that time was meagre and the beneficiaries were to spend sizeable amount to get treatment as Out-patient. This is because of the huge amount of charges levied by the hospitals for consultation and other lab tests. The Government had been persistently rejecting the demand for the application of CCS(MA) Rules to the pensioners who are not CGHS beneficiaries. Taking into account the fact that the amount is meagre and the same has been fixed years back, we request that it may please be raised to Rs. 2000 per month.
8. MACP to be made effective from 1.12006 in implementation of the judgement of the Supreme Court.
The Staff Side vide their letter darted 16th January, 2018 had brought to the notice of the Department of Personnel that as per the judgement of the Honourable Supreme Court in W.P. 3744 of 2016 dated 8th December, 2017, the MACP scheme was to be implemented with effect from 1.1.2006. Since there had been no reply thereof the staff side again wrote to them on 7th August, 2018, wherein it was pointed out that the Ministry of Defence had implemented the decision not only in the case of the applicant but all similarly placed defence service personnel vide their order in No. 14(1)99.D(AG) dated 25th July, 2018. The action of the Ministry of Defence clearly establishes that the judgement was in ram and is applicable to all similarly placed personnel. The Staff Side had specifically pointed out in that letter of the direction of the Supreme Court in the case of Inderpal Yadav vs. Union of India 1985 SCC 648 that similarly placed persons are entitled to the benefit of the Judgements of the Courts. Again on 14th May, 2019, the staff side wrote to the Secretary, Department of Personnel. None of these communications were responded unfortunately. It is, therefore, requested that the ratio laid down in the judgement cited be made applicable to all Central Government employees making the date of effect of the MACP scheme from 1.1.2006.
9. Grant of one notional increment for those who retired on superannuation on 30th June,
The Madras High Court had directed the Government to grant one notional increment to the petitioner who had superannuated on 30th June,2013. Even though he had completed one year, he was not given the increment as he had retired on 30th June, 2013.The increment as per the extant order is to be sanctioned only on Ist July, following day on which one has completed one year. The contention was that he had completed one year on 30th June, was not appreciated by the Government. Aggrieved by the directive of the Honourable High Court, the Government filed an SLP before the Honourable Supreme Court. The Madras High court decision was in W.P. No. 15732 of 2017 datd 15.09.2017 and the SLP was in 22283 of 2018 dated 23.7.2018. The question whether one has completed one year or not for the grant of increment was the simple matter before the court. The fact that the Government’s contention was not favoured by the court, which has been confirmed by the highest judiciary in the country must have been sufficient reason to end this controversy. This apart, the Government had later issued instruction to the effect that in certain cases, even if the Government servant does not complete one year but only six months, he would still be entitled to draw one increment. It is therefore, surprising as to why the Government is dragging all similarly placed to the litigation, which is actually unaffordable for the pensioners and the low paid employees. It is, therefore, demanded that the issue should be brought to a finality by issuing necessary orders granting one notional increment for all employees and pensioners who are similarly placed.
10. Applicability of the 7th CPC. Pay revision benefit for those retired on 31.12.2015.
The7th CPC. Pay revision benefit was granted with effect from 1.1.2016. The question whether a person retired on 31.12.2015, whose date of birth was on 1.1.1956 will be entitled to the benefit came in for the consideration of the Principal Bench of the Central Administrative Tribunal. The Tribunal basing their judgement on the observation of the Supreme Court in a similar case came to the conclusion that such persons are entitled to the benefit. Since the judgement of the Tribunal is in consonance with the dictum pronounced by the Supreme Court, it is demanded that the Govt. implement the ratio laid down by the Principal Bench of CAT in OA No 571/2017 dated 17.4.2018 to all similarly placed persons
11. Pension to be exempted from the purview of income taxation.
Pension is treated as salary by the Income tax Act, whereas family pension is income from other sources. The rationale of such distinction is seldom understood by the laymen. Pension is treated as deferred wage. Deferred wage is always a losing proposition as it loses its value over the years. In many countries, pension is exempted from taxation. Since the contribution to purchase an annuity is treated as income and already taxed, will it not be the double taxation when the annuity on receipt is again taxed. As the taxability or otherwise of an income is to be determined by the Government, , we appeal that the meagre income of pension maybe exempted from taxation.
12. Treating the pensioner on par with the official on duty for guest house charges.
The Government presently charges pensioners at a higher rate who seek and get reservation at the Government guest houses maintained by the various departments of the Government compared to officials on duey.. There is separate rate for officials on duty, outsiders, retired personnel etc. While the Guest houses are primarily meant for persons on official duty, once it could be allotted to a retired person, it is not correct to charge him more than what the Government could collect from an official on duty, whose capacity to pay is much higher than the pensioner. It is, therefore, demanded that the retired persons, or pensioners, who are allotted the guest house accommodation may be charged not more than what an official on duty is supposed to pay.
13. Extending AFD-1 facilities like TV AC Fridge Washing Machine Two & Four Wheelers etc to retired Defence Civilians and Family Pensioners at par with Serving Defence Civilians
The restoration of CSD facilities to retired Defence Civilians and their Family Pensioners was approved by the then Defence Minister and the order was issued by MoD vide letter F.No 8 (14)/2015-D (Mov) dated 31 Jul 2015 to CS Directorate, QMG Branch, Army HQ, New Delhi with the clear directives that “It has been decided to extend the CSD facilities to the retired Defence Civilian Employees also”. It amply indicates that there is no differentiation between Serving & Retired Employees as far as entitlement of CSD facilities are concerned. But unfortunately, while issuing thee Order by Dy Director/CS, CSD Directorate vide letter No 96301/Q/DDGCS (Policy) dated 12 Aug 2015, the civilian employees and retired personnel were debarred from drawing AFD-1 items like TV Fridge AC Washing Machine Two Four Wheelers etc., inflicting a glaring injustice. Thereafter, Defence Civilian Pensioners Welfare Associations as well as the individual Pensioners approached the Ministry of Defence to set right the anomalous situation. Upon co3nsideration of the injustice, MoD directed CS Directorate to comply with the directives in the letter dated 31 July 2015 and intimated the Associations as well as the Pensioners that “QMG has been requested that all the retired Defence Civilians/Family Pensioners of retired Defence Civilians may be treated at par with Serving Defence Civilians for their entitlement of CSD AFD items”. However, the issue of formal orders authorising AFD1 items to Pensioners is still pending with CS Directorate which need to be expedited.
14. Payment of FMA to Pensioners of the National Institute of Ayurveda and bring the r employees of the institutes within the ambit of CCS(MA)rules.
The National Institute of Ayurveda was taken over by the Government of India, as per the agreement reached between the two Governments. Viz. Govt. of India and Govt. of Rajasthan. . One of the stipulations in the terms of agreement was to the effect that “the employees transferred from the State Government to the Institute, shall not be placed in a less advantageous position as compared to the conditions of service under the State Government. Accordingly, the personnel retired from the Institute were given pension under the CCS(Pension) Rules,1972. However, they have been denied the Fixed Medical Allowance, which has no logic or reasoning. Similarly, the employees are not presently entitled for the application of CCS(MA) Rules. Which would have provided them the reimbursement medical expenses incurred.. It is, therefore, demanded that requisite orders may please be caused to be issued so that the employees and pensioners of this Institute will have the benefit of FMA and reimbursement of medical expenses as the case may be. The issue had been the subject of litigation in the Central Administrative Tribunal, where the judgement had been in favour of the employees. Unfortunately, the Govt. has chosen to file an SLP which is now pending for more than a year.
15. Reimburse medical expenses of pensioners who are not covered by the CGHS.
The Government has been denying the reimbursement of medical expenses to the pensioners who are not covered by the CGHS . The meagre amount of FMA is not sufficient to the expenses especially when hospitalisation is needed. The Staff Side had been demanding the extension of CCS(MA) Rules to the pensioners, despite positive recommendation from the successive Pay commissions. In the case of Union of Inia Vs. Prabhakar Srishar Bapat the SLP filed by the Government has been dismissed and the decision of the tribunal which is in favour of the employees has reached finality. It is, therefore, demanded that the orders may please be issued extending the benefit of CCS(MA) rules to the pensioners.
16. Grant of enhanced pension on completion of 79 years.
The Senior Penioners are entitled for additional pension on attaining the age of 80 years. However, the Government had been granting the enhanced pension only after completion of the 80 years. The matter went to the Courts and the Karnataka High Court’s decision was in favour of the pensioner, who argued that he is entitled for the enhanced pension on attaining the age of 80 I,e on the first day of the commencement of his age of 80. WP.No. 18753/2011(SR) RG Desai vs. Principal AG (A &E). and again in WP No. 105189/2014 – High Court of Karnataka. The petitioner in that case had to be paid the arrears along with interest. It is, therefore, demanded that the Govt. may issue suitable instruction to allow the enhanced pension on the first day of the commencement of the age of 80 to all civil pensioners without insisting each and every individual to approach the court.
17. Modification for grievance redressal mechanism.
In most of the cases, the grievances from the pensioners, after registering the same is treated as closed or disposed of, when a communication is sent to them stating that the concerned department has been asked to do the needful in the matter. Sometimes, even the name of the concerned departments are not mentioned. It is requested that once the grievance is received and registered the same must not only to be forwarded to the concerned department/Ministry but to ensure that the nodal department gets a proper reply from the concerned department or Ministry and the same is conveyed to the Pensioners.
18. Increase the number of empanelled hospitals so as to have hospitals recognised in each revenue district .
The number of CGHS beneficiaries has increased significantly after the opening up wellness centres and dispensaries in many parts of the country. The Number of CGHS centres are likely to be raised to 100 in the coming days. There are very few empanelled hospitals and even those which are recognised are unfortunately, sub standard. There should be an element of compulsory clause in the licencing procedures whereby the hospitals must have the obligation to treat the Central Government employees and pensioners on the basis of the rate stipulated by the Govt. of India. Govt. must also in turn fix the rate for various facilities taking into account the quality of such services, the location of the hospital and the concessions obtained by the hospitals from the Govt. of India State Governments, Municipal Corporations or Panchayats. A comprehensive scheme may be evolved and implemented so that the CGHS beneficiaries will not be either compelled to avail a substandard quality of treatment or denial of the facility itself. The tendering system presently in vogue has prooved to be defective and has resulted in not having any hospital recognised by the Government in certain important towns/cities of India
19. Lack of staff in dispensaries taken over from the Postal Department.
When the Postal Dispensaries were converted as CGHS dispensaries, the beneficiaries experienced the problem of insufficient staff in many of these centres. The unexpected number of patients rushing to these dispensaries created additional difficulties masking it impossible for the existing staff to cater to the requirements of all visitors. In the discussions, that was held more than two years back the health Ministry officials had informed the staff side that they had requested the Postal Department to retain their staff in these dispensaries for a period of at least one year by which time alternate arrangements could be made. The level of complaints emanating from many such dispensaries especially from the State of Andhra Pradesh, where five such dispensaries had been taken over, it is clear that nothing tangible had been done to ease the problem. It is, therefore, requested that immediate stapes may please be taken to provide sufficient technical and non- technical staff are provided to these dispensaries.
20. CGHS entitlement of pensioners retired from the Union Territory of Lakshadweep. And Andaman Nicobar Islands
On the plea that they are not Central Government employees the CGHS authorities have been denying membership for the pensioners who had served these two Union territory administration. As both the territories were under the administrative control of the Union Home Ministry and the pension is drawn from the consolidated fund of India how can the CGHS authorities could come to such a conclusion is incomprehensible In the case of Pensioners of almost all autonomous bodies set up by the Government of India they are granted the facilities of CGHS, though one could make a fine distinction between them and other civil servants. The fact that the Central Administrative Tribunal, Ernakulam had delivered a judgement in favour of the pensioners of the two Union territories, should have ended the controversy. Since the impasse stil continues, we request that necessary orders may be issued advising the CGHS authorities to enrol the pensioners o the two Union territories as beneficiaries after obtaining the requisite lump sum payment.
21. CGHS related problems of Kerala Region
The following problems in the functioning of the CGHS in Kerala Region are stated to be acute. It is requested that necessary instructions may be issued to sort out these matters to the Additional Director, CGHS. Kerala, Thiruvananthapuram.
(i) Non availability of essential medicine;
(ii) Denial of membership for 10/15 years to the new applicants.
(iii) Delay in the reimbursement of medical expenses.
22. To publish details of vishakha Committee members.
The Government has set up the Vishakha Committees as an independent appealing agency of the complaints ion the nature of attack on women employees. This will no doubt embolden them to raise complaints which in the normal course of hierarchical set up is difficult. However, seldom the names and other details viz phone No mailing addressees e mail id etc are not immediately known or available. It is, therefore, requested that their names and such other details must be exhibited in all Government offices .
23. To specify time frame for the completion of disciplinary cases in the case of pensioners.
It is often seen that at the fag- end of the career of an employee he is served with charge sheet making allegations, which are said to have taken place years back. Some of the notified reasons for the delay in the initiation of the proceedings would appear to be genuine, whereas in most of the cases, such delays used to be on flimsy grounds. The proceedings, later on are allowed to linger on denying certain benefits to the pensioner for a very long time. There are cases, where such proceedings are dragged on for years, say even for more than 10 years. In certain cases, it is noticed that even after the finalisation of the proceedings, the final order is allowed to be kept pending. In the case of Officers, the delay is comparatively larger as the consultation with the vigilance, UPSC and other agencies are required and every step conceived to avoid miscarriage of justice is used for elongating the delay. It is, therefore, requested that the Govt. must fix a time frame by which the finality must reach to each such proceedings. If in any case for any reason, the finality of the proceedings is per force to be prolonged, the charged officials must be treated as exonerated and all the consequential benefits granted to him. If ultimately he is awarded punishment and recovery becomes necessary, an undertaking from the concerned individual may be obtained before the funds are released to him.
24. Disability pension of war heroes to be exempted from Income tax.
Presently the pension received by war heroes who have voluntarily retired is taxed It is stated that only in the case of personnel who had retired on superannuation are eligible for exemption. The disability pension itself denotes that it is given taking into consideration of a peculiar situation the person concerned had undergone. There appears to be a lack of appreciation in the matter. It is requested that clarificatory orders may be issued exempting the disability pension from taxation.
25. To change the rules of resale of apartments constructed by CGEWHO.
The CGEWHO is established under the Ministry of Urban development to construct dwelling houses for the benefit of Central Government employees. No doubt they have constructed quality apartments for a reasonable price. The houses or apartments purchased from the CGEWHO by an employee cannot be sold for a particular lock in period. This is so stipulated to ensure that the facility is not only availed but enjoyed by the Central Govt. Employees. Lock in period in respect of apartments constructed years back has been ended and many of such houses are being sold to private parties. It drastically changes the co-relation of forces in the residential welfare associations and some of them undertake thorough change over of the flats creating problems and difficulties to others, It is therefore, requested that the CGEWHO must incorporate a stipulation to the effect that the flats, apartments, houses purchased from them even after the lock-in period could only be sold to other Central/State Government employees or employees of the Public Sector undertaking or autonomous bodies.
26. On line consultation facility in CGHS to be extended to other Cities.
The facility of on- line consultation introduced in the city of New Delhi by the CGHS has been very helpful especially during the covid days. Many Senior Pensioners, who are beneficiaries of CGHS are unable to travel to the wellness centres or dispensaries to have consultation with the Doctor. This apart, more often the ailments the beneficiaries suffer used to be simple enough requiring medication. It is, therefore requested that the scheme may be extended to other CGHS cities.
27. Rescind the order in O.M. No. 1/1/2020-EII(B) dated23.4.2020
In the wake of the corona covid 19 pandemic, the Government of India issued the above cited O.M. whereby it was decided to not only freeze the payment of Dearness allowance/relief due to the employee/pensionerss from 1.1.2020 to 1.7.2021 but also to deny the payment of arrears for 18 months. Virtually, the Government decided not to pay the DA/DR to the employees and pensioners on the specious plea that funds re required for facing the situation created by the pandemic. The Staff side had conveyed the resentment of the employees and pensioners in the matter to the Government immediately thereafter, There had been no consultation with the staff side while taking such an important decision. It is a moot question whether such a unilateral decision is tenable or desirable, especially when the Staff Side had always co0operated with the Govt. in all contingencies in the past. It is also pertinent to mention that the employees and even pensioners responded to the call given by the Prime Minister for contribution and most of them contributed a day’s salary or pension to the P.M. relief fund. The denial of of DA was an unprecedented step and could have very well avoided by the Govt. Both the employees and pensioners are presently in the grip of financial difficulties and the recently announced bail-out package of the Government has predominantly benefited a particular segment of the society. In view of the above, it is requested that the orders cited may kindly be rescinded and the employees and pensioners be paid the DA/DR already accrued to them
28. Restoration of facilities and concession withdrawn by Railways to Senior Citizens.
The Railways in the background of Corona Pandemic decided to withdraw the facilities and certain privileges conferred upon the Senior Citizens of the country. The rationale behind such drastic decision is not known. In fact many of the concessions provided for the senior citizens were through announcements made in the floor of the Parliament. It does not appear to be right to unilaterally withdraw the said concessions by the Railways. No doubt, Railways were given the power to fix the tariffs and special surging rates but whether such delegation of power would include the withdrawal certain concessions the legislature thought it necessary to confer upon a segment of the citizens is not known Whether it is legally or ethically right being besides the point, the staff side is of the firm opinion that the Railways ought not have withdrawn the facilities to the Senior Citizens for reducing the expenditure or increasing the profit . It is, therefore, requested that the facilities withdrawn may be restored.