Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Apr 3:
The Odisha government will soon simplify pension rules for its employees. In the new rules to be put in place, the earlier requirement of filling up of a bunch of forms will be done away with and retiring or retired employees will be required to fill up only one or two forms giving all required details for availing pensions.
The significant decision was taken at a secretary level meeting chaired by the chief secretary at the state secretariat here on Thursday.
Sources said after approval by the Law department, the proposal for simplification of pension rules will be placed before the Cabinet for its approval. Once the cabinet gives its approval. a notification will be issued to bring the new rules into force, official sources said.
Both the departments of Finance and Public Grievances & Pension Administration informed at the meeting about the changed rules and said that the existing pension rules had become highly complicated and were causing excessive delay in grant of pensions, especially in the case of class III and class IV employees, sources informed.
Keeping this in mind, arrangements have been made for extensive changes in the system.
Difficulties in initiating disciplinary action against class –III employees like Junior Engineers and several others who have been accorded class-II status also came for discussion at the meeting.
Under the existing provisions for initiating departmental proceedings against such category of employees, permission from the Chief Minister or the concerned departmental minister is manadtory.
Most of the secretaries present at the meeting objected to this provision and proposed an amendment to the rules, which was accepted by the chief secretary at Thursday’s meeting.
Consensus was arrived on the issue and departmental directors or secretaries will be able to take disciplinary action against the above mentioned categories of employees after the amendment in the rules are approved by the Law department.
The Finance department informed the chief secretary that revenue collections were around 95 % for the 2014-15 fiscal. During the meeting it came to light that some key departments like Panchayati Raj, School and Mass Education and Health had failed to spend crores of rupees in the last fiscal. The chief secretary has directed the departmental secretaries of the concerned departments to submit reports on the exact amount that could not be spent and why the neglect occurred and at which level etc.
Principal Secretary in-charge of PPP (public private partnership) presented a full-fledged report at the meeting. The report elaborated on the new goals of the government in the sphere of PPP. The department has made it clear that funds for all projects have not been provided for in the budget. Therefore, departments are required to identify projects from now to be taken up on PPP basis and send proposals. Assistance will be provided for project report preparation, the meeting was told.