ARTICLES WRITTEN BY SHRI S.RATNASUBRAMANIAN
ANNULMENT OF PENSION LIABILITY ON 60:40 RATIO - IS IT A BOON OR BANE?:
'AIBSNLREA was more vocal against BSNL sharing the pension liability of the pre-October 2000 DOT pensioners/family pensioners whose numbers are much higher than the number of absorbed BSNL pensioners/family pensioners. Moreover, Rule 37-A only spoke about an arrangement for sharing pension liability of the absorbed BSNL pensioners and not of past DOT pensioners/family pensioners.'
PENSION - REVISION - CONFUSION (PART II):
'Prior to 5th Central Pay Commission, the pensioners were not given any fitment benefit or equal
fitment benefit which was given to the serving employees. This created a condition that a person
retiring in senior rank in the time of 2nd or 3rd CPC (from 1960 to 1985) got lesser pension than an
official of very junior rank to him and retired after 1986. TESA (I) took up this issue with V CPC and
asked for one cadre one pension concept. Thanks to the landmark judgments of the Hon’ble
Supreme Court, the fifth Central Pay Commission recommended that the fitment formula given
to the serving employees should be extended to the past pensioners as well. Not only that. The
5th Central Pay Commission recommended that the pension of the past pensioners, at whatever
date they would have retired, should be updated at each pay revision date from 2nd CPC to 4th
CPC giving the same fitment formula as given to the serving employees in the pay revision of each
CPC and then be given the fitment formula for 5th CPC and their pension revised accordingly.
There was also an additional provision that with all the updating, the pension is also be not lower
than 50 % of the minimum of the pay scale of the cadre in which the employee retired i.e., one
cadre one pension concept as asked for by TESA (I).'
PENSION - REVISION - CONFUSION (PART I):
'We are sure that the issue of pension revision for BSNL absorbed pensioners is not in the
domain of CPC, since we are BSNL pensioners and not Central Government pensioners.
Nor it is in the domain of PRC or wage revision committee as well, since our pension
though determined as per the pay drawn in BSNL under CCS Pension Rules, is paid by
Government. Therefore, the PRC or wage revision committee for the CPSEs cannot make
any recommendation on either pension or revision of pension of BSNL absorbed. Still, we
are interested in PRC, because the pay of an executive in BSNL can be revised only on the
basis of recommendation of a PRC.'
IS OUR PENSION SECURE?:
'Though we also feel that the 60:40 formula as evolved by DOT and asking BSNL to pay the amount exceeding 60% of dividend etc, would hurt BSNL finances and its viability, but it is in no way going to affect the BSNL pensioners from receiving their full pension. A pensioner is not going to receive 60% of pension from Government and rest 40% from BSNL. His full pension is assured as Government’s liability. The issue of 60:40 formula is an internal matter between DoT and BSNL and does not alter the pension liability position of the Government. Further this formula vis-à-vis “arrangement” is not permanent. If need be, it can be modified or even annulled depending on the requirement. But the Government’s liability to pay pension remains.'
BE RATIONAL - IT IS NOT NOTIONAL:
'Nevertheless, the confusion so created by a few has started its rounds that now DoT itself
is indecisive and confused. An executive association which was a party to the agreement made
last year has now asked for giving last one month (or last one day ?) pay with the 78.2 %
fixation for those who had retired during the interim period from 01-01-2007 to 09-06-2013.
That means they are of the view that the pay revision is notional. When the agreement says
that the arrears will be paid at a future date how can it be notional ? Do they say that the order
of BSNL is a breach of agreement made with them ? And if so what is there for them to rejoice
and celebrate the release of the order as a victory ?'
REVISION OF PAY WITH 78.2% FIXATION - ADDITIONAL PENSIONERY BENEFITS OF BSNL PENSIONERS:
'Neither in the order of DOT communicating the Presidential Directive nor in the
order of BSNL, the word “notionally” is found anywhere. The notion that the
fixation is notional is in the minds of a few only and not in the orders. It is
known to one and all that when the pay is fixed notionally, the benefit would be
extended from a future date. But the obverse of the same is not true. Just
because the arrears is not paid now, the fixation cannot be called as notional.
Because, if the intention of the DOT or BSNL was to fix the pay notionally then
it should have been specifically mentioned in the order itself. It cannot be so
DOT ORDERS ON REVISION OF PENSION OF BSNL PENSIONERS- OUR CONSISTENT STAND VINDICATED:
'At one point of time, many had raised doubts that since Rule-37A of CCS Pension
Rules 1972 do not have any mention or contain provision that there would be revision of
pension of the past pensioners as and when it necessitated, the absorbed BSNL
pensioners will never get revision of pension. But we were confident that revision of
pension is automatic along with revision of pay scale of the serving employees. We
maintained that there is no need for special provision/mention in the Rules for revision of
pension. Even for the Central Government pensioners, no separate provision for revision
of pension is available in CCS Pension Rules 1972. A section of the people was even
blaming the then leadership that they failed to ensure revision of pension by not insisting
for a provision in that direction in Rule-37-A. Now they are proved wrong and release of
pension revision Order has vindicated our stand on this point.'
PENSION - REVISION - TENSION:
'But there is no difference in the settled law that the revision of pension is to be made as
and when the pay revision of the serving employees is allowed and also the same fitment benefit given to the serving employees should also be extended to the past pensioners.'
APPLICABILITY OF DOP&PW ORDER NO 4/14/2001-P&PW(D) DATED 19.09.2003 –
OUR STAND VINDICATED:
'As far as BSNL absorbed pensioners is concerned, since they were absorbed
only on 1st October 2000 i.e., after 1996 (5th CPC), this DoP&PW order dated
19-09-2003, which is an one time measure for fixation of pension for those who
retired prior to 01-01-1996, is in no way connected with their revision of
pension. In other words, the DoP&PW order dated 19-09-2003 has no relevance
with the revision of pension for the past pensioners absorbed in BSNL who
retired between 1.10.2000 and 31.12.2006.'