The Kerala government, earlier this month, replaced the “Defined benefit based” pension scheme by the “Defined contribution based” pension scheme. State government employees went on a six-day strike to protest against the new scheme, which was introduced without taking the employees’ views into consideration
The six-day old strike by state government staff and teachers in Kerala, which was called off on 14th January, was the first serious agitation against replacement of the “Defined benefit based” pension scheme in government service by the “Defined contribution based” pension scheme, through the back door. As all strikes so far by government employees in India, the calling off was just a face-saving compromise, without much result to report home. Still, the issues the strike successfully brought to surface and the eagerness of the state government to somehow get back the employees for work, makes the six-day strike a cause for a re-look at the New Pension System. It was introduced by the Centre for central government employees, excluding majority of defence employees from 2004, legislative support for which is still ‘hanging’. Kerala finance minister KM Mani reportedly had negotiations with employees’ representatives till 12.40am on 13th January night which was followed with a wrap-up discussion between employees’ leaders and chief minister Oomen Chandy which lasted till 1.40am the next day.
There was broad understanding between the government and employees on the following:
Whatever be the arguments in defence of the CPS, a time-tested social security arrangement, available to a section of employees, is being dismantled without any credible alternative system in place. When one refers to social security arrangement, one has in mind all pensionary benefits including family pension. While in the private sector and profit-making public sector undertakings, employees have an opportunity to bargain and settle remunerations based on their skill and market realities, government employees and those employed in quasi-government and statutory bodies are a helpless lot, whose bargaining power is stifled in the name of public interest. It is in this context that they deserve special treatment, at least in respect of social security arrangements like pensionary benefits. The cost savings for the Government of Kerala, if any, will accrue only from the date of retirement of the first employee who joins after 31 March 2013. Till such time, there will be an additional outgo to the extent of the employer’s contribution to the fund in respect of employees joining service from 1 April 2013.
As for the central scheme, NPS has not been made applicable to defence employees who constitute a major proportion of central government employees.
To access other articles by MG Warrier, please click here.
(MG Warrier is a freelancer based in Thiruvananthapuram.)
According to VK Jain, president of the Midas Touch Investors Association, the minutes of the Investors’ Association meeting held on 21st December does not reflect the deliberations held, as it omits reporting of important matters and specific issues raised by IAs and the response from SEBI officials
As written by Moneylife, the attitude of the Securities & Exchange Board of India (SEBI) towards investors is best reflected in the shoddy manner in which it conducted a meeting with representatives of accredited investor associations (IAs) on 21 December 2012. Now what has come as a shocker is that the minutes of the meeting are elusive on important issues raised by IAs and replies provided by SEBI officials.
According to VK Jain, president of the Midas Touch Investors Association, the minutes of the meeting does not include important matters and specific issues raised by IA representatives.
It looks as if the minutes mention only issues that were discussed in the presence of SEBI chairman UK Sinha. Issues discussed after Mr Sinha left the meeting are rounded off in just one sentence. Here are the issues that were on the agenda...
Item No. 3 Application of Regulation 69 of the SEBI (Collective Investment Scheme) Regulations, 1999
Item No. 4 Penalty on audit firms and compensation to small investors
Item No. 5 Penalty structure for brokers and sub brokers (authorized persons) not to be identical
Item No. 6 Considering establishment of uniform listing agreement for all exchanges
Item No. 7 Issues relating to independent directors
Item No. 8 Redressal of investor complaints
Item No. 9 Any other item with permission of chair
And here is what SEBI says about it in the minutes... “Item No. 3 to 9 was discussed during the meeting and it was assured that the respective departments of SEBI would look into these items.”
We are wondering which respective department of SEBI would look into point no.9!
You may want to read details of the meeting that reflects how SEBI treats investor associations here
Here are the minutes sent by SEBI...
The regulator has asked insurance companies to lay down procedures to carry out the due...