Coal PSU pensioners protest at Jantar Mantar against lack of pension revision for 24 yrs

Pensioners from coal PSUs, who are receiving less than Rs 1,000 as pension per month, participated in a day-long dharna to protest against the lack of pension revision for the last 24 years


New Delhi: Pensioners from coal PSUs, like Coal India Ltd (CIL), South Eastern Coalfields Ltd (SECL) and other subsidiary companies of CIL, who are receiving a meagre pension of Rs 1,000 every month assembled at Jantar Mantar on Monday for a day-long dharna to protest against the lack of pension revision for the last 24 years. The pensioners, who gathered under the banner of All Indian Coal Pensioners Association (AICPA) & All India Association of Coal Executives (AIACE), demanded a review of CMPS 1998 and revision of pension for coal miners.

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After the nationalisation of the coal industry in 1973, employees in coal PSUs got the benefit of a pension scheme in 1998. The scheme covered pensioners from Coal India Ltd (CIL), Singareni Collieries Company Ltd (SCCL) and few other coal companies. Under CMPS-1998, the Coal Mines Provident Fund Organisation (CMPFO), working under the Ministry of Coal, was entrusted with this task. A pension fund was created by equal contributions from emplyees and employer. There was a provision to review after every three years but it was never done regularly, said PK Singh Rathore, convenor of AIACE.

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“The review and revision has not been done for the last 24 years and more than 50,000 pensioners are getting less than Rs 1,000 per month, which is quite insufficient to meet daily needs,” he said in a statement.

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“This lack of review has caused mismanagement of the fund. The amount fixed on the date of retirement of coal pensioners remains same till date since its implementation in 1998, even after 24 years,” said the statement.

What are pensioners demanding?

The coal pensioners have demanded speedy implementation of the suggestions made by the Public Accounts Committee in its report (presented in Parliament on March 18, 2020) for the restructuring of the Coal Mines Pension Scheme, inclusion of Dearness Relief (DR) component as part of pension to ensure uniform pension irrespective of the date of retirement, compulsory collection of a cess of Rs 20 per tonne from all public and private coal companies with a provision to increase the cess every three years, revision of pension every three years as mandated by CMPS-1998, minimum pension should be ensured to the pensioner as per government policy and the process of widow or widower pension at the bank level should be started in reality as soon as possible.

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