In this connection, the All India Association of Coal executives (AIACE) Delhi-NCR branch organized its general body meeting on 28/3/22 at India International Centre, Max Muller Road, New Delhi. The meeting was presided over by Sri R. B. Mathur, National President of AIACE, and Sri P K Sigh Rathor, Principal General Secretary graced the occasion as Chief guest. The meeting was co-hosted by the All India Coal Pensioners’ Association (AICPA).
It is a fact that since the start of pension under CMPS1998, in spite of the provision of its review, no increase has been done in the past and many coal employees are getting pensions as low as Rs 1000/-. Spouses of some deceased coal employees are even getting less than Rs 500/ as a monthly pension which is quite insufficient to have a bare minimum of daily food items and lead a life.
Sri P K Singh Rathor, Convenor, AIACE/AICPA said that non-implementation of revision and increase of pension payable in coal sector under CMPS-98 as a result of which it is stagnant since implementation 23 years ago. Sri Rathor further informed that delegations from local branches of AIACE/AICPA from coalfield areas of coal-bearing states are on the job of meeting local Members of Parliament (MP) to apprise them about the hardship of about 5 lakh coal pensioners and more than 50 lakhs of their family members. So far 50 MPs have been approached and the target is to meet 200 MPs in order to convince them of the gravity of the situation and the need to persuade the government to redressal of pension grievances.
All members expressed exclusively, how the pension once fixed at the time of retirement, is remaining constant for the entire life of the pensioner. Although the pension scheme provides review and revision every three years, it has never been done. On the intervention of PAC and CAG, some steps were initiated by the nodal ministry of coal from the year 2019, there is a long way to go and no time bar has been fixed for resolution. It has been highlighted that this pension is a contributory pension in nature, and retirees have been cheated grossly by the mismanagement of the pension fund. The government has nothing to bear the financial burden but only has to give clearance and directions to coal-producing companies for necessary fund management.
The body unanimously decided to go for a relay hunger strike from 25th July 2022 in New Delhi, if concrete steps are not worked out at the earliest.
All members present vowed their solidarity with AIACE to stand united in achieving the goal of pension revision where the only demand is One Grade – One pension for all.