Non-uniformity in Railway Pension post digitalisation a cause of concern: says Pensioners’ Association

NAGPUR: Railway pensioners from city attended a programme organized by National Railway Pensioners Association (NRPA), Central Railway, at Association’s office in Ajni on Saturday.

SC Maheshwari, secretary general, Bharat Pensioners Samaj, New Delhi, was the keynote speaker and chief guest of the programme.

The programme started with the pensioners welcoming Maheshwari.

Maheshwari, in his speech, spoke about the modifications in the 7th CPC (Central Pay Commission) recommendation. He said, “The first formulation recommendation by 7th CPC was found not feasible on account of non-availability of large number of records. However, after a survey, it was found that 80% of the records were available while 18 to 20% were not.”

The question that comes to my mind is why 80% of people are not taken into consideration and why they are being ignored, Maheshwari said.

Further, he called non-uniformity in pension payment order (PPO) as the biggest enemy of digitalization. He said, “In railways, digitalization is not uniform. Different number of digits in PPO numbers in different railway regions leads to variety of problems. Majority of pensioners are unable to register on ARPAN, as this pension portal supports only a 15-digit PPO.”

Explaining the power of internet, Maheswari said, “Due to our age, we are unable to come together physically. However, we today have a great platform of social media. We all should use it for our benefit and discuss our issues on it and put forth our opinions. If we use this medium properly and come to a common consensus, we can make our voices heard.”

While encouraging the people to fight for their rights, he said, “We pensioners are not a burden and we are not asking for anything more than what is ours. We constitute a great part of our population and we should believe in our power and not beg for our rights. We should rather fight for our rights.”

Topics like new rules regarding PPOs and grievances on family pension were also briefly discussed on the occasion.

OP Verma, working president of NRPA; M K Kapse, secretary of NRPA and M B Ghodeswar, retired chief medical officer from Bhusawal, who was also the guest of honour, also graced the event.