Friday, June 24, 2022

PSU Executives’ Associations ask govt to roll back DA freeze, term decision ‘unreasonable’

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  • In its representation to Prakash Javadekar, the NCOA has argued that the Centre’s decision will impact 15 lakh PSU employees

  • In a separate letter to Javadekar, SEFI has argued that the decision to freeze DA is “unreasonable” since salary, perks and allowances of PSU employees are paid for by PSUs

New Delhi: Two associations representing executives in the PSU sector — National Confederation of Officers’ Association (NCOA) and Steel Executives’ Federation of India (SEFI) — have written a letter to the Centre, urging it to withdraw its decision to freeze additional dearness allowance (DA) for PSU employees. The letter comes just days after the Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) announced the freezing of additional DA for executives and non-unionised supervisors of central public sector enterprises (CPSEs) drawing salaries under certain pay scales till June 30, 2021. 

“In view of the crisis arising out of COVID-19, it has been decided that additional instalment of dearness allowance payable to employees of CPSEs drawing pay as per 2017, 2007, 1997, 1992 and 1987 IDA pay revision guidelines, due from October 1, 2020, shall not be paid,” the DPE said on November 19.

DA freeze would affect 15 lakh PSU employees: NCOA

In a letter to the Minister for Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises Prakash Javadekar, the NCOA has argued that the Centre’s decision will not just impact executives and non-unionised supervisors in PSUs but unionised workmen as well. “DPE issues guidelines for ‘executives & non-unionised supervisors’ only. Further, as per DPE guidelines, ‘the wages (ie Basic Pay & DA) of unionised workmen are to be settled through wage negotiation / tripartite settlement, which cannot be in conflict with that of Pay Revision of Executives.’ Accordingly, the DA freeze conveyed by DPE on 19th November, 2020 would automatically be applied to unionised workmen also to avoid conflict. This would impact around 15 Lakh employees of Central Public Sector Enterprises.”

While commenting on any agitation plan by NCOA against the DA freeze order, Alok K Roy, President of NCOA, said, “The economy and the citizen of the country has suffered a lot due to the Covid-19 pandemic and any agitation plan in this the situation has serious risk to cripple the state of affairs. We have full confidence that considering the criticality, the government will withdraw the same based on the strong logic given in our appeal to Sri Prakash Javadekar ji. Further, in case the same would not be withdrawn, we will approach the Hon’ble Prime Minister and we have full faith to get it withdrawn.” The NCOA claims to represent around 2.50 lakh executives of PSUs.

SEFI: PSUs pay salary, allowances out of their own income

In a separate letter to Javadekar, SEFI General Secretary Bimal Kumar Bisi has argued that the decision to freeze DA is “unreasonable” since the salary, perks and allowances of PSU employees are paid for by PSUs from their own income, and not by the Central exchequer. “It is to be noted here that the salary, perks and allowances of CPSEs are not being paid from the central exchequer, and is paid by the CPSEs from their own income. Hence, there is no justification for such a DA freeze in Industrial sector and such a move by Centre may be treated as unreasonable,” Bisi wrote in the letter. Speaking to PSU Watch, Bisi said that the federation is ready to take the matter to the Supreme Court and seek a stay on the decision if the Centre doesn't withdraw its decision.

ALSO READ: Central PSUs' employees, non-unionised supervisors addl dearness allowance frozen

“This (the decision) has severely affected the morale of Executive employees of major Steel PSUs viz. SAIL, RINL, NMDC, NINL, MECON, etc. Fighting against all odds posed by the prevailing pandemic, employees at steel PSUs have shown exemplary courage to achieve the targets of the company in spite of impending issues of pay revision and associated benefits. In this situation, it is felt that the implementation of the proposed freezing of DA shall result in a demoralising effect devastating setback for the future of steel PSUs,” he added. SEFI claims to represent around 22,000 executives across steel PSUs in India.

(PSU Watch– India's Business News centre that places the spotlight on PSUs, Bureaucracy, Defence and Public Policy is now on Telegram. Join PSU Watch Channel in your Telegram and stay updated)

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