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Sunday, 1 November 2015


I vividly recall that there was a Post Office, five buildings away from our house in which I grew up as an young school boy. Yet the postman would always deliver our mails last, almost at the time of his pack up. Once my father asked him why is he delivering our mails late when our house is so nearby? The reply given by the postman was so impressive that it is still fresh in my memory. He said, " Sir, your house is very near that I can hand over the mails any time. Rain or shine does not matter. But imagine sir those who are staying far away. Is it not better that I go first there to deliver their mails before it starts raining or the climate becomes adverse? ". The delivery system was then genuinely need based and more humane.
However, the present delivery system has changed completely. The class and status of the consignee, these days determine the time line of consignment delivery. If you belong to a privileged class and influenced status, pat, it is delivered. In the case of less privileged, the delivery provider at his discretion and mercy decides the timing of delivery of your consignment. It is no longer need based but status based.
The above situation is clearly demonstrated in the undue delay in paying the arrears to JCOs & NCOs, which is due to them with effect from 01.01.2006, as per PCDA circular No. 547.
The genesis of the issue is as given below:
The DOPT, GOI issued an OM
Dated 30.07.2015 extending the benefit of minimum of the pay in the pay band corresponding to the pre-2006 scale effective from 01.01.2006 instead of 24.09.2012.
In pursuance of the above DOPT OM, the Ministry Of Defence  has issued a letter (after a gap of one month) dated 03rd September 2015, extending the same benefit to defence pensioners. Subsequently PCDA, Allahabad issued the circulars 547 & 548 dated 11th September 2015, applicable to JCOs & NCOs and Commissioned Officers  respectively for it's  implementation.
We are given to understand that the Central Government Pensioners have been paid arrears immediately after the issue of DOPT OM dated 30.07.2015. We also reliably learn  that the commissioned officers too have been already paid the arrears in terms of Circular 548. But except a handful of JCOs and NCOs who are drawing their pension through banks, the remaining JCOs & NCOs have not yet been paid arrears even two months after issue of MOD letter.
I have visited the office of DPDO, Bangalore to enquire  about the timeline by which the arrears will be paid. The DPDO replied me tersely, "' donot pressurise us; we are on job. Do you expect us to pay the arrears of 5000 pensioners as soon as the software is received? We will be able to clear entire lot in a month or two". It means we can expect the arrears payment only along with November or December 2015 pension. So it will be 5 months between the date of issue of original orders and the probable date of payment. We just can't understand and comprehend such long delay,  that too in an age where all the relevant data are easily available on line and the bills are generated through computers and hardly there is any manual work involved!
Further there is so much of confusion in circular 547, that it is being interpreted 101 ways by 100 people. The banks are interpreting differently and within the banks there are different interpretations. The  honourable supreme court order in sum and substance is-the minimum pension payable is 50% of the minimum pay in the pay band corresponding to pre-2006 scale from 01.01.2006 instead of 24.09.2012.
We have already represented to DESW, MOD for re - examination of the circular 547 in the light of the following two factors:-
(1) There is NO PRO-RATA in the case of Minimum Guaranteed Pension (MGP). Minimum is 'the minimum'.
(2) The service pension being paid to a pensioner CANNOT BE LESS than the Enhanced Family Pension (EFP) payable to the widow in the event of his death at any given date.
Pending such review, the arrears in terms of the existing provisions of Circular No 547 read with Circular No. 549 should have been paid by now. Some of the Pension Disbursing Banks have taken action to pay the arrears but not the DPDOs.
The banks are taking action because of the directions issued by the RBI, with regard to delay in payment of pension and arrears. The RBI stipulates that if the banks delay payment of pension, arrears  dearness relief etc. one week beyond the due date of payment, they are liable to pay penal rate of interest @ 8% for the delayed payment period. The relevant part of the RBI Instructions is reproduced  below verbatim:
" 27. Whether a pensioner is entitled for any compensation from the agency banks for delayed credit of pension/ arrears of pension?
Yes. A Pensioner is entitled for compensation for delayed credit of pension/arrears thereof at the fixed rate 8% and the same would be credited to the pensioner's account automatically by the bank on the same day when the bank affords delayed credit of such pension / arrears etc without any claim from the pensioner."
This penal provisions makes them act and deliver reasonably in time.
There is no such penal provisions applicable to DPDOs. When both the banks and DPDOs are doing the same job, they should have been  governed by the uniform rules including the penal liability clause that will ensure an effective, efficient and unbiased delivery system applicable to all.
Can we expect the CGDA look into the matter and include detailed instructions regarding the last date by which the payment to be made and in case of default, what is the penal liability cast upon the person who is responsible for the delay etc while issuing circulars on pension, arrears and DR, at least in future?
Hopefully so and AFVAI makes an appeal for the same to the CGDA, though this forum.
Sgt MP Karan
Karnataka Chapter, AFVAI

1 comment:

  1. As per circular 547, the arrears is being given wef 01.01.2006 as per Annexures given with this circular upto 30.6.2009 and further it will be continued as per circular 430 wef 01.7.2009 to 23.9.2012 and wef 24.09.2012 as per circular 501, therefore, the arrears is comes to 4000/- to five thousands.