Monday, March 20, 2017

Note on the  proceedings of  the meetings, the NPS Committee had with the Staff Side, JCM. 

National Council on 20th January, and 17th March, 2017.  

As you are aware,  the Govt. had set up a committee as per recommendations of the 7th CPC to streamline  the procedure and functioning of the NPS. The Staff Side of NC JCM was asked to present their views in the matter. The meeting was on 20th January, 2017. The Staff side made a written presentation to  the committee on the subject. (The note was placed on the website). However, it also took the stand that the consultation with staff side could not be held in the manner of a Raj durbar as quite a number of Associations especially representing the organised Group A services and the All India Service officers were also invited to the said meeting.  The staff side was assured of an independent hearing.  Subsequently the sub-committee III (The Pension Committee had set up three sub committees to interact with various stake holders on different subjects)  under the Chairmanship of Ms. Vandana Sharma, Addl. Secretary of the Department of  Pension and Pensioners Welfare convened  a meeting on 10th February, 2017. The Sub- Committee was more concerned about the applicability of various provisions of the present rules to the NPS subscribers especially those which are punitive in character.  In the event of a Government servant being found guilty under the CCS (CCA) Rules, the Government is empowered to restrict, reduce or reject the Pension and other retirement benefits. Prior to the meeting, the sub Committee had asked for views on various issues to be discussed at the meeting. The official Side wanted similar rules in the case of NPS subscribers. The Staff Side had submitted a written Note in this regard.  The said Note has also been placed on the website.  In the meeting, the Staff Side had made it categorically clear that no such rules could be imposed on the NPS subscriber as the annuity which he purchases on the basis of the contribution made at the end of his service is the product of a financial transaction and cannot be unilaterally altered at the whims of the employer.   Once the contributions of  the employee and the employer is remitted to the investing agency, the employer ceases to be a stake holder any more in the scheme.  
The third meeting was held on 17th March, 2017.  The meeting was chaired by the Secretary Pension.  The said meeting was to specifically interact with the members of the Staff Side.  On behalf of the Staff side, the following comrades took part in the meeting.

1.     Com. M.Raghavaiah (Leader, Staff Side)
2.     Com. Sivgopal Misra(Secretary Staff Side)
3.     Com. KKN.Kutty(Confederation)
4.     Com. C. Sreekumar(AIDEF)
5.     Com. Guman Singh and (NFIR)
6.     Com. Sreenivasan (INDWF)

 As indicated earlier, several Associations of Group A Officers had made their presentations. Some of the important points mentioned by them during the discussions were:

1)     Discrimination between pre and post 2004 officials-

2)   While Govt. determines the quantum of pension subscription   and makes it mandatory it refuses to guarantee a minimum return.

3)     Atal Pension Yojana offers better and guaranteed benefit to the Subscribers.

4)    The Government’s assurance that the employees under NPS will get annuity not less than the minimum pension under the defined benefit scheme and might even be more was  made on wrong assumption in as much as -

a)  100% of the corpus was taken for  computation of annuity  whereas as per the  scheme only  40%  of the pension wealth alone would b e available. 

b)  Fund expenses are exorbitantly under- valued.

c)  No benefit for the family the case of a Pensioner, who dies at an early age under NPS.

d)  Annuity is not cost-indexed.

5)  Two officers at the level of the Secretary to GOI retiring on the same day  in 2037( former recruited in 2003 and latter in 2004 )will have a huge differential in pension. The  2003 recruitee will have pension 3.25 times  of the annuity of the 2004 recruitee. Over a period of next 10 years i.e in 2047,(due to cost indexation) the 2003 recruitee will have pension 7.4 times of what  the 2004 NPS official receives as annuity.

6)  In most of the countries where contributory pension scheme is in vogue, the Govt’s (employer) contribution is 25% of the salary while that of the employee is 10%

7)  The NPS Contribution do not enjoy the Tax benefits like PPF, EPF, GPF etc.

The Secretary Pension informed the members that the Committee’s mandate is only to make suggestions to streamline the NPS procedures and make the rules simple and transparent. The basic features will not therefore undergo any change. He concluded that neither the scheme would be  replaced or discarded, nor any guaranteed minimum pension  would be offered. as in both cases Govt. will have to  undertake financial obligations.  He clarified that the Sub Committees have been set up to expedite the work.

The staff Side in their presentation made out inter alia the following points:

a)   The number of employees covered under NPS in increasing day by day and in a decade’s time, they might become significant segment of the Government personnel.

b)   All those who are covered by the scheme are extremely critical and resent that their savings are channelled into private hands to help the corporate bodies to make enormous profits.

c)   There is no likelihood either now or in any time in future that NPS subscribers will be able to   purchase an annuity equivalent to what the pensioners under the Defined Benefit Scheme is entitled. The Government must honour its commitment made to this effect to the staff side in the National Council, when the NPS was introduced.

d)   The Committee in its report must at least   bring it to the notice of Government that the Staff Side of the JCM is of the firm view that the cosmetic changes in the scheme will not bring about any tangible benefit to the subscribers and the Government must as an interim measure guarantee the pension to NPS subscribers equivalent to what is provided for the personnel covered under the defined benefit scheme.

e)    The  Staff Side opined that the committee  will be well  within its term of reference to suggest.

(i)       Cost-indexation of annuity as  the Contribution made by the subscribers and the Government as employer  is 10% of the salary-salary for this purpose being Basic Pay and Dearness allowance. In other words, in every six months contribution increases and therefore it is logical that the annuity is also raised every six months to keep  pace   with the rate of inflation.

(ii)   Minimum guarantee is assured by many countries even under the contributory system of pension and the provision to the contrary in the PFRDA Act must be recommended to be removed.

(iii)     It is a welcome step that the Govt. has now decided to extend the benefit of family pension in the case of all NPS subscribers who die in harness. The family pension can therefore be assured at the prevailing rate  for all NPS subscribers, if necessary by appropriating a one-time  deduction from their pension wealth,  at their option, at the time of retirement.

(iv)      To introduce the GPF again as a voluntary option.

(v)     All NPS subscribers must be provided with a payment slip by the heads of offices  indicating the amount deducted, the amount contributed by the Govt. and the date on which the     sum has been made over the to the fund managers, irrespective of the communication the subscriber is entitled to get from the   PFRDA registry.

(vi)  No rules to be framed to link the pension benefit with disciplinary proceedings.

(vii)  The present investment pattern prescribed must be reviewed for its viability periodically.

(viii)   The Sub Committee which goes into the issue concerning framing rules may be asked to interact with the Staff Side once the draft rules are ready.

(ix)     In so far as customer friendly procedures are concerned, the committee may look at the best international practices with a view to adopt and incorporate them.

It could be seen from the deliberations in the committee that nothing short of replacing NPS with Statutory   defined     Benefit Pension Scheme will bring about anything good for new recruitees. Our endeavour must be in that direction whereby sanctions are generated and compulsions  are felt by the Govt as early as possible.
   
K.K.N. Kutty
Member, Standing Committee
National  Council, JCM &
National President, Confederation
16th MARCH 2017 STRIKE – PARTICIPATION OF EMPLOYEES ALL TIME HIGH:
Reports received from Affiliated organisations and COCs and also many field level units shows that the participation of employees in the 16th March 2017 strike was all time high. The reason is obvious that the employees are angry and upset due the totally adamant and negative attitude of the NDA government towards the genuine issues of Central Govt. employees and pensioners and their discontentment was ventilated through the strike as an outburst of their pent up feelings. The response to the strike call was overwhelming and majority of employees suo-moto participated in the strike without any compulsion. This was also quite visible during the 15th December 2016 Parliament March and other agitational programmes including dharna and observance of 6th March 2017 Black Day. (For other details please see the press statement dated 16.03.2017 published in the Confederation website). Confederation National Secretariat congratulates and salutes all the leaders and employees who organized and participated in the strike and made it one of the best organized and best participated historic strike of Central Govt. Employees. Once again it is proved that it is Confederation alone, which is the true representative of entire Central Government employees.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Amendment to the provisions of General Provident Fund (Central Service) Rules 1960- liberalization of provisions for withdrawals from the Fund by the subscribers - regarding. (Click the link below to view)

 Amendment to the provisions of General Provident Fund (Central Service) Rules 1960- liberalization of provisions for drawal of advance from the Fund by the subscribers - regarding. (Click the link below to view)

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

CONFEDERATION NATIONAL SECRETARIAT CALLS UPON ALL CENTRAL GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES

Observe 6th March 2017
as
BLACK DAY

v Against the betrayal of Central Government employees and pensioners by Group of Ministers of NDA Government.
v  Demanding increase in minimum pay and fitment formula.

Dear comrades

We know that all of you are in the midst of hectic preparation and campaign for making the 16thMarch Strike action a great success.  As has been explained in the article, which we have placed on our website, the NDA Government, led by BJP has exhibited the worst anti-employee attitude in the post independent  era of our country.  This Government has treated its own employees as its worst enemy. The decision taken by the Union Cabinet on 29th June, 2016 rejecting even the recommendations made by the high level committee chaired by the Cabinet Secretary was unprecedented. Even the setting up of various committees was nothing but an eye wash. Nothing will come out of that.  Even the NPS Committee on which the young comrades had pinned some hope of at least  getting a minimum guaranteed pension will produce nothing.  The discussions at the JCM fora has been converted into mostly monologues i.e. the official side simply listening and not reacting.  The Government, it appears, has made the Pension department to reject the one and only recommendation of the 7th CPC which was considered to be positive i.e. Option No.1 for pensioners on the specious ground that the same is not feasible to be implemented. The allowances committee has dilly dallied its deliberation and would now submit its report after the extended period of 6 months expires on 22.02.2017. Even if they make any positive recommendation, which is seldom expected, the NDA Government would not act upon it.  They have very successfully postponed the payment of the revised allowanced for 15 months. 

                In the face of such terrible onslaught, betrayal and chicanery, which no Government in the past has every indulged in,  it is surprising that some of our friends who has a predominant role in the movement of the Central Government employees has unfortunately chosen to wait and watch.  It appears that they have chosen to wait endlessly hurting the cause of the workers. 

                We have no hesitation to affirmatively state the obvious that we have chosen the right path, the path of struggles, which can only the choice of the working class against tyrannical attitude of the employer, howsoever, powerful they may be. We must realize that those who are  in the saddle of power today are not permanently posted there. We were witness to the abysmal downfall of persons who were arrogant personified.  It appears that the reasonableness, righteousness and patience we had exhibited have been taken as signs of cowardice. The undeniable fact is that those who fight, only can win. We, therefore, appeal to you to carry on with conviction and courage.

                Eight months will be over on 6th March, 2017, when the Group of Ministers held out the assurance of revisiting the minimum wage and multiplication factor.  It is now crystal clear that that was an act of chicanery.  No committee was set up  and no discussions were held to seriously consider the issue.  We, therefore, appeal to all of you to ensure that the day, i.e. 6th March, 2017 is observed as a day of betrayal and all our members are requested to wear a Black badge with the following words inscribed on it in bold letters and conduct demonstrations in front of all Central Government offices.
                                               

HONOUR THE COMMITMENT MADE ON
30th June & 6th JULY, 2016
REVISE THE MINIMUM WAGE AND
MULTIPLICATION FACTOR

6TH March 2017 must be yet another occasion to mobilize our members to ensure their participation in the 16th March, 2017 strike action and ultimately win all the demands in the charter. 

                We fight to win and we shall win.
                               
                With greetings,
Yours fraternally,



(M Krishnan)
Secretary General
Confederation