Dear Hon’ble Raksha Mantri ji,
1. I am being accused that I am an ardent supporter of BJP because I say in social media that the best welfare measures given to Ex-Servicemen and Family pensioners (widows) are :
(a) Extension of Service by two years in 1999.
(b) Sanction of Ex-Servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS)
(c) Employment of 90% of staff in Toll plazas on National High ways
(d) One Rank One Pension.
All these, may I remind you, Sir, have been granted by NDA- 1 Govt and NDA – II Govt.
2. What surprises me the most instead of getting kudos for doing so much for Ex-Servicemen, Ministry of Defence is getting brickbats from this community. I try to reason out in social media that defence pensions are very complex with different types of pensions which no other Central Govt pensioners have, yet Ex- Servicemen do not accept my arguments I offer in your support.
3. They have two serious complaints against your ministry. When I see them I feel the Ex-Servicemen are justified in being unhappy with Min of Def. Kindly take two minutes and I shall tell you what are they and how you can convert this antipathy of this community to gratefulness
4. Full Pension De-linked from 33 Year Rule. As you are aware, Sir, the judgment of hon’ble Supreme Court in MO Inasu Vs Union of India, 2015, forced Ministry of Personnel, Pensions and Public Grievance to issue their Office memorandum No 38/37/08-P & PW (A) dated 06 Apr 2016 sanctioning full pension to all those who served for pensionable service (20 years in case of civilian employees) by de-linking requirement of 33 years. PCDA (Pensions) Allahabad loses no time and issues Circular C-149 dated 08 Apr 2016 for defence civilian pensioners. We do not complain if they get their arrears early but not issuing orders for similarly placed defence pensioners till date (after lapse of three months) is upsetting Ex-Servicemen.These orders will benefit Sepoys to Havildars and their family pensioners who draw pittance of pensions. They are the ones who will benefit and live slightly better if their arrears are paid with no loss of time. If arrears for civilians can be worked out over night will it take months to do the same for defence pensioners howsoever complex the defence pensions may be ?
5. The argument given by your PCDAs who deal with pension is: defence pensions are very complex. Sir, I want to De-mystify this wrong concept. One has to spend just two days to know what are defence pensions?. What is so complex in working out arrears of all those who could not serve for 33 years is something I and many like me fail to understand.
6. Arrears for Defence Pensioners. Sir, Sepoys are permitted to serve for 15 years and given rank weightage of 10 years till 23 Sep 2012 (later enhanced to 12 years w.e.f. 24 Sep 2012). Sepoys do not serve for 33 years like civilians hence rank weightage has to be given to them to give them better pension. Yet they do not serve for 33 years in spite rank weightage. Their qualifying service is only 15+10 = 25 years. Their pension is pro-rata reduced. If a Sepoy’s Full pension of Group Y (non- diploma holder) with 15 years’ service is say Rs 1,000, his pension is pro-rata reduced to Rs 1000 x 25/33 = Rs 757.60. Arrears to be paid consequent to judgment of hon’ble Supreme Court is Rs (1000 – 757.60) plus DR from Jan 2006 to Jun 2014. Cannot this be worked out Sir? I am enclosing my calculations done in two worksheets (one for JCOs & OR and another for Officers) in MS Excel 2013 version. I request you to instruct PCDAs to check my calculations and if found correct issue orders for payment of arrears without any further loss of time. Family pensioners can be 60% of these amounts as arrears.
7. Second Issue: 7th CPC Pensions. On receipt of Govt notification in the form of Gazette, Ministry of Railways took just two days to issue 7th CPC implementation orders. They also involve Railway pensioners so that all anomalies are resolved. But it is not so in Ministry of Defence.
8. How to Earn Good Will of Two Crore Ex-Service Community. Sir, issue one line notification to all CPPCs of banks to enhance pensions of all Defence pensioners by multiplying their OROP pension by 2.57. 95% of defence pensioners will get benefit by this simple notification. No need to issue unintelligible, long winded linking to dozens of old Circulars which only confuse banks staff in CPPCs. Balance 5% are disabled soldiers and special category pensioners for whom orders can be issued after one week. Min of Def will earn gratitude if 7th CPC pensions are remitted before Independence Day 2016.
9. It can be done, Sir, if there is a will on the part of DAD personnel.
10. I am sure some positives will come out by your intervention and Ex-Servicemen and family pensioners feel they have a Raksha Mantri who protects their interests.
Thanking for going through this mail.
Brig CS Vidyasagar (Rtd)
President, Tri Services Ex-Servicemen Welfare Association (TSEWA) firstname.lastname@example.org, 9493191380