Minutes of the meeting discuss the Action Taken Report on the issues pertaining to welfare of Ex-servicemen
Ministry of Defence
Government of India
(Department of Ex-servicemen Welfare)
New Delhi, 16th March 2017
Sub: Minutes of the meeting held under the Chairmanship of Hon’ble Raksha Mantri to discuss the Action Taken Report on the issues pertaining to welfare of Ex-servicemen.
A copy of the minutes of the meeting held under the Chairmanship of Hon’ble Raksha Mantri on 1st March, 2017 at 3.30 PM with Ex-servicemen Associations to discuss issues pertaining to welfare of Ex-servicemen is forwarded herewith for information and necessary action.
2. It is requested that action taken in the matter may kindly be intimated to this Department at the earliest.
Minutes of the meeting held under the chairmanship of Hon’ble Raksha Mantri on 1.3.2017 with Ex-servicemen Associations to discuss issues pertaining to Welfare of Ex-servicemen.
A Meeting was held under the chairmanship of Hon’ble Raksha Mantri on 1.3.2017 with Ex-servicemen Associations to review the action taken report on issues pertaining to welfare of ex-servicemen discussed in the meeting held under the chairmanship of Hon’ble RM on 24.10.2016. List of participants is annexed.
After welcoming the participants by Hon’ble RM, status on the issues discussed in the meeting held on 24.10.2016 reviewed are as under:-
1. Counting of full service of rank as qualifying service (without any reduction for shortfall in actual service) for war injury pension.
The disabled war veterans get service element of their war injury pension by counting full service as Qualifying Service ( without any reduction for shortfall in actual service). while revising the entitlement of this category of war injury pensions on the basis of OROP Tables. PCDA has completely ignored the earlier orders and has arbitrarily linked their entitlement of service element to actual service. As a result, all invalided out war veterans and even family pension of the widows has been reduced and are not geting benefit of OROP revision. Due to this pension/family pension has been reduced drastically.
JS(ESW) informed that this anomaly has been referred to the One Member Judicial Committee. The Committee has submitted its report which included this issue also. CGDA have furnished their comments on it. The matter has been referred to Defence (Finance).
Hon’ble RM assured that the matter will be looked into.
2. DGL of pension revision to include disability pension in the same circular for pension revision.
Issue raised is that at present, DGL for the revision of pension is prepared by CGDA and final orders are issued by MoD. Associations have suggested that PS Directorate of AG Branch should be consulted before issue of GL to avoid any likely anomaly in future and such circular should be comprehensive including disability pension.
Hon’ble RM informed the representatives of Associations that he has already directed to do so. He directed that henceforth this practice should be adopted before issuing Government Order.
3. Issues of corrigendum and e-PPOs.
It was informed that in the last review meeting with officers of MoD, PCDA informed that they have introduced e-PPO system for fresh pensioners. Except for SBI and PNB, other banks are yet to develop the system. PCDA has requested to banks to expedite the matter.
It was brought out that the main issue is conversion of 22 lakh old PPOs into ePPOs. Hon’ble RM desired that the long pending issue is required to be resolved. However, it may take some time. He informed the Associations that he will take separate meeting with CGDA, PCDA and other concerned officers of MoD in this regard.
4. Empanelment of Ottobuck and Endolite Prosthesis Centre under ECHS.
It was informed that D/o ESW vide letter dated 3rd November, 2016 has issued order for empanelment of ottobock and Endolite prosthesis Centres with ECHS. secretary(ESW) informed that rates for these prosthesis centres have been approved. MD ECHS informed that they have received the approval of MoD on rates and necessary action on their part will be completed by 31st March, 2017.
5.Payment of Fixed Medical Allowance (FMA)
It was informed that many ECHS beneficiaries who are staying in remote areas are required to travel long distance even for getting treatment for small diseases. Associations requested for payment of Fixed Medical Allowance for such diseases and treatment for major diseases in hospitals.
Hon’ble RM directed MD ECHS that a concept note in this regard be submitted to him within next 10 days.
MD, ECHS informed that matter is under consideration and will be implemented once 7th CPC recommendations are implemented for services.
7.Enhancement of pension or widows of war disabled/invalided out war veterans
Matter relates to enhancement of pension for widows of war disabled/invalided out war veterans. It has been pointed out by Association that widows of those service personnel who die in field areas due to accidents or on duty are accorded special family pension whereas widows of disabled war veterans invalidated out of service are accorded ordinary family pension. It has been requested to maintain parity in this regard. It was informed by representatives of Disabled War Veterans that matters pertains to only 4000-4500 widows. Hon’ble RM informed that once recommendations of 7th CPC are notified, the matter will be looked into.
Following fresh issues were raised by the Associations:-
1) Efficacy of ECHS.
Some of the inadequacies/shortfalls experienced with ECHS scheme were highlighted as under:
(i) Shortage of medicines coupled with inadequacy of local purchase funds to buy medicines from local market.
(ii) Denial of semi-private/private wards facilities to Hony commissioned Officers.
(iii) Referral to private empanelled hospitals/diagnostic facilities is being restricted at centres where service hospitals are co-located with ECHS Polyclinics.
ECHS informed that to overcome the above situation and improve the supply of medicines, a proposal for introduction of authorised local chemists on the model of CGHS with enhanced powers to the polyclinics is under active consideration. In addition, ECHS is regularly interacting with the O/o DGAFMS for speedier procurement of medicines and medical stores.
2) Provision of Old Age Homes for Defence Veterans by Central Government
Air Force Association has requested MoD to consider building for Old Age Homes under the concept of pay and stay basis exclusively for Defence Veterans from the Central Government budget. Hon’ble RM was of the view that construction of buildings of Old Age Homes by Central Government may not be viable. However, feasibility of financial support for old age homes run by NGOs may be examined.
3) Reimbursement of Medical Expenses incurred abroad during emergency hospitalization
MD ECHS informed that case for reimbursement of emergency treatment whiile travelling abroad is under examination and it was suggested that expenditure incurred abroad may be restricted to the expenditure admissible in India.
4) Issue of corrigendum PPOs for Air Force Pensioners under Sixth and Seventh CPC.
Air Force Association has raised the matter of issue of corrigendum PPOs for all pre-2006 pensions as against 1.6 lakh Air Force Pensioners of Pre-2006, only 48,245 corrigendum PPOs have been issued. RM desired that gaps of 1 lakh pensioners is required to be identified. CGDA is to examine and intimate the correct numbers.
5) ECHS and medical attendant facility for emergency commissioned officers
It was informed that there are approx. 5000 officers commissioned between 1963 to 1966. Providing ECHS and medical attendant facility to them may be considered.
6) Military Service Pay (MSP) for JCOs and ORs
Association informed that MSP for JCOs should be enhanced as they perform higher leadership roles and are a link between officers and men. It has been requested to recommend JCOs MSP as Rs.10,500/-. MSP for MNS may be raised to Rs.11,500/- MSP should be applicable to all ranks including Generals. MSP is for the hardships and rigorous of military service for the entire period of service and therefore should be paid to Maj. Gens and above officers also.
7) Weightage of service for pension
Armed Forces personnel are given weightage for service to compensate them for early retirement. Presently it is 12,10,8 & 5 years. It has also been accepted in the 6th CPC. Association requested that the same weightage must be made applicable to all ranks of the Armed Forces in the 7th CPC.
8) Common matrix.
Pay has a direct bearing on the pension. The Defence Matrix does not have adequate levels and most of the officers, JCOs and ORs in the final year will stagnate. Association requested that there is need to have uniform pay matrix for the Armed Forces.
9) Arrears of Pension for post 2006 retirees Hony. Lt/Capt.
It was informed by the Association that enhancement of pension w.e.f. 24th September 2012 and on orders of Hon’ble Supreme Court the arrears have been paid to all including civilians w.e.f 1.1.2006. However, those who retired after jan 2006 and before Sept., 2012 the arrears have not been paid. The arrears in the spirit of Supreme Court judgement must be paid w.e.f. date of retirement till 23 September, 2012. Hon’ble RM desired that details of case be sent to him.
10) Financial support from MoD to Air Force Association
Association intimated they have very limited sources of revenue as it received income mainly from one time life membership subscription, donations and AFA Flag Day contributions. Till the year 2003, Association had been receiving an annual grant from MoD. The same was stopped. Association has requested to consider resumption of Annual Grant to all recongnised ESM Associations including Air Force Association.
There being no other point, the meeting ended with vote of thanks to the chair.
List of participants of the meeting held under the chairmanship of Hon’ble RM on 1.3.2017 to discuss issues pertaining to welfare of ex-servicemen.