Railways new pension scheme not workable: AIRF

PUNE: The market-linked pension scheme would have 10 per cent contributory fund by Government and 10 per cent by the employees. In this, Government knows the money is being used, but the employee does not have any information regarding the use of its funds, said AIRF General Secretary, Shivagopal Mishra

The Government of India, in its different departments, has recruited over 5 lakh employees since 2004, including one lakh employees in the Indian Railways. The new officials and employees, recruited under the new pension scheme are not finding the new scheme workable.

The market-linked pension scheme would have 10 per cent contributory fund by Government and 10 per cent by the employees. In this, Government knows the money is being used, but the employee does not have any information regarding the use of its funds, said AIRF General Secretary, Shivagopal Mishra while addressing the press conference on Tuesday at the West Central Railway Employees’ Union (WCREU) office. He is in city to attend the Youth Zonal Conference of WCREU.

He added that the new pension scheme has various lapses. First, it is market-linked and has limited provisions for withdrawal. Its provision is against employee’s benefits that is benefits provisions would end if the service is not complete. On this issue, when the AIRF gave a notice of strike to the Government, the present Government constituted a committee to review the demands of AIRF. “We are demanding guarantee pension scheme for the employees that is 50 per cent of last salary. On death or permanent disability of the employee, the compensation should be given as per old scheme. On this, the Government has shown some positive response, while also, the committee constituted has given recommendations in this direction, asking the Government to accept this demand,” he said.

He further said that, every year, around 400 to 500 employees die on duty. In these incidents, a number of linemen and trackmen lose their lives. We are demanding that like the Indian Army has been exempted from the new scheme, the Indian Railways employees and officials should be exempted from the new pension scheme provisions.

Commenting on the outsourcing trending in Railways, Mishra strongly criticized the ongoing outsourcing and said that outsourcing of important works in Railways would not be tolerated. We are demand the Government to fill all 1.25 lakh vacancies in safety and security departments, as without manpower of Railways, proper instrumentation and equipment, the security of Railways is not possible, he added.

After recent incidents, the Government has ordered to fill all vacancies in Railways and now, following pressure, now again the decision is being reviewed. He lastly added that if Railways does not have any option for privatisation of every work, the AIRF would have no other option left, but to go on strike. He said, Railways is the lifeline of country’s economy. If we go on strike, it would add fuel to the ongoing impact of recession in the country.

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