28 Feb 2017

AI CPI for Jan 2017

All India consumer Price Index for January 2017 is 274 points. The same for December 2016 was 275 points. If the same trend is continued for February 2017, this will result in reduced IDA to be effective from April 2017. 
The IDA from 01-01-2017 has already been reduced by 0.8% based on average for the quarter from Sept 2016 to November 2016. 

26 Feb 2017

Latest news from CHQ  


There was a meeting with Smt. Sujata Ray, Director (HR) of BSNL on 21st February 2017. GM (Admn) and GM (SR) were also present. We expressed our sincere thanks for the meeting and courtesy shown by Smt. Sujata Ray.Before the formal discussions started, she asked us about the future pension revision of BSNL retirees. We told her that we had demanded pension revision with fitment benefit granted by Seventh Pay Commission and not PRC. She appreciated our stand. It was also indicated by her that BSNL is yet to take a formal decision on the third PRC report. She told also that the financial position of BSNL is in bad shape.
Restoration of Quarterly Medical Allowance
We pointed out that this matter is pending for many years. Director indicated that it is very difficult to restore medical allowance. We mentioned about the PRC recommendation to grant Rs 1000 per month. Again, she indicated difficulty in implementing that PRC recommendation in BSNL.
Delay in settling MRS Claims by Pensioners:
We told the Director frankly that even though she had instructed all to settle the medical claims from retirees within one month, no Circle is honouring the same. She assured that the matter would be looked into and directed the GMs to check up with some circles.
Change of Software
We pointed out that Medical claims are being processed now in ERP.Recently, the Corporate Office of BSNL has introduced a new system.Data of all the employees and retirees has to be fed in the new software which will take lot of time and delay the process. Director (HR) was inclined to accept our suggestion to allow the Circle Units to process pending cases up to 31-3-2017 in the existing system and then migrate to the new one.
Income Tax on MRS amount
Some SSA offices are deducting the income tax at source taking into account the medical reimbursement amount exclusively. As a result, some pensioners whose total income including the medical reimbursement amount they received is within the exemption limit of Rs Three lakh, are forced to pay income tax on the MRS amount in excess of Rs 15000. Director assured that the matter will be examined. She wanted a separate letter on it and next day we submitted the same to her office.
Denial of CGHS Card to BSNL pensioners:
When some BSNL pensioners approached the CGHS, the CGHS card was denied to them on the plea that they have not yet received any instruction from CGHS Headquarters. The GM (Admn) told that his office had already taken up the matter with CGHS authorities and got settled.He assured that CGHS orders could be given to us.When P S Ramankutty and Com. Anupam Kaul (Secretary of Delhi Headquarter branch) went to his room later, the situation was different. No doubt that his office had taken up the matter with CGHS authorities, but no specific instruction was issued by CGHS Head Quarters to their units so far!. GM told that they are pursuing the matter with CGHS.
Unnecessary restriction of calls on rent-free telephone connections:
This is also an old item pending. Certain number of free calls are allowed to the Rent-free telephone connections given to BSNL retirees.But, some Circles restrict these free calls to LOCAL CALLS making all calls made to out of SSA chargeable. When taken up earlier, It was told that Management Committee of BSNL was reconsidering the issue.GM (Admn) told that a decision is taken to remove that restriction and also that the modified order would be issued soon. 
Withdrawal of CDMA Phones:
We brought to the notice of Director (HR) that in some places the pensioners were provided with CDMA Phones instead of rent-free land phones on the plea of technically not feasible. Now the BSNL has withdrawn CDMA. We requested the Director to provide mobile phones to the concerned pensioners.She assured that it would be considered.
Few Individual cases:
Individual cases of some retirees not getting pension as presidential order for their absorption was not issued etc.were taken up.Director assured to examine it and wanted separate letter on it.We handed over the letters. 


On our request, a meeting with Shri J S Deepak IAS, Secretary, Telecom was fixed at 4 PM on 22-2-2017.We had sent a list of items to be discussed also. But, when we reached his office in time, Secretary was busy in a video conference with Prime Minister. Hence, he authorized the Member (Services) to discuss the issues with us and then go to him, as soon as he is free.
Shri S K Jain (DDG,Estt), Smt Vandana Seth (Director, Estt) and Shri Tiwari (Director, Accounts) were also present in our meeting with Shri R K Misra (Member, Services).
From our Association the following participated:
(1) P S Ramankutty, President
(2) D Gopalakrishnan, Vice President
(3) G Natarajan , General Secretary
(4) P Gangadhara Rao, Dy GS
(5) T S Vittoban, Treasurer
Some issues discussed are:
(a)Extra Increment for fixing Pension
We brought to the notice of Member that some Circles are seeking unnecessary clarifications on the matter and Directorate is not giving the clarifications resulting in denial of the benefits to pensioners. When we started explaining the details the Member(S) said that he is fully aware of OTBP/BCR Etc. He further informed that only on the previous day, DoT received a report on the matter from BSNL Corporate Office. Suitable clarifications will be issued shortly. [Later, we could get a copy of the 4 pages report from BSNL CO. It was totally negative. Next day itself we gave our reaction in writing to DDG(Estt) and Director(Estt). ]
(b) CAT Judgement on Extra Increment case:
We wanted extension of the benefit of CAT Ernakulam judgement in the case filed by our Circle Association to all the affected pensioners in all circles. Member(S)told that since case pertains to Kerala Circle only, a general instruction can not be issued.However, CCA Kerala will be suitably advised.
© Denial of 78.2 benefit to those who retired in 2006 and got full pension:
Full pension was granted to BSNL IDA pensioners retired after 1-1-2006, based on clear orders from DoT Directorate as per recommendations of sixth CPC.After eight years, the Kerala CCA questions the wisdom of Directorate in issuing such an order itself.He has withheld the revision orders with 78.2%in favour of such pensioners who got the full pension as mentioned above. The plea is that a clarification is sought from Directorate. We requested that such tendency of seeking unwanted clarifications on settled cases should be discouraged.Director (Estt) told that no letter was received by her office from Kerala on the matter. She categorically told that those who retired after 1-1-2006 are entitled to full pension and also that 78.2% can not be denied to such pensioners.
(d)Delinking of 33 years service for full pension:
We told that we are aware of the DOT order dated 15-2-2017 on the subject. After 6th CPC report, CCS Pension Rules 1972 was amended to the effect that ‘linking of 33 years of qualifying service was dispensed with”. DOT issued specific order that it is applicable to BSNL IDA pensioners who retired after 1-1-2006. We conveyed our concern over any probable confusion in field units that can be created by the latest clarification. Member(S) said that there can not be any confusion in the matter. When we pointed out the contradiction about the minimum pension in BSNL after 1-1-2006 because the order dated 15-3-2011 of DoT states it as Rs 3500 in the body text and Rs 3880 in the Annexure,Member(S) did not relish it and simply said that there is no contradiction.
(e)Ceiling of Gratuity etc.
It was informed that DoT has sought approval of Department of Pension for issuing orders raising the ceiling of gratuity, commutation etc. as suggested by seventh CPC.Pension Department wanted some particulars and it was supplied. The approval from DoP&PW is expected any time.
[Later, we got it confirmed from DoP&PW that they have approved it on the previous day. Now, DoT has to issue the formal order.]


After the discussions with Member (S), we were taken to Shri J S Deepak, Secretary (Telecom) and Chairman of Telecom Commission. Member(S), DDG (Estt), and Director (Estt) were also present in the meeting. Shri Prahlad Singh (Member-Finance) and Ms. Linda (DDG-Accounts) too joined. Discussions with Member, Services were reported to him.Secretary was in a jovial mood,
We expressed our sincere thanks to the Secretary for granting the benefit of 50% DA Merger.
(i) Delay in settling 78.2% revision cases:
Lot of discussion took place on the subject. Secretary was very emphatic for fixing a target date. We pointed out acute shortage of staff in CCA offices. Specific cases were also given.DDG Accounts agreed with us. We wanted a specific date by which entire work of revision with 78.2% should be completed. Secretary admitted that it is already delayed and directed Member (F) and DDG (E) to sit and decide the date which should be practical but not to be stretched too far. Member (F) agreed to fix the next target date.
(ii)Common Server:
We suggested that a common server should be introduced with all particulars of BSNL retirees so that both DoT and BSNL can use it for any further processing of cases related to BSNL retirees. DDG (Accounts) said that she is on the job in consultation with BSNL Corporate Office. She informed that it may take 8 months if everything goes as per plan. Secretary said that that project is a long-term one and need not be linked with 78.2 revision.
(III)Pension Adalat at national level:
Secretary understood the problem.Other officers pointed practical difficulties. Secretary wanted some mechanism to settle Pensioners’ Grievances. He suggested some representatives from Directorate can attend circle adalats in one or two circles and then decide the matter for holding adalat at national level. DDG (Accounts) later on assured that she will explore the possibility of holding Adalat at national level at least once in an year. She also told that previous Member(F) was very much favourable on this issue.
(iv) Future Pension Revision:
Secretary, Telecom told that Cabinet Secretary has recently conducted a high level meeting to study the third PRC report and as he could not attend Member(S) attended and ‘vehemently” pleaded for pension revision in BSNL.
We told Secretary, Telecom that we are not demanding Pension revision as per PRC recommendations. We want pension revision with the fitment benefit suggested by seventh CPC, as we are pensioners covered by CCS Pension Rules 1972.He told that he understood our view points. It will take more time to take a decision.
[We are of the opinion that more pressure is required to be mounted in this regard.]
(v) Pension anomaly case
We requested Secretary (T) to implement the order from Principal bench of CAT delivered on 16-12-2016 granting the benefit to all the 4230 pensioners affected by the anomaly as our Association is the applicant in the case. It was told that the matter is already referred to Legal Section for their opinion.Then the matter has to be taken up with Department of Pension and Department of Expenditure too before taking a final view.
{We handed over separate detailed letter on every item discussed.}

In the afternoon of 23-2-2017, a meeting of leaders from various BSNL/MTNL Pensioners organizations took place in Kidwai Bhavan, New Delhi. P S Ramankutty, D Gopalakrishnan, G Natarajan, P Gangadhara Rao, T S Vittoban, R L Kapoor and Anupam Kaul represented our Association. Stalwarts like M K Bagchi, S S Nanda, R K Mudgal andA K Kapoor from Retired Telecom Officers Welfare Association of Delhi, K Jawahar, Badri Pathak and M R Dixit from Retired Telecom Officers Welfare Association of Mumbai,Kishan Singh, Rakesh Srivastava and Jain from All India Retired BSNL Executives Association of Delhi attended the meeting;
A purposeful and serious analysis of the emerging scenario took place. Seventh CPC has not suggested any pension revision for BSNL/MTNL retirees. Third PRC has not suggested any pension revision for anybody in PSE.Acceptance of PRC report by BSNL itself is doubtful. Everybody agreed on this approach and they wanted our brief on this issue and immediately we supplied the same to all.In this situation, the organizations representing BSNL pensioners and MTNL pensioners should move together.We should demand a stable system for periodical revision of pension in BSNL/MTNL, based on CPC reports along with other central government pensioners, delinking from the pay revision of BSNL or MTNL. It was also agreed upon that sufficient pressure is required to be mounted on DoT to send a proposal with sufficient justification for such a pension revision now. Then, at the appropriate time, we should all jointly mobilize political support for our demand. We should be ready to mobilize our members all over the country for a joint movement in this regard.

24 Feb 2017

 Dept of Pension has approved the request from DOT to issue orders raising the ceiling of Gratuity amount to ₹ 20 lakhs . Orders from DOT may be awaited. 
C.S Andhra along with CS Telangana and CP Telangana met Sri R L Jakhu, Principal CCA , Hyderabad on 23-02-2017. Discussed about the slow progress of revision of pension on 78.2% merger. Pr.CCA intimated that the matter has already been reviewed with CCA and targeted to complete by 31-03-2017. At this stage, we expressed our doubts on completion of work with the present preparations in CCA office including that of Vijayawada unit. We requested him to deploy additional staff either by diversion or by deputation and to utilize the services of retired pensioners who are willing to work to the possible extent to complete the work as targeted. We pointed out that Pension files for the cases to be settled at Vijayawada are yet to be sent from Hyderabad in large number of cases. Delays in dispatch of revised PPOs to Banks, Postal Accounts, Pensioners have also been brought to his notice. We also requested him to arrange for publish of data of completed cases in their website with relevant details and at least once in every 10 days regularly for the information of beneficiaries as personal copies of revision letters are not reaching in many cases. He immediately instructed Jt.CCA for necessary action. Pr CCA also assured that he would personally visit to monitor the progress. We promised to extend our help of pensioners. Long pending cases of implementation of judgement orders of CAT cases, Pending Adalat cases have also been discussed and submitted details of such cases in writing once again and requested for early action. Meeting went on for more than an hour.

20 Feb 2017


Namaste to you all.  We are happy to announce that our AIBSNLPWA Andhra Pradesh circle  Association has officially opened our new WEBSITE on 20-2-17.

Our website address : andhracircle.blogspot.com.
Our Circle Association  official email id : andhracircle@gmail.com

We will post our All India association news, DOT Orders, BSNL Orders and important meetings held in our Andhra Pradesh Circle at District Level in our website regularly.  We request our District Secretaries and members also to send us about their meeting news to our official email address with photos. We will publish them in our website.   Please give wide publicity to all our members at local level about our new website and ask them to see it daily.  We convey our sincere thanks to Com S. Narasimhan, STR Division for creating our new website.

V. Varaprasad
Circle Secretary

19 Feb 2017