.AIBSNLPWA has forged another opportunistic alliance with certain BSNL and mostly MTNL pensioners organisations. Well and good. But this is nothing new. Earlier also they had formed such coordination but didn’t last even for the honeymoon period.

When the former MOC, Shri.Ravi Shankar Prasad took an adamant stand that no pension revision before wage revision, all these organizations got frustrated and lost all hopes. They decided to resort to legal recourse. But they could not reach to a consensus for formulating the fitment formula and this has naturally reflected in the affidavits filed by these organisations in separate cases at PCAT, New Delhi. Now, some of these organisations have started to admit the futility of approaching the court.

There are hundreds of pensioners organisations claiming representatives of BSNL and MTNL pensioners. But very few have the pan India status. Some are for a section or cadres, some other confined to a particular district or state. So the numbers of such organisations are of no significance.

The new alliance partners have given a letter to the Secretary, DoT with the same demand of the dominant partner, Pension revision with 7th CPC fitment. Some of the alliance partners have made Great sacrifice by conveniently changing their earlier stand. We don’t question their rights for changing the stand every now and then.

We are of the strong opinion that the demand of CPC fitment is illogical and unrealistic. It is applicable only to the central government pensioners drawing pension on CDA pay scales. We are the only PSU pensioners getting pension from the central government by virtue of Rule 37A of CCS(Pension) Rules, 1972 on IDA pay scales. Accordingly our pension was revised as per 2nd PRC fitment from 01-01-2007. So there is full justification for the pension revision from 01-01-2017 with 3rd PRC fitment.

It is a fact that the earlier pension revision was only after wage revision of the employees. But this time the wage revision is being denied / delayed citing affordability conditions stipulated by the PRC. However, the same PRC has given a provision to waive the affordability conditions in the case of CPSEs which implement the government projects. This is very much applicable to BSNL as it is the only telecm PSU providing telecom facilities to rural areas based on the National Telecom Policy incurring huge loss and to remote defense establishments. The former CMD, Anupam Shrivastava had put forward his arguments to the government for pay revision in BSNL with 15% fitment highlighting this provision. But this was not considered by the government for obvious reasons.

Now , the full liability of payment of pension and pensionary benefits lies with the Central government. particularly in the wake of annulment of 60:40 condition. More over the pension contribution of BSNL absorbed pensioners has been levied by the government at the maximum of their pay scales. Therefore pension revision of BSNL absorbed pensioners are no way connected with the affordability conditions or bad financial position of BSNL.

Then Comrades, there should be pay scales for fixing the pension. Those who demand pension revision with CPC fitment has to clarify on which pay scales the pension is to be fixed. Whether on CDA pay scales of 7th CPC.? Or on 3rd PRC IDA pay scales. It is nothing but ridiculous if the demand is for CPC fitment on 3rd PRC scales. The 3rd PRC has specified the pay scales of the executives only and the pay scales of the non-executives are yet to be finalised by the BSNL management through bilateral discussions with the recognised unions. So our principled and right demand of 15% fitment is based on Rule 37A of CCS(Pension) Rules, 1972 and the precedence.

Then, these people say that the DoT has proposed for zero percent fitment which is yet to be confirmed. It is true that there is no such zero percent fitment proposal by the 3rd PRC.We strongly protest and condemn if such a proposal is made by the DoT. However the proposal to delink pension revision from wage revision by DoT is a welcome development.

We are committed to continue our efforts and struggles to achieve pension revision with 15% fitment from 01-01-2017. This is the logical and practical way to settle pension revision. It means continuing the same method as adopted at the time of II PRC which was agreed to by all employees and pensioners organisations, including those who now demanding pension revision on 7th CPC fitment.