Dr. A.K. Balayan, Director (HR) of ONGC, in his opening address during the recently concluded Conclave of ONGC Retired Officers at Dehra Dun ( Decemer 12-13, 2009) , has uttered that "THE DAY AN EMPLOYEE RETIRES, ALL HIS CONNECTIONS FROM THE CORPORATION GET SEVERED IMMEDIATELY" This is one more extended wise comment of Dr. Balayan which has not surprised me as presently the things in the Maharatana are like this. However, I would like to draw the kind attention of Dr. Balayan towards a land-mark decision of the Hon'ble Supreme Court where A full bench of Supreme Court has declared in their historical judgement that PENSION is to live from want in one's fall of life with decency, independence and self-respect and at a standard equivalent at the pre-retirement level. Pension is not only compensation to loyal service rendered in the past but it has a broader significance in that it is a measure of socio-economic justice which inherits economic security in the fall of life when physical and mental prowess is ebbing corresponing to aging process and, therefore, one is required to fall back on savings. One such saving in kind is when you give your best in heyday of life to your employer, in days of invalidity, economic security by way of periodical payment is assured. The term 'Pe nsion' has been judicially defined as a stated allowance or stipend made in consideration of past service or a surrender of rights or emoluments to one retired from service.Pension is not a bounty payable on sweet will and pleasure of the Government. Right to superannuation including its amount is a valuable right vesting in a government servant (D.S.Nakara Vs UOI 1983 1 SLJ) Also, in the case of K.P. Singh, former Union Govt. Health Secretary, the Hon'ble Supreme Court ,has ruled that 'the Govoerment is under constitution obligation to provide free health care to its emloyees including retired personnel and said "It is now well settled that right to health is an integral to right to life'.Besides, a full bench of National Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission (NCDRC) vide its unanimous decision has held the lakhs of Central Government employees and retired employees to be consumers under the CGHS Scheme thus conferring a right on them to sue the Centre for damages in case of deficiency in health care provided to them and their dependents. NCDRC further said that medical treatment facilities extended to a retired employee under CGHS could not be termed as 'free service' as it was in consideration of service rendered by him to the Government till the age of superannuation, which conferred a right on him to get pension as well as other benefits, including medical treatment prescribed by various rules or the scheme framed by the Centre.(verdict came on a pettition filed by retired employee Jagdish Kumar through Advocate, Nikhil Nayar).A number of such decisions of various Hon'ble Courts are available in addition to statutory orders/regulations and rules of ONGC. It is beyond imagination on what grounds , Dr Balayan adversely remarked on such basics. Moreover, nothing is unfair in the demand for Agrani Samman. Ex-gratia and Superannuation Benefit Scheme (1987) under the post retirement benefit schemes of IOC as well as similar schemes of other PSUs and SBI etc.may surely set the things right in ONGC on such issues if perused. It is not understood how Dr Balayan has termed the modified PRBS Scheme made effective from lst April 2007 as New Pension Scheme. In effect, the New Pension Scheme (NPA) has the menton in the 6th Pay Commission Report , which has also been extended to Public Sectors and Public Enterprises on which the Pension Regulatory Authority of India has vigrously been stressing immediate compliance. NALCO is the first one such Organisation which has implemented the same and SBI has assured to complete the membership by lst April 2010. According to the said Scheme, 24% of the salary would go to Providend Fund and 6% the New Pension Fund. It is surprising that ONGC has initiated no action for this Sheme. Why ? It is not understood.Needless to say every executive how-so-higher is he , is a constitutional authority. He has to work or speak any thing about his organisation within the rules and not as per his personal expression ,whims and fancies. For the last few years a complete normless situation is being observed in ONGC, especially in welfare as well as statutory matters. This speaks ignorance of basics. The major confusion with regard to new medical facilities schemes to retired employees, reduction in HRA at Projects having no regard for the fact that im 1988 Project Allowances and HRA was merged, the principles that HRA is paid with reference to the place of posting irrespective of residence, service condition can never be altered, facilities once granted cannot be withdrawn, initial pay though fixed wrongly cannot be reduced etc. etc.are the few examples .The dire need is to recruit professionals and experienced HR and Welfare executives for setting the things right instead of leaving this Maharatna in the hands of inexerienced technical officers so far as the HR issues are concerned. Soon it is done better it would be to save this Maharatana to becoming sick inspite of what fortune our elders have left.
Note: Superannuation Benefit Scheme (SBS) under the post retirement benefit schemes was made effective from December, 1987 in IOC and the ex-gratia scheme for all who retired prior to implementation of SBS ,was implemented with effect from 2003 without specifying any cut-off date to avoid class wihtin a class. IOC revised the ex-gratia scheme some time in mid 2008 giving benefit from Rs 1000 to 4200 for all and paid the difference. In case any member of SBS getting lesser amount than the ex-gratia, such member has also been paid the difference., In IOC, Ex-gratia and payment under SBS is given as per designation.