DRAFT LETTER TO BE SENT TO
THE FINANCE MINISTER
CONFEDERATION OF CENTRAL GOVERNMENT
EMPLOYEES AND WORKERS &
NATIONAL CO-ORDINATION COMMITTEE
OF PENSIONERS ASSOCIATIONS
E mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dated: 4th September, 2021
Ms. Nirmala Sitharaman,
Government of India,
North Block, New Delhi
Confederation of Central Government Employees and Workers and the Nationl Co-ordination Committee of Pensioners Association, representing the Central Government employees of the country and the Pensioners submit the following issues for your kind consideration and favourable response.
1. The Dearness allowance and Dearness Relief arrears.
In the wake of the emergence of the Covid 19 pandemic, in April, 2020, the Government decided not to release the DA/DR instalment that had become due on 1.1.2020 as also those that might become due on 1.7.2020 and 1.1.2021. The payment was deferred upto July, 2021. Accordingly, the allowance and relief that had become due had been restored in July, 2021. However, the arrears pertaining to 18 months have been held back or rather impounded. We submit that the decision of the Govt. to impound the arrears was sans any legal or moral ground. The employees and Pensioners, as you are aware, had responded to the Government’s appeal and had contributed one day’s salary/ pension to enable the Government to reach out to the covid affected people with financial assistance. The employees and Pensioners expected that the Government would give back the arrears . The Government is also aware of the fact that a similar order of the Government of Andhra Pradesh was subjected to judicial scrutiny by the A.P. High Court and the Court had come to the conclusion that the said decision of the A.P. Government was untenable. It may be pertinent to point out in this connection that quite a number of employees and pensioners were affected by the Covid virus and had undergone treatment costing lakhs of rupees. The release of the impounded arrears would be a great relief to the employees and pensioners.
2. Covid pandemic related problems.
(a) Death compensation: As mentioned earlier, number of employees and pensioners
died due to the covid some at Hospitals and others at home. Despite providing treatment costing lakhs of rupees, they could not be saved. Their family is in distress now. The entire savings have been eaten up for the treatment. Most of them suffer a debt burden of an unimaginable dimension. We know that in bigger Government department, a welfare fund is in operation. But in small department no such contingency fund exist. It is our request that the Government decides to help these unfortunate families by way of a compensation grant of not less than 15 lakhs.
(b) Reimbursement of hospital bills. The affected persons had to be admitted to the hospitals. In emergency cases, the employees and pensioners were taken to the nearby private hospitals. The Government as per the extant rules reimburse the expenses only when the employee/pensioner is admitted to a CGHS recognised hospitals. There are very few CGHS empanelled hospitals in the country. Majority of them do not provide treatment for covid. The employees and pensioners with meagre salary are not capable of paying the huge hospitalisation bills. We request that orders may be issued to reimburse the bills of the private hospitals irrespective of the fact whether they are recognised or not, raised in connection with the covid treatment.
(c) To provide vaccination facility in CGHS wellness centres/clinics/dispensaries.
Presently vaccination facility is not provided for in CGHS clinics/dispensaries. These clinics provide out-patient treatment to the Central Government employees/pensioners. Now that the lock out has been lifted, the employees are to attend offices and they must have priority in vaccination. The deficiency of vaccine is felt all over the country. The primary health centres and State Government/Local body run hospitals, experience huge rush and it takes hours to get vaccinated. There is also inordinate delay in getting the slots even after registration. It is, therefore, requested that the CGHS clinics/Dispensaries and wellness centres be made vaccination centres for CG employees/ pensioners.
(d) Compassionate appointments. Need for removing the ceiling. In 1990s, the Government imposed a ceiling on compassionate appointments in all Departments except the Railways. This was said to be to abide by a directive of the Supreme Court. However, no such directive in specific terms had ever been made by the Supreme Court. Despite the repeated plea made by the staff side in the forum of JCM, the DOPT stuck to their position. There are departments, where not a single case of death in harness occur in a particular . year. But in the subsequent year, there might have been a few cases. The ceiling of 5% of the vacancies is highly illogical and untenable too. But still it continued. The covid period has taken away a number of lives of the employees. Their family is in distress. The very scheme was conceived to provide relief to the suffering family members While it must go only to deserving candidates, this can never be the way to ensure that. In any case it has now become very necessary that the ceiling must be removed to ensure that the deserving wards of the employees who died in harness are given livelihood. We request that orders removing the ceiling may kindly be issued without further loss of time.
(e) Health insurance coverage for the pensioners residing in non CGHS areas.
Presently the pensioners who are residing in non-CGHS areas have no health scheme when they fall ill seriously. The paltry sum of FMA will not even meet the OPD requirements Oft repeated representation from this section of pensioners have gone to deaf ears. The Government feels that the expenditure would be enormous. The successive Pay Commissions have recommended for the health insurance scheme, which is yet to be considered by the Government. They feel highly discriminated sin as much as their erstwhile colleagues are able to treatment from recognised private hospitals. Insurance scheme, they know, may only be a poor substitute for the CGHS. But it is high time that the Government to take serious note of the issue and evolve a scheme. The Pensioners in the non CGHS areas had been the worst sufferers during the covid period.
3. Revise the pension entitlement of BSNL Pensioners and restore medical facilities.
(a).The pension revision of the absorbed BSNL Pensioners was due from 01-01-2017. The last pension revision was granted from 01-01-2007 with 30 per cent fitment recommended by the 2nd PRC. The 3rd PRC recommended 15 per cent fitment from 01-01-2017. Unfortunately, the government has not implemented the pension revision, linking it with pay revision in BSNL. The fact remains that the full liability of payment of pension and pensionary benefits to BSNL absorbed pensioners lies with the Government of India according to the agreement reached with the then recognised Federations of the employees and the Central Government and amendment made in the CCS( Pension) Rules, 1972. As such there is no justification for linking pension revision with wage revision of BSNL employees which is being delayed due to various reasons including bad financial condition.
BSNL Pensioners were absorbed from Department of Telecommunications during the formation of BSNL with effect from 01-10-2000 and their counterparts , Central Government pensioners have got the pension revision from 01-01-2016 as per the recommendations of 7th Pay Commission.
Huge loss in Pension and pensionary benefits are being incurred by these section of BSNL Pensioners due to the denial of pension revision.
Further, the minimum pension and family pension of BSNL absorbed pensioners continue to be Rs.3,500 whereas they are entitled to draw Rs.9.000 once the pension is revised at par with Central government pensioners.
(b). Denial of medical benefits to BSNL Pensioners.
BSNL pensioners are covered under BSNL- Medical Reimbursement Scheme. (MRS) at par with the employees. But the retirees are not being paid the medical allowance in lieu of outdoor treatment from 01-04-2018. In the case of medical bills, both indoor and outdoor are pending from 01-04-2019. Naturally, the aged and ailing retirees are put in distress even without considering the pandemic situation. BSNL management is adopting a negative rather arrogant stand with the lame excuse of lack of funds.
4. Revision of Pension and medical facilities of Punjab National Bank employees;
The Indian Bank Association has commenced discussion with the Bank employees representatives to effect revision of the existing pension scheme. The employees are no doubt the future pensioners and they have an important stake in those discussions. However, Pension is the entitlement of the Pensioners. To exclude from the ambit of negotiation is totally an unjustified action. There are huge amounts accumulated in the pension fund of the Banks and these contributions have come from the present day pensioners when they were employees. We request you to kindly direct the IBA to hold discussions with the Punjab National Bank Pensioners Association and reach settlement with them
The Bank employees do not have a common health care scheme. The present health insurance scheme is highly discriminatory. In the case of the employees, the Banks take the responsibility of making over the premia due from them whereas the Pensioners are to remit the premium from their own meagre pension. It must be the responsibility of the IBA to make the premium payment in the case of pensioners too. After all the insurance scheme benefits more the Banks rather than the pensioners. This apart, there is discrimination also in the matter of the coverage of the scheme. While family members and dependents are entitled in the case of the employees, the benefit is denied to the pensioners. We request that the Banks and especially the IBA may be asked to hold discussions and bring about uniformity in the scheme both in respect of entitlement and contribution as also parity with the working employees.
K.K.N. Kutty/ R.N. Parasar
Secretary General, Secretary General
NCCPA. & Confederation of CGE&W
TO BE MOVED AND PASSED AT THE DHARNA MEETING.
This meeting of the Central Government employees and pensioners being held at the Dharna venue at …………………expresses its concern over the non settlement of certain important issues by the Governments. These issues have been brought to the notice of the Government on several occasions by the representatives of the Confederation and NCCPA.
The meeting appeals to the Government to take note of the serious discontent of the employees and pensioners over the non settlement of these issues and direct the concerned to bring in an amicably satisfactory settlement on these issues with out further loss of time.
1. Release the impounded DA/DR arrears.
(a) death compensation for those who died due to covid;
(b) reimburse the hospital bills of covid patients;
© Vaccine facility at all CGHS wellness/clinic/dispensary centres
(d) remove the ceiling on compassionate appointments
(e) Health insurance scheme for pensioners who stay outside the purview of the CGHS;
3. Revise the Pension entitlement of BSNL Pensioners and restore their medl. Facilities
4 Revise the pension entitlement of PNB pensioners and grant uniform medical facilities to them.
FORMAT OF E MAIL TO BE SENT BY EACH INDIVIDUAL EMPLOYEE AND PENSIONER TO THE FINANCE MINISTER on email email@example.com
Kindly refer to the joint letter of the Confederation of CTEs and National co-ordination Committee of Pensioners Association dated 4th September, 2021. I shall be grateful if you will kindly cause discussions thereon with a view to reach a settlement.