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On recent changes in pension rules, Centre defends move: 'Done to prevent loss to country'

The Centre was asked to give a detailed rationale behind taking such decisions (bringing in changes in the pension rules).Premium
The Centre was asked to give a detailed rationale behind taking such decisions (bringing in changes in the pension rules).

  • The amended pension rules, notified by the Personnel Ministry in May this year, make it mandatory for retired government servants who have worked in select intelligence or security-related organisations to take prior clearance from the head of the organisation if they wish to make any publication

Informing the Rajya Sabha on Thursday, the Personnel Ministry said that the recent changes in the pension rules have been made to prevent a "loss to the country" in case prohibited material gets published by retired government officers.

The amended pension rules, notified by the Personnel Ministry in May this year, make it mandatory for retired government servants who have worked in select intelligence or security-related organisations to take prior clearance from the head of the organisation if they wish to make any publication.

In a written reply, Minister of State for Personnel Jitendra Singh said, "Prior to amendment, it was up to the official concerned to decide whether the published material falls in the prescribed prohibited categories or not."

In case, the official feels that the material he is going to publish does not fall in the prohibited category then he could publish the material without any prior approval of the government, Singh said.

"Later on, in case government comes to a conclusion that the published material comes/falls under the category of prohibited material, a loss to the country would have already happened. To prevent such situations, the current amendment has been made," the minister added.

The Centre was asked to give a detailed rationale behind taking such decisions (bringing in changes in the pension rules).

Singh said the stakeholders were consulted while amending Rule 8 of the Central Civil Services (Pension) Amendment Rules, 2021.

"The condition of good conduct already exists in the CCS (Pension) Rules," he said, in response to the question "whether the Ministry has consulted different stakeholders while bringing in the Central Civil Services (Pension) Amendment Rules, 2020 through which a condition of 'good conduct' has been added in Rule 8 prohibiting the retired officers from writing about their department?"

'Deeply disturbed over changes in pension rules'

A group of 109 former civil servants have written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi over changes in pension rules. The letter said that they were surprised and deeply disturbed by the recent amendment to the Central Pension Rules.

"We were surprised, and deeply disturbed, by the recent amendment to the Central Pension Rules notified by the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions on 31 May 2021," said the letter was written by them under the aegis of the Constitutional Conduct Group.

The signatories to the letter include former Prasar Bharati CEO Jawhar Sircar, former foreign secretary Shyam Saran, former home secretary G K Pillai, and Najeeb Jung, former lieutenant governor of Delhi.

With agency inputs

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