Friday, September 28, 2018

                   Pension system was in vogue in India for a century or more and the British Government during the pre-independence era introduced Pension Rules for Government employees and thus made it statutory.  In the year 1982 Supreme Court in its landmark judgement in Nakara’s case declared that - “as per India’s constitution, Government is obliged to provide social and economic security to pensioners and that Government retirees had the fundamental right to pension.....  Pension is not a  bounty nor a matter of grace depending upon the sweet will of the employer.  It is not an ex-gratia payment, but a payment for past service rendered.  It is a social welfare measure, rendering socio-economic justice to those who in the hey days of their life, ceaselessly toiled for their employers on the assurance that in their old age, they would not be left in lurch.
                   During the advent of globalisation policies in 1980’s the pension reforms also started simultaneously. IMF & World Bank started publishing so many reports and documents emphasizing the need for pension reforms.  They also started studying about the reforms to be undertaken in the pension sector in India.  In 2001, “IMF work paper on pension reforms in India” and World Bank India specific report“India - the challenge of old age income security” were published.  Their work reports emphasized that “Pension obligations or promises made by the Governments which have potential of exerting pressure on Govt. finances, have been a subject of increased focus in assessing medium to long term fiscal sustainability.”  In tune with the dictates of IMF and World Bank BJP-led NDA Government appointed Bhattacharjee Committee in 2001 headed by Ex-Chief Secretary of Karnataka, to study and recommend pension reforms.  Thus after creating ground for pension reforms, under the pretext of implementing recommendations of Bhattacharyya Committee, the NDA Government introduced New Pension System called Defined Contributory pension system for all employees who join service on or after 01-01-2004.  The Congress-led UPA Government which came to power in 2004 continued with the reforms and promulgated an ordinance to legalise NPS.  But UPA-I Govt. could not pass the Pension Bill in Parliament due to stiff opposition of Left Parties supporting it.  Later when UPA-II Government came to power the Pension Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) Bill was passed in the Parliament with the support of BJP, the then opposition party.  Many State Governments governed by political parties other than Left Parties, introduced Contributory Pension System for their employees from various dates after 2004.  Left Front Governments of Kerala, West Bengal and Tripura refused to introduce the New Pension Scheme and they continued with the old defined benefit pension scheme.  Congress-led UDF Government introduced NPS in Kerala. After BJP coming to power in Tripura also  Contributory Pension Scheme is introduced recently.  In West Bengal old Pension Scheme continues even now.  Not only newly appointed Central and State Government employees, almost all new entrants of public sector and Autonomous bodies are also brought under the purview of NPS.

                   As per New Contributory Pension Scheme an amount of 10% of pay plus Dearness Allowance will be deducted each month from the salary of the employees covered under NPS and credited to their pension account.  Equal amount is to be credited by the Government (employer) also.  Total amount will go to the Pension Funds constituted under the PFRDA Act.  From the pension fund the amount will go to the share market.  As per the PFRDA Act - “there shall not be any implicit or explicit assurance of benefit except (share) market based guarantee mechanism to be purchased by the subscribers”.  Thus the amount deposited in Pension Fund may or may not grow depending on the fluctuations in the share market.  After attaining 60 years of age i.e., at the time of retirement, 60% of the accumulated amount in the Pension Account of the employee will be refunded and the balance 40% will be deposited in an Insurance Annuity Scheme.  Monthly amount received from the Insurance Annuity Scheme is the monthly pension i.e., Pension is not paid by Government, but by the Insurance Company and hence NPS is nothing but Pension Privatization.
                   Thus it can be seen that the growth of the accumulated amount in the Pension fund depends upon the vagaries of share market.  If the share markets collapse, as happened during the 2008 world financial crisis, then the entire amount in the pension fund may vanish.  In that case employee will not get any pension.  Every fluctuation in the share market will affect the future of pension of those employees who are covered under NPS.  Uncertainty about pension and retirement life looms large over their heads. Even if there is a stabilized share market the 40% amount in the annuity scheme is not enough to get 50% of the last pay drawn as pension, which is the minimum pension as per old pension scheme. Many employees who entered in service after 01-01-2004 has retired in 2017 and 2018 after completing 12 & 13 years of service. They are getting Rs.1400- to Rs.1700- only as monthly pension from Insurance Annuity Scheme. If they have entered service in 2003 i.e., in the old pension scheme, they would have got 50% of the last pay drawn as pension subject to a minimum of Rs.9000- as minimum pension, that too without giving any monthly contribution towards pension from their salary. In short, NPS is nothing but NO PENSION SYSTEM.
                   As per clause 12(5) of the PFRDA  Act even the employees and pensioners who are not covered under NPS, can be brought under the Act by a Gazette notification by the Government.  Thus NPS is a Damocles’ sword hanging over the head of all employees and pensioners.     
                   Who is the beneficiary of this pension reforms?  As in the case of every neo-liberal reforms, the ultimate beneficiary is the Corporates.  The huge amount collected from the workers through pension fund is invested in share market by the Pension Fund Managers and this amount in turn can be utilied by the multi-national Corporates for multiplying their profit.  Amount deducted and credited to the Pension fund from each newly recruited employees plus the employer’s share amount will remain with the pension fund and share market for a period of minimum 30 to 35 years i.e., till the age of 60 years.  During this long period of 35 years crores and crores of rupees will be at the disposal of share market controlled by multinational corporate giants.  Ultimate causality will be the poor helpless employee/pensioner.
                   Confederation of Central Government Employees and Workers and All India State Government Employees Federation (AISGEF) has been opposing the NPS from the very beginning and a one day strike was conducted on 30th October 2007.  It was one of the main demand in all other strikes during these period.  The campaign and struggle against NPS continued and as of now the subjective and objective conditions for a bigger struggle against NPS has emerged as almost 50% of the total employees in Central, State, Public sector and Autonomous bodies are now covered under NPS and are becoming more and more restive and agitated.  7th Central Pay Commission Chairman Retired Supreme court Judge Sri. Asok Kumar Mathur has correctly pointed out that “Almost a whole lot of Government employees appointed on or after 01-01-2004, were unhappy with New Pension Scheme.  Govt. should take a call to look into their complaint”. 
                As per the recommendations of 7th CPC, Central Government appointed a Committee called “NPS Committee” for streamlining the functioning of NPS. The Staff-side has demanded before this Committee to scrap NPS and guarantee for 50% of the last pay drawn as minimum pension subject to a minimum of Rs.9000-. Even though, the Committee has submitted its report 18 months back, the Government has not yet disclosed the recommendations of the Committee.    
              Confederation and AISGEF has decided countrywide intensive campaign culminating in one day strike on 15th November 2018 demanding that the Defined Contributory Pension Scheme (New Pension Scheme - NPS) imposed on new entrants must be scrapped and the Government should reintroduce the Defined Benefit Pension Scheme (Old Pension Scheme - OPS) that was in vogue for a century or more. We are also exploring the possibility of organizing an indefinite strike in the coming days exclusively on one demand i.e., SCRAP NPS, RESTORE OPS for which wider consultations are being made with all like-minded organizations.
u;h va”knk;h isa”ku ;kstuk ¼,u-ih-,l-½
Hkkjr esa isa”ku ;kstuk ,d “krkCnh ls Hkh vf/kd le; ls ykxw FkhA fczfV”k ljdkj us ns”k dh vktknh ls iwoZ isa”ku fu;eksa dks ykxw dj dkuwu vfuok;Z cuk;k FkkA 1982 esa lqizhe dksVZ us Þudkjkß dsl esa ,Sfrgkfld fu.kZ; nsrs gq, dgk Fkk fd ÞHkkjr ds lafo/kku ds vuqlkj ljdkj dk ;g nkf;Ro gS fd og izR;sd lsokfuo`Rr deZpkjh dks lkekftd rFkk vkfFkZd lqj{kk iznku djs rFkk izR;sd  lsokfuo`Rr deZpkjh dks isa”ku dk ekSfyd vf/kdkj gS isa”ku dksbZ [kSjkr vFkok d`ik ugha gS tks fd lsok iznkrk dh bPNk ij fuHkZj gks A ;g dksbZ ,fPNd nku ;k migkj ugha gSa] cfYd ,d Hkqxrku gS ml lsok ds cnys tks nh x;h gSA ;g ,d lkekftd dY;k.kdkjh dk;Z gS tks fd ,d deZpkjh dks mlds dfBu fnuksa esa lkekftd vkfFkZd U;k; iznku djrk gS ftlus fd vius lsok dky esa  dfBu ifjJe fd;k gS] rFkk cq<+kis esa ftudks cslgkjk ugha NksM+k tk ldrk A
      1980 ds n”kd ls uomnkjoknh vkfFkZd uhfr;ksa ds ykxw gksus ds lkFk & LkkFk isa”ku lq/kkjksa dk dke Hkh “kq# dj fn;kA  varjkZ’Vªh; eqnzkdks’k rFkk fo”ocSad us reke ,slh fjiksVsZa  vkSj nLrkost tkjh fd;s ftuesa isa”ku lq/kkjksa ij tksj fn;k x;k A mUgksausa Hkkjr esa Hkh isa”ku lq/kkjksa dk v/;;u “kq# fd;kA
      2001 esa ÞvarjkZ’Vªh; eqnzkdks’k ds nLrkost ] Hkkjr esa isa”ku lqq/kkjks ijß rFkk fo”o cSad us  Hkkjr ds lanHkZ esa Þo`)koLFkk vk; dh lqj{kk rFkk pqukSfr;k¡ ß fo’k; ij fjiksVZ tkjh dhA fjiksVZ esa bl ckr ij tksj fn;k x;k fd ljdkj }kjk fd;s x;s isa”ku lEcU/kh dk;nksa ls ljdkj ds [ktkus ij fdruk ncko curk gS rFkk e/;e ,oe~ yEcs le; rd foRrh; fLFkfr ogky j[kus ij D;k izHkko iM+rk gS A varjkZ’Vªh; eqnzkdks’k rFkk fo”ocSad ds funsZ”kksa ds vuqlkj Hkkjr ljdkj us lu~ 2001 esa dukZVd ds iwoZ eq[; lfpo HkV~VkpkthZ dh v/;{krk esa ,d desVh dk xBu fd;k ftlesa isa”ku lq/kkjksa ds Åij v/;;u dj fjiksVZ nsus dks dgk A bl rjg isa”ku lq/kkjksa ds fy, Hkwfedk rS;kj dj HkV~VkpkthZ desaVh dh laLrqfr;ksa ds vk/kkj ij rRdkyhu ,u-Mh-,- ljdkj us ubZ isa”ku;kstuk ftls dh fuf”pr va”knk;h isa”ku ;kstuk Hkh dg ldrs gS] dks 01.01.2004  ls ykxw dj fn;kA  lu~ 2004 esa dk¡xzsl ds usr`Ro esa ;w-ih-,-  ljdkj vk;h vkSj mlus Hkh  bu lq/kkjksa dks tkjh j[kk rFkk mls dkuquh ntkZ nsus ds fy, ,d v/;kns”k tkjh dj fn;k ysfdu ;w-ih-,- I ds dk;Zdky esa okeiaFkh nyksa ds izcy fojks/k ds dkj.k yksdlHkk esa bl dkuwu dks ikfjr ugha fd;k tk ldk A ysfdu ;w-ih-,- II ds dk;Zdky esa ih-,Q-vkj-Mh-,- fcy dks Hkkjrh; turk ikVhZ dh enn ls ikfjr dj fn;k x;kA reke jkT;ksa ljdkjksa us]  okeiaFkh  ljdkjksa dks NksM+ dj 2004 ds ckn reke jkT;ksa esa bls ykxw dj fn;kA dsjy ] caxky rFkk f=iqjk dh okeiaFkh ljdkjksa us bl ykxw djus ls euk dj fn;k rFkk iqjkuh isa”ku ;kstuk dks gh pkyw j[kkA
dk¡xszl ds usr`Ro okyh ;w-Mh-,Q- ljdkj us dsjy esa ubZ isa”ku ;kstuk dks ykxw dj fn;k A f=iqjk esa ch-ts-ih- dh ljdkj vkus ds ckn vHkh gky gh esa bls ykxw dj fn;k x;k gS A if”pe caxky esa vHkh Hkh iqjkuh isa”ku ;kstuk py jgh gS A  vc lHkh jkT; ljdkjksa] dsUnz ljdkj rFkk jkT; ,oe~ dsUnz “kkflr Lok;Rr”kk’kh laLFkkvksa ds deZpkjh ubZ isa”ku ;kstuk esa gSaA
      u;h isa”ku ;kstuk ds varxZr deZpkjh ds osru ls izfrekg 10% ewyosru rFkk eagxkbZ HkRrk dkVdj isa”ku QaM esa tek fd;k tkrk gSA  blds cjkcj ek=k esa ljdkj Hkh iSlk tek djrh gSA ;s lkjk iSlk ih-,Q-vkj-Mh-,- ,DV ds vuqlkj “ks;j efdZV dks tkrk gS A bl ij fdlh Hkh rjg dk ykHk dk dksbZ Hkh vk”oklu  ljdkj ugha nsrh gS A vkSj bldk ykHk iwjh rjg “ks;j ekdsZV ij vk/kkfjr gSA bl rjg “ks;j ekdsZV ds mrkj p<+ko ds eqrkfcd ;g c<+ Hkh ugha ldrk gS vkSj Hkh  60 o’kZ dh mez izkIr djus  ds mijkUr bl ,df=r /kujkf”k dks60% deZpkjh dks feysxk rFkk 40% ,U;wVh esa tk;sxk ftlds vk/kkj ij ekfld isa”ku feysxh] bl rjg ;g isa”ku dk izkbosVhdj.k gSA
      bl rjg ;g Li’V gS fd bl ,df=r   /kujkf”k dh o`f) “ks;j ekdsZV ds Åij  fuHkZj jgsxh A vxj “ks;j ekdsZV Mqcrk gS tSlk fd 2008 esa fo”o fofRr; ladV ds le; gqvk Fkk rks lkjk /ku Mwc tk,xk rFkk bl fLFkfr esa deZpkjh dks dksbZ isa”ku ugha feysxh A “ks;j ekdsZV ds gj mrkj p<+ko dk bl ij vlj iM+sxk rFkk isa”kujksa ds Åij gj le; vfuf”prrk cuh jgsxhA vxj “ks;j ekdsZV  esa fuf”kprrk cuh Hkh jgs rc Hkh deZpkjh dks 40%,U;qVh ds vk/kkj ij 50% isa”ku ugha feysxhA  tSlk fd iqjkuh isa”ku ;kstuk esa izko/kku gS A reke deZpkjh tks 2004 ds ckn HkrhZ gq, gS rFkk 12&13 lky dh lsok iwjh djus ds ckn fjVk;j gks x;s mudks 1400 ls ysdj 1700 : rd isa”ku fey jgh gSA iqjkuh isa”ku ;kstuk esa U;wure  50% tks fd 9000/ ls de ugha gksrh]  feyrh A bl rjg ;g dgk tk ldrk gS fd ,u- ih- ,l-] uks isa”ku Ldhe gSA ih-,Q-vkj-Mh-,- ,DV ds iSjk 12 (5)  ds vuqlkj fdlh Hkh deZpkjh rFkk isa”kuj dks ,d xtV uksVhfQds”ku tkjh dj ,u-ih-,l- ds nk;js esa yk;k tk ldrk gSA bl rjg ;g lHkh deZpkfj;ksa rFkk isa”kujksa ds flj ds Åij ,d ryokj yVd jgh gSA
      bu isa”ku lq/kkjksa dk ykHkkFkhZ  dkSu gksxk A ftl rjg uo mnkjoknh vkfFkZd lq/kkjksa dk ykHk dkjiksjsV~l dks feyk] blh rjg bldk ykHk Hkh mudks gh feysxk A bl rjg ;g ,d cgqr cM+h /kujkf”k QaM eSustjksa ds ek/;e ls “ks;j ekdsZV  esa yxk;h tk;sxh vkSj mldk ykHk ns”kh rFkk fons”kh ogqjk’VªhZ; dEifu;k¡ rFkk dkiksZjsV mBk;saxsA 30 ls 35 o’kZ rd deZpkjh ds 60 o’kZ iwjs gksus rd djksM+kas djksM+ #i;k ogqjk’Vªh; foRrh; dEifu;k¡ }kjk fu;af=r “ks;j ekdsZV esa jgsxk mldk ykHk oks dEifu;k¡ rFkk dkiksZjsV  mBk;saxsa rFkk dksbZ nq?kZVuk gksus ij mldk f”kdkj xjhc] vlgk; deZpkjh gksxhA
dUQSMjs”ku rFkk vkWy bf.M;k  LVsV xouZEkSUV ,EiyWk;ht QSMjs”ku bldk yxkrkj fojks/k dj jgs gSa rFkk 30 vDVwcj  2007 dks ,d fnu dh gM+rky Hkh dh Fkh A lHkh gM+rkykss esa ;g ,d eq[; ekax jgh gS A vc lHkh dsUnz] jkT; ljdkj]  lkoZtfud midze rFkk Lok;Rr”kk’kh  fudk;ksa esa ,u-ih-,l- okys deZpkfj;ksa dh la[;k 50%ds vklikl igq¡p  jgh gS blfy, vc ;g le; dh vko”;drk gS fd blds fy, ,d cM+k rFkk fu.kkZ;d la?k’kZ “kq# fd;k tk,A lkros osru vk;ksx ds v/;{k]  lqizhe dksVZ  ds lsokfuo`Rr  tt Jh v”kksd dqekj  ekFkqj us viuh fjiksVZ esa fy[kk gS fd 01-01-2004  ds ckn fu;qDr lHkh deZpkjh ubZ isa”ku ;kstuk ls ukjkt gS rFkk ljdkj dks bl ij /;ku nsuk pkfg,A
      lkrosa osru vk;ksx dh f”kQkfj”k ds vk/kkj ij dsUnz ljdkj us ,u-ih-,l- ds lHkh dk;ksZ dks ,d /kkjk esa ykus ds fy, Þ,u-ih-,l-ß desaVh dk xBu  fd;k Fkk A LVkQ lkbM us bl desaVh ls ,u-ih-,l-  dks jn~n djus rFkk U;wure  50% xkajVh  tks fd 9000/- ls de u gks dh ek¡x dh Fkh A  bl deasVh us 18 eghus ckn viuh fjiksVZ izLrqr dh gS ysfdu vHkh rc mldks mtkxj ugha fd;k gSA
      dUQSMjs”ku rFkk vkWy bf.kM;k LVsV xouZeSUV ,EiykW;ht QSMjs”ku us ns”kO;kih vfHk;ku pyk j[kk gS rFkk 15 uoEcj 2018 dks ,dfnolh; gM+rky dk Hkh vkgoku fd;k gS ftldh izeq[k ek¡xas gS fd ubZ isa”ku ;kstuk dks jn~n fd;k tk; rFkk ljdkj mlh iqjkuh isa”ku;kstuk dks ykxw djs tks ,d “krkCnh ls Hkh vf/kd le; ls ns”k esa izpfyr gSA
      ge Hkfo’; esa dsoy blh ,d ek¡x fd ÞubZ isa”ku ;kstuk [kRe djks rFkk iqjkuh isa”ku ;ksTkuk ykxw djksß  dks ysdj vfuf”prdkyhu gM+rky ij tkus dh lHkh leku fopkj/kkjk okys laxBuksa ls ckr dj laHkkouk,¡ ryk”k jgs gSA

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