RBI staff to take mass leave on September 4 and 5

The employees are protesting against the Government’s firm stance on pension updation.

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With the Centre refusing to budge on its decision regarding updation of pension, the staff and officers of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) have decided to take two days’ leave, enmass, on September 4 and 5.

The United Front of Reserve Bank Officers and Employees (UFRBOE) said that they have tried peaceful means and persuasion but the authorities have not yielded.

According to UFRBOE leaders, while successive RBI governors as well as its Central Board have time and again taken up the matter with the Centre, nothing concrete has resulted.

There is now a pension corpus fund—Rs 16,000 crore— that the RBI has created from its contribution towards the employees’ provident fund. The same would suffice to cover the pension updation costs, without putting any pressure on the national treasury, which is not the case when it comes to the issue of retirees from the Central Government.

About seven years back, the RBI had put in a formal request to the Central Government to permit the extension of one option for retirees who were open to switching to pension keeping in mind the increase in pension regulations and wage revisions.

Three years later, in 2014, the RBI suggested that the pension amount of old and suffering pensioners be bettered.

In 2017, the Parliamentary Committee on Subordinate Legislation universally suggested that the RBI should be permitted to extend one more option of pension. It stated that the RBI had the power to enhance its pension scheme; and that the Centre’s arbitrary stand in this matter was rather unusual and illegal.

The Centre returned the report which was submitted to it.

Referring to the Parliamentary Committee Report, in October last year, the RBI Governor sent a formal note to the Central Government, suggesting that the RBI sought to improve pension and offer option.

The Central Government argues that if they approve the RBI proposal, expenses will go up and give rise to other problems, which is a very weak argument according to the UFRBOE.

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