United forum of Reserve Bank Officers and Employees has issued a press statement calling for mass casual leave by 17000 RBI staff, including very senior officers on 19th November 15, to protest against the government moves to cripple functions and working of RBI. The protest is also aimed at the dilatory tactics being used by the Ministry of Finance regarding revision of Pension in respect of RBI Retirees .
Unions in RBI have long been pursuing for reasonable improvements in pension, as the basic pension once fixed in RBI is never revised, although the pension scheme in RBI is analogous to Pension Scheme in Central Government. In respect of about 50 lakh Central Government pensioners , the periodic revision is done with every pay revision. Moreover, the Pension in RBI was once revised by Central Board and implemented for pre-2002 retirees, but was later withdrawn on account of unjustified and unilateral orders by M/o finance. Retirees concerned had to approach Mumbai High court to get the unilateral orders stayed. The issue of not updating pension is hanging for about a decade and ministry is keeping the employees genuine demands in limbo. Fed up with the Government’s tactics, the present RBI Governor included the problem with Government in para x.28 of the RBI Annual report 2015, which no earlier governor liked to do.
The proposed protest is also to Save RBI from the transparent agenda of GOI to cripple RBI, despite cautionary signals from the economists of fame. Rigidity by M/o Finance in the above issues is a matter of deep concern for the RBI staff. ” If very reasonable demand of improvement in Pension is not met as demanded by the staff, the agitation will be further escalated in the coming days” says the press release.
AIRBIOPF fully supports the demands of the retirees and working employees and advises all the members to participate in the programme on 19th November 15 at their offices of RBI.
Several mails / messages are being shared on the social media about the various pronouncements/judgements of courts favouring pensioners, including SUPREME COURT DECISION DATED 1.07.15 IN CIVIL APPEAL NO 1123 of 2015. Some of those who are advancing the mails are seeking answers as to why the Government/ IBA/ RBI / Bank managements etc. are not taking action in terms of these judgements which are also favourable to the bank pensioners. Some others feel that such pro-pensioners judgements, once brought to the notice of the managements, are bound to result in action favourable to pensioners. We wish it were so!
Needless to say, in our system, judicial decisions pronounced even by the apex court are made applicable to only those who approach the court for remedy. Executive-Central/ State governments/ and others that fall into the meaning of ‘state’ as defined by courts- never issues remedial executive orders for implementation to such ‘others’ (wronged persons/ institutions etc.) although the ‘others’ may be suffering the same unfairness or discrimination. The various supreme court judgements – right from Nakara’s case in 1982 to the present DECISION DATED 1.07.15 IN CIVIL APPEAL NO 1123 , can only be used as supportive citations, in case, someone amongst the Bank Pensioners moves the court, the possibility of which in RBI seems remote. In this regard, a suitable response has been given by AIBRF in their post dated 11-9-15
It is evident in the above case that Supreme court has decided the correct interpretation of updation formula given in 6th Pay Commission ; whereas, RBI retirees pension is based on RBI pension regulations 1990 and PSBs pension is based on Pension Regulations 0f 1995. It is a part of history that none of these regulations contain a specific regulation regarding ‘updation of pension with every wage revision.’ Even LIC’s Pension regulations / rules do not contain such a regulation. How the framers of the regulations omitted such a vital regulation at the time of introduction of pension is inexplicable, whatever may have been the circumstances. AIBRF claims in their post dated 11-09-2015 that “updation clause was the part of settlement of 1993 as well as part of the details worked out by the sub-committee. However, the updation clause did not find any mention or place in the Pension Regulations 0f 1995 and were dropped from the regulations on the objection taken by the government.(may be as it did not exist in RBI pension regulations 1990).”
Some veterans often quote RBI’s circular issued after the introduction of the scheme in 1990 that assures the pension optees that as per the scheme the pension would be updated on every wage revision. A reference is also cited to Regulation 5(2) of RBI pension regulations which – as per legal opinion (yet to be tested)- enables the Bank to grant pension updation of its own. But, here we should not overlook the fact that reliance on bank’s circular or Regulation 5(2) would have become redundant had there been a specific regulation regarding updation of pension.
Those who opt for legal recourse should not pass over or evade the historical fact.
Moreover, Supreme Court Bar Associations offer relates to OROP and to derive that the offer is extendable to bank retirees seems farfetched.
Meanwhile, the email from Shri Donde is self-explanatory about the fate of pension updation in RBI.
Let us make our own guess till 19th November 2015-the day UFRBO&E may strike (call for Full day’s Mass casual leave)!-view circular
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.
As the earlier cashless Medi claim policy taken from United India Insurance Company Ltd expired on August 14, 2015, RBI has ,now, renewed the policy for a period of one year (15-8-15 to 14-8-16) with IFFCO Tokio General Insurance Company Ltd.- a private sector company.There is no change in the Third Party Administrators (TPAs) View/download the list.
Following enhancements/additions have been made:
i. Service Charge levied by the Hospital is payable within the sum insured.
ii. Psychiatric Treatment on IPO basis up to extent the Sum Insured is payable.
iii. Post hospitalization physiotherapy is to be covered up to 180 days, subject to applicable per hospitalization ceiling
iv. Inclusion of Ayurvedic treatment for cancer patients at private Ayurveda hospitals.
v. In case of bilateral knee or hip replacement surgery done during the same hospitalization cashless extended in empanelled hospitals to be made twice the ceiling applicable.
The names, contact numbers and e-mail id of the designated TPAs and representatives of the Insurance Consultants are listed here.
In view of change in the Insurance Company, new ID cards will be issued to MAF members ‘in due course’. Till such time the existing MAFS ID card issued by the Bank as well as existing ID cards issued by the TPA will be valid for admission to the hospital.
As per our unhappy past experience with the Insurance company and TPAs regarding issue of new ID cards, and as the Bank has used the phrase “in due course” instead of prescribing a time limit for issue of new ID cards, retirees may remain vigilant, and in case they do not receive new ID cards within 3 weeks, they should contact the Relationship Managers concerned for immediate issue of ID cards along with details of Hospitals empanelled. It is improper for any Insurance company and against the conduct rules of IRDA to impose the ID cards issued by another company for unreasonably long periods .
There is no change in the grade-wise limit for ICU, room/bed charges, sum insured per hospitalization as shown here.
The day care list will also be inclusive of day care Medical Treatment undertaken due to advancement of technology. The additions to the current list of 140+ day care treatment are:~ Traumatological Surgery and Orthopaedics – Reduction of dislocation under GA including K-Wire.
~ Other Operations / Procedure
• Carotid Artery Angiography
• Foam sclerotherapy
• Treatment of pemphigus vulgaris by rituximab therapy (injection rituximab)
Your may view complete List of Salient Features /Bank’s forwarding letter dated 14-8-15.