Monday, November 15, 2010

CGDA meetings on 25 Oct 2010


A meeting was held between delegation of IESM Indian ex-servicemen movement and CGDA Controller General of Defense accounts and his staff at 1530h on 25th Oct 2010 at CGDA office Dhoula kuan Delhi Cantt.

Following personnel attended the meeting;

IESM delegation was represented by;
Maj Gen Satbir Singh SM Vice Chairman IESM
Maj Gen AJB Jaini AVSM Member governing body IESM
Gp Capt SS Phatak Member Pension Cell IESM
Gp Capt VK Gandhi VSM Gen Sec IESM

CGDA was represented by;
Sh Nand Kishor CGDA
Smt UG Antony Addl CGDA
Sh AK Chopra Addl CGDA
Smt D Raghuvanshi Jt CGDA
Smt K Garg

Following points were discussed;

1. Issue of Corrigendum to PPOs; IESM delegation explained to CGDA that the defense pensioners were facing very many difficulties because corrigendum to the PPOs had not been issued by the CGDA. It was also brought to the notice of CGDA that the railways had already initiated the process of issuing fresh PPOs to its retired employees.

CGDA explained that there were approximately 22.79 lac veterans who are drawing pension. A corrigendum was required to be issued with every amendment to the pension. After 6 CPC Ministry of Defense had issued 13 amendment letters affecting defense pensioner. It means CDA would have had to issue 13 corrigenda after the 6 CPC. Earlier CDA had more than 3000 employees to take care of PPOs and corrigendum, and now CDA had very little staff and it was not possible to undertake this gigantic task of issuing the 10 million corrigenda. He further explained that CDA would provide all help to the veterans in sorting out their pension problems.

2. Grant to the Banks for pension disbursement; IESM delegation explained that the GOI is paying Rs 60 to the banks for every entry of the pension of the veterans. It was a huge amount and if it was possible to divert this fund for the hiring of staff by CDA this task could be easily handled.

CGDA explained that this decision had been taken after lot of consultations and it was now not possible to revert it. It was also not possible to transfer funds from one head to another and hence this suggestion could not be implemented. He however explained that his staff was constantly issuing guidance to the banks and constantly monitoring the pension disbursement process. All the banks had confirmed that they were disbursing the pension as per CDA guidelines. Most of the banks had also confirmed that they were issuing annexure IV to the pensioners. However CGDA agreed to issue fresh instructions to the banks for issuance of annexure IV to all pensioners.

3. Incorrect Pension being disbursed by the Banks; IESM delegation explained that banks had been disbursing incorrect pension to the veterans. It had been seen that banks were playing safe and were paying less than approved pension to the pensioners. Unfortunately pensioners did not have the Govt letters with them to calculate and demand correct pension. Gp Capt SS Phatak explained that he had been visiting various banks and explaining to them the correct amount due to the pensioner. In some case he had been able to convince banks and got the arrears in lacs credited to the pensioners/widows. He had been visiting bank regional head offices and having regularly liaison with them to calculate correct pension for the veterans/widows.

CGDA appreciated the effort being put in by IESM and explained that CGDA on their part had been conducting regular training of the bank staff for calculation of the correct pension to the veterans. Training courses were being conducted for bank staff regularly at CDA Allahabad. CGDA further stated that CDA has 61 DPDOs spread all over the country. List of all the DPDOs is attached with the report at App A. DPDOs are located depending on the population density of the veterans and are spread in Punjab, Haryana, UP, Rajasthan, J&K and Kerala. CGDA centrally monitors the performance of all DPDOs. He further stated that all possible help would be given to the veterans in the DPDOs. He confirmed that the veterans can approach DPDOs and get their pension calculated and give the calculation sheet to their banks. It was also possible for the veterans to shift the pension account with DPDO in which case correct pension would be disbursed to the veterans and mistake by bank staff could be avoided.

4. Compendium of MOD letters to the Banks; IESM delegation requested CGDA that most of the branches of the banks did not have latest letters of the MOD governing pension hence banks did not have the basic tool of pension calculations. It was requested that a compendium of the letters be made and sent to the branches in rural area.

CGDA confirmed that the compendium of the all MOD letters had been made and given to the bank head offices. It was now there duty to circulate it to all branches. CGDA however would ask the bank head offices to circulate the compendium once again. CGDA also confirmed that all banks head offices were on the circulation list of MOD/CDA letters. CGDA further explained that a user friendly stand alone touch screen system (SUVIGYA) had been developed and gave the demonstration also. It would be possible to calculate any veterans’/widows’ pension with least amount of data. It was easy to operate and gave latest pension details with bare minimum inputs like basic pension and date of retirement and date of birth. He further confirmed that the effort would be made to place this stand alone system at DPDOs and CDA website also. IESM delegation insisted that SUVIGYA was a very good tool and should be installed at places like CSD canteens and ECHS polyclinics frequently visited by the veterans. CGDA expressed his inability to do so because someone should take the responsibility of the upkeep of the stand alone system. He further confirmed that this software thus developed would be shared with armed forces head quarters. However the problem of maintenance and upkeep and updating of the software would come and a solution would be found for that. IESM delegation further insisted that at least SUVIGYA should be made available with district soldier board offices. CGDA agreed to study this proposal and would confirm the possibility of installing SUVIGYA at district soldier board offices. CGDA confirmed that CDA would like to deal directly with pensioners but could not do so because of shortage of staff.

5. Pension Adalats; CGDA confirmed that CGDA staff regularly conducts the pension adalats at various locations all over India. CGDA conducts six adalats in a year in various parts of the country. So for 100 Defense Pension Adalats had been conducted. Last one (100th Pension adalat) was conducted in Bangalore on 30/31 Aug 2010. 101st Pension Adalat was planned at Army Public School Alwar on 28/29th Oct 2010. He requested the IESM delegation to spread the information through its sources and ensure that maximum veterans are benefited with the Adalat.

6. E-transfer of the Pension; IESM delegation suggested that in this modern era of computerization it should be possible to disburse the pension by electronic transfer.

CGDA explained that first of all veterans did not have bank accounts and secondly they had to give their life certificate to banks every year. It would therefore not be possible to make E-transfer of pension by the CDA as of now.

7. Disability Pension; CGDA confirmed that as per rules all veterans would have to fill up a form to claim increased disability pension. He requested IESM to communicate this information with all so that all veterans drawing disability pension can fill up their claims.
Pension of PSU veterans; Gp Capt Phatak expressed that Lt Col and equivalents who have returned back to Army/Navy/Air Force from deputation should be given PB4 automatically. CGDA explained that this will be decided from case to case.

8. Grievances Mechanism; IESM suggested that there should be grievances mechanism in the banks so that any veteran can approach for any mistake in his pension calculations. CGDA confirmed that Smt Raghuvanshi Jt CGDA would be writing to the banks to institute a grievances mechanism for addressing pension problems of veterans. She also confirmed that veterans can also register their complaint at ‘’ web-site of CDA.

9. Information to veterans about Latest orders on pension; IESM delegation expressed that pensioners should be informed about the latest orders of the GOI/MOD. IESM suggested that CGDA could give an advertisement in all main news papers and vernacular press about the latest compendium of the orders of MOD/CDA.

CGDA accepted the suggestion and confirmed that this information would be soon given in all news papers.

10. Pension Portal for veterans; IESM suggested that a pension portal needs to be made for all veterans to help them. All data would then be available for all veterans on the portal. IESM volunteered to undertake this task. Maj Gen Satbir Singh suggested that suitable monitory grant should be given to IESM to develop and then maintain the portal.

CGDA explained that this is good idea and the issue of monitory grant can be considered. He asked the IESM delegation to forward a proposal in this regard for consideration.

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