Latest Information – PENSION CASE
All India Regional Rural Bank Employees Association
Kaikhali, Kolkata – 52
Ref. No. – 794 Date:- 26.07.2013
All Office Bearers, All Units,
All Members of the Central Committee & State Secretaries,
Sub:- Latest Information
We have circulated a note on the subject prepared by Com. S. V. Reddy just after returning from New Delhi on 12.07.2013 along with the order of the Hon’ble Supreme Court passed on 09.07.2013. It may be noted that the SLP no. 39288 / 2012 filed by GOI before the Hon’ble Supreme Court against the Division Bench orders of Rajasthan High Court has been heard by Supreme Court bench consisting of Justice Sri Sathasivan and J. Chalameswar on 9th July 2013. Previous hearings were held on 18th February and 20th May 2013. Apart from the main respondents- Gramin Bank Pensioner Samithi , AIRRBEA is impleaded in the case directly and one more petition filed by Co ordination Committee of our units at South Malabar Gramin Bank is also tagged to the main case. Now other Associations have also joined the case as intervention petitioners.
GOI filed the original SLP strongly opposing the Pension Parity to RRB staff stating that payment of pension may result in collapse and closure of RRBs. Now, deviating from their own stand, GOI filed an affidavit stating that they are ready to extend the pension parity in profit making RRBs with certain preconditions. In the annexures to the affidavit, the GOI has shown the figures of profits and pension liability, RRB wise for 2012-13 only. They have ignored the accumulated profits and reserves up to 2012-13 and have taken the accumulated losses into consideration to arrive at the condition for payment of pension by RRBs. The exercise is a mockery to negate the pension benefit to the RRB staff of even the profit making RRBs like – Pragathi Grameena Bank, South Malabar Gr Bank and Marudhara Gr Bank etc. As per their affidavit, 26 RRBs will be in a position to pay pension parity provided the staff contribute 30% of the liability. Though 25 more RRBs are in profits, 25% of the individual RRB’s net profit is not sufficient to meet the l/8th of the amortized pension liability fund. Hence they have to improve the profit to meet the above requirement. 11 RRBs with accumulated losses have to wipe out the losses and create their pension fund to pay the pension.
Hon’ble Judges have directed all the parties to submit replies to the affidavit and posted the case for 11th September 2013 for final disposal. We are opposing the discrimination on the basis of profits and losses and also that of staff contribution. The judgments of Karnataka and Rajasthan High Courts have directed to implement the 1993 scheme to RRB staff and both the conditions are not there in 1993 pension scheme of Commercial Banks. Other deviations from the scheme out of 1993 agreement are also being pointed out to the Hon’ble Court.
We are engaging very Senior Advocates to effectively argue our case and not leaving any stone unturned for a favourable judgment. We are incurring huge amounts to run the cases right from Karnataka and Rajasthan High Courts and now in the Supreme Court. To meet such costs, it has been appealed by AIRRBEA to mobilise legal fund from our membership @ Rs. 600/- per officer, 400/-per employee and Rs.200/- per sub-staff. Already some of our units have remitted the collected fund to our Central Office. For the rest, we appeal to expedite the same.
UFRRBU:- After series of efforts, we could have a meeting of leaders of apex Unions / Associations in RRBs on 9th July at Delhi. It has been decided to name it as UFRRBU on the lines of UFBU in Commercial Banks. It was in principle decided to oppose the amendments to the RRB Act to privatise the share capital and induct private directors from such investors in RRBs. It has been decided to jointly submit memoranda to the Finance Ministry, Parliamentary Committee Chairman and to enlist the support of UFBU. The bill on amendments to RRBs has been referred to standing committee on Finance. We have written to the Committee to provide us an opportunity to submit our views against the privatisation moves in the interests of rural economy.
UTTARKHAND DISASTER:- The unprecedented floods in Uttarakhand have left a devastating effect on the people, nature and infrastructure in the small state. The nature’s fury is a reaction to the human greed for wealth at the cost of destruction of forest, hills and creation of many dams on the rivers. Yet, we have to rise to the occasion to extend our helping hand to the needy. AIRRBEA has given a call to all our units to donate one day’s PL encashment amounts of our members to the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund. We appeal to all our units to respond generously.
REVIEW MEETING BY DFS:- Department of Financial Services is conducting review meetings of RRBs in batches of about 15 chairmen each time. One meeting with 14 Chairmen from Western Zone was held on 17th June and other meeting with 15 of the State Bank sponsored RRBs was held on 15th of this month. The review is mainly as a follow up or review taken by Finance Minister on 17th January 2013. They are reviewing the progress in IT enabled products like ATM, Cards, Roll out of all CBS related products as in sponsor bank etc, Branch expansion, Financial Inclusion and various business parameters.
AMALGAMATIONS:- With the amalgamation of South Malabar and North Malabar Gr Banks in Kerala State to form Kerala Gramin Bank under the sponsorship of Canara Bank on 8th July, 2013, the number of RRBs has come down to 61. Thus three State Level RRBs in the States of Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and Kerala are formed in the second phase of amalgamation apart from the 7 State Level RRBs already existing in the smaller States like Tripura, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Manipur, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh and Pondicherry.
Other amalgamation proposals are still in the waiting for clearance particularly from the concerned State Governments. Our delegations from Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh have met Sri Namonarayana Meena during our Delhi camp and Hon’ble Minister stated that if the concerned State Governments give in writing, GOI will consider formation of State Level RRBs.
AIRRBEA 12TH CONFERENCE AT KOLKATA:- It is already informed to all that the next conference of AIRRBEA will begin on 7th September 2013, birth day of our beloved DADA and continue on 8th and 9th to conduct the proceedings. One set of posters have been dispatched to the units and next batch of posters will be dispatched with all the particulars of speakers in the next month.
Units have to send the delegates to the conference @ two delegates for first 25 membership and one delegate for each 50 membership thereafter. Not exceeding 50% of the eligible delegates can attend as observes. Each unit must ensure participation of women, retirees within the stipulated quota as above. All units have to clear their affiliation dues up to 2012, at least. Units may arrange for booking their tickets immediately as per their eligibility and inform the same with other details to the Central Office for use of the Reception Committee.
Please see the circulars issued on 12th Conference exclusively during last few days for taking necessary action.
A. Sayeed Khan