Thursday, April 3, 2014

Information in respect Of Action taken on Memorandum no. 1/6/2011-IR dt 15-4-13 for SUO MOTU Disclosure of various provisions of National Policy of Older Persons, 99; Maintenance & Welfare of Parents & Senior Citizens Act, 2007; Integrated Programmes of Older Persons, 2008; National Programme for Health Care of Elders, 2011 etc.

To                                              Date: 3-4-14.
Dr Arvind Mayaram, Secretary,
Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, Government of India, North Block, New Delhi-110101.
Respected Sir, 
Sub:   Information in respect Of Action taken on Memorandum no. 1/6/2011-IR dt 15-4-13 for SUO MOTU Disclosure of various provisions of National Policy of Older Persons, 99; Maintenance & Welfare of Parents & Senior Citizens Act, 2007; Integrated Programmes of Older Persons, 2008; National Programme for Health Care of  Elders, 2011 etc.

Ref: Shri Sushil Kumar, your Dy Secretary & AA`s Order no. 11/13/2014-Ad.V dt 26-3-14 received on 1-4-14.

1.Ministry of Personnel, DOPT vide their Office Memorandum no. 1/6/2011-IR dt 15-4-13 has issued elaborate instructions for SUO MOTU Disclosure to provide as much information as possible to the Public so that the Public have minimum resort to use RTI Act to obtain information and to advise them of Action Taken within 6 months of issue of these instructions. We requested your Ministry to advise us the items included in such Disclosure for welfare of 12 crore Senior Citizens of the Country, as declared by Government of India in above 4 Policies under our RTI Application dt 7-1-14.

2.There are 64 CPIOs and large number of AAs in your Department as per your web site notification no. F/1/3/2012-RTI dt 30-10-12. As per instructions on subject, each department has to nominate one Nodal CPIO & AA and devise ways by which information sought in a single RTI application for single subject is provided in a single communication and not in a number of separate replies. After all, the department is a single public authority and not a conglomerate of many public authorities.  Inspite of bringing this to notice of your Department, no one bothers to streamline the working and goes on asking various CPIOs & AAs to give reply directly to applicants! Kindly, get this regularized and provide half-day training in RTI to all CPIOs & AA, as directed in DOPT`s instructions no. 4/10/2011 IR dt 18-5-11.

3. DOPT has directed in para 5 of their memorandum dt 15-4-13 to put up that directive to the Secretary of the Ministry/Department. None of the 64 CPIOs did this. Shri Debal Patra, one of the 64 CPIOs gave a curt reply dt 21-2-14 that our Application pertains to Department of Expenditure only and information for Department of Economic Affairs may be treated as Nil without examining the Application and DOPT Memo dt 15-4-13. Shri Sushil Kumar, his AA & Dy Secretary vide his Order dt 26-3-14 advised that he has directed his CPIO to send Application to your Budget division within 14 days to provide information to us instead of asking his CPIO, if he is a nodal CPIO (as he has not shown his division and given reply on behalf of your entire department) to obtain information from Budget division and send us full information for 4 items of Application. AA has further stated that necessary information about SUO MOTU Disclosure for your entire department is already available in your web site. Perusal of that information in your web site indicates that it is as old as 2012 and not as per DOPT Memo dt 15-4-13. and not given item wise information requested on 7-1-14, though explained in detail in our Appeal dt  13-3-14 to him by name.

4.  DOPT has directed each Ministry/Department to put up this very important directive to the level of Secretary and desired that nominated officer of the level of joint secretary would work under the supervision of the Secretary, ensuring compliance of all instructions in respect of the proactive disclosure guidelines; all statutory & discretionary operations that are public authority`s mandate under AOB read with TOB; preparing simplified versions of their budgets, their periodic monitoring reports in user-friendly manner etc.

5. Though, as per AOB, Ministry of Social Justice is a nodal Ministry for Senior Citizens, overall management and monitoring etc. of the sectoral programmes in respect of Senior Citizens is the responsibility of the concerned Central Ministries, State Governments and Union territory Administrations. As far as 12 crore Elders of the Country are concerned, your Department has to examine all the 4 policies declared by Government and disclose SUO MOTU actions required to be taken by your department on various provisions therein. All Public Authorities have to act on Mandate & Policy Statement of NPOP, 99 and take effective steps to improve the quality of life of all Elders, strengthen their legitimate place in society and help them to live their last spell of life with purpose, dignity and peace. We have elaborated some of the provisions on which action is required to be taken by your Ministry in our 1st Appeal dt 13-3-14. As Department of Economic Affairs is the nodal Department of Government of India for overseeing the public financial management system and matters connected with State finances and so on and in charge of Central Budget, Policies of PPF, Special Deposit Schemes, Small savings, Tax Free Bonds, Credit, Fiscal & Monetary Policies of the whole Country, your Ministry has to disclose every year in Budget the total funds earmarked for welfare of elders of the country for paras 12 to 31, 36, 37, 63 & 93 of NPOP, 99 and other 3 schemes and show them under sec 4 of the Act. Only to give some examples, your Ministry has to i) disclose proper decisions about giving effective provisions for financial security, ii)  financial proposals to strengthening the legitimate place of senior citizens in society by providing support for financial security, iii) take action to provide attractive returns on their investments to take care of likely erosion in purchasing power, v) higher rate of interest to elders for their various savings, vi) concessions in various bank charges, vi) separate que for various transactions at banks & all organizations under your Ministry, vii) dealing with representations on priorityand to show in disclosure those not replied as required in terms of para 66 of Office Manual, viii) subsidy for health insurance, ix) creating welfare fund,  x) actions to avoid age related discrimination in entitlement of credit, xi) higher exemption limits for income tax etc etc. Citizen Charter of your Ministry must include specific provisions for elders for all 4 Schemes declared by Government for Senior Citizens.

We sincerely request you to look in to this important subject affecting 12 crore Elders of the Country and give full information, initiating sincere and speedy actions on all provisions in 4 declared Policies for welfare of Senior Citizens.

Thanking you,
Yours Sincerely,