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BPCL trims PRMBS beneficiary employees’ list; unions demand withdrawal of decision

BPCL’s decision to exclude employees with less than 15 years of service from PRMBS has been met with stiff opposition from four trade unions at the oil PSU

BPCL trims PRMBS beneficiary employees’ list; unions demand withdrawal of decision
BPCL trims PRMBS beneficiary employees’ list; unions demand withdrawal of decision
  • In a notification issued on June 10, BPCL informed its employees that those who have less than 15 years of service with BPCL as on June 1, 2021, would not be eligible for PRMBS
  • Four trade unions at BPCL held a protest dharna on Wednesday and demanded that a withdrawal of the decision

New Delhi: Disinvestment-bound Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd’s (BPCL) decision to exclude employees with less than 15 years of service from Post Retirement Medical Benefit Scheme (PRMBS) has been met with stiff opposition from four trade unions at the oil PSU, who have termed the decision ‘arbitrary, highly inhuman and unjust.’ To oppose the decision, four trade unions at BPCL — Cochin Refinery Workers’ Association (CRWA), Cochin Refinery Employees’ Association (CREA), Refineries Employees Union-KRL (REU-KRL) and RSS-affiliated Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS) — held a protest dharna on Wednesday and demanded that a withdrawal of the decision.

BPCL’s amended PRMBS scheme

In a notification issued on June 10, BPCL informed its employees that those who have less than 15 years of service with BPCL as on June 1, 2021, would not be eligible for PRMBS. “In case of these employees, any contributions made on their behalf by the Corporation towards PRMBS from 01.012007 or their respective date of joining, whichever is later, will be transferred to the respective employees’ National Pension Scheme (NPS). Consequently, future contribution towards PRMBS from the 30 percent of retirement benefits would also be discontinued and instead transferred to their respective NPS accounts,” said the notification issued by the BPCL management.

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Explaining the rationale behind its decision, BPCL said in the notification, “Keeping in mind the long term viability of the Scheme, it has been decided to redo the eligibility criteria for the Scheme’s membership… These changes would be effective from 01.06.2021.”

‘PRMBS new eligibility criteria breach of LTS terms, DPE guidelines’

While terming the decision to amend the PRMBS eligibility criteria ‘unilateral,’ the four unions have said that it is a violation of guidelines issued by the Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) in this regard and the Long-Term Settlement (LTS) agreement signed with employees. “In this scenario, we demand that the unilateral decisions taken by the BPCL management to exclude the existing employees on a large scale, who have not completed 15 years from the PRMB Scheme be reversed, and the present scheme be continued without any change,” said the unions.

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