Wednesday, August 31, 2016
REPORT: JUSTICE L.NARASIMHA REDDY COMMITTEE VISIT: PUNE, 29 AUG 2016 (31 Aug 2016)
Pls find below report on the interaction on 29 Aug 2016 from Brig Sharad Luktuke who represented IESM as i was not able to go due domestic issues.
Justice L.NARASIMHA REDDY assisted by reps of Army, Navy and Air Force visited Pune on 29 Aug 2016 for interaction with Armed Forces veterans. The interaction took place in Dhanvantari Hall, AFMC from 11 a.m. to 2.30 p.m. About 500 ESM including Veer Nari’s were present. Some serving officers to include MG Adm HQ Southern Comd, Sub Area Commander DMSA and Station Commander were also present throughout the proceedings. Col Suhas Jatkar, Director Rajya Sainik Kalyan Kendra briefed all present about the schedule of activities and clarified that all are most welcomed to ask questions and put across their problems/ suggestions. He added that it was a forum open to all. The ESM interested in submitting memorandum were requested to hand over the report at the reception.
After the welcome speech by the representative of the service HQ Honorable Justice L.NARASIMHA REDDY addressed the gathering. He explained the purpose of forming the committee and requested all to confine to OROP issues only. Appreciating the presence of large number of veterans he said he was happy to be among all and promised to cover all questions before closing.
This was followed by PPT presentation by Gp Capt SS Phatak lasting about 25 minutes on behalf of DSW and AF Association. He covered a number a of issues like OROP anomalies; OROP for reservist pensioners; MACP under OROP; Extension of pension tables beyond 33 years; problems in pensions of Lts, Capts, doctors, TA officers;pension problems of JCO/OR; QS issues; delay in arrears of OROP to widows; role of PSA and PDA etc. The presentation was well received by all.
The next event was a brief talk by Col Bhargav on pension/ OROP problems faced by disabled ESM some of whom from paraplegic center were present. He highlighted that they have not received OROP benefit.
The forum was then thrown open to questions from ESM/ Veer Nari’s. In all 42 veterans asked questions/ made suggestions which included officers, JCO’s, OR and Veer Nari’s. Justice Reddy heard all cases very patiently and some of the questions were answered on the spot by the committee members while others were noted for further action/ processing. Questions not pertaining to OROP were politely rejected. Overall, the interaction was very affable and committee members gave convincing responses. They were very accommodating and promised to help in solving some of the veterans’ problems by meeting them after the event. Justice Reddy kept the atmosphere light, relaxed and lively through wit and presence of mind by exchanging a few words of and on.
The HQ Southern Command had clarified before the event that there will be only one presentation and IESM’s request to make the PPT presentation was turned down. I highlighted this point when I spoke besides giving other points as given at the end.
One of the veterans from the audience offered vote of thanks and hoped that Reddy committee will solve pensioners’ problems soon.
The Sub Area Commander then handed over the folder containing memoranda received from veterans to Justice L.NARASIMHA REDDY and thanked him and the veterans for successful conclusion of the interaction.Justice L.NARASIMHAREDDY in his closing remarks appreciated the disciplined manner in which the veterans presented their points/ cases and thanked all present for efficiently organizing the function. He appeared quite satisfied with all arrangements as also with his interaction with the veterans.
Overall, the arrangements including the administrative support were excellent and the function ended on a pleasant note.
Points raised by Brig (retd) Sharad Luktuke, SM, VSM Convener IESM Maharashtra
1. The service HQ refused IESM’s request and did not allow us to make a presentation (PPT) for reasons not known to us. I have handed over the IESM folder which contains our PPT and a number of other important references/ papers. The committee may please examine the contents of folder while making recommendations.
( Note – i. The fact is that interaction on 29 Aug 2016 was directly between ESM and Justice Reddy committee with no one in between. Service HQ (Comd/ Area/ Sub Area/ Any other) cannot stop a national level ESM organization from making a presentation in the manner in which it happened in Pune. This is unacceptable.
ii. Our folder includes the following – Mails exchanged between us and Brig Satish Ghatpande of HQ SC, PPT – 30 slides, PCDA letters of 04.0416-Refixing of OROP pension on average of Min/Max, of 19.04.16 - RTI case on 3% rule, of 26,055.16-Grievances on OROP implementation, Appendix A - 10 Months service rule, Appendix B- Anomalies OROP implementation, Appendix E - a 10-page detailed report on anomalies analysis)
2. The yearly review of pension (one of the major anomalies in OROP implementation) has become an emotional and prestige issue. Even the FM has rejected it out right. We need to look at it objectively. No purpose will be served by reading the portion in Koshiyari Committee out of context wherein it is stated that the service rep and member of K committee accepts revision of pension once if there are any administrative difficulties. Neither the Govt nor CDAP has projected any difficulties. Frankly, there is none as we have fully computerized systems wherein the operations are executed in second/ minutes as against in weeks/ months in the past. The committee is requested to look at the anomaly dispassionately and resolve it in favor of veterans.
3. The accountability of PDA and PSA as brought out by Gp Capt Pathak is a very serious issue that needs to be addressed immediately. The PCDA has become a totally non-responsive organization and banks treat ESM/ Widows issues very carelessly and irresponsibly. Many jawans and widows are going through misery due to this problem which has remained unsolved for all these years despite its urgent nature.
The PPO format of Army, Navy and Air Force is different. Navy, it seems has a very good format. If possible, the committee may take up this issue with the Govt though it is not related to OROP. If this is done, it will solve many problems for the veterans in future.
As highlighted by Gp Capt Phatak there are 70 odd Govt letters on pension matters issued over the past few years. It is an unmanageable problem for the pensioner as well as for organizations involved in solving pension problems to refer to so many letters. It is high time that the Govt reviews all these letters and come out with two or three new policy letters superseding all the old letters. This will go a long way in helping the pensioners in a big way.
Also here are two reports received from WA
From 33 NDA course blog [8/30, 11:48]
Attended the presentation in Pune on OROP. Justice Reddy seemed a genial person n pro Servicemen. Commenced by paying tribute to the Maratha soldiers of IA. Had a sense of humour and listened to points with patience. However, most of the points were already with him since he had visited 5-6 places earlier. He asked Brig Luktuke of IESM why he was not allowed to give a presentation. Brig Luktuke then submitted a copy of the presentation, which I believe was not permitted for reasons best known to the local army authorities. Gp Capt Pathak of Sainik Welfare Org, who gave a presentation, started defensively stating that we servicemen are fortunate because unlike others we don't pay for our pension. Wonder wheter that was called for? Some valid points were put up by various speakers and although a few including some officers made nuisance of themselves, Reddy took it in his stride. The service officers with him looked fairly clued up and were mostly aware of all the anomalies existing in the present OROP.
Looks promising; but ultimately depends on what is finally drafted by the team of Justice Reddy which included a Maj Gen a Rear Admiral, an AF Gp Capt, a Col n a Civilian besides Reddy. Parrikar may condescend condescend; but Jaitley may be the stumbling block.
Officer attendance only about 30 plus. Large number of JCOs n ORs! Coursemates Anil n Naren may add a few points since I am not very knowledgeable as far as OROP is concerned.
What Prakash has said generally covers all the points. A few things struck me were: the presentation of Gp Capt Pathak was lack lusture though he did cover some of the relevant OROP points, as per an officer Lt Col TS wanted pension of Col and another said why Lt Col selection should be equated to TS (don't know what is the official posn), as regards IESM presentation, justice Reddy did show a surprise as to why was the presentation not allowed...the Gen officers on his sides did whisper some thing in his years, but I think that presentation would have been effective and good for all. ND Prasad was also present.
(Source : Via Gp e-mail from Col YC Mehra (Retd)