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Department of Pension and Pensioners’ Welfare, Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions has published the agenda items for the forthcoming Pensioners Meeting (SCOVA) scheduled on 27th September 2012. The text of the same is as follows.
AGENDA ITEMS FOR MEETING OF STANDING COMMITTEE OF VOLUNTARY AGENCIES (SCOVA)
Time bound grievance redressal & real time dissemination of information are the two main ingredients of this novel venture for the welfare of pensioners.
It has been reported that several Ministries especially Railways are not handling he Grievances with all seriousness which is required in such cases. These are sometime transmitted to wrong destinations and are also unilaterally closed on incorrect grounds without resolving.
Reasons being :
a)DOP&PW simply forward the complaint to the concerned authority and leave it there.
B)Concerned authorities now can close the complaint at their level w/o resolving it.
c)Complete details recorded by the identified association while registering the grievance are not forwarded to concerned authority.
d)Concerned authorities at ground level do not get the enclosed supporting documents.
e)Authorities are not sensitive enough.
(Action : Department of Pension & Pensioners Welfare (DoP&PW)/ Ministry of Railways/ministry of Health & Family Welfare/Ministry of Defence/Department of Personnel & Training/Department of Expenditure/ Department of Financial Services/Department of Telecommunication/ Department of Posts/ CGA/CPAO)
2.Dissemination of information in real time :
i) Previously Pensioners’ portal was being updated on daily basis. Circulars /orders/clarifications were being uploaded on the day of issue but now posting is delayed by two to three Days.
ii) M/O Railways Rly, Bd, Directorates of Finance, Health , Establishment (Welfare) & 6th CPC are not posting upto date circulars/orders/clarifications on their respective website/web page Similarly M/O H &FW is not posting upto date circulars/orders on CGHS website. For the successful Implementation of ‘Pensioners Portal, which is an e-governance-venture, dissemination of information real time is very important; The concerned Ministries be requested to ensure it,
iii) Hindi version of every orders/circulars/clarifications should simultaneously be provided by all ministries/Department
(Action : Department of Pension & Pensioners Welfare (DoP&PW)/ Ministry of Railways/Ministry of Health & Family Welfare/ Ministry of Defence/ Department of Personnel & Training /Department of Expenditure Department of Financial Services/Department of Telecommunication/ Department of Posts/ CGA/CPAQ)
3. Simplification of submission of Live Certificate
In case of pensioners’ short stay outside the State on emergency, during November of the year, he/she may be permitted to submit the Live Certificate at the nearest Bank close to his/her temporary residence and the Bank authorities may be urged to communicate the submission thereof to the concerned Pension Paying Branch. Similar
facilities may kindly be considered in the case of Postal/Telecom Pensioners drawing their Pension through Post Offices.
( Action :, CPAO)
4. Simplification for payment of Family Pension in case of illiterate Family Pension.
Most of the widows those are being paid Family Pension are ILLITERATE and do not possess proof of their age and as a result they are deprived of the enhanced pension on attaining the age of 80 years / 90 years.
It is suggested that the procedure to provide the age proof may kindly considered to be simplified and they may be paid their due amount by producing an Affidavit sworn in before a Notary / Magistrate in support of their age.
Action : Department of Pension & Pensioners Welfare DoP&PW
5, Nomination facility for Family Pensioners drawing Life Time Arrears:
Life time arrears that accrue to Family Pensioners belong to them and should not go automatically to their legal successors or eligible successors for Family Pension. It may therefore be appreciated that the Family Pensioner should have the discretion to pass on his or her Life-time Arrears to any person of his/her choice. Government’s directive
that these should automatically pass on to the eligible member of the family next in line, or to the legal successor, not therefore stand to reason.
It may be appreciated that Family Pensioners at times do not get attention or support from the eligible successors for family pension or their legal successors, due to several reasons such as negligence or residing at remote places. If they have the discretion to pass on their Life-time Arrears to any person of their choice, they will get better attention and can reward the persons who look after them when they are alive.
It is therefore requested that the matter may be reviewed and family pensioners permitted to avail of the nomination facility in respect of their life-time arrears.
( Action : Department of Pension & Pensioners Welfare (DoP&PW)/Department of Expenditure/Department of Financial Service/CGA/CPAO)
6. Review of DCRG-Limit.
The existing rate of DCRG is half months emoluments for each completed year of service subject to a maximum of 16.5 months emoluments which is equivalent to 33 years of service. In a recent judgement of 21.01.2011 by Shri AC Katoch Controlling Authority under the PG act 1972 andAssistant Labour Commissioner, New Delhi, in respect case No. CLAIM APPLICATION ALC-1/36/334/2010/ACK between Shri Hand Raj — MCD Teacher vs Municipal Corporation of Delhi, lied directed the MCD to pay additional DCRG for 3.5 years as the petitioner had rendered 40 years of service
with MCD. In view of judgment it is proposed that the existing limit of DCRG be increased to actual service rendered by the employee beyond 33 years of service.
Action : Department of Pension & Pensioners Welfare (DoP&PW)/ Department of Expenditure/
7.Medical Insurance coverage to Pensioners
Since Govt. is not in favour of enhancing the FMA of the Pensioners, even though the Hon’ble Apex Court has been kind enough to enhance the Medical Allowances to all our Judicial retirees, considering the increased cost of Medical treatment, the Insurance Companies may be urged to cover them under Medical Insurance Scheme.
(Action: Ministry of Health & Family Welfare)
8 a )Grievances Committees at the Additional Director (CGHS) Level at Delhi :
Grievances Committees consisting of representatives of pensioners and serving employees are successfully functioning in cities other than Delhi. However, no such grievances machinery is available at the Additional Directors of various CGHS Zones at Delhi. Consequently, important issues like settlement of reimbursement of medical expenses are out of the purview of any scrutiny at these zones. It is requested that Grievances Committee with representatives of Pensioners be constituted at Additional Director level at Delhi without any further delay.
b) A similar grievance committee at national level may also be constituted.
c) Central Government Health Scheme: Issues at Wellness Centers Bangalore
i) General Assessment and Major Problem Areas of the scheme
• The scheme does not cover a section of Association members who served in certain department of Ministries like the Coffee Board , Khadi &Village Industries Corporation and Kendriya Vidalaya Sangthan
• Delay in Refunds of medical claims by the beneficiaries
• Some times empanelled hospitals turn down admission of beneficiaries with the ruse that beds are not available
ii) Drug procurement system, availability of medicines and their quality control:
• Many suppliers are not forthcoming for bulk medicines supplies to the CGHS as payment are not regular.
• Certain specific medicines recommended even by the specialists of Govt.hospitals are not supplied by the CGHS
• Better quality control for CGHS medicine supply
iii) Efficacy of empanelment procedure of private hospitals/diagnostic centres etc. particularly the rates offered by the CGHS are two low for number of procedures
iv) Effectiveness of Grievance Redressal mechanism particularly on refunds of claims, Admissions in Hospital, Fleecing in CGHS empanelled hospitals
• To merge the P&T dispensaries with CGHS dispensary
• More funds should be made available to the scheme to augment the computerization
• Timely release of funds based on the requirement for refund to the empanelled hospitals and the beneficiaries
A full fledged Diagnostic Centre at Koremangla CGHS premises, Bangalore
vi) Latest position regarding Insurance Scheme to CGHS beneficiaries.
vii) No replies on the representation from the DGHS
d) CGHS Dispensary/Wellness Centre at Jammu.
Though it was inaugurated way back on 4th June, 2008; the Wellness Centre is still not made fully functional. OPD
facilities at this Centre are still lacking’ putting the stakeholders in lurch.
e) Opening of three more CGHS Dispensaries, one at Mohali, second at Panchkula and “one more at Chandigarh.
Action: Ministry of Health & Family Welfare
9.Two family pension to widows of reemployed ex servicemen:
As per Govt of India decision No (21) published below rule 54 of the CCS (Pension) Rules 1972 dependent parents and widowed / divorced daughters were also included in the definition of family with effect from 1-1-1996. An income criterion for dependency was prescribed. Now Government of India, Dept. of Pension & P.W vide O.M. 1/11/2011-P&PW (E) dated 30-11-2011 have clarified that ” Family pension admissible to a beneficiary in respect of one deceased employee / pensioners is not to be counted as income for the purpose of determination of another family pension”. On the death of a military pensioner his wife will be entitled for family pension under the military pension rules. If her unmarried son serving under another ministry also dies then she will be entitled for 2nd family pension. The family pension being drawn from the military source shall not be counted as income for the determination of eligibility for 2nd family pension. If for two different spells of service rendered by two different persons under two different ministries one common family member can be entitled for two family pensions, then why not for two different spells of service rendered by one person under two different ministries, his family is not entitled for two family pensions.
(Action: Ministry of Defence)
10.Refusal to sanction Family pension to dependent daughters
Refusal to sanction Family pension to dependent daughters by defence authorities on the plea that the employee during his service life did not include the name in the details of dependents.
This attitude of the defence authorities is causing undue hardship to Widowed/Divorced daughters in whose case event occurred after the retirement of their parents.
In cases where no office records are available self declaration of dependency and the legal heir certificate issued by court for the specific purpose of Family pension be accepted as a valid document to claim family pension.
(Action: Ministry of Defence)
11.Widen scope of pension Adalat to include all payment cases & to allow SCOVA members/representative as well as representative of identified Associations to actively participate
PENSION ADALATS ON RAILWAYS.
Master Circular 63 dt 12,10.95 (reiterated vide No. E(W)2011/PA–1/4 dated 20.12.2011) Para 2.13 provides Pension Adalat at Divisional level every 3 months interval. But these instructions are not being followed. Number of Pensioners/Family Pensioners & their grievances have considerably increased over the past one & a half decade. In the absence of strict time line & punitive clause, Grievances recorded through Pensioners Portal “CPENGRAM” are not being timely resolved by the Rly Admn, quite a number of such grievances are either pending for over two years or have been unilaterally closed w/o resolving. SCOVA meetings two are at best once a year & the Forum has limited scope. An year is too long a time for the pensioner who has outlived the normal life expectancy. Thus keeping up the spirit of M.C. 63, scope & periodicity of Pension Adalat need to be increased urgently. Also:
(a) Make Pension Adalats functional also at the Railway Board level.
(b) Widen scope of Pension Adalats to include all payment related grievances.
(c) Ensure that in compliance of Para 2.13. of the Master circular 63 on the subject, Pension Adalat at Divisional level is held every three months.
( Action : Department of Pension & Pensioners Welfare(DoP&PW)/ Ministry of Railways/ Department of Financial Services/Department of Telecommunication/Department of Posts/CGA/CPAO)
12.RELHS facilities to family pensioners, other than spouse, and to the kids of Divorced & widowed dependent daughters:
Widowed / Divorced / Unmarried dependent daughters of Rly. Employees / Pensioners are included in the definition of family members & get family Pension on their turn in all the Central Government departments including Railways Such family Pensioners & their minor kids are provided healthcare facilities under CGHS of Ministry of Health & Family Welfare as well as under ECHS of Ministry of Defence.
But Indian Railways have denied Health care facility as well as Fixed Medical allowance in lieu of OPD to these Family Pensioners
Para 612 (2) iii of Indian Railway Medical Manual 2000 debars Widowed/Divorced / Unmarried dependent daughter Family Pensioners from Joining `Retired Railway Employees Liberalized Health Scheme-1997′. This discrimination against women and gender bias need immediate rectification. A suitable amendment be immediately introduced to permit all such family pensioners (i.e. other than the spouse) to join RELHS-97 for their healthcare needs.
1) RELISH facilities to dependent parents ; The then Rly Minister in her budget speech on 25th February 2011 vide para 56 announced extension of medical facilities to both dependent father and mother of railway employees.. Executive Order to this effect needs to be issued w/ o delay.
ii) On 24th February 2010 during the budget speech Minister for Railways, vide para 51, announced that Rly. outpatient Departments (OPD) and diagnostic centers will be set up at Gurgaon & other cities. But there has been no progress on the ground so far. This needs to be implemented without delay.
iii) Separate nominated days for Pensioners/family pensioners for specialist consultation in Rly hospital.
In Railways specialist consultation is available only at Central Hospital head quarters, which covers a jurisdiction of more than a hundred Kilometers. In the absence of separate consultation facilities for pensioners/family pensioners the have to face torture of standing for hours in the common queue and often they miss the opportunity for specialist consultation on the same day of visit.. Thus to save them from this inconvenience, it is desirable that a week day is nominated for them for this purpose.
iv) Inclusion of representatives of identified Associations & SCOVA members in Rly Hospital grievance committees.
Healthcare is a major issue with pensioners. A number of complaints keep dropping in Federation/association office about poor attention to pensioners in My hospitals and about doctors’ misbehavior. In the absence of a grievance committee with Pensioners’ representatives therein, these complaints are not properly addressed .Thus it is desirable
that the working of Rly hospitals is streamlined on the basis of CGHS guidelines & Hospital grievance committees are constituted with adequate representation of Pensioners through identified associations SCOVA members.
v) Smart Card Facility for RELISH beneficiaries
vi) RELISH to be open ended scheme
vii) Streamlining of functioning of Railway Hospitals
(Action; Ministry of Railway)
13 Welfare Measures for Railway Pensioners:
I) Include Pensioners representatives in various Committees
ii) Provision of office accommodation to PENSIONERS Associations
Railway Rules permit allotment of Rly Lands & Buildings, to welfare organizations (Rly. Board ir No 79/W2/18/130/0 dated 08.08.1980 &RTI ell no 2010/010013050), which the pensioners’ organizations in fact axe. Rightly Railway does not consider Rly. Pensioners Associations as outside bodied (DRM P. S.C.Rly.No SCR/P GNT/494/1/Qrt RPWA dt. 06.07.2011). However, In the absence of specific guideline’s from the Railway Board, GMs DRMs like those on S.C. Rly are exercising subjective discretion in allotment of office accommodation to Pensioners organizations. Some organizations are being discriminated against while some are being favoured. As happened in Guntur Division where the allotment first done in favour of RPWA Guntur-an affiliate of Bharat Pensioners Samaj was cancelled and then allotted to the affiliate of another organization. Railway Board, is therefore, requested to consider the matter sympathetically and issue definite guidelines in this regard. Where spare buildings are not available Riy, Pensioners Associations be permitted to conduct their activities from Rly Institutes, Clubs or Welfare Centres etc.
Alternatively M/O P, PG & Pensions, in the light of 5th CPC recommendations vide their Para 141.24 should, include provision of office rental in grant in aid to identified Associations.
iii) Dealing with the Pensioners Associations
The representations made by Pensioners have to be dealt on top priority and replies to be sent to the individual affected pensioners and copy to be sent to the Organization who represented the grievances.
The Pensioners Associations have been given the facility of meeting the Officers of the Railways to ventilate theft grievances and the Organizations have to be given official replies.
iv) Allow dependents in Widow passes :
In widow pass, only the mother of the deceased employee/pensioner is allowed to be included as dependent,. It is cruelty to debar a widow to include her own dependent children in the pass. Thus it is desirable to allow dependents in the widow pass at the same scales as was allowed in the post retirement pass of her late husband
v) Provision of passes to family pensioners other than the widow:
The facility of widow passes was introduced in Rlys in lieu of surrender of two sets of privilege ticket order during the service life of the employee, as such it is desirable that after the death of widow, the facility is passed on to the next family pensioner if any.
Action: Ministry of Railways
14. Implementation of the MACP
The modified assured carrier progression scheme has been introduced vide Lr. No.P(PC)487VI CPC/ACP, dated 18-6-2009 to be implemented with effect from 01-9-2008 to enable the staff to draw increments i.e. after completing 10 years, 20 years &30 years. These orders have not been implemented and many people retired after issuing of these orders and are not getting the benefit of fixing in the revised pay band and grade pay this is specially for those retired after 2008.
The same scheme has not been extended to the Railway Protection Force staff, the reasons are not known as they also belong to the Railways and treated alike, immediate orders may kindly be issued in this issue.