Private-PSU pension hike hinges on Centre's dole

Demand for hiking minimum monthly pension to Rs 1,000

For the last 14 years, the Centre’s contribution to the pension fund has remained static at the rate of a meagre 1.16 per cent.

But the demand is to hike the minimum monthly pension from the present Rs 450 to Rs 1,000.

This benefit will be for all those workers, who are covered under the Employee’s Provident Fund Act.

A Parliamentary Committee has asked the Central Government to introduce changes wherein the rate of contribution from the government should at least be fixed at half of the rate of contribution which is being made by the employer or the employee towards the pension scheme.

“The committee notes that EPS, 1995, is a contributory scheme wherein the employers’ contribution towards the pension of the employee is diverted at the rate of 8.33 per cent from the total contribution of 12 per cent made towards social security obligations.
“The government contributes at 1.16 per cent to the pension fund,” the Standing Committee on Labour said in a recent report.

Callous attitude

“Admittedly, neither of the above rates of the contributions has been revised for the last 14 years,” it said. Such a non-revision speaks volumes about the “callous attitude” of the government towards the work force.

More so, when this segment of the work force has contributed enormously to the economy of the country, the panel observed.

“We will discuss this in the Central Board of Trustees’ meeting scheduled for  April 9,” D L Sachdev, leader of the CPI-affiliated All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) and member of the CBT, told Deccan Herald.

Linking to Price Index

The social security benefits have seen a downward trend as interest rates have fallen massively from 12 per cent in 1995.

The government had rejected a long-standing demand of linking this pension scheme with the Price Index, citing dearth of resources, said All India Trade Union Congress leader and MP Gurudas Dasgupta.

In fact, six months back an Expert Committee under the Chairmanship of Special Secretary (Labour and Employment) had been set up to review the EPS, but no recommendation had been made till date.

The committee did not even have a single meeting with the trade unions, nor have come out with a time frame for completion of its review.

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