Coal executives association to stage dharna against lack of pension reforms


NEW DELHI, Sept 9:An association of serving and retired executives of state-owned CIL and SCCL on Monday said it is mulling a day-long protest in the national capital by the year-end to protest against lack of pension reforms in coal sector.

The association says that pension of CIL and Singareni Collieries Co Ltd (SCCL) employees has not been reviewed since 1998 despite the provision for review of Coal Mine Pension Scheme (CMPS) every three years.

“All India Association of Coal Executives (AIACE) is … planning to stage one-day dharna (by the end of the year ) in Delhi with other coal pensioners welfare associations to attract the attention of the government towards the plight of pensioners,” AIACE Principal General Secretary P K Singh Rathor said in a statement.

Coal employers and executives are covered under CMPS, 1998 which is effective from April 1, 1994.

Despite the provision of review of the scheme every three years, it has not been done and pension once fixed at the time of retirement has never been increased since inception, AIACE explained.

As a result, even CMDs of coal companies like Coal India (CIL) who retired before 1997 are in receipt of a monthly pension of just Rs 2,000-Rs 3,000 per month.

“Whereas even the lowest level employees of both PSUs—CIL and SCCL—retiring today get more than Rs 10,000/month as pension due to increase in salary in 2007 and 2017 pay revision for Executives and different NCWA (Nation Coal Wage Agreement) over the last 20 years,” the statement said.

Since inception of the scheme 21 years ago, not even once the pension was enhanced leaving those retired 15 to 20 years ago in a state of destitution, Rathor explained.

Since CMPS, 1998 is a government notified scheme, the Centre must pitch in to bail out the scheme by levying a cess on coal production in the country.

“Also pension issue should be made part…of pay revision package of employees of CIL and SCCL in future,” Rathore said. Pensioners associations approached the Supreme Court in February, 2015.

“The associations plead for suitable modification in the pension scheme so that old pensioners (from a cut-off date to be fixed) should get not less than 50 per cent of the pension new retirees are getting who retire in the same grade/post,” the statement said.

The apex court transferred the writ petition to Delhi High Court.

“Regular hearings are taking place ever since and next date is on September 11. All pensioners are hoping to realise the long pending demand for enhancement,” the statement said. (PTI)