27th meeting of Standing Committee of Voluntary Agencies (SCOVA) held today
Retired employees should become ‘torch bearers’ of ‘Start-up India, Stand-up India’ initiative: Dr Jitendra Singh…
The Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr. Jitendra Singh chaired the 27th meeting of Standing Committee of Voluntary Agencies (SCOVA) in New Delhi today. He said that the Government has taken various initiatives for the prompt disposal of grievances received from pensioners across the country. The Minister said that the pendency without reason has to be taken care of completely. He said that they are the human resource with vast experience and the focus should be best utilization of their experience and services. He called for pre-retirement counseling of the retiring persons so that their experience can be utilized in best manner and they can be served in a better way.
Addressing the meeting, he called upon the pensioners to involve their vast experience and resources to assume the role of job creators. Recalling the “Startup India, Standup India” initiative of the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, announced from the ramparts of the Red Fort in his Independence Day speech this year, Dr. Jitendra Singh said the Government looks to the pensioners as a large pool resource to achieve this end and they can become the torch bearers of this initiative.
Dr. Jitendra Singh said, due to increasing life expectancy, the number of pensioners in the country today is larger than the number of serving employees. The Government is seized of the matter as to how best to utilize the services of the retired employees, he added.
Speaking on the occasion, Secretary, Department of Pensions & Pensioners’ Welfare and Secretary, Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances, Shri Devendra Chaudhary said the Department of Pensions & Pensioners’ Welfare has set a deadline of one month’s time during which backlog of the more than 2,200 pending pension grievances will be settled. Stating that there are legal issues to be addressed while linking Aadhaar Number with the Pension Payment Order (PPO), Shri Chaudhary said more than 9,000 Drawing & Disbursal Officers (DDOs) have been linked on the Bhavishya online portal.
As many as 9505 pension related complaints during the first six months of financial year 2015-16 have been settled by the Department. As on date, only 2,737 grievances are pending.
The Department of Pension & Pensioners Welfare has launched an initiative ‘Anubhav’ for showcasing outstanding work accomplished by retiring employees, sharing experience of working with the Government and providing suggestions for enhancing efficiency in Government systems. It is envisaged that over a period of time this will create a wealth of institutional memory with replicable ideas and suggestions. This tool in addition, gives opportunity to the retiring employee to invest his experience, skill and time for growth of social capital of the country. Till date, 812 write-ups have been published and 224 are waiting to be published.
The Department operates a web-based ‘Pensioners Portal’, a Mission Mode Project under National e-Governance Plan of the Government. The portal is expected to serve as a one stop information source for the pensioners of Government of India across the country. The portal has interactive components as well as non-interactive components. Interactive components include:- 1) Online calculation of pension/family pension, gratuity, commutation etc. 2) Online status of PPO, 3) Online lodging and checking of status of grievances. Whereas non-interactive components include Pension Act/Rules, Circular, Forms, FAQs.
An “Online Pension Sanction and Payment Tracking System” called ‘Bhavishya’ has been introduced by the Department to monitor delays in grant of pension and other retirement benefits. Presently, it has been implemented in the main Secretariat of 83 Ministries/Departments and nine Attached Offices i.e CPWD, CRPF etc. covering 497 DDOs.
The initiative ‘Sankalp’ launched by the Department prepares the individuals for life after retirement and to channelize energy, experience and skill of retiring Government servants into meaningful voluntary work. 1,581 persons have so far registered themselves. In addition, 16 organisations engaged in social activities have also registered themselves for providing access to these registered pensioners for voluntary works. To further, facilitate these pensioners, 19 Pensioners’ Associations have also registered themselves under the initiative ‘Sankalp.’