Thursday, 25 October 2018
WEB MASTER HAS RETUREND
Web Master Com. N.Mohan has returned Chennai after completing NE India tour successfully. Here after there will not be any delay in postings.
NEWS FROM CHQ
ANOMALY CASE AND OTHER CASES....
APPEAL FILED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF TELECOM AGAINST THE JUDGEMENT OF CAT PRINCIPAL BENCH IN THE CASE OF PENSION ANOMALY, FILED BY OUR ASSOCIATION AND WON BY US, CAME UP FOR HEARING IN DELHI HIGH COURT TODAY. IT CAME UP AFTER LONG TEN MONTHS. EVEN THEN, THE DEPARTMENT DID NOT COMPLY WITH THE COURT ORDERS. ADVOCATE FOR DEPARTMENT SOUGHT FURTHER TIME. A SHORT POSTPONMENT IS ALLOWED. NEXT DATE OF HEARING IS 8-2-2019.
When justice is denied by the Government we are compelled to approach the court. It is the last resort for people like pensioners. Even at that stage the Government departments can play games and delay the justice further. Latest instance is the Pension Anomaly Case that came up before Delhi high court. Last time, the high court gave a long period of ten months to the Department of Telecom to file their counter. But after ten months, when the case was taken up the Department lawyer wants more time. Of course, this time it is only 4 months’ time is given. But there is no guarantee that Department will file their counter before that date.
THE TWO OTHER CASES
Our Association has filed two cases in Ernakulam CAT.
1. For getting arrears on account of 78.2% IDA revision from 1-1-2007 instead of 10.6.2013.
2. To get pension re-fixed @ 50% of last pay drawn to all BSNL retirees who retired before 1-1-2006.
CAT admitted both the cases. But, a date for hearing is not yet given by the CAT.
There is only Judge in CAT Ernakulam bench. Only when two judges are available the case will be heard.
Government is responsible for this situation. A judge had retired in December 2017. 10 months have gone. The vacancy is not yet filled up. This is the case with Chennai bench of CAT also. It is the case with many other benches of CAT.
CAT was introduced to ensure justice as quickly as possible to the central government employees and pensioners.The very purpose is defeated by not posting sufficient number of judges.
The government, the bureaucracy, the authorities can deny justice,They can delay the justice. The ordinary people are helpless.
22-10-2018 Meeting with Director (PSU), DoT:
Today GS along with Shri S.P. Sharma GS BSNL WRU met Shri Pawan Gupta Director (PSU) DoT and enquired about the status of cabinet note for relaxation of affordability clause for implementation of 3rd PRC recommendation in BSNL. Director (PSU) DoT informed us that DoT Finance had earlier raised some points and DoT had written to BSNL for clarifying the points raised by DoT Finance. The clarification submitted by BSNL is being examined by DoT Finance. After clearance by DoT Finance, the cabinet note will be sent to all the concerned Ministries for their comments. Director (PSU), DoT assured us that all efforts are being taken for implementing 3rd pay revision in the coming months, but the main concern is the 22% fall in revenue in 2017-18 when compared to the revenue of 2016-17. In the present financial year also BSNL revenue has been coming down and this may be a stumbling block in getting cabinet approval.
Yesterday I received many calls about Pay Revision. It seems there was a wild rumour that Cabinet has approved something..
Hence I checked various websites.
It is seen that DoT has not yet finalised any Cabinet Note till this time.
REDARDING DIRECT PAYMENT.
There is some confusion in the mind of pensioners about CPMS as it is being implemented in a hasty manner, without circulating a Concept Paper. Immediately, from 1-11-2018, it is implemented in the case of new retirees only. But all BSNL retirees and DoT retirees, numbering about 3 lakh will be brought under its purview from April 2019.
It is already implemented in MTNL. There seems to be no problem according to Com. S S Nanda of RTOWA, Delhi. I am told that from the very beginning MTNL retirees were getting pension directly from CCA.
A similar scheme is already implemented in Defence Ministry for 24 lakh pensioners. There also, there is no problem. That might have prompted the PMO and Minister to launch it in DoT.
We, the BSNL retirees, are in different situation. There are many authorities in our case.
(i) BSNL is the Pension Sanctioning Authority for us.
(ii) CCA is the Pension authorizing Authority.
(iii) Bank or Post office is the PDA – Pension Disbursing Authority.
Under CPMS CCA will become the Pension Sanctioning Authority also. BSNL SSA has to send the service book before retirement of an employee to the CCA.
Bank or PO is not totally eliminated from the arrangement as some people think. A pensioner will continue to get the pension through the bank or PO he has selected. Only difference is that the concerned CCA will be crediting the amount online to Pensioner’s account. In short, CCA office will take over the role of PDAs to some extent.
When IDA is increased the CCA will credit enhanced amount.
When the pension revision takes place the changes matter a lot. Now, BSNL is revising the pension, after verifying the service book etc. CCA is authorizing the same to PDAs. The Bank or the Post Office then calculates the arrears and credits the amount in the account of the concerned pensioner.
Under the new system, CCA will revise the pension, calculate the arrears and credit the amount directly in the bank account or PO SB account, as selected by the pensioners. CPPC of Banks and Director oc Postsl Accounts have no role or responsibility to calculate the arrears etc.
According to Kerala CCA, the Asst. Coordination Officer nominated by SSAs shall accept Life Certificate. But, there is no specific order for that.
Kerala CCA says that same Asst. Coordination Officers can issue Form 16 for income tax return purposes. There is no order on this too.
Given the track record of BSNL officers and our experience in pension revision with 68.8 and 78.2 and also revision of CDA pension cases we cannot believe that BSNL officers will do it to the satisfaction of pensioners.
Some of the CCAs like Maharastra, Gujarat, AP, Tamilnadu, Karnataka and Kerala deal with large number of pensioners – more than 15000. Number of AOs/AAOs sanctioned to these circles are same that of smaller circles. This has to be corrected.
Proper training has to be imparted to the staff in CCA offices and to the nominated Asst. Coordination Officers as well. Till that time the pensioners should not be asked to migrate to the new system.
In any case this should be optional.
We need not oppose any change per se. We should not accept anything blindly too.
It is true that we got indication about this one year back. In November 2017 we discussed it in Patna CWC. Nobody objected then. We wrote an editorial in January 2018 issue of Patrika also. Then also nobody objected. It is our habit. Our people used to sleep on any issue till a target date is fixed. Now 1st November 2018 and 1st April 2019 are declared. We have woken up to the dangers.
We can discuss and review the matter in next CWC. We must have a national view. All circles are not equally efficient. All banks are not equally efficient. Condition of post offices is much worse. That is the main reason why many pensioners welcome the change.
In the meantime, can our Delhi comrades take help of some BJP MPs there and meet the minister Shri Manoj Sinha and convey our apprehension? Will it be possible to get postponed the date of 1-4-2019 for extension of CPMS to the existing pensioners?
P S Ramankutty