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REPORT PUBLISHED BY TIMES OF INDIA ON 29-11-2018 ON THE INDEFINITE STRIKE IN BSNL FROM 03-12-2018

BSNL employee unions allege govt patronising Reliance Jio; plan indefinite strike from December 3.

BSNL employee unions claimed that the govt has not allotted spectrum for 4G services to BSNL in order to prevent it from competing against Reliance Jio. The Union said in a statement, “Whole telecom industry is in a crisis due to the predatory pricing of Reliance Jio.” It alleged that Reliance Jio will steeply raise call and data tariffs once the entire competition is wiped out.

 

Blaming Reliance Jio for financial woes of the telecom sector, employee unions of BSNL on Wednesday alleged that the government was favouring the latest entrant over other firms and said they will go on an indefinite strike from December 3.
The employee unions claimed that the government has not allotted spectrum for 4G services to BSNL in order to prevent it from competing against Reliance Jio.

 

Reliance Jio did not comment on the allegations. “As of now, the whole telecom industry is gripped with a crisis…All these have happened due to the predatory pricing of the Mukesh Ambani owned Reliance Jio. The whole game plane of Reliance Jio is to wipe out its competitors, which includes the state owned BSNL,” BSNL unions said in a joint statement.

 

All Unions and Associations of BSNL (AUAB) alleged that with its huge financial muscle, Reliance Jio is offering services at ‘below-cost’ rates. It said that private telecom companies like Aircel, Tata Teleservices, Anil Ambani-owned Reliance Communications and Telenor have already closed their mobile service businesses.
It alleged that Reliance Jio will steeply raise call and data tariffs once the entire competition is wiped out. “It will loot the people by steeply raising the call and data charges. It is a matter of deep concern that, Reliance Jio is being openly patronised by the Narendra Modi government,” the statement said.
No immediate comments were received from the Prime Minister’s Office. AUAB said the public sector firm has been demanding allotment of 4G spectrum but “the government has turned a deaf ear to this demand, with the ulterior motive of preventing the public sector company from putting up an effective competition to Reliance Jio”.
All officers and workers of BSNL are going on an indefinite strike from December 3, 2018, the AUAB said. “Demands of the strike include the immediate allotment of 4G spectrum to BSNL for rolling out its 4G service, implementation of the government rule in respect of payment of pension contribution by BSNL, wage revision of the employees and pension revision of the retirees, from January 1, 2017,” the statement said.
It also alleged that whosoever tried to act against Reliance Jio had to pay the price, including former telecom secretary J S Deepak. “JS Deepak wrote to the TRAI demanding action on Reliance Jio, for adopting predatory pricing. As a result, JS Deepak was instantaneously shunted out of the DoT… This was a clear signal given by the Narendra Modi government, as to what would happen to any one who dares to speak against Rliance Jio,” the unions alleged. Deepak was named India’s Ambassador to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) when he was abroad to attend the Mobile World Congress 2017 in Spain.
The unions said that BSNL was in a loss of more than Rs 8,800 crore in 2011-12 but due to the combined efforts taken by the employees and the management, the PSU posted an operating profit of Rs 672.57 crore in 2014-15. “BSNL’s improved performance is reflected in the expansion of it’s customer base also. It must be remembered that all these achievements are made by BSNL without 4G technology and with only 2G and 3G technologies, while all the private companies are armed with 4G technology,” the statement said.
Apart from the allotment of 4G spectrum, the AUAB is also demanding the implementation of the government’s rule in the matter of BSNL’s payment of pension contribution. “It is atrocious that, the Narendra Modi government is violating it’s own rule, and is fleecing a huge amount from BSNL every year, in the name of Pension Contribution. This is seriously affecting the financial health of the Company,” the unions said.

Abolish NPS and reinstate Old Pension Scheme – Resolution Adopted by Delhi Assembly

Resolution adopted by the Legislative Assembly of NCT of Delhi to  abolish National Pension System (NPS) and reinstate the Old Pension System in the interest of lakhs of Government Servants

LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY SECRETARIAT
NATIONAL CAPITAL TERRITORY OF DELHI
Old Secretariat, Delhi – 110054

No.F.22(3)/Resolutions/2015/LAS-VI/Leg./

Dated: /11/2018

To
1. The Hon’ble Minister of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions
Government of India
North Block, New Delhi – 110 001

2. The Hon’ble Deputy Chief Minister,
Government of NCT of Delhi
I.P. Estate, New Delhi – 110002

Sub: Resolution adopted by the Legislative Assembly of NCT of Delhi to call the attention of Hon’ble Deputy Chief Minister to abolish National Pension System (NPS) and reinstate the Old Pension System in the interest of lakhs of Government Servants’.

Sir,

The Legislative Assembly of the National Capital Territory of Delhi unanimously adopted the following resolution moved by Shri Ajay Dutt, Hon’ble Member of Legislative Assembly in its sitting held on 26/11/2018:

“The Legislative Assembly in its sitting on 26 November 2018 resolves that:

Taking note of the negative consequences of the anti-employee National Pension System (NPS) that is imposed on the Government Servants by the then NDA Government in 2004 and sustained by the UPA-1, UPA-II and NDA-II Governments,

given that fact that, unlike the old pension scheme, the NPS;

does not give any guarantee to the employee either for assured returns on investments or for minimum pension,

does not provide for family pension or social security,

does not provide for loan facility when in dire need,

does not provide for annual increments and hike in DA,

does not allow the employees to withdraw enough money from their own pension fund to meet their medical emergencies,

leaves the employees at the mercy of volatile markets and the forces that have notoriously being manipulating the markets,

imposes draconian restrictions on withdrawals from pension fund,

allows the insurance companies to exploit employees by way of forcing them to buy annuity for minimum of ten years even after retirement, and

runs contrary to the spirit of welfare state as enshrined in the Constitution.

Given the fact that the pro-people and welfare oriented Government of NCT of Delhi is strongly in favour of restoring the rights and privileges of its employees by way of replacing the NPS with the time tested old pension scheme.

Resolves to urge upon the Government of India to scrap the NPS with immediate effect and bring at once all the Government Servants working under the Government of NCT of Delhi under the old pension scheme and restore to them all the benefits of the old pension scheme wherein the fair and legislative pensions benefits are disbursed through the Constitutional Fund of India, so that the dedicated work force of the Government of NCT of Delhi and their families will be able to lead their lives with sense of security and dignity, and further resolves to urge upon the Government of India to restore the old pension scheme in place of NPS or the benefit of all the Government Servants working under the Government of India and also to activity encourage other States to follow this true welfare measure.”

Yours sincerely,

(C.Velmurugan)
Secretary (L.A.)

No.F.22(3)/Resolutions/2015/LAS-VI/Leg./2982

BASIRHAT BRANCH CONFERENCE

Image may contain: 1 person, standingImage may contain: one or more people

The first Basihat Branch Conference under Kolkata District was held on 28-11-2018 at Basirhat Telephone Exchange.. Com.Pijush Chakraborty, Circle Secretary inaugurated the conference. Com.A.K.Nandan, District Secretary addressed.

Office bearers with Coms. S.K.Dey (President), S.K.Ghosh (Secretary) and K.K.Bose (Treasurer) were elected unanimously

.

 

 

Important Changes in the Memorandum to Prime Minister and Change of Date in the Post Card Campaign!

National Coordination Committee of Pensioners Associations
Dear Comrades!

All are requested that some changes have been incorporated in the Memorandum to the Honourable Prime Minister of India and the corrected memorandum has been placed in the website now with the change of date of memorandum as 27.11.2018. Kindly download this memorandum for all purposes.

Secondly, the draft to be written in the Post Card also undergoes a small change of date and the revised sentences in the Post Card will be as follows: All other instructions remain unchanged – KKN Kutty SG NCCPA

Post Card Campaign to Hon’ble Prime Minister:

I solicit the kind attention of the Honourable Prime Minister to the memorandum dated 27.11.2018 submitted by the National Co-ordination Committee of pensioners in which I am a member  on certain pension related issue.  I seek the intervention of the Honourable Prime Minister to ensure settlement thereof. 

_____________________________________ (Signature)

________________________________________ (Name)

______________________ (Pensioner’s of Department)

 

___________________________________PPO Number

The WFTU on the International Day of Solidarity with the People of Palestine

On the occasion of the International day of Solidarity with the People of Palestine, on November 29th, the WFTU, representing 95 million workers in 130 countries in the five continents, reiterates its stable internationalist support and solidarity with the heroic Palestinian People.

Over the last year, the Israeli aggressiveness has been further escalated, the murder of hundreds of unarmed Palestinians protesting against occupation are daily, thousands of civilians are severely injured by the air and land strikes and the approval of the “Nation-State” racist law by the Israeli parliament is cruel. Moreover, the decision of the President of the USA to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and to transfer there the USA embassy further deteriorated the position of our Palestinian brothers and sisters.

The decisions of the UN about the recognition of the Palestinians’ rights are not implemented, because the geopolitical and financial interests of the state of Israel and its allies are dominating.

In this framework, the WFTU calls on its members and friends and all the militant trade unions to strengthen their struggles and express internationalist solidarity with the Palestinian cause.

On the occasion of the International day of Solidarity, November 29th 2018, to organize protests and demonstrations at the embassies of Israel in their countries, as well as other militant initiatives.

The WFTU will participate in the annual observance of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People of the United Nations Office at Vienna, Austria, so as to put pressure for the recognition of an independent Palestinian state.

We demand:

– The recognition of the independent state of Palestine with east Jerusalem as its capital, within the 1967 borders
– The withdrawal of the Israeli army from all occupied territories of 1967.
– The end of the settlement activities and the withdrawal of all settlers beyond the 1967 borders.
– The demolition of the unacceptable wall in Jerusalem and in the West bank.
– The lifting of all blockades and exclusions against the Palestinians in the West Bank and in Gaza Strip.
– The returning of the Palestinian refugees to their homeland.
-The immediate release of all Palestinian political prisoners from the Israeli jails.

The WFTU also supports the call of the International Confederation of Arab Trade Unions, ICATU, for a general strike in all Arab countries on November 29th, in protest against the Israeli occupation in Palestine.

The world’s militant trade union movement, the WFTU, has been by the side of the People of Palestine since its foundation, and will always support their fair struggle for a free and sovereign country, for a life with freedom and dignity.

The Secretariat

MEETING WITH CMD, BSNL

Coms.V.A.N.Namboodiri, Advisor, K.G.Jayaraj, General Secretary and K.Mohanan, ACS,Kerala & AGS, BSNLCCWF met Shri.Anupam Shrivastava on 27-11-2018 and invited him to the 3rd Triennial All India Conference being held at Kolkata on 23rd and 24th February, 2019. CMD responded that he will try to participate if found convenient at that time.

The representatives, then drew the attention of the CMD on the following issues.

  1. Non-payment of medical allowance and medical bills.

CMD stated that as per the data collected from circles Rs.85 crore is required for the medical bills. Rs. 750 crore  has to be arranged for payment of salary to the staff for the month of November, 2018 and at present the actual cash available with BSNL is only Rs.500 crore. However, when we pointed out the misery and distress of the retirees, CMD stated that definitely their case will be considered with priority  when the financial position improves.

2 Non-payment of wages to the casual and contract workers.

CMD reiterated that acute financial position is the real reason and will be trying to release some amount in due course.

3. Extention of broadband concession to the DoT pensioners. The representatives pointed out that the issue is pending for a few years despite positive assurance and requested his early intervention.

The CMD agreed to look into the issue.

4. Exorbitant rent for the quarters allotted to the retirees. The representatives brought to the attention of the CMD that retirees are being levied rent at market rate and requested for early reconsideration so that the rate of rent be based on the basic pension instead of last salary.

CMD stated that he will look into the matter.

NCCPA Memorandum to Hon’ble Prime Minister

NATIONAL CO-ORDINATION COMMITTEE OF PENSIONERS ASSOCIATIONS.

13-C  Feroze Shah Road,

New Delhi.110 001

Website: www.nccpahq.blogspot.com

Email. nccpahq@gmail.com

President:                           Shiv Gopal Misra:             Ph: 9717647594

Secretary General:          K.K.N. Kutty                       Ph: 9811048303

Dated: 15th November, 2018.

To

The Honourable Prime Minister,

Government of India,

South Block,

New Delhi. 110 001.

Dear Sir,

We submit herewith a memorandum containing the demands, issues and grievances of the Central Government Pensioners.  We request your goodself to  kindly cause consideration thereof with a view to provide relief to them.

Thanking you,

Yours faithfully,

K.K.N. Kutty

Secretary General.

Draft Memorandum

On behalf of the community of pensioners who retired from various Central Government establishments after putting in more than three decades of active service, we submit the following for your kind consideration and necessary direction to the concerned  to evolve solutions to the issues raised therein. Before we dwell upon the issues in detail,  permit us to mention sir, that  NCCPA  is the apex organisations of the Central Government Pensioners Associations in the country.  Our affiliates also include associations of Pensioners of the Central Autonomous bodies.  The grievances of the Pensioners mainly arise from the non-settlement of the following issues.

  1. Implement option No.1 as per the pension fitment formula as recommended by the 7th CPC  and grant MACP benefit with effect from 1.1.2006 .

The 7th CPC  in  appreciation of the demand placed by the Central Pensioners organisations jointly  had recommended two distinct methodology of Pension revision leaving it to the beneficiaries to choose whichever is beneficial to them.  The entire pension community was highly appreciative of the said recommendation and pleaded for the acceptance thereof to the Government.  Unfortunately the Pension Department advised the Government not to accept Option No.1  on the ground that it was not feasible to be acted upon. The Government heeding to the said advice,  accepted the recommendation and issued notification in which it was specified that the acceptance of the Government of the 7th CPC suggestion is subject to its  feasibility of implementation.  The subjective  clause in the Notification was without precedence and appeared to be strange. In order to meet out the objections from large number of Pensioners,  a Committee under the chairmanship of the Secretary of the same Pension Department was set up.   The Committee made the same recommendation to the effect that the suggestion of the 7th CPC contained in Option Nol1 was not feasible. They however suggested to the Government an alternative formulation to replace the recommendation of the 7th CPC.  This was primarily to benefit the officials in organised Group A service, where career progression was time bound. In a written submission made to the Committee, the Staff Side of the National Council JCM pleaded for offering all the three alternatives so that the pensioner would be able to choose whichever was beneficial to them.  The Committee’s  conclusion that option No. 1 was not feasible was flawed in as much as the document,  which the official side affirmed as the bare necessity to implement Option No. 1 was available in the case of 86% of the pensioners, even according to the Committee’s own finding.  The Committee’s report was heavily one sided and was conceived to favour a section of the pensioners, especially those who retired from the higher echelons of the bureaucracy. If the third alternative , which was accepted and implemented had benefited pensioners who had retired from the lower rungs of the hierarchy, it was incidental.  Our submission before your goodself is that the Government, having accepted the recommendation of the 7th CPC must implement the same.  The feasibility or otherwise of the recommendation must be subjected to critical scrutiny.  The Committee’s finding that the Pay  Commission’s recommendation was not feasible  had been made to enable them to put before the Government the third alternative.  There is no difficulty in disproving the  Committee’s findings on the question of “feasibility”.   A large number of pensioners would have been benefited and the question of parity between the past and present pensioners would have been properly addressed.

 

Another related issue is the date of effect of the MACP Scheme.  The recommendations of the 6th CPC was implemented with effect from 1.1. 2006. However, while issuing the orders the MACP was introduced from a different date i.e. with effect from. 1.09.2008.  The matter went first to the Armed Forces Tribunal, where the Govt. lost in as much as the Tribunal made it clear that the Government’s decision to implement MACP from 1.09. 2008 was wrong.  The Government took  up the matter before the High Court, where again they lost.  The matter went upto the Supreme Court,who also  confirmed the position taken by the Tribunal.  Having reached a finality, the Government issued orders making  the scheme effective from 1.1.2006 but only in the case of armed forces personnel, leaving out the Civilian employees and Pensioners from the ambit of their latest order.  This is despite many decision of the  Honourable Supreme Court that similarly placed personnel  should not be dragged to the court for redressal.  The Staff Side of the National Council, JCM had taken up this  issue with the Government twice but are disappointed as those communications have not been responded with till date.  We request that the Department of Expediture, Ministry of Finance and the Department of Personnel may be directed to issue orders extending the MACP Scheme effective from 1.1.2006 in the case of all civilian pensioners.

  1.  Revise  the  Pension of BSNL absorbed retirees with 15% fitment recommended by the 3rd CPC and approved by the Government from 1.1.1017 delinking  the wage revision in BSNL.

When BSNL was formed in 2000, the entire employees working in the Department of Telecommunications were absorbed in BSNL with assurance of better prospects and pension from consolidated fund of the government of India. Rule 37A was incorporated with the CCS (Pension) Rules , 1972 to ensure them government pension and also their pay was upgraded to IDA scales. The pension revision was given to them with 30% fitment , recommended by the 2nd PRC for the PSU employees from 01-01-2007. Later, they were also granted pension revision based on the 78.2% IDA fitment at par with the working employees of BSNL. But both these revisions were much delayed due to a condition of 60:40 stipulated by the government for payment of pensionary benefits. However with much effors and struggles, this condition was annulled by the Cabinet and the order issued vide No.40-13/2013-Pen (T) dated 20-07-2016. It is stated in the order, Para 2 (b) that “The liability towards pensionary benefits including family pension to the BSNL employees (excepting those recruited after 01-10-2000), as per sub rule, 22 of Rule 37-a of CCS (Pension) Rules, 1972, lies with the government.”

The 3rd PRC has recommended 15% fitment for the pay revision of PSU employees with effect from 01-01-2017 which has been approved by the government. The BSNL absorbed government retirees are fully justified to get their pension revised with 15% fitment from 01-01-2017 without linking to the wage revision of BSNL employees. Wage revision of BSNL employees is being delayed due to the affordability condition laid down by the 3rd PRC.  The pension revision of BSNL absorbed government retirees has nothing to do with the finance of BSNL, as the entire liability lies with the central government. The Department of Telecommunications, despite the assurance by the hon’ble Minister of Communications for early pension revision, is adopting a negative approach and their mindset, even after a series of discussions and struggles, is for the pension revision only after pay revision of BSNL employees. The central government pensioners have already got their pension revised from 01-01-2016 as per the recommendations of 7thCPC. So it is a great injustice being meted out to the BSNL absorbed government retirees by denying the due pension revision, even after two years of their counterparts in central service got their pension revision.

  1. Revise Pension of Central Autonomous Body pensioners.

There are more than 600 Central autonomous bodies.  Thousands are employed in these institutions.  These Institutions were created as special vehicles to deliver certain goods and services for public benefit.  Most of these institutions have adopted Govt. of India rules and regulations and service conditions.  Some time back, the Govt. issued an executive fiat making it obligatory for these institutions to generate own funds and be self reliant.  The said fiat as pointed out by the Managements of these institutions, were impracticable unless the user charges are increased manifold putting the public at large into unbearable financial burden. After  the 7th CPC’s  recommendations, most of these autonomous bodies revised the wages of the working employees and officers, but chose to punish the pensioners. In quite a number of cases, the pension revision has not taken place.  Even the entitled dearness relief was  not sanctioned in certain cases.  It is our ardent plea to your goodself that the pension revision in the case of retirees from the autonomous bodies may be directed to be undertaken immediately and the funds required for the purpose being made available to these bodies.

  1. Provide notional fixation of pension under Option No.3                 on the basis of the pay scale/grade pay/pay level from which the pensioner retired. Provide fixation of pay in the case of all pre 2006 pensioners on the basis of the grade Pay/pay level/pay scale of the post or cadre from which one has retired as per the judgements of the court.

It is the interpretation of the Department of Expenditure that led to the denial of the legitimate quantum of pension in respect of some of the pensioners, who could not avail the benefit of pay scale revision during their service. The issue had been the subject matter of judicial scrutiny and the judgements were clearly against the interpretation of the Department of Expenditure   Instead of accepting these court verdicts, the Govt. had been dragging the poor pensioners to higher courts denying them what is legitimately due to them.  While the serving employees are given the benefit of revision of pay scale or grade pay, the same is denied to the Pensioners.  In some cases, the  Govt. has implemented the decisions of the tribunal denying the benefit to the other similarly placed personnel. The attitude of the Department of Expenditure has only led to the increase in the number of cases in the court apart from placing unbearable financial burden on the pensioners.  This is also clearly against the principle/policy announced by the Government while setting up the administrative tribunals to the effect that the Govt. would abide by the decisions of these tribunals with a view to speed up the delivery of justice.  It has now become a common practice for the Govt. to approach the High Court and Supreme Court whenever the decisions of the tribunals go contrary to the position taken by the Govt. We request you to kindly direct the Department of Expenditure to reverse their untenable interpretation in the matter and render justice to the Pensioners.

5 & 6.     Extend the benefit of CS(MA) rules to all pensioners who are not covered by CGHS. Increase the FMA to Rs. 2000 pm as has been granted to PF pensioners. Introduce the health insurance scheme as suggested by the 7thCPC.

CGHS came into existence decades back inconsideration of the dire requirement of addressing the health cared needs of the Central Government employees. It commenced its operation in a few stations initially and was later widened to cover 26 important towns of the country including almost all metro cities.    It received wider appreciation from the employees and Pensioners.  However, its expansion was arrested in the post 1991 period, especially after the report of the Expenditure Reform Commission was submitted to the Government.  Its service was curtailed and the budget allocation was drastically reduced.  The number of empanelled hospitals at certain points of time got reduced.   In a city like Mumbai, where number of Central Government employees and pensioners is huge, at some point of time, there had been only one or two empanelled hospitals.  The health insurance scheme, which was one of the recommendations of the 6th CPC, did not take off.  The health care has now become abysmally poor. While this is the case of the employees and pensioners in the CGHS covered areas,  the situation in other moffusil stations is precarious.  While the working employees have the old CCS(MA)system whereby they could get the expenses reimbursed, the poor pensioners are given a pittance of Rs. 1000 p.m.to meet out the health related expenses.  Most of pensioners, being at the advanced age, require hospitalisation for continuous treatment of the ailments.  Therefore, the demand for the extension of the CCS(MA) Rules had been raised continuously and persistently for many years.  The Government has not responded to this demand positively.  Rather on many occasions, the Govt. has expressed their inability to consider this demand fearing the huge financial outflow.  We request your goodself, to kindly get the matter seriously examined from the humane angle and pending a decision thereon, kindly direct the Department of Expenditure of the Ministry of Finance to increase the FMA toRs 2000 p.m to the pensioners.

Incidentally, we may also bring to your kind notice that the 7th CPC had recommended for introduction of a health insurance scheme. This is an alternative worth   considering by the Government as the insurance scheme will obviate the financial outflow from the exchequer.  The Departments of Pension and expenditure may be asked to consider this recommendation seriously and evolve a scheme which would go a long way in addressing the health related problems of the pensioners to a very great extent.

  1. Raise the minimum pension to 60% of the Minimum wage i.e. Rs. 10800pm.

Minimum Pension is presently computed as half of the minimum wage determined by the Pay Commissions.   One is entitled  for full pension on completion of the specified number of years of service. Pension is computed as 50% of the last pay drawn.  It is, therefore, discernible that the computation of Minimum pension at 50% had been based on the assumption that pension is normally calculated as half of the last pay drawn. This appears to be not based on any sound principle.  Minimum pension is related to Minimum wage. Minimum wage  is the wage determined on the basis of the minimum basic and essential  requirement of a person’s existence. As per the agreed formulations as early as in 1957, the basic essential requirement is considered to be the requirement of the family of a person.  Family is defined as “Husband, wife and two children” treating this as three units.  The formula stipulates and provides one unit for the bread earner, 0.8 units to his spouse and 0.6 unit for each children.   The point at issue is that the minimum pension cannot be less than the minimum wage.   Minimum wage being the least below which a person may not be able to live on, the same analogy must apply to the pensioner. Minimum pension is the need based requirement  of a pensioner, whose family includes his spouse who  is fully depended upon his pension income.    However, taking into account the fact that the superannuation age of retirement being 60, no pensioner in the normal circumstances may  have dependent children.  The logical conclusion that emerges is that the minimum pension must not be less than 60% because the family of the pensioner shall have 1.8 units  which is just 60% of the family units of a working employee.  We  request therefore, that the concerned may be advised to determine the minimum pension at 60% of the minimum wage, which will work out to Rs. 10,800 p.m.

  1. Restore the commutation value of pension after 10 years.

The restoration of the commutation value of pension is made after 15 years.  The  5th CPC  had pointed out that the period of 15 years is too large in as much as the Government recovers the advance with interest in less than 11 years.  After the revision of the commutation value factor, the period by which the government could recover the full amount with interest has further been reduced to 10 years.  The recommendation of the 5th CPC was not accepted by the Government. With this decision, the Government is presently recovering almost one and half times of the commuted value along with interest, interest being charged on fictional amount of principal.  There is absolutely no justification for the stand taken by the Government in the matter.  The  Pensioner community feels that the  Government is behaving like a cruel and parsimonious money lender.  At no point of time, the Finance Ministry has been able to advance any logical argument in support of their reluctance to reduce the period from 15 to 10 years.  This apart, quite a number of pensioners will not be able to receive the benefit of restoration as they may not be able to live even up-to 75 years.   We, therefore, request you to kindly direct the Finance Ministry to issue orders for the restoration to 10 years.

  1.  Provide increased rate of pension on attainment of 70 years of age.

 

Taking into account, the increased financial requirement of a pensioner, the earlier Pay Commission had recommended to raise the pension by 5%  on attainment of age of 80.  This recommendation was implemented .  Many of the pensioners are compelled to spend huge sums of money on health related problems and other debilities once they attain the age of 70.  The Pensioners Associations had represented before the 7th CPC to increase the pension by 5% every five years after one attains the age of 70.  The  CPC however, on obtaining the opinion from the Defence Ministry turned down this request, even though the Pension welfare department had suggested to increase the pension on attainment of the age of 75.   On such a crucial issue, it was unfortunate that the Pay Commission instead of arriving at an independent decision relied upon the opinion of the Defence Ministry.  We are not aware of the circumstances under which the Defence Ministry came to such an unhelpful conclusion. Over the years, as your goodself  is aware, the Government had been reducing the rate of interest on fixed term deposits, which had adversely affected the Pensioner community as most of the Pensioners have chosen to invest their retirement benefits on these instruments. While the  constant reduction of interest rate by the RBI and consequently by the Financial institutions may be  in consonance of the  sound macro economic  policy matters,  there is no way the pensioners could compensate for their reduction in monthly income. They face a piquant situation in as much as they face reduction of their income and an increase in their financial requirement simultaneously.  At the advance age, there is no cushion for them to absorb the unanticipated expenditure.  Having recognised the fact that the advanced age poses problems it would be in the fitness of things, that the pensioner is granted a small increase in their pension income.  We, therefore, request that the suggestion put forth by the Pensioner Community to increase the pension by 5% every five years on attaining the age of 70 may kindly be accepted.

  1.  Withdraw  the contributory pension scheme and restore the defined benefit pension to all

Central  Govt. employees.

The main objective of introducing the new contributory pension scheme in 2004 was stated to be to arrest the financial outflow on account of the constant increase in the pension liability of the Government. The IMF had earlier advised the Government to do so as a measure to contain the fiscal deficit in the Union Budget. The employees organisations had been consistently opposing this move and had been presenting the obvious fact that the pension liability of the Government would not be abated by this move, rather it would only register an increase.  The 6th CPC set up a Committee to go into the matter headed by Dr. Gayatri.   The Committee’s conclusion was akin to what the employees organisations were all along making. The matter came up for the consideration of the 7th CPC again as by that  time the new scheme had been in operation for more than a decade. The  Commission received many complaints and suggestions from the stake holders.  These had been enumerated in their report.   Instead of making any recommendation, the Commission suggested to the Government to set up a Committee to go into these complaints and take remedial measures.  Govt. set up such a committee under the Chairmanship of the then Secretary, Pension, who heard the presentations made by the Service organisations and the Pensioners Associations.   One of the suggestions made before the committee was to guarantee a minimum pension or a minimum return for the investments being made by the employees during their service career.  It is reported that the Committee has submitted its report to the Govt.  But the same has not come to the public domain so far. The Pensioners are, rightly so, apprehensive of the continuation of the present defined benefit pension system, they enjoy.  The employees, who are recruited after1.12004 are highly agitated as the new scheme guarantees no mimum annuity nor does the projection made by the PFRDA gives them any hope for a decent return for the contribution they make every month which is presently 10% of their Pay + DA.   The  facts now available with the Government over the financial outflow from the exchequer both in respect of the Pension liability of the employees who were recruited prior to 1.1.2004 and the contribution the Government is to make under the new contributory scheme must convince that the decision taken to introduce the new scheme in replacement of the erstwhile defined benefit scheme had been flawed.  If that be so, the scheme requires to be scrapped lock stock and barrel as it has not benefitted the Govt,  nor the subscribers, i.e. the employees. The discontent over this ill advised decision is growing day by day and the younger generation of workers and officers have become highly critical.  We, therefore, request you to kindly cause a revisit with a view to bring back the defined benefit pension scheme for all Central Government employees.

K.K.N.KUTTY

Secretary General

 

TAMIL NADU CIRCLE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEETING HELD SUCCESSFULLY.

Com.S.Mohandoss, CHQ Vice President inaugurated the Tamil Nadu Circle Executive Committee Meeting held on 23-11-2018 at Jeevan Jyothi Hall, Coimbatore. Com.P.Manickamurthy, Circle President controlled the proceedings. Com.V.Venkatraman, District Secretary, Coimbatore welcomed all. Com.C.K.Narasimhan, Circle Secretary presented report of activities for the interim period and Com.S.Natarajan, Treasurer submitted the accounts. All the District Secretaries and Office bearers participated in the discussion.

The CEC decided to support actively the indefinite strike called by AUAB from 03-12-2018 on the five point demands including pension revision from 01-01-2017. The AIC fund decided by the Jalgaon CEC should be sent to the Reception Committee. NCCPA agitational programme to be implemented in Tamil Nadu Circle. The 5th biennial Circle Conference to be held at Coimbatore in March, 2019.