Eps 95 pension latest news 2021 today

Thanks to the contributor who has submitted this worth reading information in the media fo;r the benefit of the Eps 95 pensioners. This content is uploaded for the interested pensioners.

*(Please read this very carefully, only when you are leisurely.)*

I took pains to translate into English the relevant portions of a Malayalam article written by Sri.N.K.Premachandran, Lok Sabha MP, which was published in the Malayala Manorama daily dt. November 15, 2021 since it gives a brief picture of EPS-95 related issues to the reader.

Incidentally, Sri.Prema Chandran has a name in fighting issues and working for the cause of workers objectively and on their merits without going by party politics or any other considerations. He is a strong employee-friendly MP. I took pains to do the translation, given below, on account of the above reasons and since it is not a political article.

*Centre’s stance on EPF pension – Violation of human rights* 

The Employees Provident Fund Act of 1952 and the Employees’ Pension Scheme of 1995 were introduced in the country to ensure the welfare of the working class. While presenting the pension scheme, the then Labour Minister G.  Venkataswamy announced that the scheme would be revised every ten years and more benefits would be guaranteed.

However, the Central Government’s attitude towards EPF pensioners is against the objectives of the legislation.  It is the responsibility of the government to implement the provisions of the law passed by Parliament.  The government has violated these conditions. 

The workers approached the court against this and the court established the rights of pensioners.  Various High Courts and the Supreme Court in the country have ruled in favor of workers and pensioners.  The apex court also rejected a special petition filed by the Employees Provident Fund Organization (EPFO) against the verdict.

Workers and pensioners were relieved when the Kerala High Court and then the Supreme Court ruled in their favor after a long legal battle. But the central government has taken a stand denying justice to them.  The government declared an indirect war on workers and pensioners.

As the EPFO’ s appeal was rejected, the Central Government chose to directly file a petition in the Supreme Court. The move is embarrassing even to reactionary private managements. 

The government is well aware that if the case is heard and a verdict is pronounced, the pensioners will have to be paid a higher pension on the basis of actual salary.  What the Central Government is demanding now is a solution that is not even heard of in the Indian judicial system.

One argument is that the verdict in RC Gupta’s case given on October 4, 2016 was erroneous and should be left to a larger bench and the verdict should be reconsidered.  The verdict in fact does not consist of any constitutional issues that need to be reconsidered by the Constitutional Bench or the larger Bench.  The essence of the judgment is only that the right to a higher pension on the basis of actual salary cannot be denied under the existing legal system. 

There is a motive behind the argument that it should be left to the wider bench.  The strategy is to prolong the proceedings without a Supreme Court ruling for the lifetime of the vast majority of elderly pensioners.  Are such shabby tactics an adornment for the government?  This is an anti-labor approach that the government should not take in a country where democracy exists.

*Fifty thousand crores of rupees for what?*

The argument that the government will go bankrupt if a higher pension is given is also unfounded.  The concessions, facilities, and benefits are given to corporates during the first Modi government and the second government so far should be calculated.  It would not be necessary to pay as much to establish the rights of workers and pensioners. 

It should also be clarified how the remaining unclaimed half a lakh crore rupees in the EPF pension fund will be utilized.

The government is trying to shirk its responsibility by treating welfare schemes that are prescribed by law and validated by the courts as a financial liability. They are trying to get relief from the legal obligation of higher pension in the EPF case.

*EPF pensioners must be given the opportunity to live with dignity*

The EPFO ​​orders from 2014 onwards negate the purpose and objective of the EPF Act and the Pension Scheme and the essence of the legislation.  The court quashed the orders issued against the provisions of the Act. 

I introduced a private resolution in Parliament when the government pretended not to see the plight of EPF pensioners receiving nominal pensions despite rising inflation and cost of living.  Due to the seriousness of the issue, it received overwhelming support irrespective of party politics.

The demands were to increase the minimum pension, revise the commutation benefit, restore the full pension once the commuted amount is recovered, use the unclaimed funds for welfare schemes and provide a higher pension commensurate with actual salary. 

The House discussed the resolution in great detail.  Many assurances were given in Parliament. A high empowered monitoring committee was set up for comprehensive EPF reforms.  A recommendation was submitted to the Central Government including the increase in the minimum pension.

But no action has been taken till now to implement the recommendation made to the previous government.  If there is also a contribution from the government along with the amount collected by way of employees’ contribution and employer contribution, it would be possible to give a pension which can meet the urgent needs. 

The government has an obligation to provide seniors with the opportunity to live with dignity in the last days of their lives.  Denying it is a human rights violation.  The government is under the misconception that their strength in the Parliament is recognition for violation of the rights of the hapless.

The government who should be role models in the field of employment should stop prolonging the litigation to defeat the cause of the workers and pensioners .