Important Reforms by DoPPW for pensioners during Covid-19 pandemic
As per Rule 64 of CCS (Pension) Rules, 1972, provisional pension is sanctioned for a period of 6 months, in cases where a Government servant is likely to retire before finalization of his pension. In view of the COVID-19 pandemic, instructions have been issued vide OM No.12/9/2020-P&PW(C)-6450 dated 17th July 2020 for grant of provisional pension in accordance with Rule 64 in all cases where there is a delay in sanction of regular pension. The OM also provides that the payment of provisional pension may be extended, with the concurrence of PAO and after approval by the Head of Department, up to a period of one year from the date of retirement.
In accordance with Rule 80-A of the CCS (Pension) Rules 1972, on the death of a Government servant during service, the provisional family pension could be sanctioned to the eligible member of the family only after the family pension case had been forwarded to the Pay & Accounts Office. Instructions have been issued vide OM No. 1/11/2020-P&PW (E) dated 29th July, 2020 that provisional family pension may be sanctioned immediately on receipt of a claim for family pension and death certificate from the eligible family member, without waiting for forwarding of the family pension case to Pay & Accounts Office.
In accordance with the CCS (EOP) Rules, if a Government servant suffers a disability due to an injury or disease in the performance of duty and is retained in Government service in spite of such disablement, a lump sum compensation is paid to him in lieu of the disability element of the disability pension. NPS employees are eligible for disability pension under EOP Rules if they are boarded out on disability. Orders have been issued vide O.M. No. 1/3/2019-P&PW(F) dated 1.1.2021 to extend the benefit of lump sum compensation to the NPS employees also, if they suffer a disability in the performance of duty and are retained in Government service in spite of such disablement.
Earlier, orders were issued vide OM No.33/5/2009-P&PW (F), dated 10th December 2010 to dispense with the requirement of minimum 10 years’ service for earning service element of disability pension under CCS (EOP) Rules, with effect from 01.01.2006. It has been clarified vide OM No.1/7/2017–P&PW (F) dated 28.07.2020 that Central Civil Government servants who were boarded out, prior to 01.01.2006, with a qualifying service of less than ten years and were in receipt of only the disability element of disability pension, would also be eligible for the service element of disability pension, w.e.f. 01.01.2006, in addition to the disability element.
To ensure timely credit of pension in cases, where PPO (Pension Payment Order) has been issued but not sent to CPAO or banks due to lock-down, the matter was taken up with Controller General of Accounts (CGA) to issue necessary directive to CPAO and CPPCs of banks to use electronic modes during the unprecedented situation of COVID 19 pandemic till normalcy returns.
In some cases, Government servants have died after retirement without submitting the pension papers. In order to avoid hardships to the families of such Government servants, instructions have been issued vide OM No.12/9/2020-P&PW(H)-6569 dated 18th February, 2021 for issue of Pension Payment Order for release of arrears of pension (from the date of retirement till the date of death of retired Government servant) in all such cases and for grant of family pension to the family member from the date of death.
Bhavishya 8.0 was released in August, 2020 and this new feature PUSHES the ePPO in Digi locker as a permanent record. Bhavishya is the first application of its kind to use the Digilocker Id based PUSH Technology.
Digital life certificate:
Timeline for submission for life certificate during the year 2020-2021 was also extended till February, 2021 in view of pandemic to avoid rush at Banks etc. India Posts and Payment Bank (IPPB) with its 1,89,000 Postmen & Gramin Dak Sevaks under the Department of Posts roped in to collect DLC from home. Approximately 1,48,325 Central Government Pensioners have already availed this facility till now. DoPPW also roped in an Alliance comprising 12 Public Sector Banks which does “Doorstep Banking” for its customers in 100 major cities of the country for including the collection of Life Certificate also under this service.DoPPW advised all the Pension Disbursing Banks to adopt the Video based Customer Identification Process (V-CIP) as an additional facility for obtaining a Life Certificate from the pensioners, within permissible RBI guidelines. UCO Bank has become a pioneer in this area.
CPENGRAMS (Centralized Pension Grievance Redress and Monitoring System)
An Integrated Grievance Cell & Call Center was inaugurated on 20th June, 2019 for pensioners with the objective of providing easy access to pensioners in registering their grievances and getting speedy resolution and coordinating with different Departments to resolve the problems of the elderly pensioners. During COVID-19 pandemic, the process of registering grievances worked smoothly through online, email and call centre.
Digital Pension Adalat
First ever on-line All India Pension Adalat held in December 2020 by leveraging technology through Video Conferencing. Out of 3643 cases taken up, 2540 cases were resolved on the spot by the different Ministries/Departments which participated in this initiative.
Source : psuconnect