Nagpur: Federation of coal industry retired employees Association, consisting of more than 12 affiliate association of retired employees of Coal India and Singereni Coal Co. has demanded for the revision of pension every third year or at worst on revision of wages every five years undertaken through Bipartite Agreement between Management and Trade Unions.
The Federation has been pushing for the cause of revision of pension as per the provision of The Coal Mines Pension Scheme, 1998. In fact the “Contributory Provident Fund” was enacted for the first time in India in the year 1948 under the name and title of “The Coal Mines Provident Fund and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1948”. The Employees, other than Coal workers, were also covered after four years under the “Employees Provident and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952”.
The membership under the Act, 1948 rose to 7.94 Lakhs in the year 1998-99 which went on reducing and as of now it is only about 4 lakhs, in spite of multifold rise in production.
‘The Coal Mines Pension Scheme,’ 1998 provided Pension limited to 25% of emoluments subject to the Pensionable Service of 30 years. The emolument was computed on the average of last 10 months before retirement. If the Pensionable Service was less than 30 years there would be proportionate reduction in pension.
The clause 22 (3) of the Scheme, 1998 provides revision of pension as and when the pension fund permits.The clause 22(1) provided the valuation of the Pension Fund every third year by an Actuary.
There were four revisions of wages after the scheme came into being in 1998, during the years of 2001, 2006, 2011 and 2016. The Minimum wages for Category-1 Mazdoor in Coal Mines rose from Rs 1700 to Rs 30445=95 (as on 1-7-2016). However, there was NO REVISION OF PENSION FOR THE LAST 21 YEARS on the plea that the Fund did not permit the revision.
The Federation has claimed that it is the gross violation of the various provisions of Contract Labour (Regulation & Abolition ) Act 1971 . It resulted in huge profit to the Coal Companies. The profit of Coal India Ltd rose from Rs 1452 Crore in 1998-99 to Rs 27125 Crores in the year 2018-19. But the only sufferers remained were the retired Coal Miners.
In a press release, O P Miglani, General Secretary of the Federation informed that we received our Provident Fund contributed by the Management also, we have not placed our demand for ONE RANK ONE PESION. But we have been praying that we must be admitted ONE RANK HALF PENSION. The amount realised through levy would not be sufficient to meet our minimum requirement.