Govt. Employees National Confederation
(AFFILIATED TO B.M.S.)
CENTRAL OFFICE: RAM NARESH BHAVAN, TILAK GALI, PAHAR GANJ, NEW DELHI – 110055
SUB OFFICE :
2-4, NAVEEN MARKET
The Hon’ble Prime Minister
New Delhi – 110 011
Kind Attn: Respected Shri Narendra Modi Ji, Prime Minister.
Sub: Gross mismanagement of the MoD’s SPARSH system for Pensioners.
With a vision of “Right Pension at the right time” the Ministry of Defence has introduced the “System for Pension Administration (Raksha)” popularly called SPARSH with effect from August 2021 and batches of past pensioners drawing their pension from Banks are being migrated to the new portal.
The “Mission” statement prima facie spells out that the portal provides a single window for the pensioners to avail the of pension-related services such as the facility to view the pension details, pension entitlements, pensioner profile details, Income Tax forms etc.
However, in practice, when the Pensioner logs in, he is greeted by the following message:
“Alert — Important: The migrated data for your claim is presently available in read-only mode. Please review the same & Proceed with the submission of declarations/acknowledgement. In case of any issues/discrepancies observed in the data displayed. Please go to “Manage Profile” after submitting the declarations/acknowledgement.”
Beyond this message, nothing is moving and even the helpline numbers including the toll-free numbers are not answered. The PCDA (P) Allahabad vide their Circular No. PCDAP/ SPARSH/ CIV/2021/VOL-1 dated 29/10/2021 notified a list of “Nodal Officers” with their Telephone numbers and other details. However, none of the Nodal Officers are reachable.
A section of the press reports that out of the 3.3 million defence pensioners, nearly five lakh pensioners have been migrated to the new system and during the processing of the pension during the month of April 2022 it was noticed that the annual identification of around 3,30,000 pensioners was not updated by their previous disbursement authorities viz: the Banks. In spite of sharing the list with the Banks, the banks failed to update records of 58,275 pensioners due to which their pensions were stopped. In this connection, it may be pertinent to note that many Banks like SBI created their own Life Certificate generating portals from which the pensioners generated their certificate and were thus delinked from the central Jeevan Pramaan system. Thus for no fault of the pensioners, they were made to suffer and cause mental agony due to the stoppage of their only source of livelihood.
Further, it has also been brought to our notice that Income Tax is being deducted from persons who are well within the exemption limits and no intimation is being given to them.
In view of the above, your kindly intervention is requested to ensure that the system is rectified, is made user friendly and trained counsellors are appointed at the district level to help the pensioners. It is also requested that Pension Slips may be issued to the pensioner through email and/or WhatsApp so that transparency is maintained. It is also requested that a “Doorstep Life Certificate” issuing system for the aged, infirm, illiterate and sick pensioners be started at the earliest.
An immediate action in the matter shall be highly appreciated, please.