Govt mulls PSU fund for retired workers’ medical scheme
Praveen Kumar Singh
Posted: Wednesday, Jul 15, 2009 at 2308 hrs IST
Tags: Retired Employees | Medical Scheme
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New Delhi: Retired employees of all profitable central public sector enterprises (CPSEs) may soon start receiving medical benefits from their ex-employers, if the government’s suggestion to this effect is implemented. The department of public enterprises (DPE) has asked the CPSEs to create a fund out of their profit before tax to meet the medical and other emergency needs of their retired workmen.
The CPSEs are required to contribute upto 1.5% of their profit before tax (PBT) to the corpus every year. However, they can identify the medical and other emergency needs for which the facility can be utilised. The CPSEs will not get any budgetary support from the government for providing the benefits. “The scheme may be set up where there is a need felt for such a scheme for retired employees of a CPSE. A Committee of Directors may be constituted by each CPSE for disbursement of fund to the retired employees. The committee may also identify the areas of medical and any other emergency needs,” the department said in the memorandum dated July 8, 2009, copies of which were also marked to the administrative ministries.
The memorandum stated, “In the introductory year of operation of the scheme, not more than 1.5% of previous year’s PBT will be permissible for funding of the scheme. In subsequent years, contribution to the corpus will be made depending upon the need. However, in no case the contribution to the corpus will exceed 1.5% of the PBT of the previous year”.
Reacting on the suggestion, the Standing Conference of Public Enterprises (SCOPE) said the move is positive in principle and will benefit the retired employees. “This is a positive move, as retired employees, who age at least 60 years, do need money to take care of their medical needs. However, given that it is still voluntary in nature, the extent of its implementation is a matter of concern,” SCOPE chairman Arup Roy Choudhury told FE.
Last year, the DPE had requested all the government ministries to communicate whether such a scheme is feasible and suggest the suitable methodology for its implementation. The call was given at the behest of the Second Pay Revision Committee, which had also recommended upto 300% hike in the pay package of CPSEs’ officers.
However, the ministries remained indifferent. Peeved over this, the department on its own issued the memorandum to all the CPSEs. “It is found that it would not be feasible to have a common/unified scheme for all the CPSEs. However, at the same time, a need is felt to have a scheme for the retired employees of a CPSE so that they can avail medical ad other emergency benefits. In such a situation, it would be better if the decision to create or otherwise a corpus to implement the recommendation is left to individual CPSEs,” the DPE said.
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