Pension updation for RBI retirees – a test for RBI autonomy-S.S. Tarapore

10 Sep

Mr. S.S. Tarapore is an economist. He joined Reserve Bank of India in 1961 as Research Officer and retired in 1996 as Deputy Governor. He runs his own Multi-Language Syndicated Column. Referring to the long-standing issue of pensions ( Problem of Retirees in RBI)  in his column ‘Common Voice’-in an article titled ” A glimpse into RBI annual report ” he urges RBI “…to use the retirees’ pension issue as a test case of autonomy…”  “By not allowing updation of pensions for RBI retirees- while this is taken as a matter of right by Central Government retirees- is tantamount to tyranny. Autonomy is never given, it is earned and taken. The RBI has certainly earned it and it is now for RBI to take its autonomy.”
Although similar views have been expressed in this blog-about Pension updation, and elsewhere- the words of an economist and ex-deputy Governor, should carry more weight with the authorities concerned.

But,how much weight these words shall carry with RBI ? How much ” Delhi bureaucracy” will take steps  for solving the long-standing “Pension updation” in RBI? The circumstances since 10th Bipartite settlement do not allow us to nurture false hopes  from RBI, when governor has expressed his inability to proceed without clearance from ” Delhi Bureaucracy”. Or from the Government which is sitting over the matter despite approval in principle. Even the unions/associations involved seem withdrawn since long and the believers, who have been asking members to wait till September to get something in lieu of pension updation, have also become sceptical. September is retreating like  Monsoon.  In the garb of   elections new scales are not likely to be formed before November and then new further  ideas ” in lieu of pension updation” are likely be floated. We will be hoping against hope and 2016 may dawn with lesser number of pensioners needing updation.
But governor’s well considered  reference to the issue (staff matters in the Annual report para x.28) at least maybe of some help to those who intend to move judiciary in the matter. We are getting a large number of requests for  such an action from our readers.
Readers may offer their comments and suggestions in the blog as well as at Facebook and twitter for a practical and alternative action plan rather than ” hoping against hope” indefinitely.

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6 Responses to “Pension updation for RBI retirees – a test for RBI autonomy-S.S. Tarapore”

  1. Sarveswaran 10/09/2015 at 10:18 pm #

    I suggest a twin track approach. we should intensify our agitation. hold dharanas, demonstration etc. but should not antagonize our management. we need their help also. we may wait for the hearing of LIC employees case which will be heard on 23rd Sept and take appropriate legal action also. We can’t wait eternally hoping that things will work out on its own and we will get pension updation. we should fight for it if necessary and get it.

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  2. VRRao 12/09/2015 at 1:21 am #

    The Governor shed crocodile tears in the RBI Annual report towards the woes of RBI Retirees.Let us not give much credence .He prefers to be helpless.
    Mr.Sarveswaran,you are correct sir.We have to wait till LIC Case judgment due on Sept.26,2015 and also till RBI Pay revision.
    We have to resort to hunger strike simultaneously in all the centers to realise the rights.

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  3. shanker swarup sharma 14/09/2015 at 12:29 pm #

    dr tarapores`comments are advisory and revealing and should act as an eye opener to the present day administration headed by an economist who unfortunately is not a well experienced banker and not even from ias cader.furhter it is an irony that rbi top management always choose to place negative and sadastic officers in hrd co.may god bless us to counter all such hazards. dr s s sharma ex agm and former secretary airboa.

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  4. Katari Satyanarayana 17/09/2015 at 6:45 am #

    Superannuation Benefits
    X.28 In 2003, the Reserve Bank, with the approval of the Central Board, had made some improvements in the monthly pension paid to employees who retired prior to November 1, 1997. However, the government had observed that the improvements in the pension scheme could not be effected without suitably amending Regulation 2(2) of the RBI Pension Regulations, 1990 and requested the Reserve Bank for their withdrawal. In October 2008, these improvements in monthly pension were withdrawn by the Central Board. This was, however, challenged in the High Court of Judicature in Bombay, where the Hon’ble High Court set aside the Reserve Bank’s circular regarding withdrawal of improvements. Since then, there has been persistent demand from all the pensioners/retirees for improvements in pensions. However, the matter remains unresolved till date, though the Reserve Bank and the Government are fully engaged with the issue.
    RESERVE BANK OF INDIA PENSION REGULATIONS,1990
    In Exercise of the powers conferred by clause (j) of sub-section (2) of Section 58 of the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934( 2 of 1934), the Central Board of the Reserve Bank of India, with the previous sanction of the Central Government, hereby make the following Regulations:
    CHAPTER I, PRELIMINARY,
    2. Definitions
    In these Regulations, unless the context otherwise requires:-
    (2) ‘Average emoluments’ means the average of Pay drawn by an employee during the last 10 months of his service.
    (9) Pay includes–
    (f) any other emoluments which may be classified as pay by the Central Board of the Bank
    Dear Friends,
    It is imperative that GOI has to sanction amendment of Regulation 2(2) proposed through the resolution of October 2011 made by the Central Board of RBI in this regard and pending for its consideration ever since( being comfortably termed by RBI as “fully engaged with the issue”).
    And exactly who is requesting whom in this vociferous engagement ! At whose cost ?
    Who else ? At the cost of hapless Bank Retirees. For no fault of theirs this infliction of injury by RBI at the instance of GOI( combined engagement) .
    Probably RBI getting pushed into ‘Catch 22’ situation through such a request of GOI to stop further continuation of implementation of pension updation (which had earlier commenced from 2002) abruptly.
    What are the answerable reasons in the GOI’s question( request) yet to be answered by RBI?
    Was there any questionable answer in the RBI’s Central Board’s Resolution of October,2011 ?
    Where does the ‘request’ lie in between the prolonged engagement ( since October 2011)
    of this sort of question and answers between the ‘State’ ( RBI) and the Executive (GOI)?

    Please ponder over the real situation before approaching the policy makers for the redress of our genuine grievance.
    With Regards.
    Katari Satyanarayana

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  5. premsunderdas 11/12/2015 at 8:25 am #

    Fight till we achieve the goal.

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  6. Katari Satyanarayana 06/01/2017 at 3:18 pm #

    Dear Friends,

    01 01 1986 is the effective date of GOI’s Liberalized Pension Scheme.

    As per the latest gazetted Pension Regulations , 1995 , ( made available under RTI Act by Indian Bank), Clause (3) of Appendix II to Regulation 37 provides for those retired after 01 04 1998 DA in four tapering rates for every 4 points over 1616 points in the quarterly average of AIACPI for Industrial Workers in the series 1960=100. Rs. % (I) upto. 3380. 0.25 (ii)between. 3381-5420. 0.21 (iii)between. 5421-5770. 0.12 (iv)above. 5780. 0.06

    Present tapering pension slabs which are not got published in the Gazette so far are correspondingly to the above and being implemented for thise retired betwwn 01 04 98 upto 31 10 2002 Narendra : (i) Rs.3550 (ii) Rs.3551- Rs.5650 (iii) Rs.5651- Rs.6010 (iv) above Rs.6010

    Thus this does not form the Regulation of Pension Scheme,1995.

    In Sukhdev Singh vs.BS Singh Raghuvanshi1975(1) SCC 421,it was held

    ” Any action of such bodies in excess of their power or in violation of the restrictions placed on their powers is ultra vires…”

    Above fixation is not in accordance with provisions of Section 19(1) of Act 5 of 1970/1980.

    In DS Nakara , SC observed

    “It was therefore a revision of the existing BENEFITS that would in normal course should be made available to all such beneficiaries of existing retiral benefits.”

    This ratio was applied by SC in ‘ State of Punjab v.Justice S.S.Dewan holding ” …all retired Judges, irrespective of the date of retirement, constitute one class and the benefits available under the amended rule can not be confined to the Judges who have retired after the amendment.”

    “The Bank(Employees’) Pension Regulations, 1995 ” was the only Scheme in existence for those who retired between 01 01 1986 and 31 03 2010 and being implemented w.e.f 01 11 1993 . (in case clause (6) (i) of Joint Note dt.27 04 2010 got notified and duly published in the Gazette only. Otherwise, for those eligible ones still continuing in service after 31 03 2010 also).

    Hence any rule beneficial to retirees , (introduced through administrative action like extending of consent for implementation of terms of settlements ,joint notes etc.,) can not be confined to those who had retired after those settlements / joint notes.

    And those rules (improvements) must be consistent with the existing provisions of the Act and the Pension Scheme brought out there under as its subordinate legislation

    (No power can be derived by GOI or Boards to abrogate or restrict beneficial provisions without authority from Parliament)

    DA relief is not a new benefit. It is an integral part of the Existing Scheme. Its upward revision is considered to be as according to the principles of Liberalization of the existing Pension Scheme which was introduced initially from 01 01 1986.

    The only determinative factor for fixing up of DA relief according to the scheme for payment of pension that remained unchanged so far is the ‘Qualifying Service’ based on which alone the quantum of basic /additional pension gets fixed .

    It was only the basis of calculation of DA that underwent a change on account of 8th Bipartite Agrement/ Joint Note.

    It was further held in WP 50000 of 2006 ” It was essentially an upward modification of the existing scheme, otherwise known as. ” upward revision of pension “. The employees of the bank irrespective of the retirement date, are entitled to claim the benefits of such upward revision.”

    This observation also vidicates the provision for updation under Regulation 35(1) of the existing Pension Scheme,1995 too.

    Besides, the SC in Col.Akkara reiterated “If the retiree is eligible for pension at the time of his retirement and the relevant pension scheme is subsequently amended, he would become eligible to get enhanced pension as per the new formula of computation of pension from the date when the amendment takes effect.”

    Paragraph30. “…..Even though re-defining of pay for the purpose of pension was introduced only by the 8th Bipartite Settlement/Joint Note, dated 2nd June 2005 , the benefits were extended even to those who have retired during the period 1st April 1998 to 30 April 2005. The classification therefore is nothing but artificial and arbitrary and it was not on the basis of any rationale principle. The banks, by restricting the benefits of the new definition of pay for the purpose of pension to the employees who have retired earlier, essentially, created a class within a class.”

    Patagraph 31. “…Therefore, the benefits of such redefinition of pay for the purpose of pension should be given to all the pensioners without any distinction. I do see considetable force in the submissions made on behlf of the petitioners that they have been subjected to a discriminatory and hostile treatment by fixing an artificial and arbitrary cut off date.Therefore, I am of the considered view that the petitioners are entitled to succeed.”

    Thus it is clearly established that cut off date 01 11 2002 for the purpose of eligibility to 100% DA neutralization fixed and to be made available w.e.f 01 05 2005 (for pensioners retired between 01 11 2002 to 30 04 2005 ) shall not curtail similar benefits for those retired during the operation of 7th bipartite settlement i.e., retired during the period 01 04 1998 to 31 10 2002.

    Hope MOF and UBI would review the cut off date 01 11 2002 and rescind it for the purpose of extending of the benefits of revision of pay by neutrslization of 100% DA to those who had retired during the period 1997 -2002 as cited above as was ordained by the Hon’ble High Court, Kolkata on 04 03 2015 ,and further ordered on dt. 26 09 2016 by the Hon’ble Bench of High Court of Kolkata on the appeal of UBI against the said order of 04 03 2015.

    Hope this would suffice requirements of all the concerned to get these issues including the issue of Up dation of pension for which a primordial provision was already made under Regulation 35(1) duly resolved equitably.

    In the meanwhile the basis on which the issue of 100% DA neutrslization in RBI was resolved through its circulars of 2008 and 2010 that was confirmedly accepted by the Hon’ble Bench of Kolkata High Court may please be got ascertained( to know whether it is from 1986 or from 1998 to start with)to be relied upon for substantiation of the above understanding while getting the following minutes of the meeting dt 10 11 1997 between Unions and IBA duly reiterated.:

    “3.Withdrawal of Strike Clause in Pension Scheme:-

    The Unions asserted that the Pension Settlement in Banks was arrived at explicitly on the premise that it will be exactly on the lines of the RBI Pension Scheme. This is the bed rock of the pension settlement. Since in the RBI Pension Scheme this clause does not exist there is no case for it to be in the Pension Regulations. IBA agreed with this view and will therefore, recommend to the Government for its deletion.”

    There is no scope for any negotiation with IBA or GOI by UFBU ,AIBOC, AIBEA, or for that matter with AIBRF or so on for resolving this issue than to follow the procedure adopted by the Central Board of the Reserve Bank of India while implementing 100% DA neutralization through its circulars of 2008 and 2010.

    Thanks for your kind enquiery Sri Velayoudam Garu. SHUBHAM BHOOYAAT.

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