Ministry of Personnel, P.G. and Pensions
Department of Pensions and Pensioners welfare
Strategic Plan 2010-15
The issue of efficient delivery of pension services has been the focus of public policy in India for many years. This was mainstrearned through the report of the Project Oasis in the year 2000. This report brought to the forefront the complex issues relating to increasing longevity, reducing /absence of reducing social safety nets and the nccd for improved pension systems focusing on improved service delivery.As per the data of Census 2001, 64% of pensioners are 65 and above .Though the focus of this report was flot the existing system of pension for government servants, many of the issues covered therein are relevant even in the context of the existing pension scheme of the Government of India.
For instance the Oasis report talked about the increasing dependency ratio. As on March 1998, with 5.2 million central government employees and 3.54 million pensioners the dependency ratio was 660/e. For the defence segment alone this was much higher at 110%. Similarly a simulation exercise got earned out by the Oasis report, estimated that the expenditure of the Central Government on account of pension payment would increase from Rs3569 crore in 1995 to Rs 27183 crre in 2015, This “conservative” estimate is already hugely off-mark as expenses have already reached over Rs 50000 crore.
Many pensioners reside with their children and their pension is critical for sustaining their basic needs, including nutritional and medical expenses, with dignity. The quantum and regularity directly impacts their mental well-being and therefore their health. Others, who stay alone, have a greater exposure to inclement conditions and are even more dependent on this stead’ income to nourish their body and spirit. Given the huge amount and the large number of people involved, it is imperative that a people-friendly, efficient and easy to administer pension system for the retiring and retired civil servants matching the aspirations of a modern civil society is implemented at the earliest.
The Department of Pensions and Pensioners Welfare has initiated efforts to bring hassle free retirement benefits to the pensioners. The Government of India extends measures to improve the condition of pensioners from time to time. For instance, the decision on the recommendations of the Sixth Pay Commission to award an additional quantum to pensioners aged 80 or above is recognition of the increase in medical and other expenses with age. Full delivery of the programme on pensions needs to be assured for the beneficiaries to avail of the enhanced measures.
These on-going activities and the new initiatives proposed to be undertaken by the Department through efficient implementation, is likely to make improvements in the life of a pensioner. The core of this Strategic Plan is based on this premise.