Nearly three lakh retired defence civilians in the city have a reason to rejoice with Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar extending the CSD canteen facilities for them through special smart card facilities.
The pensioners, who have retired from defence-related organisations like DRDO and many others, will be entitled to groceries, but not liquor, says the notice issued by the defence ministry.
“After a long wait, this facility has been extended to us. Pensioners can fill up necessary details in the specified forms and the Centre will issue the smart cards,” said K K Kutty, general secretary of an association of pensioners in the city.
The pensioners had been demanding CSD canteen facilities nearly for a decade.
The association has been reaching out to pensioners by putting up notices issued by the defence ministry at the Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS) centres as well as through meetings.
“The cards will have a validity of 10 years from the date of issuance and will be renewed every year,” said Kutty.
The applications for smart cards will be authenticated by the department from which the applicant has retired and will be countersigned by an officer not below the rank of under-secretary or equivalent.
The pensioners have been asked to submit their verified applications along with government order regarding their retirement, a copy of pension payment order, address proof and a copy of PAN card along with Rs 135 as processing fee. The CSD manager has been asked to verify all the forms before sending it to the Center, says the notice.
Surendra Joshi, a pensioner, said smart cards would bring transparency in transactions.
Brigadier Luktuke (retired), convenor of an association of ex-servicemen, said he did not see the rationale behind the decision to extend CSD canteen facilities for the people retired from defense related organizations.