FAQ ON AGRANI SAMMAN - BY NIRMAL KUMAR SRIVASTAVA
By Badrinath Vasandi in EX-ONGCIANS · Edit Doc · Delete
FAQ ON AGRANI SAMMAN
(Prepared and sent to ONGC management and to all our members and associations in March 2008)
Q. What is Agrani Samman?
A. Agrani Samman is nothing but Pension Scheme in Disguise.It is a very noble scheme introduced w.e.f. 01.01.2003.It was meant to mitigate economic hardship and to recognise the valuable contributions made by the Pioneers for the cause of ONGC
Q. Who are eligible for grant of Agrani Samman?
A. All those who joined ONGC( i )upto 14.10.1959 irrespective of their date of retirement 100% benefit (ii) on or after 15.10.1959 provided they retired on or before 31.03.1991/ 16.11.1995 in case of executives/ staff 50% benefit Discriminatory and no benefit to those who retired on or after 01.04.1991/ 17.11.1995 executives/staff.
Remarks: Highly Discriminatory
Q. What is the amount of monthly benefits available under Agrani Samman scheme ?
A. All the ex employees covered under the scheme were sub divided into following four groups:
Group I : class IV and Class III employees (Non Executives) Rs.1500+ Applicable DA
Group II : E0 to E-2 ( Executives ) Rs.3000+ Applicable DA
Group III: E-3 to E-6( Executives ) Rs.4500 + Applicable DA
Group IV: E-7 and above Rs.6000 + Applicable DA
Q. If the Agrani Samman is a Noble scheme then What went wrong ?
A. The scheme is full of contradictions and discriminatory :
( i ) Based on 5th Pay Commission recommendations and as directed by central govt.it
was mandatory for all PSU's to adopt pension scheme for all serving employees wef
01.01.1986. The basic criteria laid down was 20 years of service.However ONGC
did'nt adopt any Pension scheme.
( ii ) While granting Agrani Samman the basic criteria laid down ie.minimum 20 years of service was also diluted to give prorata benefits to employees even with 10 years of
service resulting in benefit to be passed on to employees who joined upto 31st
March 1981 and retired on or before 31st March 1991 after completing 10 years of
service.While other employees who joined on 15th Oct 1959 or later but retired on
or after 01.04.1991after completing 30 to 40 years of service were totally denied
the benefit which was given to their juniors merely because they retired earlier due to
their higher age.
Remarks : Discriminatory
( iii ) The scheme was meant to reward the Pioneers but no Pioneers identified.Can
someone who joined in 1980 or 1981 be termed as Pioneer while denying the
benefit to all those who joined on or after 15.10.1959 and ignored due to various
arbitrary barriers ( cut off dates ).Benefit of Agrani Samman was denied to
several real Pioneers.
( iv ) Deductions on account of earlier Govt.Pension/PRBS is being made in case of
certain ex employees which is also not justified.While Govt. Pension is based
on their past service in Govt.the amount of PRBS received by an ex employee
is exclusively based on the interest on Annuity purchased from LIC from his own
contribution, with nil contribution from ONGC.
Remarks : Discriminatory
Q. What is to be done by the Management now to solve this vexed issue ?
A. A multipronged action is required from ONGC Management to solve this long
pending issue, which is not only discriminatory but also violative of Article 14 &
16 as enshrined in our Constitution ie. right to equality and justice.Action required :
( i ) Parity among all those who joined ONGC after 14.10.1959 and prior to 15.10.59
( ii ) Removal of all arbitrary barriers ie.retired on or before 31.03.1991/16.11.1995 for executives/staff
( iii ) No deduction of any kind from the Agrani Samman benefit.
It may be mentioned here that there are various judgements of Hon'ble Supreme
Court of India and other High Courts on the issue of discrimination as above. Sample
Apex Court in one of the similiar cases held that " where the criteria is minimum or
particular period of service,the other considerations have no meaning and merely for
the sake of these considerations the benefit of pension/financial gains can not be
In another case " an arbitrary date can not be fixed to deny equal treatment to
pensioners who formed a single class and that such a distinction would be violative
of Article 14 & 16 of the Constitution"
In another judgement Apex Court decided against Union of India"restricting the benefit
from a particular date was arbitrary"
In another case against Union of India the Apex court ruled that "If consequent receipt of these benefits,there is a proportionate reduction in Pension,there is no real benefit to the employee because the Management takes away by the left hand what it seems to confer by the right"
Another ruling "Pension is not to be treated as a bounty payable on sweetwill and
pleasure of the Govt. and right to superannuation Pension including its amount is
valuable right vested in Govt. servant"
There are several such rulings which favours the claim of all ex ONGCians to receive
Agrani Samman benefits at par that too without any deductions.
Q. What else is expected from ONGC Management besides above ?
A. The four groups also seem to have been made in a hurry without giving proper thought to various employees position while in service.The proper grouping taking into
consideration of various aspects. As a progressive organisation ONGC can recast these four groups properly and revise all benefits to all these groups alongwith every pay revision as is being done by GOI.The above amounts are only peanuts compared to the pension given in organisations like Coal India.
Suggestation : ONGC can implement above Pension Scheme for all and can do
away with PRBS which not a rational scheme and will always depend on large infusion of funds( to the extent of funds to the tune of thousands of crores) from time to time at regular intervals to keep it viable.
All India ONGC Ex Employees Welfare Association