PRBS -Brief By Capt. Narayan Singh Rathore
By Badrinath Vasandi in EX-ONGCIANS
Narayan Singh Rathore
Friends, PRBS appeared going smooth but it was ailing inside. Funds were not received by PRBS Trust on regular basis. We all know that "Additional Cash Contribution" against Monetised value of surrendered facilities (Uniform related items and Canteen subsidy) was Main Source for funding the Scheme but funds remained with ONGC or they were not accounted for by Managing Trustee. Therefore, financial collapse occurred. Trustees did not review Addl. Cash Contr. in accordance with prevailing Price Index of Commodities. Actuarial recommendations were ignored in totality. Pay Revision-1992 witnessed 78% rise in Salary but Addl. Cash Contr. was being paid at escalation of 7.25% only. This was position in early 1996.
2. Background behind MOU of 3.2.1998:
(a). Govt. Notification of 16.11.1995 for Compulsory implementation of EPS-1995;
(b). Govt. Notification of 10.1.1996 for Pay Revision-1992, which Entailed Pension on Revised Salary w.e.f. 1.1.1992 and
(c). Circular No.PRBS-38 dated 17.1.1996 for enhanced deduction of Fixed % Contr. on revised salary w.e.f. 1.1.1992.
3. (a). ONGC requested Exemption from Implementation of compulsory EPS-1995, with consideration that its Own Pension Scheme-PRBS- was more advantaompulsory for all Executives. Similar exercise was carried out through another MOU with Unions to make PRBS compulsory "In-lieu" of EPS-1995.
3. (b). ONGC did not want to grant Pension on Revised salary w.e.f. 1.1.1992. Finalisation of Pension cases was kept pending from January 1996, awaiting some Legal Wrangle to crop up. An Actuarial Valuation Report dated 2.8.1996 was arranged for use in Writ Petition No.1718/1996 in Bombay H.C. in August 1996. Hon'ble Court issued Ad-interim Order of 5.11.1996 for negotiation between ONGC & ASTO in association with Petitioners & local ASTO (MRBC), to "Raise additional funds" to save the Scheme;
3. (c). ONGC intended to avoid implementation of Cir. PRBS-38 of 17.1.1996, as it could cause large amount of recoveries from Arrears of Pay and also enhanced fixed % contr. in times to come.
4. To achieve above objectives, Writ Petition was used convinient Platform: Finalisation of Recommendations to "raise" Additional funds was inordinately delayed so that Focus cd. be shifted from Main Object of Raising/generating additional funds to freestyle re-structuring of PRBS. To achieve such derogatory, unfair, disadvantageous, discriminatory & prejudicial feats, MOU was signed in "Good Faith" as if negotiations for 17-18 months were not sufficient to examine Data/Statistics pertaning to Assets & Liabilities of PRBS Trust, arising from 1.4.1990. It was unique method of ascertaining "Financial Viability" of the Fund.
5. Recommendations made in MOU of 3.2.1998 were not only contrary to Court Order of 5.11.1996 but ensured "Un-viability" of Fund. Introduction of Notional Salary reduced existing Fixed % Contr. by 40 to 60 Percent and it also nullified Cir. No.PRBS-38 for enhanced recovery on Revised Salary w.e.f. 1.1.1992 & all future Pay Revisions.
6. Notional salary being nearly 40 to 60% of Actual salary, Pension benefit was also reduced to that extent.
7. Managing Trustee mis-used this opportunity to introduce some clauses which provided enormous scope for manipulations, mis-interpretations and discriminations. Para 5.1, 31.2 & 32 of Rules-1991 were totally rendered ineffective. PRBS was mutilated & demolished. MOU of 3.2.1998 was implemented under Cir. PRBS-40 of 18.6.1998 without approval of Comp. Authy.
8. Most dangerous consequence of MOU of 3.2.1998 was Managing Trustee assuming Absolute Power to Revise the PRBS in any manner, with no restrictions whatsoever. Conversion of existig "Pension Defined Scheme" into "Defined Corpus" is burning example. ONGC PRBS Trust did not purchase Annuity of Entitlement but remitted some Corpus to LIC. Pension of retired ONGCians was Fixed by LIC during January 1996 to March 2007. Another MOU of 9.4.2007 was manipulated to secretly Re.convert "Defined Corpus" into "Pension Defined Scheme" w.e.f. 1.4.2007. PRBS Trust of our beloved Maharatna considered such acts of violations as Legal & Legitimate, Just & Fair.
9. hope this clears the Clouds ?? Any specific question is most welcome.