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Monday, 7 November 2016

HOW EX-SERVICEMEN ARE SHORT CHANGED BY MOD/CGDA/PCDA BABUS : AN OPEN LETTER TO THE PM - BY SA KANETKAR, A VET NAVY OFFICER

Dear Prime Minister.
The OROP which you managed to get underway a year back, would certainly not have been possible without you at the helm of power. I congratulate you on this single most ground breaking policy decision taken since Independence. The recent suicide by a veteran over his pension, brings to the fore, how poorly and inefficiently pension matters of veterans are handled.
The defence minister was quick to deflect the blame, by publicly announcing that the blame was with the paying bank. Later he said only about 5% veterans were not happy with OROP. In the numerous issues where this defence minister after studying files and records comes up with the worst conceivable answers, all against the interests of the armed forces, such unsubstantiated statements was but expected. I have had privilege of being of some help to many veterans over their pension issues, and some of the cases make very interesting reading on where the blame actually lies, and what corrective actions are required by concerned dept, probably, the same dept that is giving the minister his figures and percentages.
Example 1. Maj A.N.T retired (prematurely) in 1989. He called me up from Warud(MH) to tell me he was hardly getting any pension. I asked him to send me his PPO. The PPO was so badly prepared that it resulted in his getting a very low pension right from day one, and through the 4th, 5th and 6th CPCs. In 2014,his basic was just Rs12400. He had written a number of times to PCDA Allahabad, but as he could not fathom the reason, he could not explain what the exact problem was. He was getting the pension of a major with QS=20 yrs (not mentioned in the original PPO), whereas he had 20 yrs commissioned service + 6.5 yrs pre-commissioned service. A due drawn statement finally was made from 1989 to 2014 (14 pages) giving him the minimum pension in the rank of Lt Col(TS) through all pay commissions, and his pension restored to Rs 18205 in the 6th CPC (from a paltry 12000+). This resulted in PCDA making a fresh retiring PPO stating his QS, giving him additional CVC on retirement+gratuity and in addition payment of arrears till 2014, a total of over Rs 4.5 lakhs. SBI was the bank in question which just kept forwarding his letters to PCDA, with no result. He could have bought a good 2 BHK home in Pune(the city of his choice), had he been given his correct dues in 1989.
Example 2 Maj M.A. Z sought premature retirement in 1999. One look at his PPO was enough to make a letter to CDA(O) to revise his LPC. We went to CDA(O) with the letter, and found his name missing from their database! Based on his letter he finally got arrears.
Example 3 Lt Col SK T, retired in 2002. Similar case as example 1. His retirement benefits were revised, and he got a good sum in 2016.
Example 4 Col S. U retired in 2002 (premature). Again a poorly prepared PPO again did him in. His retirement benefits were revised and he got a new retirement PPO with a handsome amount.
Example 5 Capt S K (IN) prematurely retired in 2004. A poorly and hastily prepared PPO resulted in a largely depressed retiring pension in 2004 and the following years. His PPO underwent a complete overhaul in end 2013 resulting in huge amount of arrears, including CVC and pension arrears as on 2004. So what must the above reveal to the Defence Minister?
1. It must reveal at whose door the blame must lie. The CDA has always been inefficient in its functioning, but has successfully protected this fact from successive Defence Ministers. In fact if a suicide has occurred over pension, why has he not asked for the PPO , to be publicised, to shame the real perpetrators? Why hide them.
2. The Defence Minister must know that with the plethora of computer systems and manpower available with them, manual records (ledgers) are still seen in rows of tables in CDA(O), Pune. Why? The reason being that they cheated the armed forces ,and then to undo the damage done, they had to issue thousands of fresh LPCs. But their basic nature is to short change the armed forces at every possible stage. Had they concentrated their efforts in preparing an iron tight pensioners’ data base, it would have served us better. This data base is not available for 100% defence pensioners.
3. The Defence Minister must know that if a pensioner who retired in 1999 is not on their data base, then it must raise serous questions of accountability, and must immediately lead to a data audit to understand where veteran’s records actually stand. The Defence minister stated that only ‘in about one lakh cases, the OROP had not been resolved’. Who gave him that figure, or how did he arrive at it? The same organisation which has not computerised the full data and which also told the earlier UPA govt that OROP was neither ‘administratively or financially possible’?
4. An organisation that denies a pensioner the right to pension, by writing to banks to stop pension to a family pensioner (unless his/her date of birth is mentioned in thePPO), is assuming extra constitutional powers.The same organisation issued a circular (to banks) 10 yrs ago stating that any of the following documents’ were okay for proof of birth-PAN, AADHAR, driving license etc etc. Yet when the PAN card copy was provided, they still insisted that AHQ/AG verify the date of birth. A letter had to be written to the PM by the pensioner, and immediately action was taken by SBI on that letter! In that I must congratulate the PM.
5. Another point of importance, to be understood by the Defence Minister, is that the initial commutation is the `capitalised’ value of commutation. There is a purpose for its release. Most veterans use it for purchase of a roof over their heads. If any part of this is wrongly withheld and gets released at a later date, the amount wrongly withheld should be scaled up using the CPI index figures, so that the amount released years later, meets the capital’ requirements of the individual indexed at the time of its payment. Capital gains tax is computed in much the same way. This if enforced will mean that Rs 2 lacs, not given in 1989, would amount to over Rs 65 lacs today, and not Rs 3 or 4 lacs, as was actually paid in 2015!
6. The last and most important point is regarding CGDA’s data base of pensioners. Please release it in parliament and make it available to the ESM organisations. Each Parliament MP must also be given the responsibility to check district wise correctness of pensioners in the CGDA database to clean it up for correctness within 12 months, so that all defence and other pensioners’ problems are ironed out. The IESM and others will whole heartedly participate in this exercise.

SA Kanetkar
The writer is a retired Naval Officer

 (Source- Via e-mail)

These employees will get 100% hike even without Pay Commission

New Delhi: It is ironical that while central government employees are protesting the meager pay hike received under 7th Pay Commission, the Members of Parliament are likely to get a 100 percent hike in salary soon.

As per reports, the PMO has agreed to the hike in the salary of the Members f Parliament. The Joint Committee on Salaries and Allowances of Members of Parliament headed by BJP MP Yogi Adityanath had recommended hike in basic compensation of MPs from Rs 1,90,000 per month to Rs 2,80,000 per month (salary along with constituency and office staff allowances).

The government had last revised the MPs’ salary in 2010. PMO has also agreed to the hike in its own allowances. The salary of the President of India is also expected to go up from the existing Rs 1.5 lakh per month to Rs 5 lakh. State governor’s salary is seen rising to Rs 2.5 lakh per month from the current Rs 1.10 lakh per month.

The government is likely to bring separate bills in the winter session of Parliament, starting November 16 for the salary hikes for President, Governors and MPs.

The salary raise of the vice-president, who is also chairman of the Rajya Sabha, will also be sough during the session. Some more allowances hike likely are as follows: MP’s constituency allowance-It will rise to Rs 90,000 per month from existing Rs 45,000 every month The secretarial assistance and office allowance- It is seen going up Rs 90,000 from Rs 45,000. Annual furniture allowance for MPs’ official residence- It rises to Rs 1,50,000 a year.

Free broadband for residential space worth Rs 1,700 per month.
The monthly pensions for former MPs rises from Rs 20,000 to Rs 35,000 per month.
Those MPs who served for more than five years would get an additional amount in pension — the number of years multiplied by Rs 2,000.
Free government accommodation, air travel and train travel facilities,three landline telephone connections,two mobile phones, a loan of Rs 4 lakh to buy a vehicle are other perks given to the Parliamentarians.

Read at: Kashmir Monitor

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Status Report on implementation of OROP Benefits as on 15.09.2016

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Statement showing the PDA-wise Status Report on implementation of OROP benefits (as on 15.9.2016)OROP implementation status report as on 15.09.2016 published.

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