CHQ is aware that preparations are going in full swing all over the country for the successful conduct of the second phase of our agitational programme, Mass Dharna at maximum centers on 16-03-2021. Let us mobilize maximum pensioners for the Dharna and the demands put forward are very important concerning all our pensioners. Among the demands only one demand , payment of balance 8% Ex-Gratia to VRS retirees has been settled now.
Pension Revision is being denied to the BSNL absorbed pensioners for the last four years without any justification. To add insult to the injury, IDA also being denied despite High Court order, when the prices of essential commodities are increasing like sky rocketing. The anti-pensioner Modi government has already snatched away Rs.37,530 crore by freezing the Dearness Relief of central government pensioners during these hard days of pandemic.
The arrogant BSNL mangement continues to be completely negative on payment of medical benefits to the BSNL pensioners in spite of repeated pursuals at all levels. We have conducted several struggles also on this vital issue. But management tuns a blind eye to the miseries of ailing and aged pensioners. CHQ has recently brought this buring issue to the Department of Pension & Pensioners Welfare. But the reply by BSNL management is on the same lines that medical bills with voucher and without voucher are pending due to paucity of fund. So it is very clear that the management is not willing give any priority to this vital issue of the seniors.
While processing the pension papers, the CCAs are unilaterally reducing the Last Pay Drawn digging out fixations made before 25-30 years ago. This is in violation of the standing instructions and clarification issued by Department of Pension and Pensioners Welfare to the effect that the verification of pay of the retiring official be limited to 24 months preceding to retirement. But some of the arrogant officers of DoT are not prepared to change this most unjustified system resulting in great loss in the pension of many retirees, particularly VRS retirees.
Ex_gratia and pensionary benefits are denied to 199 VRS retirees of Maharashtra for alleged non-validation of Caste certificates. This very issue has arisen due to the lapse on the part of the respective SSA administration, failing to verify the caste certificate during the initial period of appointment, as had been repeatedly instructed by DOPT,DOT and even BSNL. Further the Parliamentary Committee on the Welfare of Scheduled Castes and Tribes have issued clear instructions to the effect that pension and other retirement benefits should not be denied to pensioners belonging to Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes for non-verification of caste certificates, even after 30-35 years. Also it has been instructed by the Parliamenray Committee , no verification of caste certificate be made for officials recruited before 1995. CHQ had brought all these facts to the CMD, BSNl and Secretary, DoT several times but to no avail. CHQ also wrote to the Chairman, Parliamentary Committee on Welfare of Scheduled Caste and Tribes seeking intervention.
The problem of unjustified and unwarranted notice by Income Tax Department to VRS retirees demanding tax for the leave encashment for the leave earned in government service was taken up with the Finance Minister and top officers of the Central Board of Direct Taxes. An officer from CPC, Bangalore has contacted General Secretary over phone on 4th March, 2021 and asked for certain clarification and was replied suitably. It seems that the Income Tax Department is reviewing the issue.
So Comrades, our fight is for the settlement of genuine issues and against the apathy and neglect of the government and authorities . Let us make it a stupendous success. Definitely, Victory shall be ours.