7th Central Pay Commission Benefits to the Pensioners of Autonomous/Statutory Bodies
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The Autonomous Bodies, viz. Coffee Board, Rubber Board, Spices Board, Tea Board, Tobacco Board, MPEDA, Central Silk Board, National Council of Science Museum, The Khadi and Village Industries Commission, The Kendriya Vidyalaya Sanghathan, Indian Institute of Management, Bengaluru, Indian Institute of Technology, etc. have been formed by Acts of Parliament or Executive orders and most of them have been formed in late 1950s.
Before introduction of Pension Scheme, as approved by the concerned Ministries in the Government of India, employees of these Autonomous Bodies were under Contributory Provident Fund Scheme. Consequent to introduction of Pension Scheme in these Autonomous Bodies, the employees of these Autonomous Bodies opted for General Provident Fund based on the option sought from them by the concerned Autonomous Bodies in which they were working.
Pensioners of these Autonomous Bodies are getting pension and other benefits like gratuity, etc. in terms of rules and regulations governing the service conditions of the employees which provide for payment of pension and other benefits as per the Central Civil Service (Pension) Rules, 1972, as amended from time to time.
Pensioners of these Autonomous Bodies had got earlier Central Pay Commission benefits, - right from 1st CPC to 6th CPC benefits, and also Dearness Relief – as and when Central Government pensioners got these benefits.
Pensioners of these Autonomous Bodies were also getting Dearness Relief at such rates as granted to Central Government Pensioners from time to time.
Pensioners of most of these Autonomous Bodies are being paid pension and other benefits from out of the grants sanctioned to the concerned Ministries from out of the Consolidated Fund of India.
In the case of extension of 7th CPC benefits to the pensioners of Autonomous Bodies, the Ministry of Finance has clearly stated that “no orders regarding implementation of 7th CPC benefits, in the matter of pension, are to be issued by the Ministry of Finance and no such orders were issued at the time of any of the previous Pay Commissions. The appropriate decision is to be taken by the concerned autonomous bodies in consultation with the concerned Administrative Ministry in keeping with the practice on the previous occasions and also in the light of the Rules and Regulations/Bye laws, governing the service conditions of employees of respective autonomous Bodies.”
It is unfortunate that the 7th Central Pay Commission benefits, which have been granted to the Central Government Pensioners and pensioners of few Autonomous Bodies like CSIR, Coir Board, Central Power Research Institute, Indian Council of Medical Research, Bureau of Indian Standards, etc. with effect from 1.1.2016 in terms of DoP&PW Orders dated 4.8.2016, have not been so far granted to the pensioners of these Autonomous Bodies. Why this discrimination?
It is also unfortunate that the Dearness Allowance, which have been granted to the Central Government Pensioners with effect from 1.7.2016 and 1.1.2017 and pensioners of few Autonomous Bodies like National Council of Science Museum, CSIR, Coir Board, Central Power Research Institute, Indian Council of Medical Research, Bureau of Indian Standards, etc. have not been granted to most of the other Autonomous Bodies. Discrimination again! Why?
When Dearness Allowance has been granted to employees of Autonomous Bodies with effect 1.7.2016 and 1.1.2017 by the Government, the Dearness Relief has not been granted to the pensioners of those Autonomous Bodies. For example, while employees of Coffee Board have been granted Dearness Allowance, Dearness Relief has not been granted to the pensioners of Coffee Board. Again discrimination in the same organisation amongst staff and pensioners. What sin these pensioners have made?
As Dearness Allowance/Dearness Relief is paid to counter the inflation impact, whether this inflation impact is only on the Central Government employees/pensioners, employees of Autonomous bodies and pensioners of few Autonomous Bodies only and not on pensioners of other Autonomous bodies? Why this discrimination?
A large number of these Autonomous Bodies are constituted for special purpose and are mostly R&D institutions or educational institutions. Most of the Autonomous Bodies, which are focussing towards R&D, have employed a large number of highly qualified scientists and it is a paradox that the Government, on the one hand, is providing incentives like Flexible Complementing Scheme which provide for better pay scales, time bound and in situ promotions, etc., and on the other hand delaying implementation of 7th CPC benefits to them.
It is also strange that one of the conditions for implementation of the CPC is that the respective Autonomous/Statutory Bodies shall bear 10 to 30% of the cost of the revised pay and pension. The Government clearly knows that most of these organisations are funded by the Government itself and they have no source of income to augment. The act and rules of most of these Bodies do not provide for raising any revenue. We also wonder whether all the Government Departments are generating sufficient funds to meet their salaries and other allowances, pension and other pension benefits.
It is understood that the extension of 7th CPC benefits to the Autonomous Bodies/Statutory Bodies have been linked to the review of the functioning of these Autonomous Bodies and also financial viability of continuing these organisations. When the 7th CPC benefits are being extended to the employees of these Autonomous Bodies in terms of orders dated 13.1.2017 issued by the Ministry of Finance and also have been extended to the pensioners of few Autonomous Bodies, it is very strange how the Government can delay the implementation of 7th CPC benefits to the pensioners of these autonomous bodies by linking the same to these studies. We wonder how the pensioners can be made responsible if these Autonomous Bodies cannot generate required funds.
Most of these pensioners depend on this pension income and Dearness Relief to meet their day to day expenses and medical expenses. In fact, these pensioners, though they were getting medical facilities under CS(MA) Rules, while in service, have not been covered under any medical facilities after retirement vis-à-vis CGHS benefits extended to the Central Government pensioners. They are only paid Rs.500/- per month as Fixed Medical Allowance which is not even enough to pay consultation charges to the Doctors.
When employees of Autonomous Bodies are covered under CS(MA) Rules, the pensioners of these Autonomous Bodies are not covered under any Medical Scheme after retirement. Again discrimination amongst the employees and pensioners of same Autonomous Bodies. Why?
When pensioners of Central Government are covered under Central Government Health Scheme, most of the pensioners of Autonomous Bodies of Central Government, except those residing in Delhi, are not covered under any of the Medical Schemes. Discrimination again!
The Hon’ble Supreme Court, in the famous Nakra Judgment, has observed that – 1) pension is neither a bounty nor a matter of grace depending upon the sweet will of the employer and that it creates a vested right subject to 1972 rules, 2) pension is no ex-gratia payment, but it is a payment for the past service rendered and 3) it is a social welfare measure rendering socio-economic justice those who in the hay day of their life ceaselessly toiled for employer on an assurance that, in their old age, they would not be left in the lurch.
Having granted the pension and other benefits to pensioners of autonomous bodies all these years since they retired in accordance with CCS (Pension) Rules,1972 and having now granted 7th CPC benefits to the pensioners of Central Government and pensioners of a few statutory/autonomous bodies, the Government cannot deny the 7th CPC benefits to the pensioners of the other autonomous bodies in their old age. In our view, the Government has to treat all the pensioners on the same footing without showing discrimination amongst pensioners’ fraternity.
The pensioners and Pensioners’ Associations of Autonomous Bodies have even pleaded the Government for grant of these benefits by way of writing letters, sending e-mails, using social media like twitter, but have not got any fruitful results so far. In view of this, pensioners/family pensioners, most of whom are in their late 80s and 90s, are very much disappointed, frustrated and agitated over the inordinate delay in (the) implementation of these benefits to them, which is happening for the first time since three to four decades and they have apprehension as to whether they get these benefits at all during rest of their life time.
As the Hon’ble Prime Minister has always expressed in Media that he has great concern towards senior citizens and his Government’s top most priority is to resolve the grievances of senior citizens like us within a time frame of two to three months, the Hon’ble Prime Minister is requested to kindly treat the pensioners of Central Government and pensioners of Autonomous Bodies of Central Government on same footing without showing any discrimination in grant of pension and other benefits to them and cause necessary instructions, in terms of clarification given by the Ministry of Finance, to the concerned Ministries for extension of 7th CPC benefits and Dearness Relief to their pensioners/family pensioners, immediately, thereby equal justice is rendered to all the pensioners.
We also fervently appeal to the Hon’ble Prime Minister to advise the Finance Ministry to ensure inclusion of “REVISION OF PENSION OF PENSIONERS OF AUTONOMOUS/ STATUTORY BODIES’ in the Terms of reference of the future Central Pay Commissions so as to avoid development of a situation where in the pensioners of the autonomous bodies are made to suffer due to delays in extension of benefits granted to other Central pensioners and are forced to resort to agitations to focus the attention of the government on their demands.
Should we hope the PMO will intervene and put an end to this anarchy and issue clear orders for implementation of 7th CPC to the Autonomous / Statutory bodies as was done in the earlier pay Commissions without further delay and also the same procedure is followed in future.
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