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Monday, 11 July 2016

Supreme Court seeks government response on ex-servicemen plea on OROP

Supreme Court seeks government response on ex-servicemen plea on OROP

New Delhi: Supreme Court today sought the government’s response on a plea of an ex-servicemen’s body seeking implementation of One Rank One Pension (OROP) as recommended by the Koshyari Committee with an automatic annual revision, instead of the current policy of periodic review once in five years.

A bench comprising Justices Dipak Misra and C Nagappan issued notice and sought the response from the government in eight weeks.

The Indian Ex-servicemen Movement (IESM) and others have challenged the government’s policy of periodic review of pension once in five years, saying such an approach was dilution of the February 26, 2014 announcement by which the revision in pension was to automatically pass on to the past pensioners on an annual basis.

They have contended that five-yearly periodic review did not meet the demand of the ex-servicemen seeking OROP for the service personnel who had retired with same length of service in the same rank.

“OROP is the uniform desire of all three defence services. Ex-servicemen are presently drawing pension that is not consistent with their rank and/or length of service. In fact, some ex-servicemen are even drawing lesser pension than other ex-servicemen who retired with a subordinate rank or (in the same rank) which is unjust and unconstitutional,” the petition said.

It said that the Centre’s February 3, 2016 letter sent to the chiefs of Army, Navy and Air Force on OROP was “unjust, arbitrary and violative of Article 14 and 21 of the constitution.”

The plea sought a direction to the Centre “that the pension of past pensioners be automatically and contemporaneously enhanced, whenever there is any future increase or enhancement in the rates of pension.”
It further said the government should be directed to fix the pension on the basis of highest pension of financial year 2014-15 and not 2013.

IESM in its petition has referred to the December 19, 2011, report of Rajya Sabha’s Petition Committee then headed by Bhagat Singh Koshyari which rejected all reservation advanced by the government while “strongly recommending” OROP.

In its 142nd report, the Koshyari Committee had said, “the Committee strongly recommends that Government should implement OROP in the defence forces across the board at the earliest”.

PTI
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Government in oscillation over 7th pay commission notification

Government in oscillation over 7th pay commission notification

The Finance Ministry official involved with the process of pay hike told The Sen Times on condition of anonymity that government is facing the classic dilemma on the subject of issuing of notification of implementation of 7th pay commission recommendations.

He lamented that the 7th pay commission recommendations has been approved by the cabinet on June 29, but has yet to implement because it takes time for hiking of minimum pay, which has been demanded by the central government employees unions.

The Finance Ministry and the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) are seeking to issue the notification of implementation of 7th pay commission recommendations shortly as approved by cabinet.

On the other hand, if faced with the dilemma of having to accept central government employees unions demands of hiking minimum pay and fitment factor through a high-level committee, the government would likely opt for the latter. The Finance ministry in its statement said, high-level committee will submit its report within four months with assistance from Finance ministry, but it appears that it may take time more than four months.

The Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu assured the unions leaders that the issues raised by them would be considered by the High Level Committee, which will soon be set up.

The Cabinet ditto with the 7h Pay Commission recommendations, the commission recommended 23.55 per cent hike in salaries, allowances and pensions and a 14.27 per cent increase in basic pay for Central government employees, the lowest in 70 years.

The cabinet has increased the minimum pay from existing Rs 7000 to Rs 18,000 while the central government employees’ unions are demanding minimum pay Rs. 26,000. The cabinet took fitment factor 2.57 to hike basic pay only 14.27 per percent but the employees’ Unions are demanding 3.68 fitment factor.
This is despite the fact that pay hikes have a greater impact on the exchequer, the government is bound to accept the unions demands.

Now, the government tactic is to delay implementation of 7th pay commission recommendations, so it is likely to have a ripple effect and devaluation of Indian currency likely to hit in coming months.

TST
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Nationwide Bank Strike for 2 days – All India Bank Officers’ Association and State Sector Bank Employees’ Association will also participate in the strike.

Bank Strike – The government is diverting the attention of the people by such steps like privatisation and consolidation as a means to improve efficiency and profitability of the banks.

Nationwide Bank Strike for 2 days – All India Bank Officers’ Association and State Sector Bank Employees’ Association will also participate in the strike.

Banking operations could be hit for two days this week as a section of public sector bank employees have threatened to go on a nationwide bank strike beginning July 12 to protest against the proposed merger of SBI associates and privatisation of IDBI Bank.

“As the conciliation meeting with the Chief Labour Commissioner failed, we would continue with our strike call,” All India Bank Employees’ Association General Secretary C H Venkatachalam told PTI.

All India Bank Officers’ Association and State Sector Bank Employees’ Association will also participate in the strike. The strike would be observed by five SBI associate banks on July 12, followed by other public sector banks next day on July 13.

In the event of the Bank strike taking place, the normal banking operations may get affected on July 12 and July 13, State Bank of Mysore said in a statement. Services like cheque clearances, cash deposit and withdrawal at bank branches and other facilities would affected too in case of the strike.

Venkatachalam said unions have explained the issues involved in Bank strike notice in detail as to why the proposed closure of Associate Banks and their merger with SBI, proposed privatisation of IDBI Bank and so on are unwarranted. He emphasised that effective measures to recover the alarmingly increasing bad loans is the real top priority for banks.

“We stated that instead of taking stringent measures against wilful and deliberate defaulters, the government is diverting the attention of the people by such steps like privatisation and consolidation as a means to improve efficiency and profitability of the banks,” he said.

Source: DNA
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Cabinet approves release of an additional instalment of DA to Central Government employees and DR to Pensioners, due from 1.1.2019

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