Non-pensioners corpus in a limbo
Central Goverment Guidelines To PSUs Ambiguous,Claim Retirees
B Pradeep Nair | TNN
Bangalore: A central government plan for creation of a corpus to take care of the medical emergencies of its non-pensioners is wobbling at the implementation level,thanks to the conditions-heavy fine print which retirees say is ambiguous.
The second Pay Revision Committee (PRC) recommended earlier this year that a corpus be created to take care of medical and any other emergency needs of retired executives and also those employees who are not adequately covered by the pension scheme.The PRC says that the CPSEs (central public sector enterprises) may create the corpus by contributing 1% to 1.5% of their profit before tax.
Following PRC recommendations,the ministry of heavy industries and public enterprises asked CPSE managements to frame a scheme based on a set of guidelines,opposed by retirees.One of the guidelines says: A committee of directors may be constituted by the board of directors of each CPSE to identify the areas of medical and any other emergency needs of the senior citizens.
Ernest Abraham,general secretary of the All-India Non-pensioned-cum-Senior Citizens Retirees Association,told TOI: Why cant the ministry straightaway act on PRCs recommendations to set up a corpus,instead of relying on CPSEs The Bangalorebased association is one of the many pressure groups in this cause.
Another sticky guideline: Each CPSE will contribute 1.5% of previous years profit before tax to the corpus in the first year of the scheme;in the subsequent years,depending upon the need,contribution to the corpus,if required,would be made.
Abraham feels this clause is vague ( because the nature of the need is not known ) and any form of such conditional contribution to a social cause is insensitive.Why this condition from second year Let all profit-making CPSEs contribute 1.5% into the corpus every year.
Abraham wonders whether only employees of profit-making PSUs will be beneficiaries of the corpus.Since companies not making profit will not contribute to the corpus,does it mean employees of sick or closed units are left to fend for themselves This way,employees of ITI,for example,will be left out.If this happens,it amounts to victimizing them for no fault of theirs because the PRC clearly says that inefficient administration of CPSEs is what led to them becoming sick, he says.
The association has made a strong pitch for removing ambiguities and setting up the corpus immediately.It has also suggested setting up of a single nodal agency for managing the corpus.Abraham says,Let the fixed contributions of CPSEs come into the corpus every year.
Stressing that non-pensioners of all central PSUs must be covered under the scheme,the association,in a letter to the ministry,says,The government does not make any discrimination in the pension to government retirees based on the departments performance;the same logic should hold good for non-pensioned retirees irrespective of the fact that they are from profit-making or sick PSUs.
WHY PSUs BECAME SICK
Monopolistic operations and a costplus-pricing system led to large operational inefficiencies and recruitment of manpower far in excess of requirement.Management started getting politicized and many times decisions were taken on considerations other than sound commercial logic.Several CPSEs failed to foresee and adopt new technologies and,management practices and became sick.
2nd Pay Revision Committee
WHAT RETIREES WANT
Set up corpus based on Pay Revision Committee recommendation and a single nodal agency to manage the corpus
Revise ministry of heavy industries and public enterprises guidelines
Central PSUs should contribute 1.5% of their profit before tax every year and not just in the first year of the scheme
All central PSU retirees should be eligible for the benefits of the corpus and not just retirees of profit-making companies
(In a tragic turn,Ernest Abraham,who has been fighting relentlessly for the welfare of non-pensioners,passed away in Bangalore early Sunday,just a few days after this correspondent
interacted with him)