(pay band being 37400-67000)
Monday, January 21, 2013
Tricks Played by various Government Authorities, post 6 CPC, in denying the innocent Defence Veterans their rightful dues
Foreword by the Host of the Blog
I am indeed thankful to Veteran Brig Sivasankar Vidyasagar, A Bombay Sapper, for highlighting the modus operandi of various authorities in denying the benefits of the 6 CPC, duly approved by the Government of India to add one more of the bundle of injustices heaped upon the Defence Veterans. Another bluff or a mischief played to mislead the Defence Veterans as well as the Nation was perpetrated by the Authorities themselves on 24 September 2012, through a grand media publicity stunt, in the announcement, terming it as a “Bonanza for the Defence Veterans” in the disguise of recommendations of the Committee of Secretaries. It is undoubtedly a fit case for severely punishing and penalising the concerned officials from top to bottom for deliberately and criminally, denying the benefits duly approved by the Government, amounting to cheating the Defence Veterans, through legal action, if considered necessary. Will the Indian Judiciary ever deliver justice promptly?
By Veteran Brig Sivasankar Vidyasagar,
The Bombay Sappers,
Though I am not a expert on pension matters, what I learnt from a bit of study is that the Govt of India, Min of Def letter No 17(4) / 2008 (1) / D (Pen/Policy) dated 11 Nov 2008 in para 5 clearly states as to how to work out pension of Pre-2006 retirees w.e.f. 01 Jan 2006. I show just an extract of that letter as under:-
"5. The consolidation of pension will further subject to the provision that the consolidated pension in no case shall be lower than fifty percent of minimum in the pay in the pay band plus the grade pay corresponding to the revised scale from which the pensioner had retired/discharged including military service pay and X group pay where applicable.
For example, if a pensioner had retired in the pre-revised scale of pay of Rs 6600-170-9320, the corresponding pay band being Rs 9300 - 34800 and corresponding grade pay being Rs 4600 and military service pay being Rs 2000, his minimum guaranteed pension would be 50% (9300+4600+2000) i.e. Rs 7950 for 33 years qualifying service. The pension so calculated will be reduced pro-rata when pensioner had less than the maximum required service of 33 years for full pension and in no case less than Rs 3,500."
What all of us have to understand is the difference between two phrases (i) Minimum of Pay Band for each Rank and (ii) Minimum of Pay band. These two terms are not the same. There is vast difference between them.
The MOD quite cleverly do not show in their above letter (dt 11 Nov 2008) what is the pay band, grade pay, MSP for each rank. They also do not show what is Minimum of Pay in pay band for each rank in their letter above. It is a normal practice in the Services when you mention new terms like above, you are required to explain them in an Appendix or as a note with illustration so that every one understands what you are conveying. Most of the Govt of India letters are quite ambiguous leading for different interpretations and consequently legal battles.
What MOD wanted laymen like me to believe whatever they work out would be correct and we should not waste our time to catch their mischiefs. I strongly believe, they deliberately did not explain what is minimum of pay in pay band ie Rs 43390 for Cmde and minimum in pay band i.e. Rs 37400 for cmde (many of us do not understand the subtle difference between these two phrases shown in different colours i.e. red and green). They wasted lot of stationery in tables for revised pension based on their wrong interpretation.
But MOD had to explain these two terms later in SAI 2/S/2008 as to what is the new pay band, grade pay, military service pay for each rank and minimum of pay in the pay band for each rank. They have no excuse to cover up their tracks as SAI was issued on 11 Oct 2008 where as MOD letter on pensions of Pre 2008 retirees is given one month later i.e. 11 Nov 2008. So they had ample time to include whatever is given in SAI in their letter dt 11 Nov 2008.
The PCDA(Pension) Allahabad which actually does all the donkey's job for issue of the above mentioned MOD letter dated 11 Nov 2008 quite ingeniously shows the example in the wrong way in para 5 itself (after having clearly stating that 50% of minimum of pay in pay band, grade pay and MSP (just one sentence before the example) to deprive the pensioners of their legitimate due.
The minimum of pay in pay band for each rank in which the pensioner has retired had he served beyond 2006 is given in Special Army Instruction 2/S/2008 dated 11 Oct 2008 . For Officers of various ranks it is as under: -
Lt - Rs 15600
Capt - Rs 18600,
Maj - Rs 23180
Lt Col - Rs 28090 (in PB-3 scale)
Col - Rs 40890,
Brig - Rs 43390
Maj Gen - Rs 44700
Lt Gen - Rs 51850 (before it was enhanced)
The ingenious way in which PCDA(Pension) Allahabad showed pension of pre 2006 Brigadier/Cmde /Air Cmde for example in the ibid MOD letter dated 11 Nov 2008 and what is now being given is shown below :
Minimum of Pay in the Pay Band - Rs 43390
Minimum in Pay Band - Rs 37400
(pay band being 37400-67000)
(pay band being 37400-67000)
Loss suffered by
Cmde from 1 Jan 2006 to 24 Sep 2012 is
= 50% of Rs 5990
= Rs 2995 per month
Pension of Cmde as shown in MOD letter dated 11 Nov 2008 Correct Pension of Cmde (Rectified now by Cabinet Secy's Committe)
50%*(37400 + 8900 + 6000) = 26150
50%*(43390 + 8900 + 6000) = 29145
See another trick played by the Cabinet Secy's Committee as if heeding to the cries of Ex-Servicemen, the committee laboriously reworked and improved pension (called Bonanza for Ex-Servicemen) to bring it closer to the demand of OROP amounting to Rs 2,600 crores. This bonanza is what the 6th CPC has recommended and later approved by Govt of India. There is therefore no bonanza. The Govt of India in fact earned interest on Rs 2,600 crores from 1.1. 2006 to 24.9.2012 i.e. six years and nine months. The babus in MOD would have got shabash for doing so much hard work and saving the treasury of unnecessary expenditure which could be spent on welfare schemes for deprived OBCs, SC, ST (never mind some of them own Mercedes Benz S class Cars).
The same PCDA (Pension), Allahabad having realised their mistake, reworked out the actual pension recommended by 6th CPC and approved by Govt of India. The Cabinet Secretary's committee did not move themselves even a bit and announced to the whole world they did a lot to improve the pensions by giving them bonanza of Rs 2,600 crorres (having gobbled the interest for six years and nine months) . You will be surprised to know that one SAO (Senior Accts Officer) well versed in Pay Commissions does the job of preparing draft Government letter and he admitted this to me when I went to PCDA (Pension) Allahabad to undergo two days training programme on Circular 430 of PCDA (P) in September 2011. By his glib talk, he convinced me that pensions of Defence services personnel has gone up substantially compared to civilians.
Again another trick played by MOD is that the improved pension (of Rs 29145 for Cmde) which should have been given w.e.f 1 Jan 2006 will be given only from the date (i.e. 24 Sep 2012) when Govt of India approved the laborious research done by Cabinet Secretary's committee . They deprived all Ex-Servicemen and family pensioners their legitimate dues from 01 Jan 2006. So MOD/Dept of Ex-Servicemen Welfare wants us to go to the Court/AFT to get our legitimate dues. Of course, they will obfuscate the hon'ble courts/AFT stating that the revised pension has been approved by Govt of India, with prospective effect without telling that it is just rectifying their deliberate mistake of confusing everyone with two words : Minimum of pay in the pay band Rs 43,390 for Cmde (given in SAI 2/S/2008) and Minimum in the Pay band of Rs 37400 in PB-4 (given in MOD letter dated 11 Nov 2008 where they played the mischief).
I sincerely hope RDOA goes to AFT/Supreme Court to demand implementation of our pensions w.e.f 1 Jan 2006 and get arrears with interest of 12%. RDOA must demand punishment to the babus right from the one who drafted Draft Govt letter and right upto Defence Secretary for causing financial loss and consequent hardship. The interest component to be demanded should be from the pay/pension of babus and not from the Government to act as deterrence in the future if they monkey around with us anymore. Saying “NO Costs" by hon'ble AFT/Supreme Court means these crooks in MOD get off the hook for doing disservice to Ex-Servicemen and poor family pensioners.
Mind you, the pension so worked out is for 33 years of service (actual service + weightage given to each rank should be equal to 33 years). If that service after including weightage is less than 33 years, pension will be reduced on pro-rata basis. The restriction of 33 years has been removed for commissioned officers only from 2 Sep 2008 (but for PBOR it is w.e.f. 1 Jan 2006). Why this discrimination between officers and PBOR, is not known.
The time scale Colonel's rank is given only after completing 26 years of service as per AVS Committee report and not 21 years as stated in these pages.
I have no doubt that I might have confused Army guys like me hell of a lot with the above laborious explanation. I can bet even today 95% of retired Army officers do not understand the difference between the two phrases Minimum of pay in pay band and minimum of pay band even today.
I would be too happy to be corrected on the above issues with latest instructions, as I am not very conversant with pensionary matters.
Brig (Retd) CS Vidyasagar
The Bombay Sappers