RESOLUTIONS OF NCCPA TRIENNIAL CONFERENCE
- On Option Number 1 of 7th CPC Recommendation:
The 7th Central Pay Commission had recommended for Option Number 1 fixation of pension to all Pre-2016 Pensioners in addition to Option Number 2 fixation on 2.57 fitment factor, to be applied whichever is more beneficial. The rejection of this particular recommendation as not feasible by the Government on the recommendation of the High Level Committee headed by the Pension Secretary was not only arbitrary but also untenable on facts.Various arguments advanced by the stafrf side of the JCM and almost all Pensioners associations ciiting other documents with which the fixation under Option Number 1 is feasible were rejected without assigning any reason by the Government.The Pay Commission headed by the Supreme Court Judge had recommended for the Option Number 1 in lieu of One Rank One Pension extended to armed forces pensioners by the Government on the basis of an in depth analysis of all relevant factors. This 4th AIC of NCCPA while welcoming the Option Number 3 containing in the Government Order dated 12.05.2017,demand that the option No. 1 should be extended to those pensioners who claim that the said option would be beneficial for them..
This All India Conference also unanimously resolves to seek the adjudication of the Principal Administrative Tribunal through the NCCPA at the earliest as already decided by the National Executive of NCCPA.
- On Pre-2006 Pensioners:
The 4th AIC of National Coordination Committee of Pensioners Association held at Jaipur on 1-2 November, 2019 hereby unanimously resolves to request the Government of India to abandon its negative stand of denying fixation of pension to past pensioners on the pay scale as implemented to the same cadre or post while allowing fixation to pensioners only on the replacement scale in which the pensioner had retired. Several Courts have ruled in favour of extending the benefit on par with the upgraded scale of pay if any was allowed to the same cadre or post from which a past pensioner had retired. While through different orders the Government of India had extended improvement in pension fixation to the Pre-2006 Pensioners vide 12.05.2017 and 04.01.2019 for granting the fixation in a better manner and also by granting the upgraded Grade Pay of 4600 to 6500-10500 or equivalent scale holders instead of 4200 GP earlier granted, full justice is still not extended. The grant of benefit in fixation in the upgraded scales of pay to the past pensioners and also the extension of the benefit to pre-2006 pensioners of all cadres and posts instead of only the replacement scale in which the pensioner had retired alone will grant full justice to the Pre-2006 Pensioners. This conference resolves to request the Government to abide by the oft repeated dictum of the Supreme Court not to drag petitioners to the court by not granting the benefit to the similarly placed litigants. It would like to remind the Government and the top echelons of the bureaucracy that it would be a cruel joke to drag the poor pensioners to costly litigation, where finality is reached on the basis of the judgement of the highest judiciary in the country, viz. the Supreme Court. This Conference therefore urges on the Government to come forward to set right this problem immediately as already ordered by different CATs and High Courts.
- On Date of Effect of MACP:
The 4th All India Conference of NCCPA notes with concern that while the Government and the Defence Ministry could extend the benefit of implementation of MACP from 1.1.2006 as ordered by the Supreme Court of India, the same benefit is not extended to the Civilian pensioners by the Pension department. The considered stand of the Supreme Court that MACP is a matter related to the pay and not with allowances and therefore had to be paid only from the date of wage revision is a matter of in ram and definitely not a matter of in persona judgment. Therefore while accepting and implementing the order of the Supreme Court to one department and denying the same to other civilian departments is a sheer discrimination. This Conference also desires to remind the Government of the commitment made by the Cabinet Secretary in the last JCM National Council meeting that all in ram judgments will be implemented to all similarly placed persons. Therefore we urge upon the Government to issue orders for grant of MACP from 1.1.2006 itself instead of 1.9.2008 for all departments, so that the benefit can be availed by eligible serving employees as well as the Pensioners retired on or after 01.01.2006.
This Conference also directs the NCCPA Secretariat to file a court case in this matter if the Government of India is reluctant to grant the issue to all Civilian Employees and Pensioners retired on or after 1.1.2006 by collecting 1000/- per individual beneficiary of all organizations affiliated to NCCPA as already resolved by the National Executive meeting.
- On grant of three MACPs to Promotee Officials:
This 4th AIC of NCCPA notes the fact that several CATs and High Courts have ruled in favour of granting three MACPs from the date of elevation to the higher cadre by successfully competing in the examination and not by getting eligibility by getting through a qualified examination. Therefore all elevations attained not in-situ by seniority-cum-fitness or by qualifying examinations shall not be treated as the promotion granted by the Departments in lieu of their normal hierarchical promotions. The treatment of denial of either one or two financial up-gradations under MACP scheme by subtracting the elevation attained by competitive examinations from the three MACP up-gradations is therefore unjustified. It is not out of place to mention that the former TBOP and BCR promotions which later named as financial up-gradations in the P&T Department were granted not by subtracting their earlier elevations to higher cadre through competitive examinations but afresh from the date of their entry in the higher cadre. This Conference also points out that even the judgment of High Court of Madras and the dismissal of SLP by the Postal Department in the Supreme Court have conceded this point. Therefore this Conference urges on the Government to come forward to modify the MACP Scheme in such a manner that MACP numbers are not reduced to eligible Promotees but giving the option of benefit between coming over to MACP scheme or remaining in the old TBOP/BCR scheme to individual employees and pensioners.
- On grant of ACP on Promotional hierarchy:
This 4th All India triennial Conference of National Coordination Committee being held at Jaipur from 1-2 November, 2019 hereby resolves to urge the Government of India to annul the condition of grant of MACP on grade pay hierarchy instead of promotional hierarchy as like the earlier ACP system. The benefit of increasing the number of financial up-gradations from two to three has actually resulted in reduction of the benefit of elevation in pay scales. As the ACP was granted on par with the promotional hierarchy of the cadre, though the number of financial up-gradations were only two, the officials were able to go higher than the present system of MACP granted on grade pay hierarchy. The reduction of actual benefit available to officials cannot be the aim or motive of the Government while increasing the number of financial up-gradations. The present change from promotional hierarchy to grade pay hierarchy has adversely affected the officials in many departments like the Defence, Central Ground Water Board etc. This issue was taken up in the National Anomaly Committee on MACP but so far no positive result. In the meanwhile several cases in the CAT of Ernakulam, Chandigarh, Delhi and Guwahati have delivered a judgment to grant MACP also on promotional hierarchy. The Government is not yet come forward to reconcile to the court verdicts and alter its stand on MACP system. This Conference of NCCPA therefore resolves to urge upon the Government to come forward to change the system of up-gradations under MACP also on par with the promotional hierarchy of each cadre to really extend the benefit to employees by introducing the MACP system of minimum 3 up-gradations in a career.
- On grant of annual increment to 30th June Retirees:
The issue of grant of annual increments given out on 1st July every year and the result of 30th June retirees retiring therefore without the benefit of one increment after serving for a full year has engaged the debate of the Conference of NCCPA being held at Jaipur from 1-2 November, 2019. The Conference also noted that the case of Ayyamperumal a retiree on 30th June had won in Honourable Madras High Court and that both the SLP and Revision Petition filed by the Government against Ayyamperumal have been dismissed by the Apex Court after going into the merits of the case. The judgment in Ayyamperumal case is a verdict of general in nature Therefore the issue of grant of an annual increment to 30th June Retirees is to be conceded by the Government by effecting necessary amendment to the Financial Rules of GOI and all employees retired and retiring on 30th June shall be extended with the benefit of fixation of Pension and Retirement benefits accordingly. This triennial conference of NCCPA resolves to urge the Government to come forward to make the necessary changes in the Rules and extend the benefit to all Pensioners retired on 30th June.
- On CGHS:
The purpose of forming CGHS was to cater to the medical needs of the Central Government Employees and Pensioners as well as Parliament Members. Several changes to improve the CGHS so that the beneficiaries are extended with better facilities have been made by the Health Ministry / Government from time to time. In spite of these improvements there exist several lacunae in the system of CGHS that deter the beneficiaries from getting the medical benefit in a hassle free manner and without undue difficulties. We note that the following main issues continue to daunt the beneficiaries particularly the senior citizen pensioners:
- Vital Medicines are made available to the beneficiaries on their first visit to the wellness centres but they are forced to come back after three or four days again to collect the medicines under LP. The difficulties experienced by the senior citizens in undertaking two times journey to CGHS should be mitigated.
- On several occasions the Corporate Empanelled Hospitals refuse admission to Pensioners despite production of referral letter from the CGHS wellness centres. The reasons attributed are either non availability of beds etc but the real reason is that they do not want to treat the patients of CGHS even in emergency because there will be no immediate cash receipt from the CGHS patients. Several instructions issued from time to time by the Health Ministry / CGHS are not properly adhered to by the empanelled hospitals and the result is that the Pensioners are put into unbearable suffering at times of urgent need of medical treatment.
- Despite standing instructions from the Government, the empanelled hospitals do not hesitate to ask the CGHS beneficiaries to advance cash from their own pockets. They also refuse to constrain themselves to charge within the specific charges admissible under CGHS through the memo of understanding signed with the Government. Often the patients or their relatives are forced to bear additional cost from their own purse.
- The CGHS beneficiaries as forced to admit on their own by advancing the payment and later claim the bill by reimbursement often experience a huge cut in the total amount claimed by the CGHS. There is no justice in fleecing the pensioners at their advanced age to pay from their own pockets for the medical treatment given out by the empanelled hospitals.
- The restriction imposed on the Postal Pensioners has been removed recently by the Health Ministry so that all non-CGHS Pensioners also can join the CGHS by remittance of subscription. But ours is a very vast country and by joining the CGHS the newly joining beneficiaries of distant non-CGHS areas as well as other existing beneficiaries living in certain areas are forced to travel a long distance to reach out to the Wellness Centres situated in some centres only in their own State or a neighbouring State. It is also a fact that there are several revenue States without even a single Wellness Centre especially in North Eastern States other than Assam. There are many hilly areas in North East, Himachal Pradesh and other parts of the country where there are no Wellness centres and no empanelled hospitals. For example the beneficiaries in Kangra valley of Himachal are forced to travel more than 250 kilometers to adjacent state of Punjab at Chandigarh. The policy of the Government should change to the extent that there shall be at least one Wellness Centre in each Revenue State and also in each Revenue District. If there are difficulties in opening its own wellness centres at least the Health Ministry shall permit empanelled hospitals in each revenue district of the country to cater to the needs of the beneficiaries in non-CGHS areas, who should be permitted to undergo both OP and IP treatment without any remittance of cash from their own pockets.
- The exemption of non-CGHS area P&T Pensioners from joining CGHS was the decision of the Health Ministry only and the Pensioners are not the guilty. The continuous efforts of the Pensioners have ultimately resulted in the Health Ministry taking away its earlier objections so that all Pensioners in Non-CGHS areas can also join CGHS. But charging at the rates of subscription prevailing after 7th CPC from the old pensioners for joining CGHS is arbitrary and unjustified. Whether paying life time membership or by annually there is no full relief and justification in forcing at the present rates. The rates of subscription should be the same on par with the time of retirement of these pensioners, when they were precluded from joining the CGHS by the Government. The rules shall be liberalized as far as these non-CGHS P&T Pensioners are concerned. This Triennial Conference of NCCPA demands the Government to look at the justification of this issue and effect change in rules to facilitate collection of subscription at the rates prevailing on the year of retirement of old P&T Pensioners.
- The Health Ministry had decided to open some new wellness centres of CGHS but the implementation is being inordinately delayed. This delay is causing much concern to the Pensioners who are often finding themselves in a condition to take continuous medical treatment. Therefore all such centres earmarked for opening new centres shall be expedited and time bound.
- In some dispensaries there appears no system of assigning the serial numbers to the patients coming for treatment. This causes avoidable confusion and unnecessary altercation between the patients. Therefore every dispensary or wellness centre is to compulsorily follow the system of allotting serial numbers to the waiting patients.
- There is another problem of non-supply of medicines in the event of frequent internet disturbance or system obstructions. At such times there shall be manual entries which can be subsequently computerized but the patients especially the aged pensioners shall not suffer.
- The method of supply of medicines to chronic patients for 30 days shall be increased to at least 90 days of 60 days so that the frequency of travel to the CGHS dispensaries can be averted for aged patients.
- There are complaints that the recommended medicines and diagnostic procedures prescribed by the Specialists are not allowed by the CMOs of the CGHS. Economic reasons cannot be a restriction to allow these tests and procedures and the medicines prescribed by the Specialists. After all the Specialists in empanelled hospital recommend only after the Specialists of Government Hospitals refer the patients to them. Therefore restricting such recommended prescriptions by Specialists should not be there as “Check and balance” provided for under CGHS system by the Government. This restriction often works against the medical interest of patients as the Specialists who examine the patients only know the conditions of the patients better than the CMO or Additional Director of CGHS.
- The creation of Additional Director Office in every State for supervising the CGHS system under that State must be taken up on priority. Care should be taken to ensure that there need not be any placing of CGHS Wellness Centres of one State under the Additional Director of CGHS in another State as that would entail unnecessary travel and hassles to the Pensioners.
- The Specialists in Government Hospitals to whom the beneficiaries are referred to first by the CGHS Wellness centres are forced to wait in long queues in the hospital. Moreover the Specialists in Government Hospitals are available only one day in a week. The condition of the patients should be taken into account and all beneficiaries be allowed to get the Specialist prescription from the consulting clinics of the above Specialists, where they will be available throughout the week.
- The Doctors in CGHS Wellness centres are expected to visit the houses of the beneficiaries whenever they are free and able to undertake the visits. But invariably there is no practice of house visits by the Doctors of CGHS despite for the provision in CGHS Rules. As the Doctors are entitled to claim conveyance allowance whenever they have to pay a visit to the houses of the beneficiaries, there should not be undue denial on the part of the Doctors to such house visits.
This 4th All India Conference of NCCPA resolved to request the Government to take suitable and urgent measures to remedy the above problems to ensure hassle free and convenient medical treatment under CGHS.
- On CGHS Centres formed by merger of Postal Dispensaries:
The Government has positively reacted to the recommendation of 7th CPC and ordered for merger of existing 33 Postal Dispensaries with CGHS. The move is definitely a positive one as the medical system under CGHS is definitely a better one than the Postal Dispensary system. However, several hiccups and problems are being experienced by the Pensioners attached to these erstwhile Postal Dispensaries and also by Pensioners now joining CGHS in these towns. These Postal Dispensaries now merged with the CGHS expose the following particular problems that require to be sorted out on war footing:
- There are no empanelled hospitals, diagnostic centres, Dental and Eye Clinics in these towns where the erstwhile Postal Dispensaries were merged with CGHS.
- The existing converted CGHS Wellness centres in many places lack dressing room and laboratory as in Agra.
- The complete absence of or lack of adequate strength of Para Medical Staff and General Staff in these converted centres create unbearable problems to the beneficiaries and also creates undue problems in registering new beneficiaries. At times absence of Pharmacist causes abnormal delay in supply of essential medicines to the patients prescribed by the Doctors in the CGHS wellness centres.
- The formation of Advisory Committee for each such merged CGHS Wellness centre is not being correctly implemented. As these Advisory Committees are mainly for merged Postal Dispensaries into CGHS Centres, and therefore the main components of beneficiaries are Postal Pensioners, it is requested that the representative of All India Postal & RMS Pensioners Association which is a registered Association under Societies Act may be included as one of the representatives so that the purpose of these Advisory committee shall become more effective.
- On extension of benefit of Judgments to all similarly placed pensioners:
It is layman’s knowledge that once the Honourable Supreme Court of India adjudicate upon an issue and delivers a judgment, it attains finality and it is the law of the land. But the Government of India, during the past few years negates this basic principle and denies the befit of the verdicts to all similarly placed persons on the specious plea that the verdict is in persona in nature and not an in ram judgment. Due to this unreasonable approach of the Government, the poor and aged hapless pensioners are compelled to approach Courts of Law by spending out of their meager pensionary income to get their legitimate entitlements that were already settled by the Apex Court. The recent glaring examples are the Apex Court verdicts o n MACP issue and the grant of increment to those retired on 30th June during 6th CPC period. It is most unfortunate that none of the pious platitudes in the National Litigation Policy have been followed, indicating thereby the Union of India’s lack of concern for the justice delivery system and scant regard for its own Litigation Policy. It is worth mentioning that the Honourable Supreme Court has recently on two occasions , levied a fine of Rupees One lakh each on Government of India for filing frivolous or infructuous appeals! In the circumstances stated above, the 4th triennial conference of the National Coordination Committee of Pensioners Association being held at Jaipur on 1-2 November, 2019 urges upon the GOI to take immediate steps to extend the benefit of all Court verdicts with in ram nature to the similarly placed pensioners and to desist from delaying implementation of the Court Verdicts by filing avoidable and unnecessary appeal petitions.
- On revision of pension to BSNL absorbed retirees from 1.1.2017:
The 4th triennial conference or NCCPA being held at Jaipur from 1-2 November, 2019 has resolved to demand the Government of India to urgently cause necessary action for revision of pension of BSNL absorbed retirees from 01.01.2017 with 15% fitment, delinking wage revision in BSNL. This Conference protests against the negative stand of the bureaucracy in Department of Telecommunications despite clear assurance given out to the united body of serving employees unions. All Unions and Associations of BSNL on 03.12.2018 were assured by the then Communications Minister that Pension revision will be delinked from wage revision. But despite the above commitment and in spite of the Pension & Pensioners Welfare Ministry asking the DOT to submit concrete proposal for pension revision of BSNL retirees by delinking the wage revision, the DOT is not responded so far. It is pertinent to point out that the BSNL absorbed DOT retirees are covered under the CCS (Pension) Rules 1972 and they are entitled to get their pension on IDA Pay Scales by virtue of Rule 37A incorporated in the CCS (Pension) Rules, 1972 from the consolidated fund of the Government of India. Their counterparts, the Central Government Pensioners have got their pension revised w.e.f. 1.1.2016 and the delay in pension revision is causing much resentment among the BSNL Pensioners. It is therefore demanded that the pension revision of BSNL Pensioners be implemented without further delay w.e.f. 01.01.2017 with 15% fitment delinking wage revision of BSNL employees.
- On immediate payment of all medical bills and quarterly medical allowance to BSNL Pensioners:
This 4th triennial conference of NCCPA being held at Jaipur from 1-2 November, 2019 demands the BSNL Management to clear the payment of medical reimbursement bills and quarterly medical allowance pending for the last one year. This situation has put the BSNL retirees to complete distress, unable to purchase even life saving medicines particularly for the retirees suffering from chronic diseases like cancer, kidney and heart ailments. The BSNL Management is denying the payment to the BSNL retirees due to the financial crisis. Therefore this Conference of NCCPA further demands that the intervention of the Central Government to resolve the issue so that the BSNL retirees are saved from the extreme eventuality.
- On Full Pension to Pre-2006 Pensioners:
This 4th triennial conference of NCCPA held at Jaipur from 1-2 November, 2019 demands the Central Government to grant the full pension to the Pre-2006 so that the disparity and discrimination meted out to the pre-2006 pensioners could be mitigated. The Central Government, after much hesitation and delay, decided to implement the recommendation of the 6th CPC to waive the condition of 33 years of service for full pension. However, this was limited only to those retired after 01.01.2006, creating an anomalous situation in the case of Pre-2006 retirees. This discrimination and gross injustice be undone and full pension be granted to the pre-2006 pensioners also from the date of their retirement
- On method of treating the BSNL Pensioners migrating to CGHS from BSNL MRS Scheme who were past members of CGHS
This 4th triennial conference of National coordination Committee of Pensioners Association being held at Jaipur from 1-2 November, 2019 notes with concern that the Government is demanding full payment at the rates of subscription implemented after 7th CPC for the BSNL Pensioners, who were past members, migrating from BSNL MRS scheme to CGHS. The BSNL MRS scheme when introduced several BSNL Pensioners have switched over from CGHS to that scheme but their payment of subscription at CGHS was withheld by the CGHS.. Now those BSNL Pensioners who want to come back to CGHS from BSNL MRS scheme are forced to remit once again the subscription at the rates implemented after the 7th CPC without considering the fact that they have already remitted their subscription at the time of their entry in the CGHS earlier, which was withheld while they converted to BSNL MRS Scheme. Therefore this 4th Conference of NCCPA resolves to request the Government that their earlier subscription shall be taken into account for admitting them back in CGHS and that the rate of subscription be the same in vogue at the time of their retirement as the Telecom Pensioners.
- On grant of full pension to Pre-2006 Pensioners from 1.1.2006 instead of 1.1.2016:
This 4th triennial conference of National Coordination Committee notes that the order issued by the Department of Pension & Pensioners Welfare on 4.1.2009 with the subject of Revision of Pension w.e.f., 1.1.2006 of Pre 2006 Pensioners who retired from the 5th CPC scaleof 6500-10500 in Para 6 clearly stipulates that for the purpose of revision of pension and family pension effective from 1.1.2006 under Para 4.2 of the OM dated 1.9.2008 the grade pay of 4600/- shall be taken into account instead of 4200/-. The same Department of Pension & Pensioners Welfare order dated 9.7.2019 on the same subject issued concordance tables for the refixation. However while issuing the order under Para 3 the date of effect had been wrongly typed as 1.1.2016 instead of 1.1.2006, thus causing unnecessary confusion into the actual date of effect. In some places. This 4th Triennial Conference of NCCPA urges the Department of Pension to issue necessary corrigendum on the date of effect wrongly mentioned in Para 3 of its order dated 9.7.2009 to ensure smooth implementation of Grade Pay 4600 to the 6500-10500 scale holders from 1.1.2006 as had been originally intended.
- On the rate of subscription for allowing the past Postal pensioners in Non-CGHS areas into CGHS:
After the recommendation of 7th CPC and also after the pressure from the Kerala High Court case filed by the CG Pensioners Association, the Health Ministry had withdrawn its earlier objections and allowed the non-CGHS area P&T Pensioners to come into the CGHS scheme. But the Pensioners are asked to remit subscription at the rates after 7th CPC even though those pensioners were retired during earlier pay commission times. More over the prevention of those pensioners was only due to the stand of the Health Ministry for which those pensioners are not at all responsible. Now that the prohibitory orders are withdrawn, the non-CGHS area Postal Pensioners are to be allowed in CGHS on payment of rate of subscription in vague at the time of their retirement and not at the present rates. The payment of either life time membership or at the rate of annual subscription will not absolve the pensioners of past the additional financial burden as has been stated in the SCOVA meeting by the Official Side. This 4th triennial conference of NCCPA therefore resolves to urge the Government to modify the condition so that the past pensioners of Postal Department can enter CGHS by paying subscription at the rate prevailing during their retirement to relive the huge financial strain thrown on them presently.
- Creation of effective forums of redressal of grievances of pensioners and for creating a statutory rules of recognition to Pensioners Associations:
There are various forums available at present for the redressal of grievances of pensioners like the Pension Adalats, Pensioners Portal and SCOVA. But unfortunately many of these forums are not effective in sorting out the problems of pensioners to the fullest satisfaction. The Pension Adalats are functioning only in certain departments to some extent effectively. Several departments are reportedly not conducting the Pension Adalats in different levels. More over there are presently no statutory rules of recognition of Pensioners Association. This Conference is of the considered opinion on deliberation that the Government should come forward to discuss with all registered Pensioners Associations on the issue of framing Recognition Rules. The present system of selecting representatives to the SCOVA just on the whims and fancies of the Government shall not be reflecting full democratic norms. Granting the right to propose their representatives to SCOVA by the recognized Pensioners Associations will only be fully democratic. More over those recognized Pensioners Associations should have the right to enjoy the concessions extended by the government under Pensioners Portal. In addition the forum of SCOVA shall be a statutory forum like the JCM. The Pensioners Associations shall have the right to attend the Pension Adalat meetings instead of the current position that they are allowed only in assisting capacity to individual pensioners. The recognized Pensioners Associations should be granted different facilities as enjoyed by the recognized service associations. This 4th triennial conference resolves to request the GOI to consider positively all these suggestions and frame necessary and comprehensive rules of recognition and to cause effective steps to convert the forums for speedy redressal of grievances of pensioners and family pensioners who are more than the serving employees in strength of the Government of India.
- Grant of Family Pension at the uniform rate of 30% to the family pensioners of Punjab National Bank:
The 4th triennial conference of National Coordination Committee of Pensioners Association (NCCPA) held at Jaipur, on 1st and 2nd November, 2019, notes with concern that the rate of family pension to the spouses of PNB Pensioners is payable either at the rate of 30%, 20% or 15% of the last pay drawn, wherein the lower percentage is being assigned to higher basic pay with a specified ceiling on the amount of basic family pension. This effectively reduces the family pension to 7 – 10% of the last pay drawn, keeping the quantum of family pension restricted to Rs. 4000 to Rs. 14,000 only. This method of family pension calculation must be changed to make it uniform and at par with the formula followed in case of Central Government departments and Reserve Bank of India, where the rate of family pension is uniformly set at 30% of basic pay. The aforementioned formula that is being used to calculate the family pension for the Punjab National Bank retirees is resulting in –
- Widow family pensioners suffering from severe hardships
- Many of the family pensioners being forced to opt out of IBA’s Medical Insurance Scheme for Retirees
This 4th triennial conference of NCCPA resolves to urge upon the Government to end this discrimination and grant family pension at 30% of basic pay uniformly to all family pensioners as is being granted to other Central Government and Reserve Bank of India employees.
- On Periodic revision of pension to Pensioners in Punjab National Bank:
The periodic revision of pension to Pensioners and Family Pensioners is essential for retirees to cope with inflation and rising cost of living. It is due to this fundamental reason the system of periodic revision of pension and family pension is prevalent in Central and State Governments. The Pay Commissions constituted for the employees of Central as well as the State Governments are looking after the formula of revision of pension and other retirement benefits. It has been observed that the formula adopted for revision of pension is mostly identical with that of the fitment factor adopted to revise wages of the serving employees. However, in case of Punjab National Bank in particular and PSU Banks in general, while the wage revision is done once in five years for the serving employees, the identical revision of pension is not afforded to pensioners. This is despite the specific provisions in the PSU Banks Pension Regulations.
Regulation 35(1) of the Pension Regulations notified on 29.09.1995 provided that “In respect of employees who retired between the 1st day of January 1986 but before 31st day of October 1987, basic pension and additional pension will be updated as per the formula given in Appendix – 1. Bank management amended the said regulation on 18.05.2002 to read it as basic pension and additional pension wherever applicable shall be updated as per the formula given in Appendix – 1 making it unambiguous and mandatory that the basic pension shall be updated simultaneous with the increase in pay bands out of Bi-partite settlements reached from time to time.”
Moreover, regulation 56 of the Pension Regulations makes it abundantly clear that the Pension Scheme is exactly on the premise of Central Civil Pension rules by stating under Residuary provisions that “In case of doubt, in the matter of application of these regulations, regard may be given to the corresponding provisions of Central Civil Services Rules 1972 or Central Civil Services (Commutation of Pension) Rules 1981 applicable to Central Government employees with such exceptions & modifications as the Bank with the previous sanction of Central Government may from time to time determine.
Regulation 35 (1) and 56, thus make it clear beyond any doubt that the Management shall revise the basic pension of its retired employees simultaneous with salary revision taking place through Bi-partite Settlements as is done for Central Government employees with the implementation of Pay Commission.
Similarly agreement on 26.03.94 was very clear about pension updation at par with RBI.
In RBI, Government through its letter dated 05.03.2019 have permitted updation of pension to their pensioners, but Bank employees are still deprived of the same.
Moreover, Pension is paid from the Pension Fund but not from the profits of the Banks. Yet the Banks / IBA are not updating the pension in utter disregard of Pension Regulations as stated above. Thus pensioners are deprived of a life with dignity at old age as their pension is not revised ever since the inception of the Pension Scheme, thus defeating the very purpose of Pension, when the Pension Fund is sufficient to meet the present pension demand of all the pensioners.
Moreover DFS, Ministry of Finance vide its letter dated 25.02.2018 addressed to RBI Governor had declined to approve the proposal of the Central Board of RBI for extension of the benefit of updating the pension under the pretext that it will have a contagious effect on all Public Sector Banks and Financial Institutions, which are presently facing crisis as reported.
However, the Honourable High Court of Mumbai, has categorically rejected a similar plea of the Government and allowed updating the pension in RBI and consequent on approval by the Government the RBI Pensioners numbering more than 34000 have been allowed a pension updation notionally from 1.3.2019. The cost of updating the pension in other Banks of IBA will be more or less same of the pension corpus of the banks even though the number of pensioners is 4,50,000. Therefore the logic to assume financial burden lacks accuracy and realistic premises. As the banks are instruments of Government within the meaning of Article 12 of the Constitution of India, the pensioners of banks cannot be denied their statutory dues of revision of pension.
This 4th All India Conference of NCCPA therefore resolves to urge upon the Government to grant pension revision to the pensioners of Banks in general and the Pensioners of PNB in particular without delaying the matter for an indefinite period.
- On streamlining of Medical Insurance Scheme of Bank Pensioners:
This 4th triennial conference of NCCPA notes that the premium paid by the Pensioners on their Medical Insurance Scheme is very high. The current premium of Rs. 21099 and Rs. 28130 for medical insurance cover of Rs. 3 lacs and Rs. 4 lacs respectively is the highest amongst the PSU Undertakings. Besides, addition of GST charged at the rate of 18% further inflates the premium by Rs. 3798 (3 lacs cover) and Rs. 5063 (4 lacs cover).
This premium is uniform to all pensioners and family pensioners irrespective of the quantum of ex-gratia and pension received by individual pensioners. For example, a surviving widow of a pre-1986 pensioner who gets a monthly family ex-gratia of Rs. 1935 is to pay a sum of Rs. 33193 per annum towards premium for her medical insurance scheme. It is to be noted that under the scheme for medical insurance to Bank retirees and employees introduced in 2015 by the IBA, the employees share of premium is being borne by the bank, but the pensioners and family pensioners have to pay their premium from their own pockets. Despite a recommendation by the IBA on 24.02.2012 to introduce a medical insurance scheme for both retired and serving employees with the provision that the premium shall be paid from the welfare funds, the above discriminatory treatment is being resorted towards pensioners and family pensioners.
With reference to this background, the triennial conference of NCCPA held at Jaipur from 1-2 November, 2019 has resolved to urge the Government to rationalize the scheme of medical insurance wherein the premium of pensioners and family pensioners should be borne by the banks, at par with the serving employees. This conference also urges the Government to exempt the pensioners and family pensioners from paying any GST towards their medical insurance schemes.
- On enhancement of Fixed Medical Allowance:
The 4th triennial conference of National Coordination Committee of Pensioners Associations being held at Jaipur from 1-2 November, 2019 have discussed the issue of Fixed Medical Allowance being granted to the CG Pensioners living in non-CGHS areas. While this FMA was raised from the previous 500/- to the present 1000/- per month even before the implementation of 7th CPC and that no recommendation had come out from the 7th CPC on this allowance, this conference has noted that despite there is full justification for raising the allowance to 2000/- per month the Government had enhanced it to only a sum of Rupees 1000/- and thus pre-empted the 7th CPC from making any recommendation on this issue. It is also an established fact that this FMA had been fixed as Rupees 2000/- per month already by the Provident Fund Department while the Government of India had granted only 50% of the above sum to its pensioners. The cost of medicines and consultation fees of doctors have definitely increased and the family of pensioners comprising both the pensioner and his or her spouse are to spend more towards their medical outpatient expenses every month is also an undeniable fact. Instead of allowing the 7th CPC to make proper recommendations on this issue, the Government had prevented by its suo moto orders any reasonable recommendation by the Pay Commission. This triennial conference of NCCPA therefore has resolved to urge upon the Government to enhance this FMA to at least Rupees 2000/- per month immediately in order to overcome the medical burden of the pensioners.
- On prompt issue of Revised PPOs:
The issue of revised PPOs is a matter of discussion in SCOVA also. The importance of revised PPOs need not be stressed. The revised PPOs particularly after the orders of the Government’s Department of Pension and Pensioners Welfare dated 12.05.2017 and after different orders since the 6th and 7th CPC attains more significance as these PPOs form the basis of all future pension refixation. While the Department of Railways etc have the distinction of its Pensioners can directly log in to their website to download a copy of their revised PPO, the Pensioners of other Departments lack such a facility. The Pensioners of Postal and other Departments are completely depend upon their Audit and Pension Payment Offices for issue of a copy of the revised PPOs. This triennial conference of NCCPA has noted that the revised PPOs have not been supplied to all Pensioners and Family Pensioners in various Departments. This Conference therefore resolves to request the Government of India and the Pension Ministry in particular to provide for a separate website or a facility to download the copy of PPO from the website of Pensioners Portal by the Pensioners of all Departments other than the Railways and also in the meanwhile ensure supply of a physical copy of the revised PPO to all pensioners and family pensioners without much delay.
- On difficulties experienced by the Family Pensioners to draw additional pension:
The Government repeatedly brings to the notice of all concerned that the additional pension shall be automatically drawn on all Pensioners and Family Pensioners. However, there are many difficulties experienced by the Family Pensioner in drawing the amount having their pension SB accounts in Banks especially the SBI. The SBI Bank authorities instead of drawing the additional pension automatically on the attaining of the age of 80 by the Family Pensioner delay the issue for a long time. In the case of Family Pensioners whose date of birth is not clear to the bank shall in advance write to the concerned departments vide the directive of the Government in order to verify the date of birth of the family pensioners. The Family Pensioners if supply proofs of their date of birth through Aadhaar Card or PAN Card or Voter ID etc the additional pension is not being released invariably by the SBI in many places. The SBI is following the practice of stopping the disbursement after three months and transferring the responsibility on the family pensioners to obtain the certificate of date of birth from the competent authority based on the last work spot of the Pensioner and submit the same to SBI. This type of throwing the burden on the family pensioners is to be avoided and the Banks have to directly correspond with the concerned departments as per the directive of the Government. This 4th triennial conference of NCCPA resolves to urge upon the Government to cause necessary orders to prevent the harassment of family pensioners by the SBI Authorities.
- On denial of entitled DA/DP from 1.1.2016 as oer COL Index:
This 4th triennial conference of NCCPA has noted that based on the All India Consumer price Index for December 2015 it was 269 points resulting in the entitlement of DA/DP for 125.83% with effect from 1st January, 2016. As per the recommendation of the 7th CPC the new wages were determined by merging 125% which means there was evidently 0.83% was left over. As per the accepted formula DA/DP is sanctioned based on the percentage increase over twelve monthly averages of consumer price index. The twelve monthly average of 125% was 260.46 and it is 261.42 for 125.83%. The merger of 125% of DA with the pay to determine the pay scales with effect from 1.1.2016 means there was a left over quantum of 0.83% as on 1.1.2016 after merger of 125% of DA. The question is therefore as to whether the further DA accrual as on 1.7.2016 was calculated including the left over portion of 0.83% or not? Or otherwise as to whether the percentage of increase worked out while sanctioning DA/DR on 1.7.2016 and subsequently was over 260.46 (corresponding to 125%) or over 261.42 (corresponding to 125.83%)? This Conference is of the considered opinion that actually the loss of 0.83% is made into a recurring loss since 1.1.2016 over the last four years during the grant of 7 installment of DA/DR up to 1.7.2019. This 4th triennial conference of NCCPA resolves to urge upon the Government of India to recalculate the whole DA/DR computation in order to return the left over portion of 0.83% since 1.1.2016 so that the employees and pensioners are not deprived of their legitimate DA/DR due.
- On extending the pension revision orders to Compulsorily Retired Pensioners:
This 4th triennial Conference of NCCPA notes with concern that the stand of the Government towards compulsorily retired pensioners is fully negative and against all norms of justice. It is an established fact that the punishment of compulsory retirement is bestowed on the officials resulting in forfeiture of their remaining service up to their superannuation. Further the fact that Disciplinary Authorities have chosen to award this punishment instead of dismissal or removal itself establishes the fact that severe punishments than compulsory retirement was not considered appropriate in their cases before awarding the punishment. Their pension is accordingly fixed on the basis of the then existing basic pay. All future revision of pension after every pay commission is also based on the fitment formula recommended for the other pensioners and applied to these compulsorily retired pensioners also.
Ignoring all these facts, the stand taken by the Government to not to apply the benefit of Para 4.2 of OM dated 1.9.2008 issued by the Government of India and also the OM dated 12.05.2017 are totally unjustified. Unless there was a specific cut in the rate of pension ordered by the Disciplinary Authority in the original orders of punishment, disallowing refixation of pension as per every future orders of the Pension Ministry to the compulsorily retired pensioners shall be strictly avoided. Many Court Cases filed by the compulsorily retired pensioners have been admitted by the Honourable courts and the verdicts are in favour of extending the benefit to them by the Government. These court orders shall not be treated as a verdict in persona in nature but they are in ram in nature only. This 4th triennial conference of NCCPA being held at Jaipur from 1-2 November, 2019 therefore resolves to urge upon the Government to issue revised orders rescinding its earlier stand to deny justice to compulsorily retired pensioners immediately.
- On Income Tax Ceiling limit to Senior Citizens:
This triennial conference of NCCPA notes that the pensioners and other senior citizens are being taxed beyond the income and savings up to the ceiling limit of 5,00,000 per year. The Parliament Members who are also receiving pension after serving even for a single day of the dissolved Parliament are being exempted from income tax for their entire pension amount. The undeniable fact is that the senior citizens including the retired government employees have served this nation for long. Therefore this 4th triennial conference of NCCPA resolves to demand the Government that in the ensuing budgent the income tax ceiling limit to all senior citizens be enhanced to 10,00,000 and no taxation shall be there for all income to them up to that limit in a year.
- On Scrapping of NPS:
This triennial conference notes that the national pension scheme applied to Central Government Employees recruited on or after 1.1.2004 by contributions from them to the effect that a recovery of 10% their Basic Pay and DA every month from their salaries is discriminatory in nature between one set of Government employees and another. The NPS had been implemented without taking into effect the concerns and recommendations of the Parliamentary Standing Committee which desired that the minimum pension shall be guaranteed under NPS also. The real reason of NPS seems to be yielding to the pressures and conditionalities of certain international financial bodies at the behest of world Corporates under the era of liberalization. The market situation will determine the future pension and other retirement benefits of the NPS employees and retirees and there will be no under writing from the Government for any negative eventuality in future. The fact cannot be denied that the combined contributions of both the employee and the government is put in to savings account and then in FD account will fetch more returns at the time of retirement in contrast to the NPS scheme which allows investment in market. The undeniable fact is that several retirees of NPS scheme are drawing only a meager pension of 1000/- or 2000/- when the minimum pension under the CCS (Pension) Rules 1972 is guaranteed by the Government to a sum of Rs.9000/- plus Dearness Relief over that amount. The treatment given out to the NPS employees who are also to lose their 10% of monthly earnings for their entire long career is also a glaring discrimination.
This Conference also notes the situation in several States where the ruling State Governments are openly advocating their opposition to NPS and looking for ways and means to revert back to the Old Pension Scheme. The Central Governent as a law maker of the land should come forward to scrap the NPS for the Government Employees and shall order to deposit the entire money recovered from employees into their newly created GPF accounts.
- On Reduction of interest Rates on deposits of POSB and Banks:
This triennial conference of NCCPA being held at Jaipur on 1-2 November, 2019 is deeply concerned about the reduction of interest rates on Fixed Deposits and Term Deposits in Banks including SBI and POSB consequent on reduction of REPO rates by the Reserve Bank of India. The decision by the Government to periodically review the interest rates by the RBI gives out the impression and apprehension that the interest rates will continuously be reduced in future too. This action to lower the rate of interests and reduction of REPO rates is solely for the sake of the Corporates who can take out soft loans. This being so while the nation knows that many Corporates have failed to repay their loan amounting to several crores of rupees. The SBI had already declared that a sum of Rupees 26,000 crores will be bad debt to it. There is a total of 2.25 lakh crores of rupees have to be repaid by Corporates. The old people including the pensioners live out of the interest on their deposits made at the time of their retirement. They are facing extreme hardship by periodical reduction of interest rates on deposits while the prices of essential commodities record a continuous rise which in real terms means that their real income is gradually reducing. This 4th triennial conference of NCCPA therefore resolves to demand that the Government should refrain from reducing rate of interest on deposits now and then and should restore the rate of interests to at least the senior citizens.
- On Grant of HRA to Pensioners:
The Pensioners should continue to live after retirement with the same standard of living. But the stoppage of allowances especially the House Rent Allowance leaves the Pensioners to forcibly lower their standard of living. The fact is that even after the retirement the Pensioners have to live in accommodation which needs payment of rent. To meet the major expenses of rent for accommodation from the portion of their pension shrinks the real income of pensioners. This 4th triennial conference of NCCPA after a discussion resolves to urge upon the Government to cause grant of HRA on the same percentage of basic pension after retirement to meet out the expenditure towards house rent as like the serving employees who get HRA on the basis of their basic salary.
- On Grant of FMA and Medical facilities to Pensioners of National Institute of Ayurveda in Jaipur:
This triennial conference of NCCPA notes with distress that the pensioners of National Institute of Ayurveda in Jaipur are denied FMA even though they too are covered under the CCS (Pension) Rules, 1972. No reason has been adduced by the Government for this unjust denial to a section of pensioners, who are otherwise entitled for all retirement benefits on par with the Central Government employees. The matter was taken up by the pensioners of this institute on several occasions with the Government which fetched no response whatsoever from the Government. The Conference urges upon the Government to ensure that what is entitled is not denied on flimsy ground especially to the pensioners.
- On Restoration of commuted value of pension after 10 years:
The commuted value of pension is restored after 15 years now, thanks to the intervention of Supreme court of India. Had there been no judgement from the highest judiciary, the pensioners would have neem denied this legitimate due on untenable interpretation of the rules.. The fact that the Gvoernment recovers the full commuted value along with the specified interest in about les than 10 years, there appears to have no justification to retain the restoration period as 15 years. .Even after the revision of he commutation value factor the Government is able to recover it with interest within 10 years, But The continued recovery for 15 years means that the Government receives one and a half times of what is has given enhancing the interest rate beyond the level of what is provided by the bank on Pensioners deposits. Therefore there is no logic in continuing the period of recovery as 15 years any more. Moreover the present 15 years time is resulting in a situation where in many pensioners die without getting their pension restored of commuted value at the time of their retirement. This 4th triennial conference of NCCPA therefore resoles to urge upon the Government to revisit the issue and modify the rule so that the commuted value of pension is restored to pensioners after 10 years.