PENSION REVISION- ILLUSIONS AND REALITIES.
Shri.. John Brittas M P has made an effective and strong intervention on the issue of Pension Revision to BSNL Pensioners with 15% fitment delinkIng wage revision from 01-01-2017.
The first letter dated 30-07-2021 in this regard to the Hon’ble Minister of Communications, Shri. Ashwini Vaishnaw was replied by the Minister on 06-09-2021.The reply was the same that his predecessor Shri. Ravi Shankar Prasad had stated earlier in Parliament. Pension Revision is intrinsically linked with wage revision .BSNL is not in a position to implement wage revision in view of its financial constraints. Moreover, there will be anomaly in Pension to the future retirees if pension revision is implemented without wage revision.
Shri.John Brittas MP countered these arguments of the Minister effectively and convincingly in his second letter to the Minister, of course, with the inputs provided by our CHQ. He categorically stated that Pension Revision of BSNL absorbed Pensioners is no way connected to the affordability conditions or bad financial position of BSNL, as the pension contributions of these retirees with combined service were paid to the government, that too at the maximum of their pay scales. There was an agreement with the then Staff Federations during the formation of BSNL that pension of the BSNL absorbed retirees will be paid by the government. Necessary amendments were also made in CCS ( Pension) Rules, 1972 to this effect. Further, the 60:40 condition was also scrapped by a Cabinet decision in 2016. Thus, the entire liability of pension and pensionary benefits of BSNL absorbed pensioners solely lies with the government.
Regarding anomaly in Pension to the future retirees, Shri.John Brittas pointed out that anomalies are common in almost every pay revision and pension revision and being settled with appropriate formula.The letter when published was well appreciated by the Pensioners through out the country.
May be due to this, one of the pensioners organisations, which had lost faith in the settlement through negotiation and struggles, filed case in the PCAT, New Delhi has managed a letter from an MP to the Minister of Communications. In this letter, it is demanded to convert IDA pay scales to CDA pay scales and pension revision with CPC fitment. It is also suggested that the possible loss in pension be compensated with grant of personal pension.!! This letter was circulated widely and drew flak from their own members.
OLD WINE IN NEW BOTTLE.
So this organisation has come out with another letter addressed to the Secretary, DoT. In this letter, they don’t prefer pension revision by conversion of IDA pay scales to CDA pay scales presumably due to the strong opposition. Once again they are for pension revision in IDA pay scales with 7th CPC fitment and have provided a calculation sheet also showing a benefit of 14.55% for both pre and post 2017 retirees.
The letter is intended to create illusions and utter confusion among the pensioners. Some innocent pensioners have started calculation of their benefit as if it is going to be ordered tomorrow. The fact is that no serious discussion has taken place in this regard. This organisation had claimed earlier also that their demand of 7th CPC fitment has been agreed to by DoT and DoP& PW. So let us not be befooled by these gimmicks.
We shall continue our efforts and fight for the pension revision with 15% fitment, recommended by the 3rd PRC and approved by the Government, delinkIng wage revision from 01-01-2017. Our demand on pension revision is based on Rule 37 A of CCS (Pension) Rules, 1972 and the precedence of pension revision from 01-01-2007. We cannot endanger the great achievements being enjoyed due to the first pay revision w e f 01-10-2000 and pension revision w e f 01-01-2007.
(Courtesy: AIBDPA CHQ)