CITU DENOUNCE GOVT’S TOTAL INACTION  IN ADDRESSING THE PROBLEMS OF EMPLOYEES PENSION SCHEME - 1995 AND THE PENSIONERS RATHER ACTING IN CURTAILING BENEFITS EVEN IGNORING COURT JUDGMENTS

 

The Centre of Indian Trade Unions denounces the Govt’s total inaction in addressing the problems of Employees Pension Scheme - 1995 and the concerned pensioners despite the continuing persuasion by the pensioners’ organizations, and trade unions including CITU.

At the time of introduction of EPS 1995, CITU opposed the scheme almost singlehandedly since it offered much less benefits compared to contribution made by the workers throughout their service life. The matter went up to Supreme Court and the then Govt could get the approval of Supreme Court for the scheme by showcasing number of benefits being offered like commutation of pension and return of capital etc. But soon thereafter all those benefits viz., commutation and return of capital have been unilaterally withdrawn by the Govt arrogantly ignoring the opposition of the trade unions including CITU.  The utter deception as well as arrogance of the Govt has gone to such nefarious extent that those pensioners who could avail the commutation of a part of their pension as per the then prevalent rules are still being subjected to  continuous deduction in their meager pension amount even after the entire commutation amount is fully realized and such illegitimate deduction from the concerned pensioners has still been continuing for years together even after they have paid back the full commutation amount despite repeated pointers to such illegitimate deductions by the trade unions and pensioners.  This is nothing but forcible and usurious extortion on the EPS pensioners by the Govt which is condemnable.

Even after prolonged persuasion by the trade unions, minimum pension under EPS was made Rs 1000/- and the same was notified in 2014. But even this was not implemented properly and lakhs of pensioners are even now getting much less than the notified minimum of Rs 1000.

The Govt has been overactive in finding innovative ways how to curtail the benefits of poor pensioners under EPS and that has reached to a crooked extent. Even the clear direction of the Supreme Court to pension calculated on the actual pay at the time of superannuation provided they agree to contribute to pension fund as per their actual pay is being violated by the Govt through EPFO in a crookedly innovative manner by way of unjustly denying such benefits to the workers under exempted establishments despite opposition of trade union representatives in Central Board of Trustees of EPFO and the entire trade union movement as such.

Now recently the Kerala High Court has delivered a judgment on 12th October 2018 which has struck down most of the anti-worker amendments in EPS 1995 unilaterally imposed by Govt aiming at substantial reduction in pensioner benefits. This judgment has been given in response to a set of petitions by pensioners and their organizations.

The Modi Govt as usual is moving to deny the benefits of the Kerala High Court award by pushing the entire matter to further litigation which is condemnable.

CITU demand that the Government and EPFO should accept the Kerala High Court Judgment and also implement fully the earlier Supreme Court Judgment on higher Pension to all without any exception including those in exempted establishment’s category. Govt should also restore the unilaterally withdrawn benefits and also implement pending decisions of the CBT, which are beneficial to Pensioners.

Issued by
(Tapan Sen)
General Secretary

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