Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Healthy Debate means No Losers


Healthy Debate means No Losers

Debate is basically not to make somebody losers and in healthier debates all can learn from one another.  I am an average on polemics and normally I avoid the same and also avoid any intention to hurt anybody in writings. The last piece of mine was felt little harsh and so in this write up I put matters straight to understand the stakeholders and the sides in a better way. Sorry to bother you all.

DOT has categorically explained its position on Pension Revision and denied fitment on 7th CPC basis. Even after this clarification, some leaders are harping on the same string without any valid, logical and legal argument, if we use their language. It seems to me they act only on the basis of their unfortunate theoretically taken position and thereby spoiling to some extent the already started negotiations as per 3rd PRC scales (date of effect, merger points of IDA etc).

The only issue that the pensioners are contesting as on today is the fitment problem. In this track, no CPC is being allowed; some leaders may be vociferous on 7th CPC again and again for the consumption sake but only in vain. They are also accepting if anything on 3rd PRC is given, we are going to receive it. But the spoken position is not reflected in the written resolution passed unanimously.

Unfortunately DOT the authority for notifying the scales of Executives is wantonly pushing the issue of fitment to the pavilion of BSNL. DOT is asking the scales of Non Executives only from the BSNL not anything about Executives, because BSNL is having no authority on that except implementing the DOT PO directives. Then in that case is it not the duty of DOT to fix the fitment of Executives and get its approval if necessary from the cabinet. DOT has already directed BSNL as the administrative ministry as per DPE that there should not be any conflict of interests between Non Exe with that of Executives. In that case BSNL negotiating committee is in a position to follow suit the mind of DOT only. DOT in Oct 17th minutes and Nov letter to associations exhibited its mindset. In these circumstances BSNL may feel the difficulty in agreeing any fitment other than ‘without fitment ‘ position taken by DOT.

If DOT moves the file with some fitment and BSNL following the same with recommendations by the wage committee then all the noises regarding the issue of pension and pay revision may settle down. I am not underestimating the difficulties of DOT, once it accepted some fitment, to push that case to the concerned ministries - especially from DOE and preparing draft cabinet note and seeking its approval. In the same way I am not denying the issue of financial burden of BSNL on account of Pay Revision when it is in the loss making mode.

Regarding BSNL wage Negotiation, if any recommendations arrived at by the committee then it will be a breakthrough. It is not a small thing to denigrate but a matter for appreciation as it is breaking the existing DPE guidelines. If some extent good scales are found that avoid stagnation then what is the purpose of loitering and suffering in the old 2  PRC Scales- what is harm in jumping to 3rd PRC  scales, if placing is assured and if it is even little advantageous and certainly not disadvantageous. If fitment issue is settled, then it will be good for all. Let us not miss the bus this time.

I have narrated many times some of the hurdles that are troubling me on seeing the demand of 7th CPC fitment. According to my understanding that this demand is not suitable in today’s context as different types of stakeholders are involved in this process.

One is pre 2017 pensioners expecting pension revision from 1-1-2017,

Second is post 2017 pensioners expecting the already fixed pension on their date of retirement to be enhanced on account of pay revision from 1-1-2017

Third one is employees on roll on 1-1-2017 expecting 3rd PRC benefit from 1-1-2017 and still working and eligible for 37 A pensions

And the 4th one is DR employees on roll on 1-1-2017 expecting 3rd PRC benefits from 1-1-2017.

In all these 4 cases all are expecting their benefits only from 1-1-2017. On this date pension revision is possible for pre 2017 pensioners and for the other 3 cases they can get their benefits without discrimination only thro pay revision as per 3rd PRC.

Some leaders are repeatedly and wrongly quoting the issue of 37 ( 5 ) also by citing 1995 judgement.  37A came and introduced not by DOT but by DOPPW in 2000 after this 1995 only. This was again reiterated in 2012 37 A and 37 B also. Now at 2021 also the same provision is placed. Why the Claimers who are saying as per 1995 this provision is invalid are not contesting this in the court of law. While Com O P Gupta the great fighter for bringing 37 A read the same many times and sought many amendments, why no voice was there to seek the removal of that provision saying that the absorbed are no more Govt employees . When the vacated posts were also abolished, where were these voices..

Com O P Gupta tried on three occasions on linking the issue of CPC with the absorbed employees. One well before Corporatization- one as qualifying pay for pension and other  the pay  as monthly emoluments. Many of us opposed the same and the proposal was not materialized. On 2003 again com OPG mooted this idea on seeing a DOPPW order of 19-9-2003 and he got the reply that was not applicable to BSNL absorbed employees. Then on 3rd time he advised the leaders of NFTE during 6th CPC to pursue the link. But all followed and tried 2nd PRC only and so all his attempts did not fructify. This does not mean a new attempt by the present leadership should not be made. But today’s context, it seems to me not possible and so only I am appealing all the concerned to go in one voice to achieve some fitment in 3rd PRC

When I say all these things, I request the concerned to weigh the merit of my arguments as I am having nothing personally against any leader/ leaders.

10.30  hrs   7-12-2022

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