Dr. Jitendra Singh, Minister of State for Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions today launched an e-Booklet on one-year achievements of the Department of Pension and Pensioners’ Welfare (DoPPW)” through Video Conferencing (VC). The minister, while addressing all the officers of the Department congratulated the team for carrying out a series of reforms that not only highlighted the sensitivity of the Modi Government but also showed the dedication of the team during the trying times of the Pandemic.
Dr.Singh stated that the department went outside its call of duty to organize a webinar on COVID by bringing in leading doctors to address the anxiety and fears of the Pensioners. He also said that the Department is blessed with the unique opportunity of being able to serve the elderly and retired which no other department has.
Among a series of reforms in Pension policy, the most notable reform was the Amendment of Rule 54 of CCS Pension Rules, 1972 to provide enhanced Family Pension in the event of the unfortunate death of Government servant even before completion of 7 years of service. Earlier only those families were eligible for enhanced family Pension (@50% of last pay drawn) wherein the deceased government servant had completed 7 years of service.
Another landmark in the recent year was extending the Old Pension scheme to those employees who joined on or after 01.01.2004 but whose result for recruitment had been declared before 01.01.2004. This was a long-standing demand of employees covered under the National Pension System (NPS) and was the cause of several court cases and anxiety among such employees.
Soon after the formation of the new government a series of welfare measures for the Pensioners were also carried out such as the opening of an 'Integrated Grievance Cell & Call Centre with Toll-free number 1800-11-1960' to facilitate the elderly pensioners in registering their grievances and get information on pending grievances, the holding of 'All India Pension Adalat'. In this, more than 50 locations were connected through live interactive video conferencing which resulted in a resolution of more than 4000 grievances by a single event.
The other welfare activities carried out in the last year include facilitating doorstep service for submission of life certificate with the help of Pension Disbursing Banks, DLC from the home campaign by involving Pensioners’ Associations in 24 cities, organizing the First Regional Adalat at Jammu, and issuance of consolidated instructions to banks in order to ensure ease of living for pensioners.
The Department also organized a teleconsultation for pensioners on COVID 19 with renowned Pulmonologist & Director AIIMS, Dr. Randeep Guleria & Dr. Prasun Chatterjee, Associate Professor AIIMS.
Dr. Kshatrapati Shivaji, Secretary (P&PW), thanked the Union Minister for consistently guiding DoPPW to make Pension reforms which hugely affected the lives of the Pensioners. He stated that this is one of the few Departments which even prior to COVID pandemic was 100% one-office and therefore the transition to work from home at the height of the pandemic was easy to implement. All officials have been provided with a VPN which enables them to work from wherever they are and therefore the working of this Department remained unaffected during the pandemic.
Joint Secretary, Sanjiv Narain Mathur conducted the proceedings which were completely online with all senior officers of the Department present through VC. Ruchir Mittal, DS gave the vote of thanks.