One Pensioner’s organization has critised us in their website with the caption “Empty Vessel makes sound”
They have taken pains to surf our website including archives, Key-note address of Bangalore AIC etc. and they have concluded that we have not raised the issue of 60:40 earlier and we talk about it only after the Cabinet clearance.
We can understand the anger, frustration of many pensioners organization including this organization because pensioners throughout the country give credit to us for this victory because we have been apprising them about the developments then & there.They should realize that the victory celebrations are spontaneous.The leadership of these organizations does not understand the ground reality.One organization said “Pensioners are bleeding” and this organization said that we are not bothered about the arrears from 1/1/2007 to 9/6/2013 and consequent benefits for those who retired after 1/1/2007.Long back in our Ernakulam CWC itself we have discussed it and we have our own strategy.Our earlier letters to Secretary, Telecom vindicate our position on this issue.
This particular organisation’s anger is because their arch-rival has addressed our Bangalore Victory meeting on 16/7/16 and told the truth that our organization is only responsible for this victory.For the information of those critics we give some details here.
The article written by Com D.Gopalakrishnan in Pensioners Patrika 19 (July-Sept.2015) explains the issue of 60:40 and at the end he has concluded as:-
Pension contribution is not taken into account as revenue.Further, pension expenditure comes under Major Head 2071 in which 10 items are included like pension, family pension, gratuity, commutation etc.The above tables reveal that from 2009-10 onwards it has far exceeded 60% of revenue.So, the prescription is wrong and needs to be withdrawn.Statutory Rule says payment of pensionary benefits including pension and family pension is the responsibility of the Govt.
In our Bangalore AIC report under para 12.1 it was stated “During the discussion, DoT Secretary informed of the 60:40 issue.Our leaders immediately pointed out the clarifications issued by the previous DoT Secretary (Shri Behura).When DoT Secretary wanted a copy of that letter our leaders promised to supply the same next day.They fulfilled their promise.On 26/3/2015 DoT Secretary assured that the revised Cabinet Note will be circulated within 15 days to the nodal ministries”.
With the help of Shri Ananthkumar, we met Shri Nripendra Misra, Principal Secretary to PM who was earlier Secretary, Telecom on 1/12/2015.The purpose of meeting him was only for the annulment of 60:40 and we handed over a letter to him on that day which we hereunder reproduce and it is self-explanatory.
Please read that letter:
ALL INDIA BSNL PENSIONERS WEFARE ASSOCIATION(REGD. 1833/09)CENTRAL HEADQUARTERS
Shri Nripendra Misra, IAS,Principal Secretary,Office of Hon. Prime Minister of India,New Delhi.
Sub: Extending the benefit of 50% IDA merger to all BSNL retirees –
On the basis of the recommendations of GoM, DPE issued O.M. on 2/4/2009 revising the pay of employees of CPSEs from 1/1/2007 taking into account 50% IDA merger.It was endorsed by DoT & BSNL only on 10/6/2013 giving the actual benefit from 10/6/2013.This benefit was extended to employees who were in service as on 10/6/2013 and those who retired after that date got the retirement benefits on that basis.Since then, we demanded that the same benefit be extended to those retirees who retired from BSNL prior to 10/6/2013 since there can’t be any discrimination in pension on the basis of date of retirement as per Apex Court verdict.
2. DoT initiated the proposal and got the approval of nodal departments viz. DoP&PW and DoE.But DoE while giving its clearance, suggested to seek the approval of Cabinet.Accordingly DoT prepared a ‘Draft Cabinet Note’ and circulated to all the four nodal departments.Except DoE, all other departments have offered their comments/views on it.DoE sought certain details because the ‘Draft Cabinet Note’ sought to do away with the unreasonable stand of linking the payment of pension with BSNL’s payment to GoI by way of License fee, Tax etc.
3. Before the formation of BSNL, in September 2000 Cabinet has given its approval, on the basis of recommendations of GoM, and the salient points were:-
a)All employees will be entitled to Government’s scheme of pension/family pension even after their absorption
b)Payment of pension would be made by Government
c)Arrangements would be worked out for obtaining pension contribution from the PSU to be deposited with the Government
d)The pension framework has been made part of the CCS Pension Rules by amending Rule 37 using powers under article 309 of the constitution of India
4. According to this, BSNL’s liability is only to pay pension contribution and it is being honoured.
In 2005, you were the secretary, DoT, and there was a meeting in February 2005 in Sanchar Bhawan between you and CMD, BSNL, Shri A.K.Sinha.During that meeting, the above points were told to Shri A.K.Sinha.Recalling the discussion he wrote a DO letter on 24/2/2005 to you, sir.You have promptly replied to him vide DO letter No.1-45/2003-B dated 15/3/2005 in which para iii reads as “In respect of official/officers absorbed in BSNL, BSNL will be liable to pay the pension contribution in accordance with FR 116.The liability on account of pension payable will be that of Government of India”.
5. After you demitted office as Secretary, Telecom, DoT issued a letter vide No.1-45/2003-B dated 15/6/2006 in which it was stated that “Annual pension liability of the Govt. in respect of employees who retired prior to 1/10/2000 and those who have worked/are working in BSNL on deemed deputation and those who are absorbed in BSNL shall not exceed 60% of the receipt to the Govt. on the following items: (a) Dividend income from MTNL/BSNL, (b) Licence fee from MTNL/BSNL (c) Corporate Tax/Excise Duty/Service Tax paid by BSNL”.
6. Clarifying the above letter dated 15/6/2006 of DoT, Shri Siddhartha Behura, Secretary, Telecom issued an order vide No.40-12/2007-Pen(T) dated 5/1/2009 in which it was stated “it is hereby clarified that the limit of 60% is for normal funding.This does not in any way distract from the fact that the ultimate liability towards pensionary benefits including family pension to the BSNL employees as per sub-rule 21 of Rule 37-A of CCS (Pension) Rules, 1972, lies with the Govt.If BSNL, for any reason, is not able to contribute to the extent prescribed, the GoI will still pay the admissible pensionary benefits”.
7. Further, Shri J.S.Deepak, Joint Secretary, DoT, wrote a DO letter to Shri Kuldeep Goyal, CMD, BSNL vide A-110/1/2005-Admn.II/Abs.cell dated 21/10/2008 in reply to his letter dated 7/10/2008.In that letter, Joint Secretary quoting sub-rule 21 of Rule 37-A of CCS (Pension) Rules, 1972 stated “the pensionary benefits including family pension shall be paid by the Govt.The sub-rule leaves no scope for any doubt and that payment of pensionary benefits including FP in respect of the absorbees in BSNL is the responsibility of the Govt. irrespective of other arrangements made with BSNL regarding contribution, etc.”
8. The pension liability of the Govt. has exceeded the limit of 60% of the receipt of the Govt. from BSNL after 2010-11 onwards due to various factors and the Govt. continue to pay the pensionary benefits as per statutory commitment.So, in effect the DoT letter dated 15/6/2006 is obsolete.Since it was based on the recommendations of ‘Committee of Secretaries’ and approved by the Cabinet in January 2005, to rescind that order Cabinet approval is required.Hence DoT, while moving the Draft Cabinet Note has proposed that also.The Draft Cabinet Note was circulated in June 2015 by DoT and except DoE, all other departments have given their views/comments.
9. In this context, we seek your kind help sir, to get the clearance from DoE so as to enable DoT to prepare the final Cabinet Note and send for Cabinet approval.More than 1.2 lakh pensioners are anxiously waiting for more than 30 months to get this due benefit.We shall feel highly obliged for your kind help in this regard.