Pensioners Issue: Minutes of the 29th SCOVA meeting

29th SCOVA meeting under the chairmanship of Hon’ble MOS(PP) – Minutes of the meeting

Government Of India
Ministry Of Personnel, P.G and Pensions
Department of Pension & Pensioners Welfare
3rd Floor, Lok Nayak Bhawan
Khan Market, New Delhi – 110 003
Date: 16th Feb, 2017
All the Pensioners Associations included in the SCOVA
vide Resolution dated 25.08.2015

Subject: 29th SCOVA meeting under the chairmanship of Hon’ble MOS(PP) – Minutes of the meeting

Please find enclosed herewith minutes of the 29th meeting of Standing Committee of Voluntary Agencies (SCOVA) held under the chairmanship of Hon’ble MOS(PP) on 12.01.2017 for your kind perusal and necessary action. The minutes of the meeting are also available on this Department’s website www.pensionersportal.gov.in.
(Sujasha Choudhury)
Director (P)

Minutes of the 29th Meeting of Standing Committee of Voluntary Agencies(SCOVA) held on 12.01.2017 under the Chairmanship of Hon’ble MOS(PP) at Vigyan Bhawan Annexe, New Delhi.

The 29th meeting of Standing Committee of Voluntary Agencies (SCOVA) was held under the chairmanship of Hon’ble MOS(PP) on 12.01.2017.
The list of the participants is at Annexure-1
At the outset, Secretary (P&PW) welcomed the representatives of Pensioners Associations and the participating officers from various Ministries/Departments.
2. Secretary (P&PW),- said that some issues of the last SCOVA meeting have been resolved. Two review meetings were held with Defence Pensioners Associations, SCOVA and Ministry of Defence on 27.09.2016 and 20.12.2016 to resolve issues relating to Defence pensioners pending in SCOVA for a long time.
3. He said that this Department has implemented Government’s decision on the recommendations of the 7th CPC for revision of pre-2016 pensioners/family pensioners etc. There is no change in the pension fixation formula for those retired/retiring on or after 01.01.2016. The minimum pension has been increased to Rs. 9000/- per month against the existing Rs.3500/- per month. The ceiling of gratuity has been increased from existing Rs.10 lakhs to 20 lakhs per month. The rates of ex-gratia lump sum compensation being paid to the families of employees who die in performance of duty has been increased from existing Rs. 10-15 lakh to Rs. 25-35 lakh, depending upon the circumstances in which the death occurs. He further stated that approximately 85% percent grievances have been disposed of by this Department.
4. Thereafter, the Action Taken Report on the decisions of the 28th SCOVA meeting and Fresh Agenda Items of the 29th SCOVA meeting were taken up for discussion.
5. Discussion on ATR of 28th SCOVA meeting:-

(i) Revision of PPOs of pre-2006 pensioners.

CPAO intimated that the issue of revision of the remaining 3200 PPOs for pre-2006 pensioners has been reviewed with banks. The main reason for pendency is non-availability of records. CPAO would prepare fresh list of live pending cases on the basis on e-scrolls which would be provided to the concerned Ministries/Departments to review the pendency. The Ministries/Departments have been asked to give certificates of non-availability of records. The banks have also been asked to do KYC when the pensioners visit them for life cert.-Mc-ate. CPAO also informed that they have not received any grievances in respect of non-revision of these particular PPOs.
Since CPAO has expressed reservation about the pending cases, it was decided that CPAO would examine these cases under Audit and treat the pendency as NIL, subject to outcome of Audit.
Ministry of Defence intimated that 2368 (2470) PPOs of Air Force pensioners have been revised. Some discrepancies have been noted which will be resolved within a week. CGDA was requested that the list of cases be shared with the Directorate of Air Veterans (DAV) and with the Air Force Association, New Delhi. DAV would tally the list with their records and revert back with the list of pending cases. On the issue of PPOs of Ordnance Factory, Ambarnath, CGDA committed that the pendency will be disposed of by first week of February, 2017.
It was decided that DoPPW will hold a tripartite meeting with Department of Ex-servicemen Welfare, Directorate of Air Veterans and Defence Pensioners Associations of SCOVA.
Department of Telecom reported that one of the reasons for pendency of 203 cases was that the Maharashtra Circle did not have relevant records. The Department was asked to dispose of the pendency within a week.
It was said that the actual revision of pension had been carried out for all cases, the review was only with reference to issue of revision authorities. The revision authorities would be pending only for those pensioners/family pensioners who are not traceable. Therefore, the matter was decided to be closed. The Ministries/Departments would continue their efforts to attend to specific grievances to trace old records and issue revision authorities at the earliest.
(Action :- CPAO, Ministry of Defence, Department of Telecom, 
Directorate of Air Veterans ,Disabled War Veterans (India), DoPPW)

(ii) Health Insurance Scheme for pensioners including those residing in Non-CGHS area.

Ministry of Health informed that the final EFC Memo is under submission to the Secretary. The proposal covers Central Government civil employees and pensioners only and that too for indoor treatment. OPD and appliancyould not be covered under the proposed scheme.
Disabled War Veterans (India) raised the issue of covering prosthesis under this scheme and stated that this will facilitate rehabilitation. The Hon’ble MOS(PP) observed that the prosthesis of good quality are now available. It was decided that Secretary (P&PW) will have a meeting with the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities and Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to discuss the question of covering prosthesis for Civil Government employees/pensioners under CGHS/Medical Insurance.
(Action :- Ministry of Health and DoPPW)

(iii) Special “Higher” Family Pension for widows of the war disabled invalided out of service.

Ministry of Defence has stated that the comments of Service Headquarters on the issue have been sought vide MOD ID Note dated 10.10.2016 which are still awaited.
The Disabled War_Veterans (India) Association, stated that the cases would cover Army personnel mostly and not Navy and Air Force personnel. Department of Ex-servicemen Welfare was requested to arrange a meeting of the concerned Joint Secretary with the Disabled War Veterans(India) to discuss and finalise the issue within a month.
It was decided that Secretary(P&PW) will write to Secretary(ESW) to finalise the issue expeditiously .
(Action:- Department of Ex-servicemen Welfare and DoPPW)

(iv) Extension of CGHS facilities of P&T pensioners.
(ix) Conversion of Postal Dispensary at Cantt. Road Cuttack to CGHS Wellness Centre

The Ministry of-Health and Family Welfare informed that the recommendation of 7th CPC in this regard is under consideration of the “Allowances Committee” set up after 7th CPC. Department of Expenditure was requested to check and confirm whether the issue is actually under the purview of the “Allowances Committee”. DoPPW will independently seek clarification from the Implementation Cell, Department of Expenditure
(Action:- Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, 
Department of Expenditure and DoPPW)

(v) Anomaly in fixation of pension of DoT employees absorbed in BSNL retired between 01.10.2000 and 31.07.2001.

Department of Telecom informed that, as desired by the Department of Expenditure, financial implications on—the formula suggested by DoPPW was being worked out in consultation with BSNL. Meanwhile, CAT Principal Bench has allowed a petition filed by the BSNL absorbee pensioners for fixing their pension only on the basis of IDA pay drawn after absorption in BSNL. Department of Telecom was requested to examine the judgement of CAT.
(Action:- Department of Telecom)

(vi) Merger of 78.2% IDA with basic pension benefit to absorbed BSNL pensioners.

Department of Telecom informed that consequent on approval of the Cabinet, the necessary instructions were issued to the concerned CCAs vide OM dated 18.07.2016. Therefore, the matter was closed.

(vii) Extension of benefit of upgraded Grade Pay to pre-2006 retirees of S-12 grade (issue of grant of grade pay of Rs.4600/- instead of Rs.4200/-)

Department of Expenditure has observed that the upgraded Grade Pay of Rs. 4600/-was given subsequently outside the recommendation—Of the 6th CPC. Since this up-gradation is post 6th CPC decision, it is not applicable to those who are holding the pre-revised scale of Rs.6500-10,500/- and retired before 01.01.2006. Department of Telecom informed that the benefit of Grade pay of Rs.4600/- to pre-2006 pensioners in pre-revised pay scale of Rs.6500-10,500/- is sub-judice.
(Action:- Department of Telecom and Department of Expenditure)

(viii) Issues relating to CGHS Wellness Centre, Dehradun- Merger of Survey of India Dispensary in CGHS on the same lines as P&T.

Ministry of Health and Family Welfare informed that the 0/o Surveyor General of India has conveyed that Survey of India dispensaries were established as per the obligations under Factories Act. Therefore, their merger with CGHS on the same lines as in the case of P&T dispensaries is not possible.
Ministry of Health and Family Welfare was requested to examine as to how the provisions of the Act come in the way of merger of these dispensaries with CGHS, particularly when the doctors in these dispensaries are also provided by Ministry of Health under CGHS. Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has stated that they have taken a decision to post 2 more contractual doctors in the CGHS Wellness Centre, Dehradun. Ministry of Health and Family Welfare was requested to post doctors expeditiously.
(Action:- Ministry of Health and Family Welfare)

(x) Stoppage of Recovery of wrongful/excess payments from Railways Pensioners.

Ministry of Railways informed that the matter regarding waiver of recovery and withdrawal of the petition filed in the Court was submitted for the approval of Railway Board and a decision was likely to be taken in 3-4 days. The item was closed.

(xi) Delay in commencement of family pension to spouse on death of pensioners.

CPAO intimated that the relevant instructions have been issued on 02.06.2016 . 12 Banks have reported timely commencement of family pension. However, CPAO will revert to the banks based on the reports of the e-scrolls. Also internal audit of the banks at CPPCs are conducted to check the delay. Secretary(P&PW) directed to circulate the copies of instruction issued by CPAO. CPAO will send a report on the delayed cases within a month and DoPPW will take up the issue with the Department of Financial Services.
(Action:- CPAO, DoPPW and Department of Financial Services)

(xii) Payment of (i) Restoration of commutation amount and (ii) Additional Pension on attaining the age of 80 years should be streamlined by the Banks.

CPAO intimated that the relevant instructions have been issued on 02.06.2016 . Secretary(P&PW) directed to circulated the copies of instruction issued by CPAO. CPAO will send a detailed report on the delayed cases within a month and DoPPW will take up the issue with the Department of Financial Services based on the report received from CPAO.
(Action:- CPAO, DoPPW and Department of Financial Services)
6. Discussion on Fresh Atenda Items

(29.1) Item wise details of payment made to be shown in Pass Books of Pensioners.

CPAO intimated that instructions are in place to indicate the break-up of various payments to the pensioners at the time of payment of pension. All heads of CPPCs and Government Accounts Departments of the banks have been instructed to streamline their internal system to enforce the existing guidelines. A “Web responsive Pensioners Service” (WRPS) was launched by CPAO which enables the pensioners/family pensioners to see details of pension like monthly pension, DR, Medical Allowance, DA arrears, Commission/Other arrears, recoveries etc. Secretary (P&PW) directed to send copies of relevant CPAO instructions to the various Pensioners Associations and also to take up the matter with Department of Financial Services.
(Action:- CPAO, DoPPW and Department of Financial Services)

(29.2) Amendment/Revision in notification of Life Certificate.

It was clarified that Digital Life Certificate is an additional facility. CPAO stated that there are 3 options for submission of Life Certificate:-
(i) By presenting himself/herself to the authorised bank officer to record the life certificate
(ii) By producing a Life Certificate in the prescribed Proforma signed by any of the person specified in para 15.2 of the Scheme for payment of pensions to Central Government Civil Pensioners by authorised Banks.
(iii) Though Aadhar based Biometric Authentication system.
Therefore the item was closed.

(29.3) Additional Pension for recipients of disability pension of age 80 years and above.

Department of Ex-servicemen Welfare(DESW) intimated that the issue is under examination. Secretary(P&PW) asked DESW to expedite the matter.
(Action:- Department of Ex-servicemen Welfare)

(29.4) Upgradation of Polyclinic at Bajaj Nagar, Jaipur.

Ministry of Health and Family Weflare informed that the instructions have been issued to Addl. Director(CGHS), Jaipur to make necessary arrangements for repairing the instruments and machinery lying unused and for procurement of equipment for diagnostic facilities like X Ray, Dental X-Ray, Auto Analysers etc. Ministry of Health and Family Welfare stated that up-gradation of facilities will be completed by 31.03.2017.
(Action:- Ministry of Health and Family Welfare)

(29.5) Setting up of CGHS Wellness Centre at Kochi.

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare intimated that the proposal regarding opening of CGHS Wellness Centre at Kochi is under active consideration.
(Action:- Ministry of Health and Family Welfare)

(29.6) Empanelment of Hospitals/Health Centre with CGHS in Ambarnath/Dombivli.

Ministry of Health stated that there are 9 empanelled hospitals in Ambemath/Dombivli. The 14 enlisted hospitals in the fresh agenda do not satisfy the criteria of minimum 40 beds for empanelment. The pensioners association requesterif the above condition may be relaxed for the empanelment of these hospitals.
(Action:- Ministry of Health and Family Welfare)
7. In view of the large number of unresolved issues relating to CGHS, it was decided that a special review meeting on Health issues will be chaired by Secretary (P&PW). the concerned Associations would also be invited to participate.
8. Concluding the session, Hon’ble MOS(PP) said that it had been a very meaningful and stimulating interaction, which is indicative of the efforts being made by the Department of Pension & Pensioners’ Welfare. since the population of retired people is steadily increasing, there is a need to put in place an institutional mechanism to make good use of the knowledge, experience and efforts of the retired employees. He also stated that the pensioners are a healthy and productive workforce and we need to streamline and channelize their energies, thereby making pensioners a part of nation building process. He expressed satisfaction that approximately 88% of the pension accounts have been linked with the Aadhaar numbers and that pensioners will now be able to benefit from the ‘Jeevan Pramaan’ initiative of the Government.

The meeting ended with the vote of thanks to the chair.

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