Basic Issues after Implementation of 7th CPC Recommendations, GDS Committee Report, National Pension Scheme, Pensioners Day, - Resolutions by NCCPA
Resolutions adopted in the National Executive of NCCPA
The following are the Resolutions adopted at the National Executive Meeting of NCCPA held at Nagpur on 19.08.2017
RESOLUTION ADOPTED BY THE NATIONAL EXECUTIVE OF NCCPA HELD AT NAGPUR ON 19.08.2017 ON SOME BASIC ISSUES OF CG PENSIONERS AFTER THE IMPLEMENTEATION OF 7th CPC RECOMMENDATIONS:
The National Executive of the National Coordination Committee had discussed various aspects of the 7th CPC recommendations and the implementation of them by the Central Government. The attitude of the Government viz., rejecting some of the recommendations made like the Option Number 1 of pension fixation in favour of the pensioners on the grounds of non-feasibility but accepting many recommendations made by the CPC against the interests of the employees without any modifications like rejection of many allowances etc is deplorable. The attitude of the Government is not only retrograde but also time consuming. The tactics to form committees and delay the matters for several months in order to tire out the employees and pensioners is condemnable.
The Central Government has finally rejected Option Number 1 fixation of pension to Pre-2016 Pensioners after much delay. The recommendation of the Pay Commission for giving the benefit of number of increments earned by the Pensioner in his last stage of employment would be more beneficial to a section of Pensioners than the Option Number 3 offered and implemented by the GO dated 12.05.2017. There were scores of Government Employees who stagnated for years without any promotion before their superannuation. This type of stagnation was pronounced to those sections for whom the MACP system was not extended before 2008. The Option Number 1 would have been more beneficial to those Pre-2008 retirees. The Option Number 3 is no doubt an improvement to Option Number 2 of fixation by applying 2.57 fitment factor; but still the better benefit under Option Number 1 to those Pensioners has been out-rightly rejected by the Pension High Level Committee and the Government in the name of non-availability of records of increments for nearly 18% of Pensioners. The stand taken to reject Option Number 1 despite the arguments of the Staff Side and Pensioners Associations to convince the authorities that reconstruction of records is not impossible even for those 18% cases of pensioners is unjust. This National Executive is of the considered opinion that the rejection of Option Number 1 of pension fixation is authoritative and unjustified and based on wrong notions and arguments.
Secondly, the Option Number 3 implemented in lieu of Option Number 1 contains a basic flaw. The Option Number 3 is nothing but the recommendations of 5th CPC for pension fixation by notionally fixing the salary in the fitment table of successive pay commissions to the Pre-2016 Pensioners also and finally fixing 50% of the notionally arrived last pay drawn with reference to the Pay Matrix Table of the 7th CPC. In doing so the important aspect of 5th CPC to fix the salary in the new scale of pay implemented to the post or cadre in which the pensioner had retired or died is ignored by the Government. Instead the pension is calculated only on the basis of the replacement scales. Unless and otherwise the full aspect of 5th CPC recommendation is implemented, the Option Number 3 formula also is denying the full benefit to many pensioners in whose cases their cadre or post got any upgraded pay scale through successive pay commissions. As the Government had agreed to implement OROP to Veteran Pensioners, similar fitment benefit to Civilian Pensioners also by calculating notionally in the same pay scale granted to the serving employees would have rendered justice. This National Executive urges the Government to reconsider this aspect and issue necessary orders to set right the flaw.
In nut shell, this National Executive resolves to reiterate its considered opinion that the Pensioners should be given the choice to opt between the Options 1, Option 2, and Option 3 with the element of higher pay scales granted to the cadre or post.
This National Executive notes with concern that the Government is obstinate in refusing the fixation benefit of pension in the higher scales of pay implemented to the post or cadre despite several court cases went in favour of the Pre-2006 Pensioners. The Pre-2006 Pensioners were denied the benefit of higher scales of pay given to the serving employees from 1.1.2006 and on approaching the court of law many pensioners got the benefit implemented w.e.f. 1.1.2006. The Executive notes that based on this fact the Department of Pension & Pensioners welfare had recommended to Finance Ministry for extending the benefit to all similarly placed Pre-2006 Pensioners. Unfortunately the Department of Expenditure had showed adamancy and refused to grant the benefit even today. It is also unfortunate that when this issue was taken to the PMO for redressal, the PMO had also taken an unjustified position that since the Finance Ministry had taken a position it cannot be reversed. This Executive notes that PMO is the final authority for all issues and the opinion of Department of Expenditure cannot be supreme against the directions of several courts of the land. This National Executive resolves to urge upon the Government to come down from the adamant position and extend the benefit of fixation of pension to all Pre-2006 Pensioners based on the upgraded pay scale if any was implemented to the post or cadre in which the Pre-2006 Pensioner had retired or died.
This National Executive of NCCPA notes with satisfaction that at last the P&T Pensioners also are allowed to enter the CGHS system without any discrimination through the GO dated 19.07.2017. However, we note that since this is a very belated step taken after two decades of discrimination that prevented many P&T Pensioners retired between 1998 and 2017 from joining the CGHS on payment of subscriptions at the prevailing rate at the time of their retirement. The present order ending the discrimination of the P&T Pensioners demands them to pay at the post-7th CPC rate of subscriptions. We all know that the post-7th CPC rates are fixed based on the new higher pay scales after 7th CPC. Fixing the same rate of subscription to all Pre-2016 pensioners irrespective of the year of their retirement is unjustified and exorbitant. This National Executive of NCCPA resolves to urge upon the Government for necessary reconsideration to order to fix the rate of subscription commensurate to their year of retirement.
At the same time this National Executive notes that the Health Ministry’s objection to P&T Pensioners alone was withdrawn to facilitate inclusion of willing P&T Pensioners into CGHS while some other smaller departments are still out of the ambit of CGHS. This discrimination shall go. There shall be no discrimination for any Pensioner of any department in the matter of joining CGHS on the untenable plea that a separate Dispensary System is in existence for that department. In addition the CGHS Directorate General has issued a recent order on 21st July declaring the CG Employees and CG Pensioners in Union Territories are not entitled to join CGHS and those who were erroneously admitted also have to be sent out. This order is most unjustified and while correcting an injustice the Government is trying to introduce another injustice to the employees and pensioners of Union Territories. This Executive urges for immediate withdrawal of 21st July orders also.
There are many other health related recommendations of the 7th CPC that requires immediate decision by the Government. The recommendations (1) to merge the existing Postal Dispensaries with CGHS; (2) to issue Medi-insurance Cards to employees and pensioners to ensure cashless treatment in authorized private hospitals; (3) to merge various departmental vise health systems to form one broad medical system for the Government Employees and Pensioners; and (4) all pensioners also to be made eligible to medical treatment on par with the serving employees under CS MA Rules 1944, require positive approval by the Government. The Pensioners are the senior citizens whose medical requirements are very important at their old age. The present flaws in the existing medical systems should be removed by accepting the recommendations of the Pay Commission to end any discrimination between the serving employees and the Pensioners.
The National Executive of NCCPA notes that the Government has come forward to double the Fixed Medical Allowance from 500/- to 1000/- per month. This increase is a welcome step no doubt. But one cannot deny the fact that when a section of the Government Employees like the PF Department were granted 2000/- per month as FMA even under 6th CPC time, fixing the FMA after 7th CPC to only 1000/- is not meeting the requirements of today’s medical cost. This National Executive therefore resolves to urge upon the Government to reconsider and enhance the FMA to not less than 2000/- per month.
This National Executive wishes to bring to the notice of the Authorities that several orders are not implemented in a time-bound manner by all departments so that the aging pensioners can get the benefits earlier. The GO on extending full pension to Pre-2006 Pensioners who had retired without putting 33 years of qualifying service has not been implemented to all eligible such Pensioners in many States. The implementation of GO on fixation of pension on the basis of ‘pay in the pay band’ instead of ‘minimum of pay band’ w.e.f. 1.1.2006 for all Pre-2006 Pensioners took a lot of time. The issue of revised PPOs to all Pre-2006 Pensioners is still not completed in many States despite the position reflecting in the SCOVA meeting minutes that almost all Pensioners had been issued with revised PPOs. The main reason for non-implementation or slow implementation is because of the existing staff shortage in accounting offices. This may adversely affect the implementation of the recent 12th May, 2017 orders also. Therefore this National Executive resolves to urge upon the Government to cause to order drawing of the services of qualified retired officials to function as ‘implementation cells’ to speed up the work under the supervision of serving Accounts Officers. This Executive also urges that this Refixation work under Option Number 3 shall be completed to all Pre-2016 Pensioners before 30.09.2017.
The National Executive also notes with concern that several issues like the revamping of additional pension; release of commuted portion of pension after 10 years have neither been considered by the 7th CPC nor by the Government. This Executive resolves to urge upon the Government to come forward to refix the quantum of additional pension in a more rationalistic manner. This Executive also urges the Government to come forward to pass the order in consonance with the order of Bengaluru CAT that the additional pension is payable on attaining the age of 80, 85, 90, 95, 100 instead of on completing the above ages. This Executive also urges the Government that persisting with the present time limit of 15 long years for returning the commuted portion of pension is fully unjustified and it requires to be revisited to reduce the time to 10 years.
The demand for exempting the pension from income tax is not at all receiving the attention of Government despite the fact this demand has been vociferously raised by the Pensioners Organizations for long. It is highly unjustified to tax the pension of the government servants who had toiled for the nation throughout his working life. The Refixation of ceiling for income-tax now and then was only temporary solution to the problem. It is observed that recently that trend also has stopped and we could not find any change of ceiling for income-tax. This National Executive of NCCPA urges the Government to come forward to accept the demand for payment of pension net taxes.
The National Secretariat is hereby authorised by this National Executive to fix up appropriate Programme of action on all the above issues.
RESOLUTION ON BUILDING THE ORGANISATION OF NCCPA
The National executive of NCCPA is of the firm opinion that the growth of the united platform of pensioners’ movement alone is the guarantee to face the onslaught of the Government on pension and social security. NCCPA is the only class conscious apex organization for unifying all CG Pensioners under one roof and effectively project the issues of CG Pensioners for appropriate settlement. The need to strengthen the NCCPA is therefore paramount.
Both strengthening NCCPA at the CHQ level and strengthening it at State level are important though both are complimenting each other. The strengthening at CHQ level can be concentrated by approaching the existing pensioners’ organizations for affiliating with the NCCPA. The strengthening of the existing affiliates of NCCPA also can contribute to the strengthening of NCCPA CHQ. As far as the States are concerned, it is our responsibility to found State COC of NCCPA with the state organizations of our affiliates (both CGPA and Departmental wise Affiliates). Various state level functioning CGPA organizations also can be approached for joining in the State COC of NCCPA. We are witnessing that for lack of a strong platform of CG Pensioners many issues of Pensioners are unable to be effectively projected before the Government. The solution of pensioners’ issues is left to the mercy of the Government and Authorities through SCOVA and by approaching the doors of courts that takes a longer time. Even after favourable judicial pronouncements the Government is in the habit of denying the benefit to all similarly placed candidates, again against the Supreme Court Judgment. A stronger voice of united pensioners alone can guarantee earlier solutions to many vexed issues.
There are also issues like the NPS, Attack on Pensioners and the danger of bringing all existing employees and pensioners also under the NPS in future with the help of PFRDA Act that gives the Government the power to do so at its will.
This National Executive therefore calls upon all its Affiliates (both CGPA and Departmental wise Associations) to take all the initiative for founding State COC of NCCPA as a measure of strengthening the united movement of CG pensioners on one hand and to work for broader unity of all Pensioners like the Central, State and PSU Pensioners Associations on the other.
RESOLUTION ON NATONAL PENSION SCHEME
This National Executive meeting held of 19.08.2017 at Nagpur notes with utter dismay and expresses its grave concern on the stand taken by the Government of India on the National Pension Scheme introduce from 01.01.2004. A demand was placed before the 7th CPC to scrap that contributory pension scheme and to bring all the CG Employees and others in defined and assured pension scheme. The 7th CPC refrained itself on the plea that the issue is not available in their term of reference. The Government formed a Committee with a view to strengthen the NPS.
This meeting observes with hope that Confederation of CG Employees & Workers and the All India State Government Employees Federation had decided some phased programme of action to fight back the situation.
This National Executive Committee meeting of NCCPA calls upon all its affiliates to take all possible steps to join the programmes on this issue and to generate public opinion by staging dharna, rallies, street corner meetings etc in the coming days.
RESOLUTION ON IMPLEMENATION OF GDS COMMITTEE REPORT
The National Executive Committee meeting of NCCPA held at Nagpur on 19.08.2017 notes with grave concern that the Government of India is following the tactics of delaying the implementation of GDS Committee Report by way of setting up Committees on various pleas. National Federation of Postal Employees is going to stage one day strike on 23.08.2017 demanding implementation of GDS Committee recommendations. This National Executive Committee meeting of NCCPA is whole heartedly supporting the proposed strike and calls upon all the affiliates to stand by the striking employees on the day of strike by staging solidarity type of programme on 23.08.2017.
ON IMPLEMENTING INTERNATIONAL PENSIONERS DAY ON 1st OCTOBER
The WFTU Trade Union International (Pensiones & Retired) has issued a call to observe the 1st October 2017 as the international day of fight for pensioners’ Rights. It is the regular practice of WFTU to observe October 1st every year on some important social causes and the selection of this year October 1st as the International Day of fight for Pensioners’ rights by the WFTU TUI (P&R) clearly marks the danger to which the pensioners of all the countries are exposed under liberalization. This National Executive meeting of NCCPA resolves to call upon all our affiliates to observe the 1st October 2017 as International day of fight for Pensioners’ Rights.
RESOLUTION ON SOLIDARITY WITH THE CENTRAL TRADE UNIONS
The National Executive Meeting of NCCPA held at Nagpur on 19.08.2017 welcomes the decision taken by the Central Trade Unions and Federations and Confederations and Associations of Central Government, State Government and Public sector like the BSNL, Banks, Insurance etc to organise a series of Programmes against the economic policies and the onslaught on the working Class. This National executive expresses its total solidarity with the Programme of Action of Indefinite strike to be launched by the Indian Working Class unitedly. This Executive also calls upon all our affiliates to mobilize maximum membership to Delhi to participate on 10th November in the three days dharna programme to be organised in Delhi from 9th to 11th of November, 2017 as a prelude to the impending indefinite strike. All our affiliates will concentrate full mobilization on the second day of the three days dharna in order to focus the total solidarity of pensioners as a community to the struggle of the working class.