Bharat Pensioners Samaj writes to Prime Minister
Bharat Pensioners’ Samaj writes a letter to Prime Minister as reply for his letter dated 31.03.2015. The content of the letter is reproduced and given below for your information…
BHARAT PENSIONERS’ SAMAJ
(All India Federation of Pensioners’ Associations)
2/13-A, LGF Backside, Jangpura ‘A’, New Delhi-110014
BPS writes to Prime Minister
The Hon’ble Prime Minister
Government of India
Ref: Prime Minister’s letter dated 31.03.2015 to Elderly
On behalf of Bharat Pensioners Samaj, a conglomeration of around 650 Pensioners organizations, the undersigned extends gratitude for the feelings conveyed through your letter dated 31-03-2015 addressed to Elderly. BPS is not only delighted but proud that the country has a Prime Minister who truly believes in Indian ethos, cares and respects his elderly. Sir, you justify-fully deserve the blessings of the Elderly of the country.
Encouraged by your open heartedness, undersigned on behalf of BHARAT PENSIONERS SAMAJ avail the privilege writing follow lines for your consideration:
Rightly Prime Minister Sir, Present day Elderly which includes the fraternity of Civil Pensioners, belongs to the privileged generation which has had the honor of contributing of both India’s independence, &consequent Nation building. Forgoing 8.33% matching Govt. contribution to PF and accepting salaries which were intentionally designed at lower level to cater to the pension to be paid after retirement. The Civil Pensioners’ of today, during their productive years worked hard for the development of the country with the hope that the Nation will take care of them during the evening of their lives. Even today whenever need arises due to natural calamities or otherwise, they are first to come forward with monetary as well as physical support & stand shoulder to shoulder with the administration and the fellow citizen to the extent of donating organs & even the whole body so that others may live to serve this beautiful country. Despite old age they make endless contributions to their families, communities and society. They contribute as family care givers, as workers, consumers, volunteers and taxpayers. In-fact they are the ones who have been & are still paying Taxes most honestly.
Earnestly they look forward to a peaceful and healthy life. And a life of dignity and respect where they are free from want and able to live with the standard they were used to. Prime minister Sir, Civil Pensioners only aspire for uniform & discrimination-free application of what is laid down in the constitution, what the supreme court has pronounced, what is covered by their service conditions and to what they have contributed.
Sir, in this country Supreme court / high court judges, CAG, Cab, Secy & Secys, enjoy 100% parity of pension between pre & post retirees. You have also promised One Rank One Pension to Defense Personnel. Why then the other civil Pensioners are being discriminated against. Are they 2nd class Citizens?. At least for them carry forward the modified parity formula enunciated by Vth CPC & accepted by the then Govt. but discontinued due to disillusioned recommendations of 6th CPC. And reduce the Ratio between minimum & maximum paid to the international level with equal % rise in pension of all.
Health care: Sir you will agree “Health is not a luxury” and “not be the sole possession of a privileged few”. India may be a young Nation today but is fast getting old. From govt, staff alone, over a lac are retiring every year at 60yrs. Demographic forecast suggest, every 5th Indian to be 60+ by 2050, over 30% of whom will be ex govt/PSU employees. 90% 60+Indians suffer from one or other old age ailment/disability and every year millions are being pushed below poverty line due to out of pocket expenditure on health care. If adequate immediate corrective steps are not taken India will be a Nation of limping poor oldies.
As per the law laid down by the apex court, healthcare is a Fundamental justify of all present & past Employees Bharat Pensioners Samaj request the honorable prime Minister to sensitize his Govt, on-
Ensuring hassle free health care facility to all Pensioners/family pensioners without discrimination of departments & distances ; issuing Smart Cards irrespective of departments, to all Pensioners/ Family Pensioners and their Dependent for cashless medical facilities across the country. These smart cards should be valid in:
all Govt. hospitals
all NABH accredited Multi Super Speciality hospitals across the country which have been allotted land at concessional rate or given any aid or concession by the Central or the State govt. all CGHS, RELHS & ECHS empanelled hospitals across the country.
Medical attendants: For reimbursement of bills for treatment & for hospitalization: No referral should be insisted in case of medical emergencies. For the purpose of reference for hospitalization & reimbursement of expenditure thereon in other than emergency cases, doctors/Medical officers working in different Central/ State Govt. department dispensaries/health units should be recognized as Authorized medical attendant.
The enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health is recognized as a fundamental justify of all workers in terms of Article 21 read with Article 39 a, 41, 43, 48A and all related Articles as pronounced by the Supreme Court in Consumer Education and Research Centre & Others vs Union of India (AIR 1995 Supreme Court 922) The Supreme court has held that:
“the justify to health to a worker is an integral facet of meaningful justify to life to have not only a meaningful existence but also robust health and vigour. Therefore, the justify to health, medical aid to protect the health and vigour of a worker while in service or post retirement is a fundamental justify -to make life of a worker meaningful and purposeful with dignity of person. Thus health care is not only a welfare measure but is a Fundamental justify”.
We suggest that, all the pensioners, irrespective of pre-retrial class and status, be treated as same category of citizens and the same homogeneous group. There should be no class or category based discrimination and all must be provided Health care services at par. BPS also request the Hon’ble PM to recommend to his govt. to make preventive health care an essential ingredient of all health care schemes for retired Persons. CGHS & RELHS should be expanded/improved and also CMSA Rules 1944 be extended to pensioners residing outside CGHS area.
Hospital Regulatory Authority:
To ensure that the hospitals do not avoid providing reasonable care to smart card holders and other poor citizens, a Hospital Regulatory Authority should be created to bring all NABH-accredited hospitals and NABL-accredited diagnostic Labs under its constant monitoring of quality, rates for different procedures & timely bill payments by Govt.agencies and Insurance companies. CGHS rates may be revised periodically keeping in mind the workability as per market conditions.
Fixed Medical allowance(FMA):
As is recorded in Para 5 of the minutes of Committee of Secretaries (COS) held on 15.04.2010 (Reference Cabinet Secretariat, Rashtrapati Bhavan No 502/2/3/2010-C.A.V Doc No.CD (C.A.V)42/2010 Minutes of COS meeting dated 15.04.2010) Which discussed enhancement of FMA. “CGHS card estimates for serving Personnel: Since estimates are not available separately for pensioners M/O Health & Family Welfare had assessed the total cost per card p.a. in 2007-2008 = Rs 16435 i.e. Rs.1369 per month for OPD”. Adding to it inflation, the figure today is well over Rs 2000/- PM. Ministry of Labour & Employment, Govt of India vide its letter no. G-25012/2/2011-SSI dated 07.06.2013 has already enhanced FMA to Rs 2000/- PM for EPFO beneficiaries. Thus, to help elderly pensioners to look after their health, adequate raise in FMA will encourage a good number of pensioners to opt out of OPD facility reducing overcrowding in hospitals. OPD through Insurance will cost much more to the Govt.
We suggest that FMA for all C.G. Pensioners be raised to at least Rs 2500/- PM without any distance restriction as distance restriction is discriminatory to those who do not choose Govt. schemes/ hospitals. Further link it to Dearness Relief for automatic increase. BPS also request that FMA be exempted from INCOME TAX. Fixed Medical Allowance (FMA) is a compensatory allowance to reimburse the medical expenses. As Medical Reimbursement is not taxable, FMA should also be exempted from Income Tax.
Lingering Litigation on Pensioners matters due to uncalled for Appeals by Government:
Govt. should not indirectly pressurize courts by appealing again & again to get judgments reversed in its favor & must implement all court judgments in case of all similarly placed persons.
Fifth CPC recommended in para 126.3 that any Court Judgement involving a common policy matter of pay/pension to a group of employees/pensioners, should be extended automatically to similarly placed employees/pensioners without driving every affected individual to the Courts of law. This recommendation is never followed by GOI, with the result Pensioners in the evening of their lives, are forced to approach the legal forums, seeking the same relief. This in turn, bulges court dockets &drain pockets of pensioners.
Honorable Prime minister is requested to advise his Govt. to look into this matter and to take suitable steps.
Sir, aspirations of the pensioners fraternity brought out in foregoing Paras are Just, minimum &well within the constitutional provision &policies of your Govt.
Bharat Pensioners Samaj the oldest & the largest Federation of Pensioners Associations in the country is sure that the honorable Prime Minister will live up to Indian ethos to make evening of elderly civil pensioners’ reasonably comfortable.
Source: Bharat Pensioners Samaj