At the outset, may I remind the otherwise Impatient Veterans that they need to have patience when dealing with the ministry. A lesson I have learnt and which is paying dividends. Many of you may not agree with me. The attitude under the present RM and his staff, in my opinion, is to try and facilitate and implement our suggestions/requests if found reasonable and within the framework of rules. It is our task to prove that.
Yesterday we, Capt N K Mahajan and I, met the RM at his office at 2.50 PM to release the first magazine issued by "Disabled War Veterans (India) for distribution to all War Disabled. The effort in collating the information in regards entitlements etc and work already completed was entirely that of Capt N K Mahajan. The magazine is in English and Hindi. DIWAVE thank him for his efforts.
The meeting was attended by IESL and AFA league besides the Minister of State for Defence, Financial Advisor MoD, CGDA and all officials including serving senior officers.
Now the issues on which the RM are given below:
1. Counting of full service of rank as qualifying service (without any reduction for shortfall in actual service) for war injury pension.
The RM took the details of the special dispensation accorded in 1972 and the FADS agreed to our contention. He instructed the Secy ESW and CGDA to take note. We informed him of the reduction based on circular 555 for which he declared that no reduction in pension could be made. CGDA took note.
2. OROP orders
However as regards the OROP issue, since it was a political one, he indicated that he would issue orders based on Judicial Commission only after 15 March 2017.
3. Disability Pensions and Broad Banding
The RM indicated that disability pensions will be on percentage basis together with broad banding and these orders will be issued together with balance of 7CPC orders.
4. DGL of pension revision to include disability pension in the same circular for pension revision.
The issue of consultation prior to issue of orders by relevant authority to avoid any anomaly in future has been agreed to.
5. Issue of corrigendum PPO's and e-PPO's
The issue had been brought up by AFA league earlier and this was discussed in detail with AG informing the RM that it required complete change in the software. It would be a long haul and might take upto over six months. It was suggested that the effort may be subcontracted to an IT firm. This proposal was seriously considered and RM indicated that it was something that needed to be initiated. Secy ESW took note.
6. Empanelment of Ottobock and Endolite prosthesis centre under ECHS
The orders for the same have been finalised with rates approved for each fitting. The financial approval has been cleared and the orders by MD ECHS should be issued very shortly.
7. Payment of Fixed Medical Allowance (FMA)
The RM is in acceptance of the idea proposed and awaited the final proposal by MD ECHS
8. Similar Entitlement of ward in CGHS and ECHS beneficiaries in empanelled hospital
The RM accorded approval for this proposal.
9. Enhancement of pension of widows of war disabled invalided out war veterans
The RM accepted the proposal and the AG was informed. Final decision will be taken shortly.
10. IESL took up following issues of which some decisions were accorded:
a) The adding of weightage towards pensions of JCO's and OR's as previously accorded in 6th Pay Commision.
RM agreed to the proposal and informed Secy ESW and CGDA to take note.
b) The pension of Hony JCO's
IESL intimated that some Hony JCO's who received the honour after retirement were not receiving pensions of the rank whereas their contemporaries did. The RM after hearing them intimated that the date of honorary rank will not be the date of announcement but date approved. Also honorary ranks should be conferred at least two years prior to retirement to avoid this anomaly reoccurring.
c) MSP increase for JCO's and Other Ranks
IESL raised the issue of the MSP of the lower ranks and RM requested AG for his proposal within a week.
IESL raised the issue of NFU and RM took note of the same for action.
The RM also indicated to those present that final orders of 7CPC had not been received and the pensions presently ordered may be revised upwards. Other entitlements done away by 7CPC are also under review and we should await the result.
Not wishing to tread on the efforts of IESL and AFA League, I have mostly dealt on the issues of War Disabled and some issues spoken about in my capacity of attending the meeting.
Col H N Handa