GOVT. MADE IT CLEAR THAT WITHDRAWL OF NPS IS NOT WITHIN THE PURVIEW OF NPS COMMITTEE.
YOUNGER GENERATION EMPLOYEES CHEATED: Withdrawal of NPS or exemption from NPS was one of the most important demand of the NJCA in the 11th July 2016 deferred indefinite strike. In the statement issued by NJCA on 06-07-2016 after deferring the indefinite strike, it stated as follows:
“The NJCA particularly notes that the Government has set up a separate committee for reviewing the New Pension Scheme, which has been a matter of concern to all employees and workers who are recruited to Government service on or after 01-01-2004”.
It is true that Government has constituted an NPS Committee under the Chairmanship of Secretary (Pension). This created a lot of hope among the younger generation employees as they have been made to believe that the committee will consider the demand of NJCA to scrap the NPS or at least exempt Central Government employees from NPS. But to the dismay of all, in the agenda notified by NPS Committee for discussion with staff side (JCM) on 10- 02-2017, the main issues such as (1) Scrapping of NPS (2) Guaranteed minimum pension to NPS subscribers ie; 50% of the last pay drawn should be guaranteed by Government as minimum pension, even if the returns from the annuity insurance scheme is less than 50% and (3) exemption of Central Government employees from the purview of NPS, are not included as agenda for discussion in the meeting. During the discussion with staff side on 10-02-2017, Additional Secretary (Pension) informed the following:
(1) Withdrawal of NPS is not within the purview of NPS Committee.
(2) There are three sub committees constituted on NPS (i) Committee chaired by Joint Secretary, Department of Financial Services to look into investment, benefit and taxation, (ii) Committee chaired by Joint Secretary (Expenditure), Finance Ministry, with regard to finalising the accounting, implementation procedure and grievance redressal. (iii) Committee chaired by Additional Secretary (Pension) to formulate Rules and Regulations with regard to various benefits from NPS.
Thus it is made clear without any ambiguity that NPS Committee is constituted by the Government for further strengthening NPS and not for scrapping NPS or exempting from NPS as demanded by NJCA. Everybody knows that whether it is pay commission or NPS Committee, it cannot and will not make recommedations on any issue which are not included in the terms of reference of the Commission/Committee, specifically by the Government. Submitting memorandum to the NPS committee demanding scrapping of Page 2 of NPS or exemption from NPS may not serve any purpose, unless Government give clear mandate to the Committee to examine such a demand also. Thus, NDA Government has rejected the demand of NJCA either to scrap NPS or exempt from NPS. This is the real fact and there need not be any confusion in the mind of the employees. In order to compel the Government to accept the demand, there is no short-cut, other than reviving the indefinite strike.
Railway Federations demand also rejected: Railway Federations have demanded exemption of Railway employees from the purview of NPS. Railway Ministers of UPA and NDA Government had forwarded the demand to the Government with their recommendations stating that Railways is second line of defence and as Military Personnel are already exempted from NPS, Railway employees should also be exempted from NPS. Earlier in a letter dated 15th May 2015 addressed to Railway Board, the Ministry of Finance, Department of Financial Services has informed as follows:-
“It may kindly be noted that, earlier a proposal to exempt paramilitary forces (ie. CRPF, BSF etc.) from the ambit of NPS was referred to a Group of Ministers (GoM) and was finally not approved by the Government………… You will agree that moving away from the earlier defined benefit based pension system was a concious decision of the Government taken in view of the unsustainable pension liability of the Central Government……. In view of the above, request of the recognised Federations (AIRF & NFIR) for seeking exemption of the Railway Servants appointed on or after 01-01-2004 from the application of the NPS does not seem to be a feasible proposition.”
From the above reply, it is clear that Government is not going to exempt Railway employees or other Central Government employees from the purview of NPS, unless NJCA revive the indefinite strike and compell the Government to negotiate and settle the demand.