Wednesday, 7 March 2018

Will Defence Secretary enquire why Ex-Servicemen's PPO for modified pension not issued


Article EK476778034IN dated 28.02.2018

                                                                Bengaluru – 560038

SYS/Pension Revision/7th CPC                                                                28th February, 2018


Shri Sanjay Mitra IAS

Defence Secretary

Ministry of Defence

101-A, South Block,

New Delhi – 110106

Subject:         Revision of Pensions and issuing e-PPOs for Pre-2016 Family Pensioners and Veterans of the Defence Forces: Inability of the PSAs to meet your timelines. 

References:  (1) Meeting taken by you on 1.11.2017

(2) F No. 38/37/2016-P & PW (A) dated 06.7.2017 with concordance tables for all levels corresponding to the 7th CPC Pay Matrix

(3) O/o PCDA (P) No. AN/RTI/3671/AK/2017 dated 03.01.2018

(3) MoD, DESW No. 237/RTI/2014/D (P/P) – Part II dated  

                  (4) JCDA (AF) No. DCA/PEN-1/RTI/VOL-II dated 19.02.2018

                  (5)  PCDA (P) No. AN/RTI/2969/SYS/2017 dated 13.11.2017

Dear Shri Sanjay Mitra,


1.        The Cabinet approved modified pensions and Deptt of Pensions and Pensioners’ Welfare issued Concordance Tables on 6th July 2017 vide F No. 38/37/2016-P & PW (A) . Till date such Concordance Tables appear to elude the wise officers of the Deptt of Ex-Servicemen’ Welfare, the Defence (Finance), O/o CGDA and PCDA (P) and JCDA (AF).

2.        The PCDA (Navy) appears to have taken the laudable initiative to send manually prepared new PPOs at least to Apex scale pensioners of the Navy (photocopy at Annexure A).

3.        Earlier applications under the RTI Act, 2005, one each to the Deptt of Ex-Servicemen’s Welfare (DEXSW/R/2017/50661 dated 02.12.2017), CGDA (CGDFA/R/2018/50082 dated 21.01.2018) and the Directorate of Air Veterans, Air HQ have elicited responses that indicate that there in NIL progress even after you expressed your views and set certain time lines.

4.        MoD has furnished, on 23.02.2018, vide 02/RTI/2018/D (Civ-II) dated 06.02.2018, the minutes of a meeting that you took on 01.11.2017 to review the poor implementation of the Cabinet’s decision to make available modified pensions for pre-2016 retirees (emphasis added).

5.        The pensioners’ side of the situation based on the information furnished by the DESW, O/o CGDA and Air HQ (Directorate of Air Veterans) is as follows: -

(a)       Deptt of Ex-Servicemen Welfare vide No. 237/RTI/2014/D (P/P) – Part II dated 24.01.2018 provided the following information:

(i)        An action plan of the CGDA dated 24.11.2017 deals only with SFTP connectivity, upload speeds etc but nothing on revision of pensions, receipt or non-receipt of Last Pay Certificate or Data Sheet (LPC or DS).

(ii)       An omnibus statement that issue of e-PPOs is reviewed by the Deptt at various levels from time to time.

(b)       O/o CGDA through JCDA (AF) vide No. DCA/PEN-1/RTI/VOL-II dated 19.02.2018             (Annexure B):

8. No information regarding file notings, calculations, correspondence, concordance tables in my case 

(ii)       PPO as per circular 585 will be issued after receipt of (LPC-DS) from Directorate of Air Veterans (DAV).

Note: -          O/o PCDA (P) stated in reply (Annexure C) to another RTI application that it was developing its own software for the e-PPOs, where I thought a more cost-effective measure would have been to tweak the software being used for Civilian pensioners by the Central Pension Accounting Office (CPAO).         

(c)       Directorate of Air Veterans (DAV): The DAV is unable to process LPC or DS because it is awaiting issue of Concordance Tables by the MoD (DESW); The DAV is in continuous contact/discussions with JCDA (AF) on the matter; The software mentioned by O/o CGDA in its Action Plan of 24.11.2017 is not functional.

6.        In the meantime, Widows, elderly Ex-Servicemen in their 80s’ and 90s’ and other ESM are now running from pillar to post, which are inanimate objects incapable of responsiveness and getting the same kind of response from the various Departments of the Ministry of Defence.  

7.        It is apparent that since no e-PPOs have been issued till date, that the FADS should be more closely monitoring PPOs generated for Defence Civilians but appears unable to take some steps to speed up the progress of O/o PCDA (P) (photocopy of reply dated 13.11.2017 attached for ready reference). There appears to be neither an effort to produce the Concordance tables publish suo moto as required by Section 4 of the RTI Act, 2005 the status of e-PPOs for Defence Forces family and ordinary pensioners.  This premise is based on the fact that PCDA (P) has published, suo moto,  on its portal the following details of Defence Civilian pensioners as on 23.02.2018 ( -

            (a)       Total number of living pensioners: -    558761

            (b)       Number of LPC-DS received: -            171581

            (c)       Progressive PPOs issued:                      120727

            (d)       LPC-DS returned:                                  16499

   (e)       Number of cases pending:                    134355

8.        Similar to the disquiet in the Defence Forces after release of Resolution 1 (E) and 2 (E) dated 5.9.2016, there is the likelihood of another avoidable OROP type of agitation by some Veterans associations/organisations unless you personally intervene and seek accountability and responsibility for the delays because it affects about 18 lakh Defence Family and Ordinary pensioners. The agitators may also bring up that every Diwali that the honourable PM has spent with the Defence Forces since 2014, he has praised their service and expressed the gratitude of the nation, but it appears that MoD is not listening to the honourable PM.

9.        A reply would go a long way to assuage Widows and ESM that the Defence Secretary is personally looking into the matter, despite your over-loaded schedule.

Yours sincerely,

Enclosures: as stated                                                                                                       

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