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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

A tale of two departments

Look at how two departments function, both dealing with pension.

Let’s take the reference of disabled civilian and defence pensioners.

Disability benefits on voluntary retirement were available to civil pensioners but not to defence pensioners prior to the 6th Central Pay Commission. On the other hand, Constant Attendant Allowance (CAA) was available only to defence pensioners with 100% disability but not to civilian pensioners.

The 6th CPC resolved both anomalies and directed that with effect from 01 Jan 2006, disability benefits shall be made available to disabled defence personnel even on voluntary retirement and also extended the benefit of CAA to civilian pensioners.

But look how the Department of Pension & Pensioners’ Welfare (DoPPW) dealt with the issue. After issuance of the orders for post-2006 retirees, DoPPW immediately issued a clarification that the new stipulation would also apply to pre-2006 retirees with effect from 01 Jan 2006, thereby bringing succour to similarly placed employees irrespective of the date of retirement but with financial benefit from 01 Jan 2006.

On the other hand, the pension wing of the Ministry of Defence issued orders allowing disability pension to voluntary retirees with effect from 01 Jan 2006 but ONLY restricted to post-2006 retirees. Hundreds of Court judgements and thousands of pages filled with file notings from all concerned later, the MoD refuses to budge from its banal stand and continues to challenge all such decisions by Courts and Tribunals in the Supreme Court, refusing to see reason. The Army HQ has tried its best to convince them but a couple of officers in the pension department in DESW rule the roost and continue to misguide the top echelons. This has not only resulted in heartburn but has also unnecessarily clogged the dockets of Courts with totally unwarranted litigation.

Therein lies the difference, while the DoPPW is known to sensitively deal with pensionary benefits of central govt employees, the pension wing of the MoD views defence personnel as a greedy adversarial lot.

We’ve discussed this issue before but that’s how it is. No change. None expected too. 


Anonymous said...

DoPPW deals with it's own people while DESW/MOD deals with aliens. Simple. Cheers

manu69 said...

The high handedness of the MoD in dealing with the armed forces appears to be worse than the treatment meted to the jews by Hitler. Is there no way to rein in the actions by the MoD? Matters seem to be getting worse with each passing day. God Save----.

Wg Cdr(Retd) IP Singh said...

Maj Navdeep,
I have a fundamental question. Why should MOD issue a separate order on every entitlement of Pay and Pension, once same has been issued by the Govt of India with concurrence of Min Of Finance. Ultimately it is Min of Finance and not MOD, who controls the finances. We are continuing with the legacy of British nothing else.
All pay, pension and allowances should automatically made applicable to defence personnel along with other Central Govt Employees. This will reduce Govt expenditure on manpower and manhour and avoid delay and ambiguities to defence personnel.
MOD should only process pay, pension and allowances specific to defence personnel.

Wg Cdr(Retd) IP Singh

Anonymous said...

Maj Navdeep,
could you throw light on the present position of the following -

1. OROP ( improvement in pension )
after the press release on cabinet's approval...any executive orders ?

2. Broad banding / rounding off disability percentages for grant of disability pension to pre 1-1-06 retirees.
3.Rank Pay ...after SC verdict on 4-9-12....more than 12 weeks have passed...any orders ?

Sainath said...

We have a tardy and out-dated justice delovery system, which is the root cause for the malady. Why not the supreme court dispose the special leave petitions on priority and expeditiously,say, within one year, especially as it affects the pensioners, and many of them being senior citizens? And in all cases, when the Govt loses, impose a penal interest of 18% compounded annually, as weel as awarding compensation to cover the realistic cost of litigation. Whereas the govt fights its case using tax payer's money, the pensioner has to use his own resources, there is a need for the courts to fully compensate the pensioner by making the govt pay for his TA/DA at govt rates, attorney's fee etc.
This will act as a deterrent and prevent the govt from appealing on frivolous grounds, while to some extent mitigating the harassment the pensioners are subjected to.

Tukaram V Manerajurikar said...

To:-Anon@1, Right sir. Civilians pensioners are part of DOPPW but Veterans are aliens to DESW/MOD.

shashi thomas said...

Could you give me some advice on how a person who has availed lump sum compensation for a war disability can refund the amount and draw disability pension?

Anonymous said...

is there any rule under which the babus of DESW be proceeded against for disobeying orders and issuing misleading/contrary letters.

HawaHawai said...

Dear Navdeep,
Great effort, much appreciated.
I wish the names of the actual culprits should have been exposed and posted in the rouges gallery . This is a democratic country I suggest maximum number of us should call/ email/ write letters to these rouges directly. Details of the contact info is available in the chat blog. Copy of your letter should also be released the the media.