While the Central Government has issued orders after orders just before the general elections were announced and even has gone to the President for issue of ordinances for the corporates and the big business, it did not find time to issue orders on the Rs. 1,000 Minimum Pension for the EPF Pensioners. The CITU has denounced this discrimination and complete neglect of the working class by the UPA government. The full text of the Press Statement is given below:
New Delhi, March 15: The Centre of Indian Trade Unions denounces the anti-worker bias of the UPA Government which has not yet notified the increase in minimum pension of Rs1000/- under EPF-Pension scheme and enhancement of the ceiling of contribution and coverage which has been unanimously recommended by Central Board of Trustees of Employees Provident Fund Organisation on 5th February 2014 and sent to Government for immediate action on the same.
Demanding enhancement of the minimum-guaranteed pension under EPF scheme, the trade union movement has been agitating since last five years or so. This demand was one of the ten-point demands on which all the Central Trade Unions and National Federations have been conducting countrywide agitations and strikes from 2009. The Government committed to the Central Trade Unions for an early decision on the same in May 2013. Sometimes in third week of January 2014, the Govt came out in public to announce its decision in making a minimum pension under EPF-Pension scheme Rs 1000/- and raising the eligibility wage ceiling to Rs 15000/-. On 5th February 2014, in an urgently called meeting of Central Board of Trustees, the matter was discussed and the CBT made an unanimous recommendation on the same including its date of effect from 1st April 2014. And well before the election was announced on 5th March 2014, the Union Cabinet has reportedly cleared the recommendation for augmenting the minimum pension amount to Rs1000/- and the eligibility wage ceiling to Rs 15000/- by the end of February itself and again announced the same in the media. But unfortunately, no official notification has yet been made and neither the EPF office nor the Labour Ministry could yet throw any light on the fate of that decision.
It is being noticed that the Congress leaders have been making election campaign taking credit on the augmentation of minimum pension. But at the same time it is noted the UPA Ministers are pursuing overtime the Election Commission on behalf of their corporate and Business House partners for allowing them to announce FDI in multi-brand retail trade or increasing the price of natural gas and other decisions of corporate-interests. But any initiative to issue notification on increase in minimum pension amount under EPF-Pension scheme which is going to benefit 27 lakh workers in the lowest strata in particular, is not yet visible exposing the brazen pro-rich bias of the UPA Government.
CITU denounces such an anti-worker bias of the UPA Government and demands upon them to immediately issue notification in that regard on which the decision has already been taken and announced well before the election was announced. CITU calls upon the workers to launch united protest against such anti-worker attitude of the Government.