Official Press release from Cabinet secretariat after todays cabinet meeting
Cabinet approves Revision of pension of BSNL Pensioners Removing Anomalies The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the revision of pension of BSNL pensioners and family pensioners, who retired prior to 10.06.2013 by allowing the benefit of merger of 50% DA/DR with Basic Pay/ Pension, effectively amounting to 78.2% DA/DR for the purpose of fitment, and (ii) Modifying the liability of BSNL towards the payment of pensionary benefits to the retired employees.
The pension of BSNL pensioners/family pensioners, who retired prior to 10.06.2013 has been revised w.e.f. 01.01.2007 notionally with actual benefit w.e.f. 10.06.2013, by allowing the benefit of merger of 50% DA/DR with Basic Pay/ Pension, effectively amounting to 78.2% DA/DR for the purpose of fitment at par with the serving employees of BSNL. However, increase in the amount of DCRG, leave encashment and commutation of pension in respect of these pensioners shall not be increased on this account.
The pension liability in respect of employees of Department of Telecommunications (DOT) / Department of Telecom Services (DTS) / Department of Telecom Operations (DTO) who retired prior to 01.10.2000 is solely borne by Government of India and the BSNL will have no liability in respect of these employees. In respect of employees who are absorbed in BSNL, the liability on account of pensionary benefits shall be fully borne by Government while BSNL will continue to discharge pension liability by way of pension contribution in accordance with FR-116 for the period they so work/worked.
The revision entails an estimated recurring annual expenditure of approximately Rs 129.63 crore for pensioners and Rs 24.93 crore for family pensioners and arrears from 2013-14 would be Rs 239.92 crore approximately for pensioners and Rs 44.62 Crore approximately for family pensioners. Approximately118500 pensioners all over India will be benefitted by this revision.
This revision will fulfill the long pending demand of revision of pension of BSNL absorbed employees who retired prior to 10.06.2013 and will bring the pensioners at par with the serving employees of BSNL by removing the anomalies. It will help in reducing the financial burden of BSNL and removing prospects of industrial unrest in BSNL while fulfilling the commitment of Government.
The decision of the Cabinet has come in the wake of an anomalous situation created in the difference of pension formula among the BSNL retirees who retired before and after 10.06.2013. Further, the decision regarding pensionary liability is on persistent demand from various quarters and a series of deliberations at different levels to fulfill the assurance given by the Government before corporatization i.e. before formation of BSNL.
I was away from Trivandrum for 3-4 days to attend some domestic functions in my native village. During those days, I found some disturbing news in whatsapp spread by some other organisations/individuals creating a panic situation. It was widely circulated that Cabinet returned the file on 78.2% case.
Hence our leaders- Com. Gangadhara Rao, Com. Changappa and Com. Murthy – on 3-7-2016 met Shri Ananthakumar who attended the last cabinet meeting. Shri Ananthakumar asked them “who told that the file was returned”. Then he told with confidence that “You relax. Your case is under SERIOUS consideration of the Government.”
I do not find any reason for panic. To get removed the stipulation of 60:40 condition on pension liability is not that easy. It should go for ever. It should be 100% responsibility of the Government to pay pension to BSNL retirees from the Consolidated Funds. So, I was very happy when Telecom Department itself moved that proposal. Even if the decision is delayed little, the condition should be removed. For Ever. We are getting older every day. In future, we can not do this strenuous exercise every time to get some benefit from the government.
We have already reported in this Site what exactly is the impact of Cabinet Decisions on the CPC report. The immediate benefit on 1-1-2016 is only 32% of basic pay or basic pension. In July 2016, the benefit will come down to 30.2%. Every six months the net benefit will come down like that. Finally, within 3-4 years the gains of seventh CPC will be nullified totally. For those who occupy government quarters the benefit is very very negligible say just 14.14% of their basic pay from 1-1-2016. There are thousands of railway employees living in railway quarters, mostly in dilapidated conditions. .... Living with rats and snakes....They will get very small benefit.
Therefore, there is widespread anger among the employees.Some discussion took place between Union leaders and Group of Ministers consisting of S/s Rajnath Singh, Arun Jaitley and Suresh Prabhu. Further discussion may take place tomorrow.I expect that the minimum pay may be raised from Rs 18000.Naturally it will raise the minimum pension from Rs 9000 for central government pensioners.The Conversion factor has to be modified accordingly.Let us wait and see.