We, 18.5 lakh pre-2016 Armed Forces pensioners and family pensioners will have to wait because of the apathy in the matter of revision of Pensions and issue of E-PPOs consequent to the Cabinet decision of 3.5.2017 to be fixed on the notional pay drawn on date of retirement/death as applicable. On the other hand, 1.5 lakh revised PPOs have been issued by PCDA (P) to Defence Civilian pensioners and family pensioners.
For All Government Pensioners
2. After the Cabinet’s approval dated 3.5.2017, the Department of Expenditure (DoE), MoF, through OM No. 1(13)/EV/2017 dated 23.5.2017, clarified that
“3. Central Pension Accounting Offices….Controller General of Defence Accounts under the Ministry of Defence…..
4. (c) Pension Accounting Authorities….(i) CPAO in case of civil pensioners and similar pension accounting offices in the Ministry of Defence…….shall pass on relevant data of live pensioners to the concerned PAOs by 31.5.2017…..In cases where data is not available the same will be obtained by the pension accounting offices from the disbursing banks and shall be passed on to the concerned PAOs. This action will be taken up simultaneously and completed within four weeks.
For Government’s Civilian Pensioners
3. DoP&PW has clarified on the Concordance Tables prepared by DoE as follows in OM No. 38/37/2016- P & PW (A) dated 6.7.2017 as follows: -
“4. These concordance tables have been prepared to facilitate revision of pension of pre-2016 pensioners/family pensioners by the concerned Pension Sanctioning Authorities. Due care has been taken to prepare these concordance tables based on fitment tables for fixation of pay from 4th to 5th , 5th to 6th and 6th to 7th Pay Commission.
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5. It is requested that the pension of pre-2016 pensioners/family pensioners may be revised w.e.f. 01.01.2016 in accordance with instructions contained in this Department’s OM of even number dated 12.5.2107 using the concordance tables enclosed herewith.”
4. The Concordance tables, and periodic amendments, are being circulated by DoP&PW vide OM No. 38/37/2016-P & PW (A) dated 12.7.2017, 18.7.2017, and 13.9.2017 respectively. Central Pension Accounting Office (CPAO) has issued more than 29000 e-PPOs as per RTI reply dated 1.3.2018.
Defence Civilian Pensioners
5. PCDA (P) issued Circular C-164 stating at Paragraph 18 that PCDA (P) would provide lists of living pensioners and family pensioners from e-scrolls held by PCDA (P) to Heads of Offices (HOO) with a caveat that the list may not be exhaustive, and Circular C-164 at Paragraph 2 stating that the Concordance Tables provided by DoE and mentioned in the DOP&PW letter(s) be utilised by HOO to prepare the LPC-Data Sheets required by PCDA (P) (emphasis added). Based on DoE’s Concordance tables, HOOs if Defence Civilian departments have been able to prepare and dispatch LPC-Data Sheets to PCDA (P), who in turn issued revision Pension Payment Orders to 1.59 lakh (25%) out of 5.58 lakh Civilian Defence Pensioners & Family pensioners as on 20.3.2018. The information is provided on the PCDA (P), Allahabad website http://www.pensionersportal.gov.in/PPOStatus.asp. There is no information related to the Defence Forces pensioners and family pensioners on the PCDA (P), PCDA (N) or CDA (AF) pages.
Defence Forces Pensioners
6. On the other hand, Concordance tables for Defence Forces pensioners and Family pensioners have not been issued. Further, CGDA has not passed on data of live pensioners to the Pay & Accounting Offices (PAOs), even obtaining it from pension disbursing banks where necessary, all within 4 weeks. Therefore, Defence Forces’ Veterans Directorates are unable to prepare LPC and data sheets required for revision of pensions and issue of PPOs.
7. MoD OM No. 17 (01/2017/(02)/D (Pen/Pol) dated 5.9.2017 makes no mention of Concordance tables that can be applicable for Defence Forces pensioners and Family pensioners as Rank Pay (4th and 5th CPC dispensation) and MSP (6th and 7th CPC dispensations) have to be added to prepare the tables. PCDA (P) Circular No. 585 dated 21.9.2017 also does not mention Concordance tables because, replies to RTI reveal that DESW and D (Pay/Services), are in consultation with CGDA to prepare the Concordance tables for pre-2016 Defence Forces pensioners and Family pensioners.
8. The following chronology, obtained through the RTI disclosures from DESW (No. 237/RTI/2014/D (P/P) dated 16th March 2018 and earlier from CGDA), reveals the acute state of indecision on the issue of Concordance tables for pre-2016 pensioners and family pensioners: -
(a) 13th July 2017: - Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare (DESW) forwards the DoP&PW letter and Concordance tables to O/o CGDA [PC to F No. 17(1)/2016-D (Pen/Pol) refers].
(b) 12th September 2017: - Joint CGDA writes to JS (ESW) to issue Concordance Tables.
(c) 13th September 2017: - US (Pen/Pol) writes to US (Pay/Services) about Concordance Tables.
(d) 14th September 2017: - CGDA advises D (Pen/Pol) to approach D (Pay/Services) to furnish the Concordance tables.
(e) 4th October 2017: - Jt CGDA writes to US (Pen/Pol) drawing attention to Para 18 of MoD letter dated 5th September 2017 that notional pay is to be fixed by Record Offices and Naval Pay Office. The UO note is also repeated from O/o CGDA to US (Pen/Pol).
(f) 5th October 2017: - US (Pen/Pol) sends a reminder to US (Pay/Services) regarding the Concordance tables.
(g) 9th October 2017: - Jt CGDA writes to JS (ESW) seeking status of Concordance tables to be issued in consultation with D (Pay/services). JS (ESW) seeks status from US (Pen/Pol) on 10th October 2017.
(h) 17th October 2017: - JS (ESW) writes to JS (E) for D (Pay/Services) to prepare the Concordance Tables.
(j) 25th October 2017: - JS (ESW) writes again to JS (E) to intervene personally and arrange to issue the Concordance tables.
(k) 27th October 2017: - US D (Pay/Services) vide MoD ID No. 1(26)/2017/D (Pay/Services) dated 27th October 2017 writes to CGDA to prepare the Concordance tables and send them directly to DESW (Pension Division) for further necessary action.
(l) 2nd November 2017: - Note 4 to US (Pen/Pol) that JS (ESW) has taken up the matter with JS (E) through a DO dated 25th October 2017, however, requisite inputs from D (Pay/Services) is awaited. Note 4/n on F No. PC to 17 (1)/2016/D (Pen/Pol) refers.
(m) 13th November 2017: - PCDA (P), Allahabad states that No PPOs have been issued to Defence Forces officers as on 13.11.2017 (No. AN/RTI/2969/SYS/2017).
(n) 1st December 2017: - Jt CGDA, O/o CGDA UO No. 5700/AT-P/7th CPC/Vol V writing an entreaty to JS (ESW) to issue the Concordance Tables as Pension Sanctioning Authorities are pressurising to enable them to issue the PPOs for pre-2016 Defence Forces Family pensioners and pensioners.
(p) 15th December 2017: - Deptt of ESW vide ID No. PC-17 (1)/2016/D (Pension/Policy) writes to O/o CGDA to take up with D (Pay/Services) for expeditious preparation of Concordance tables.
It appears that there is either no action taken by DESW or no information available with DESW after 15.12.2017.
9. RTI reply also indicate that PSAs have not provided data on live pensioners to PAO within 4 weeks of 23.5.2017 as specified by DoE. Therefore, Directorate of Air Veterans (DAV), vide Air HQ/99798/Misc/7th CPC/O/RP/DAV dated 13th October 2017 requested for data from pensioners and family pensioners. The DAV website https://www.iafpensioners.gov.in indicates that 4057 Officers pensioners, 348 Officers Family pensioners, and 35206 Other Ranks pensioners have provided the information required as on 23.2.2018. All this data appears to be held up in DAV awaiting the Concordance tables which appear to be held up in a tug-of-war between MoD and CGDA.
10. DoE must have been aware that all Pension Accounting Authorities viz. CGDA maintain data on live pensioners for it to have the procedure at para 3 of its letter dated 25.3.2017. Even then, the statement by CGDA/PCDA (P) that it does not posses data and needs to be provided data appears perennial. This is in contradiction of the following instructions/training notes issued by CGDA: -
(a) The Defence Pension Payment Instructions 2013 for Pension Disbursing Agencies Booklet on the sanction and payment of Pensionary Benefits to Defence Personnel (including Defence Civilians) issued by CGDA (http://www.cgda.nic.in/training/trgDPTI/psm.pdf) is very explicit on the maintenance of records of Pension related calculation i.e. pay drawn on date of retirement/death etc.
(b) The CGDA booklet also states that every Pension Disbursing Authority (PDA) shall furnish a statement showing number of effective pensioners to the PCDA (P) on 1st April and 1st October every year viz. PBOR, Commissioned Officers, Family, Defence Civilians and Family pensioners.
11. O/o CGDA, has obtained data of live pensioners in 2012-14 to implement orders of the Supreme Court in IA No. 9 of 2010 in TP (C) No. 56 of 2007 also known as the Rank Pay case from about 45000 beneficiaries as revealed through RTI reply No. CPIO/AT/2013/HQ/1/1108 and UO Note AT/1/1483-Army/PC/V both dated 14.6.2013.
12. Further, in 2015, this aspect of CGDA stating that Defence Forces officers’ data is not readily available is mentioned in MoD D.O. No. 12 (1)/2015-D (Pen/Pol) Part II dated 29.5. 2015 from then JS (ESW) to Addl CGDA, especially in the context of JS (PMO) requiring certain calculations in a similar manner of fixing notional pay furnished (by O/o CGDA) in Maj Gen SPS Vains (retd) & Others case [F No. 4 (140)/2010/D (Pen/Legal) Vol II]. Later, O/o CGDA, working out financial implications of OROP on notional pay as in the Maj Gen Vains case at Annexures A to D to CGDA UO No. 5699/AT-P/OROP/Vol V dated 11th June 2015, has quoted the following figures of pre-2013 and post 2013 retirees as on 1.4.2014 as (i) Officers: 44, 595, and (ii) JCO/OR & equivalent 12, 64,228.
13. Therefore, the CGDA should be able to provide the live data of all pre-2016 Defence Forces and Family pensioners to the Pay Accounting Offices and through them to the RO/NPO. However, the unresolved matter of Concordance tables for pre-2016 Armed Forces pensioners and Family pensioners that will the stumbling block that needs RM's personal intervention.