Grievances of pensioners – Additional Pension, FMA, MACP from 01.01.2006, Pension Adalat etc: IRTSA writes Dr. Jitendra Singh for early redressal
INDIAN RAILWAYS TECHNICAL SUPERVISORS ASSOCIATION
(Estd. 1965, Regd. No.1329, Websitehttp:/www.irtsa.net )
No:IRTSA/ CHQ/ PENSION/2022-5
Dr. Jitendra Singh
Hon’ble Minister of State for Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions
Sub: Grievances of pensioners — Requesting earlier redressal as per the recommendations of 110th report of parliamentary committee on “Pensioner’s Grievances”.
Ref: Recommendations of 110″ report of Parliamentary Committee on “Pensioner’s Grievances-Impact of Pension Adalats and Centralized Pensioners Grievance Redress and Monitoring System (CPENGRAMS)”
We seek your kind intervention to consider the following genuine grievances of pensioners and family pensioners which are recommended by 110th report of Parliamentary Committee on “Pensioner’s Grievances-Impact of Pension Adalats and Centralized Pensioners Grievance Redress and Monitoring System (CPENGRAMS)”
1. Grant of Additional Pension and additional Family Pension to the old pensioners on attaining the age of 65, 70 and 75 years:
In para 3.28 of the parliamentary committee report, it was recommended that “…. The Committee is of the view that the Government should sympathetically consider the demand of Pensioners’ Associations for 5% additional quantum of Pension on attaining the age of 65 years, 10% on 70 years, 15% on 75 years and 20% on 80 years to the Pensioners. The Committee recommends DoPPW to pursue vigorously with Finance Ministry and apprise the Committee of the outcome’.
Existing rule of Granting additional pension / additional family pension from above the age of 80 years only covers 11% of old age pensioners and family pensioners. Pensioners / family pensioners from the age of 65 years incur more medical expenses due to their health conditions, high expenses for medical treatments, medicines, etc.
Hence it is requested that, Additional Pension / Family Pension may please be paid at following rates – in view of steep increase in the expenditure on medical treatment and health care in old age and as recommended by the parliamentary committee
a) 5% additional Pension/Family Pension after 65 years of age
b) 10% Additional Pension/Family Pension after 70 years of age
c) 15 % additional Pension/Family Pension after 75 years of age
2. Enhancement of Fixed Medical Allowance (FMA) for pensioners & family pensioners:
In para 3.21 of the parliamentary committee report, it was recommended that “The Committee takes note of the fact that Fixed Medical Allowance is granted to pensioners who reside outside the CGHS areas for meeting expenditure on day-to-day medical expenses (OPD) that do not require hospitalization. The Committee also takes note of the request of Pensioners’ Associations for enhancement of Fixed Medical Allowance from Rs 1000 to Rs 3000 per month as most pensioners are suffering from different diseases at old age and are unable to manage with meagre pension as CGHS hospital is not available in every town. The Committee recommends DoPPW to take up this issue of enhancement of Fixed Medical Allowance with the Finance Ministry as Rs 1000 is a very meagre amount for an old age pensioner and apprise the views of the Finance Ministry to the Committee in its Action Taken Replies”.
It is therefore requested that, Fixed Medical Allowance (FMA) may please be enhanced to Rs.3000 per month.
3. Implementation of MACPS (Modified Assured Career Progression Scheme) w.e.f. 01.01.2006:
In para 3.35 of the parliamentary committee report, it was recommended that “The Parliamentary Committee feels that DoPPW should pursue the matter of implementation of MACP w.e.f 1st January, 2006 with DoPT as it will give relief to pensioners retiring in the intervening period i.e. from January, 2006 to August, 2008 as all other benefits were given to them from January 2006 as per 6th CPC recommendations”.
6th CPC recommended MACPS as part of pay structure. Subsequent resolution issued by Finance Ministry, implemented revised pay w.e.f. 1.1.2006. Hon’ble Supreme Court of India in Civil Appeal No.3744 of 2016 decided on 8-12-2017 and other Courts including High Court of Bombay on writ petition No. 1763 of 2013, in the country held that the benefit of MACPS should be extended with effect from 1st January 2006, since MACPS is part of the pay structure.
It is, therefore, requested that MACPS may please be implemented from 1.1.2006 since MACPS is part of pay structure — as recommended by 6th CPC and as held by the Apex Court.
4. Virtual Pension Adalats:
Pension Adalats are conducted to strengthen the grievance redressal mechanism for pensioners’ grievances relating to pensioners, family pensioners and super senior citizens within the framework of extant policy guidelines. In pension Adalats concerned Pension Accounting Officer and representative from banks and pensioner representatives are called in a single platform for resolution of grievances across the table. Pension Adalats through video conferencing will be very useful for age old pensioners, since they need not to travel physically and it will save the time for CAO and Bank representatives. Vide para 2.3 the parliamentary committee recommended for conduction of Virtual All India Pension Adalats on a half-yearly basis by video conferencing, so that the grievances which could not be resolved during the six-month period and beyond can be redressed at once.
It is therefore requested to evolve a system for conducting Pension Adalats through video conferencing every six months in addition to physical Pension Adalats preferably at divisional & zonal level.
5. Alternative dispute resolution mechanism:
Denial of timely justice amounts to denial of justice itself, elderly should not be forced to approach Courts to claim their rightful entitlements. In para 2.33 the parliamentary committee accordingly recommended to explore the feasibility of institutionalizing an alternative dispute resolution mechanism such as pre-litigation conciliation to resolve the grievances of pensioners at pre-litigation stage itself.
It is therefore requested to setup an Alternative dispute resolution mechanism such as pre-litigation conciliation to resolve the grievances of pensioners at pre-litigation stage itself.
6. Reimbursement of expenditure incurred by RELH beneficiaries for the treatment in non- empaneled hospitals:
Apex Court and many courts across the country gave favourably decisions that, all the expenditure incurred by a beneficiary of Central Government Health Scheme on his or her treatment in non-empanelled Private Hospitals should be reimbursed to the beneficiary. The Government has not yet issued any general instructions in this regard and the pensioners/beneficiaries have to approach the Court of law for justice by spending a lot of money and time. The parliamentary committee in para 3.19 said that pensioners should not be deprived of their rightful entitlements under any circumstances and there should not be any stumbling blocks in getting the correct medical treatments during emergencies.
It is therefore requested that, all the expenditure incurred by RELHS beneficiaries for the treatment in non-empaneled private hospitals should be reimbursed for treatments without first approaching Railway Hospital, when referral could not be obtained on exigencies.
7. Issue of FMA surrender certificate:
In para 3.22, the Committee takes note of the difficulties faced by pensioners in surrendering their Fixed Medical Allowance (FMA) and getting FMA Surrender Certificate to avail CGHS indoor & outdoor (OPD) facilities and the committee recommended that all such pensioners should get FMA surrender certificate in hassle free manner with fixed time frame.
It is therefore requested to issue a procedure for getting FMA surrender certificate in hassle-free online mode with fixed timeline along with intimation to the bank concerned.
8. Extension of all medical facilities available to serving employees to pensioners & family pensioners and introducing cashless health insurance facilities for pensioners.
In Para 3.23, the parliamentary committee observed that, non-applicability of CS (MA) Rules to pensioners residing outside CGHS areas has placed them at disadvantaged position vis-a-vis serving employees. Accordingly, the parliamentary committee recommended that provisions for medical facilities available to serving employees also needs to be extended to pensioners. The committee also recommended for introducing cashless health insurance facilities for such pensioners in nearby Private Health Centers.
It is therefore requested that all medical facilities available to serving employees should be made available to RELH beneficiaries and to introduce cashless health insurance facilities.
General Secretary, IRTSA