Change in pension rules on cards to reduce hassle | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, August 29, 2008 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, August 29, 2008

Regulatory Reforms Commission

Change in pension rules on cards to reduce hassle

The Regulatory Reforms Commission (RRC) has drafted recommendations for massive changes to government pension rules and regulations to reduce procedural complexities and curb inherent corruption in the existing process.
Under the recommendations, public servants will not be required to formally apply for retirement pension: rather their pension will be automatically processed within a certain point in time.
The commission will place its recommendations to the chief adviser after inking in the draft at a meeting on September 9.
The draft proposals, among others, include decentralising the authority of sanctioning pension and storing updated information about government officials and employees on computers.
"Once the recommendations are implemented, public servants will not have to knock for months on the doors of a number of officials. The scope for corruption will also reduce to a great extent," the RRC's chief executive officer (CEO) Apurba Kumar Biswas told The Daily Star yesterday.
The RRC prepared the draft at its July 23 meeting after a long study on the existing situation and several sessions with officials from the Office of the Controller General of Accounts, Finance Division and the Ministry of Establishment.
The RRC was formed in October last year to overhaul the outmoded administrative rules and regulations with a specific focus on removing the bottlenecks from economic investment, commerce and trade.
"Three months before a public servant reaches 57 years, their present office will send a statement on their leave to the accounts officer concerned who will then issue an expected last pay certificate (ELPC) in 15 days' time," reads a recommendation.
On receiving the ELPC, the office will then issue an order on retirement, encashment of leave, if any, and lump-sum grant all at the same time, it added.
The last office will prepare the would-be retiree's list of liabilities in a month after the issuance of the leave preparatory to retirement (LPR) order and then ask the offices where they worked in the last three years to send in no-objection certificate or opinion in 21 days.
Other departments responsible for providing housing, electricity and telephone to the official in the last three years will also be asked to report outstanding bills, if any, in the same period.
If the official has any outstanding utility bills or arrears and pays them off, the relevant offices will have to send their clearance certificates in 21 days following the payment.
Should they fail to do so, it will be held that the retiring official cleared all arrears, says the draft, adding that officials concerned will bear the responsibility in case of any non-payment.
The commission proposes dropping the need for the would-be retiree to attach citizenship certificate, fingerprint and bond to the pension form if they have national identity card or birth certificate.
A comprehensive form, which will contain all possible information, will have to be prepared in this regard.
The pension-sanctioning authority may only ask the public servant to provide essential papers, filled-out pension form, bank account number and the option for one-time or monthly payment of pension.
The letter sanctioning the pension will have to be sent to the accounts section three months before the LPR ends. The accounts department will then send a pension cheque to the recipient's bank account in 15 days after receiving the letter and inform the retiree accordingly.
As with the lump-sum pension grant, bank cheques for monthly pension will be sent to the recipient's account automatically.
A high-level cell headed by an official from the CAG office will settle appeal on audit objections in three months. In default, the employee will be entitled to getting pension.
The RRC also proposes settling departmental cases against the retiring official in one year's time during the LPR period, and, in case of failure to do so, recommends paying off the pension on the assumption that there was no objection against them.
Public servants who worked 10 years in temporary posts under the revenue sector will be entitled to pension under the new recommendations.
Proposing the introduction of a computer-based pay roll accounting, the RRC draft speaks for decentralising the authority of granting pension.
According to a Transparency International Bangladesh study, the average public servant has to pay Tk 7,660 in bribe and spend Tk 3,720 for transport and meals to get their pension documents processed.
"Despite several streamlining steps, government officials still have to go through immeasurable sufferings due to procedural complexities and a lengthy pension processing system. Many of them have to lead an inhuman life in the absence of any social security means," RRC CEO Apurba Kumar noted.

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