Minutes of the 22nd meeting of Standing Committee of Voluntary Agencies (SCOVA) held on 19.2.2013

Minutes of the 22nd meeting of Standing Committee of Voluntary Agencies (SCOVA) held on 19.2.2013 under the Chairmanship of Hon’ble Minister of State (PP) at Vigyan Bhawan Annexe, New Delhi
The list of participants is at Appendix – I.
2. At the outset Secretary (P&PW) welcomed Hon’ble MOS(PP), representatives of Pensioners Associations and the participating officers of various Ministries/Departments. He mentioned that SCOVA has been successful in achieving the objective for which it was started in 1986. Secretary (P&PW) added that the serving officers should be considerate to the pensioners as they will also join the ranks of pensioners after retirement. He praised the contributions made by the Pensioners as officers during their tenure in the Government and also applauded for their present contributions as Senior Citizens. Referring to the issue of revision of PPOs, he mentioned that a lot of work had been done. However, still a lot remained to be done. Efforts were on to make the procedures simple and uncomplicated.
3. Welcoming the participants, Hon’ble MOS (PP) stated that as promised last time, the SCOVA meeting was being held for the second time in a year. He mentioned that Department of P&PW is coordinating with several other Ministries/Departments to redress the grievances. The pensioner’s portal is very user friendly. CGHS still remains a contentious issue. He also referred to the problem of Ministry of Defence where pensioners data was available manually. He urged them to switch over to the computerised system of data maintenance and calculating pension to overcome the problem of delay in sanction/revision of pension.

4. Thereafter, the Action Taken Report (ATR) of 21st SCOVA meeting and Agenda items of 22nd SCOVA meeting were taken up for discussion.
5. Action Taken Report (ATR) on the points raised in the 21″ meeting of SCOVA. [click here]
i) SL No. 1 and 19 of ATR or para 5:
Issue of revised PPO for Pre-2006 retirees and also to communicate the amount of pension as well as Family Pension to be revised consequent to the 6th Central Pay Commission to Pre 1.1.2006 pensioners.
a) CPAO, Ministry of Railways, Department of Posts were told to complete the work by 31st March, 2013.
b) Department of Telecommunication informed that they had not received the latest update on revision of PPOs from BSNL and therefore the data was not up to date. The Hon’ble MOS (PP) desired that the representative who attended the meeting should be able to give the requisite information. The representative of the Department of Telecom agreed to comply with the same.
c) Ministry of Defence informed that 6 Lakh PPOs had been revised. Efforts were on to adhere to the deadline of 30.09.2013. However, slippages could not be ruled out in view of the fresh revision of pension mandated by the Cabinet decision of 24.9.2012. Some of the Associations desired that outside agencies should be involved. They also desired that the Pension Regulation should be revised in tune with changes recommended by 6th CPC and accepted by Government. The revision of PPOs pre-1990 should also be completed by 30.09.2013. Secretary (Pension) also pointed out that there were number of grievances of PCDA Allahabad in this regard and asked organization of CGDA to specifically look into this.
d) Some Associations pointed out the long delay in the revision of PPOs after 6th CPC should be taken up urgently and requested MOS (PP) to intervene at his level to get the work completed without further delay. For this purpose they proposed that additional staff and honorarium may be considered.
( Action :CPAO, All Ministries, DOP&PW, Desk-E)
ii) SI. No. 6, 7 and 8 of ATR of Para 5:
(a) Revision of ex-gratia amount to CPF/SRPF retirees.
(b) Uniform rates of DR &
(d) Ex- gratia to those who voluntarily retired after 20 years of service in respect of pre-1986 CPF/ SRPF retirees.
(e) Ex-gratia should not be less than minimum pension and the same should be effective from 01/01/06.
As regards (a), (b) and (e) the status was explained in the meeting. As regards (d) it was informed that the opinion of Railway Board is under examination in consultation with Department of Expenditure. Medical invalidation cases were asked to be looked into again in view of court Judgement.
( Action ; Ministry of Railways and DOP&PW, Desk-E)
iii) SI. No. 13 and 16 of ATR of Para 5:
(13) – The Orders of Ministry of Health reiterating that all the pensioners are at liberty to opt themselves with any of the nearest CGHS hospital/ dispensary may be widely circulated. Arbitrary orders dated 01/08/1996 and 01/09/1996 issued by Ministry of Health and Director of CGHS may be withdrawn and the benefit of CGHS facilities be allowed to the pensioners of Department of Post and Department of Telecom as specially provided in the order of the Department of Personnel and Pension.
(16)-(i) The existing Pensioners of Department of Posts and Telecom covered by P& T Dispensaries are neither considered for treatment of hospitalization facilities nor for Fixed Medical Allowance & (ii)Pensioners falling within the limit of P& T Dispensaries /CGHS Hospitals may be allowed to opt for P&T Dispensaries or drawl of FMA.
Ministry of Health informed that the matter regarding withdrawal of OMs dated 1.8.1996 and 1.9.1996 (which provide that the P&T pensioners not participating in CGHS while in service may not be extended this facility) is subjudice. Regarding merger of 19 P&T dispensaries in 12 cities with CGHS, representatives of Ministry of Health and Ministry of Finance informed that the matter is at advanced stage of consideration and a decision is expected shortly. Department of Posts need to pursue it vigorously.
The Ministry of Health informed that the proposal for opening of new dispensaries at Mohali/Panchkula/Chandigarh could not be agreed to due to severe resource crunch with CGHS. Ministry of Health was requested to agree to at least opening of a new dispensary at Panchkula as the Chandigarh dispensary is over burdened with 23500 beneficiaries. MOS (PP) mentioned that he would take up the matter with Minister of Health and Family Welfare.
On the question of computerization of CGHS dispensary at Jammu, Ministry of Health informed that the same would be done.
(Action: Ministry of Health & FW,
Department of Posts, Department of Telecom,
DoP&PW, Desk-D)
iv) SL No. 17 of ATR of Para 5:
Inclusion of Representatives of AIRRF and SCOVA in Railway Hospital Advisory Committees.
Ministry of Railways informed that the Members/representatives in Hospital Advisory Committee are appointed by Chief Personnel Officers of each Zonal Railway with the approval of General Manager of the respective Railway as a welfare measure. In view of the position explained by Ministry of Railways the matter has been treated as closed.
v) Sl. No. 23(11) of ATR of Para 5
Fixed Medical Allowance.
(ii): to pensioner residing beyond 2.5 kms from dispensary.
The position regarding entitlement of FMA to non-railway civil pensioners was explained in the last meeting. It was explained that those residing within the jurisdiction of CGHS dispensary were not entitled to FMA. Hence the item was closed.
vi) SL No. 26 of ATR of Para 5:
Anomaly in fixation of pension to DoT employees absorbed in BSNL, who retired between 1.10.2000 and 31.7.2001
Department of Telecommunication informed that the order were issued on 27.9.2011 to the effect that the absorbees in BSNL are also entitled for minimum of pension at not less than 50% of the minimum of the pay in the scale of pay held by them at the time of retirement. However, the DOT is still getting representations from BSNL retirees on this subject. The matter is under examination with DoT. It was decided that DoT will take final decision in the matter by 31st March, 2013.
(Action : Department of Telecommunication)
vii) Sl. No. 28 of ATR of Para 5:
Payment of pension to postal retirees through banks.
Department of Post has finalized and issued a scheme for Payment of Pension to postal retirees through Banks. Hence, the task has been completed. In view of the position explained by Department of Posts the matter has been treated as closed.
viii) 6.1 of Para 6
Time bound grievance redressal & real time dissemination of information are the two main ingredients of this novel venture for the welfare of pensioners
In view of the position explained by the various ministries the item has been dropped.
ix) 6.2 of Para 6 Dissemination of information in real time:
MOS (PP) reiterated that the DR orders of this department should be immediately implemented by all the Ministries. Department of Pension stated that most of the ministries/departments were adhering to the DR orders issued by this Department and, therefore, the item may be treated as closed. One of the Associations, however, informed that in case of Karimnagar (AP) Post Office, the same is not being followed. Department of Posts was asked to find out the same.
x) 6.3 of Para 6 Simplification of submission of Life Certificate.
The orders relating to submission of life certificate to any branch of a bank authorized for transacting government business has since been issued by the CPAO and hence the matter has been treated as closed.
xi) 6.5 of Para 6 Nomination facility for Family Pensioners drawing Life Time Arrears:
The Department of Legal Affairs has examined the provisions contained in this department OM dated 30.10.1995 and stated that the stand taken vide that OM appears to be in accordance with the intention of the makers of the extant rules and are legally in order. Hence the nomination facility for family pensioners’ drawing life time arrears has not been agreed to.
xii) 6.7 of Para 6
Medical Insurance coverage to Pensioners.
Ministry of Health informed that the matter would be processed further after finalization of the 12 Five Year Plan which is in its final stages. In view of this the item may be treated as closed.
xiii) 6.8 of Para 6
a) Grievances Committees at the Additional Director (CGHS) Level at Delhi.
b) A similar grievance committee at national level may also be constituted.
Instructions have been issued to all Additional Directors of CGHS cities/zones to fix a time slot of 11.00 AM to 01.00 PM on every Wednesday for hearing and redressal of grievances of CGHS beneficiaries including pensioners.
There is no need to constitute a separate Grievance Committee at National level. In view of this the item may be treated as closed.
c) Central Government Health Scheme: Issues at Wellness Centers Bangalore.
d) CGHS Dispensary/ Wellness Centre at Jammu.
e) Opening of three more CGHS Dispensaries, one at Mohali, second at Panchkula and “one more at Chandigarh.
Ministry of Health & FW intimated that there is severe resource crunch and hence several places including areas in Delhi were not covered. However, the Hontle MOS (PP) assured that he will take up with Minister of Health the issue of opening of CGHS dispensary at Panchkula. Representative of Ministry of Health also intimated that computerization of these dispensary will be done in a phased manner.
(Action : Ministry of Health & FW, DOP&PW, Desk-D)
xiv) 6.12 & 6.13 of Para 6:
i) RELHS facilities to dependent parents ;
ii) On 24th February, 2010 during the budget speech Minister for Railways have stated about Railways Outpatient Department (OPD) and Diagnostic centres.
iii) Separate nominated days for Pensioners/family pensioners for specialist consultation in Rly hospital.
iv) Inclusion of representatives of identified Associations & SCOVA members in Rly Hospital grievance committees.
v) Smart Card Facility for RELHS beneficiaries
vi) RELHS to be open ended scheme
vii) Streamlining of functioning of Railway Hospitals
6.13-Welfare Measure for Railway Pensioners:
(ii) Provision of office accommodation to Pensioner Associations.
iv) Allow dependents in Widow passes :
v) Provision of passes to family pensioners other than the widow
The concerned federation had discussed the issues with the Ministry of Railways before attending the SCOVA meeting. In view of this the item has been treated as closed.


6. Same fitment benefit to Pre-2006 pensioners as recommended and implemented in respect of serving employees by the VI CPC.
Parity between Past and Future Pensioners.
Stepping up of Pension and Family Pension to 50% and 30% respectively. Extension of new benefits granted to the past pensioner. The implementation of orders dated 01.09.2008 read with the orders dated 14.10.08 is not correct for fixation of pension.
All these issues were part of the agenda of the National Anomaly Committee and hence it was felt that we should await the decision of National Anomaly Committee. The associations were informed that w.r.t. stepping up of pension & Family Pension, the Cabinet vide its decision dated 24.9.2012 has already granted the same to pre 2006 pensioners. In view of the above the item was treated as closed.
7. Disposal of disciplinary cases against the Retired Officials:
DoP&T informed that reforms were being implemented to ensure expeditious conclusion of disciplinary/ vigilance proceedings against government servants. Though decisions on a few recommendations contained in Hota Committee report have been taken, some recommendations are still under the consideration of Committee of Secretaries. Hon’ble MOS (PP) said the issue had been taken up by him on priority for both serving employees and pensioners. In view of the position explained the matter may be treated as closed.
8. Prompt response to grievance letters Central Secretariat Manual of office procedure Para 66 & 67 page 39
Prompt response to letters received: Para 66 CSMOP reads:
Since most of the ministries/departments were complying with the orders of the CS MOP the item was closed.
9. Merger of 78.2% IDA with basic pension benefit to the absorbed BSNL Pensioners:
DoT informed that the decision to merge 68.8% IDA with pension was in line with the decision taken for revision of pay in respect of serving employees of BSNL. They informed that if at any stage the benefit of merger of 78.2% IDA with pay of serving employees is given, this benefit would also be extended to absorbee pensioners of BSNL. DoT informed that the matter is under examination in that Department.
(Action: Department of Telecommunication. DoP&PW, Desk-D)
10. Delay in appointment on COMPASSIONATE ground:
In view of the position explained by the Department of Personnel & Training, the item was closed.
11. Extension of life CGHS membership to P&T Pensioners:
Ministry of Health informed that extension of CGHS benefit to P&T pensioners on payment of subscription on yearly basis was allowed on the basis of a court decision. It would not be possible for them to extend the benefit of life membership to such P&T pensioners. Ministry of Health also mentioned that the problem will be solved to a large extent after the merger of 19 dispensaries in 12 cities with CGHS. Hence the matter was treated as closed.
(Action: D/o Posts)
12. Nomination for reimbursement in CGHS:
The Ministry of Health informed that nomination for reimbursement in CGHS would not be advisable as it would create legal complications. Ministry of Health was asked to reexamine the issue in consultation with Ministry of Law.
(Action: M/o Health & FW)
13. Extension of duty hours of CGHS Dispensaries:
The working hours of CGHS has been extended in Delhi/NCR in order to ensure optimum utilization of scarce manpower resources of CGHS and also to improve the functioning of CGHS.
(Action: M/o Health & FW)
14. CGHS Plastic Smart Cards:
The work has been assigned to NICSI and they are in the process of issuing orders to private agencies for making plastic cards in other cities after following due tender process. In view of the position explained above, the item was closed.
15. CGHS sites on the net
Ministry of Health informed that the website of CGHS is being updated from time to time. It was pointed out that the link of CGHS website available on pensioners portal is an older version. DOP&PW was asked to give link with the updated version of CGHS site.
(Action: DOP&PW, Desk-A)
16. Defence Civilian Pensioners :
The associations raised the issue of CSD canteen facility to defence civilian pensioners. Secretary (Pension) desired that the issue being specific to the Ministry of Defence, they should look into the matter. The SCOVA is not the correct forum to address these issues. In view of this the item was closed.
The meeting ended with a vote of thanks to the Chair.


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