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Sunday, May 15, 2016

SN WRITES for the attention of Shri C H Mahadevan


Everyone was in 'dark' about the method adopted by LIC when 20% arrears was paid to petitioners as per the S.C. order dated 07-05-2015 as the Office did not disclose the  details nor did give the calculation sheets to beneficiaries. When the letter dated 13th April, 2016 and its Annexure was made public, it was clear that revised basic pension will be notionally arrived at by merging DR slabs as on 01-08-1997 at the DR rates applicable to pensioners on tapering basis. Shri CHM and Shri RKS, combine, both masters at maths, were out with figures, overnight!
The working details of arrears going to be paid became more transparent when the 'example' of 'x' drawing basic pension of Rs.3442/- was disclosed subsequently on 13-05-2016.
After seeing the letter dt.13-04-2016, its Annexure and enclosure,  I am entertaining a doubt. I may be wrong  But, I prefer to share it in some detail.
The Addl. Solicitor General had told the S.C. Bench that LIC has deposited / paid (20%) without revision. Now, the LIC, the Office has disclosed that they have revised the existing basic pension by 'a kind of DR merger' without giving the benefit of weightage.
DR as per pay scales 1987 and 1993 was on tapering basis both for employees and pensioners. The rates were not the same. The Single Judge of Jaipur had examined it, admitted it. The rates applicable to in- service employees and pensioners as per 1993 pay scales are as under :
"DA / DR Chart for in- service employees & pensioners retired in Aug.1993 pay scales"
Rate of DA/DR .....................of Pay up to.............................of Pension up......................
0.35%...................................Upto 4800.............................,. Upto 2400 ..........................
0.29% ............................. ....From 4800 to 7700..................From 2401 to 3850 ..............
0.17% ..................................From 7701 to 8200..................From 3851 to 4100..............
0.09% ..................................Above 8200.............................Above 4100 ........................


It may be observed form the Chart that the DA/DR rate is less for the pensioners because the benefit of DA/DR is reduced to the extent of 50% on proportion basis of the basic pay. The basic pension as defined is 50% of the basic pay, including stagnation increments etc. But, making dearness hike, based on CPI, should not be discriminatory. The learned counsel for petitioners had prayed the Hon. Justice, Shri M.N.Bhandary that the rate per slab of dearness allowance to pensioners should be kept the same as is payable to the employees. In other words, it should not be reduced proportionately to the basic pension. The pensioners drawing pension up to 4800 should get the rate of DA /DR @ 0.35%, those drawing 4800 to 7700 @ 0.29% and so on. The Hon.Justice Shri Bhandary had admitted it.
The S.C. has 'mainly referred to Para. 3A  of Appendix IV' of the Pension Rules while pronouncing the arrears : IR of 40%, subject to establishing the constitutional validity of 3A of Appendix IV.
The Revision of Pay Scales mainly include three components : existing pay + DA / DR merger up to a CPI point + weightage.
The doubt : what was the method followed by the Office (and the negotiating teams) while revising the pay scale of 1997 in respect of serving employees ? whether the merger of DA was based on the figure arrived on tapering DA or DA arrived at 0.35% (full neutralisation)? What was the weightage ..11.25% or...more ?
If the 1993 pay scales were revised with existing pay plus DA merger on tapering basis at the rate as applicable to in - service employees plus 11.25% - little more or lees- weightage, we may not be technically find a fault with the office for extending the same method revising pension with existing pension plus merger of DR at the tapering rates applicable to pensioners, though the DR rates are disadvantageous to pensioners. In short, it is necessary to find out the method of merger followed by LIC while revising the pay scales of working employees in Aug.1997. 
Shri Mahadevan may kindly like to go into this aspect. (I tried but was not able to complete the job in the absence of requisite details). We must be ready with this and all other kinds of data including the latest pension anomaly chart as on 01-02-2016. 
Now all know, the world of LIC pensioners know that the Office has not paid 40% of arrears as per 3A of Appendix IV of Pension Rules as directed by the Hon.Justice Shri Dipak Misra and R. Bhanumathi in their judgement dated 31-03-2016. Our Case Managers and their Counsellors have more important tasks to do, I R may be of secondary importance. There is remote possibility of unity of mind at this late stage of court drama (metaphorically put). As suggested by somebody, AIIPA may give moral as well as financial support to an Association. I am imploring this as the cost involved in fighting court cases is huge, prohibitive. Those already in fray too need funds and have been demanding contributions. Of course, none can prevent AIIPA, a bigger organisation, if they have, in principle, decided to swing into action.
May the peace and wise counsel prevail.  All must discharge part of their game sincerely, minding his or her own business, for the ultimate good of all pensioners as directly and indirectly suggested by the comparatively young like Shri B.Ganga Raju and others and by the veterans like Shri S.K. Mazumderji and endorsed by the veterans like Shri P G Gangadharanji.
SN ( a 1992 Pensioner )