The Government of India under the leadership of the Honourable Prime Minister has been actively pursuing the objectives of “Minimum Government, Maximum Governance” envisaging Paperless, Cashless and Faceless services across the country, especially in rural and remote parts of India. DoT Finance has taken up several initiatives to digitalize and provide solutions for ease of governance, including digital payments, online receipts, direct payment of GPF for BSNL employees, registration of pensioners through Jeevan Pramaan Portal for Life Certification etc.
In the current system of pension payments for telecom pensioners, pension for 3.5 lakh DoT and BSNL retirees is being sanctioned and authorised by the CCA (Controller of Communication Accounts) Offices. The pension is thereafter disbursed on commission basis by intermediary agents-Banks and Postal HPOs-to the pensioners. The amount of pension paid is to the tune of Rs. 10500 crores per annum. As mentioned above DoT has at present about 3.5 lakh pensioners and there will be around 1.5 lakh retirees added to this number in the near future.
However, several shortcomings are seen in the current system. Some of these are delay in disbursement of the first pension due to time taken in physical movement of PPO from sanctioning authorities to banks via Central Pension Processing Cells (CPPCs) or to Post Offices, delay in payment of arrears of pension after revision, wrong disbursement of pension due to error and painful recovery thereafter. In addition, the multiplicity of organisations results in difficulty in pensioners’ grievance redressal and lack of transparency and accountability, non refund of excess payment by Banks/ POs to the Telecom Department, actual figures not communicated to pensioner or auditor, and paper based ineffective audit. In spite of all these limitations, the commission outgo to Banks and Post Offices is approximately Rs. 35 crores per annum.