It is to be hailed in full measure that the Central Government has since taken a decision to equalise pension rates based on the rank, i.e. the same rank and the same pension applicable to all the three wings of army, navy and air retirees. This extends benefit to around 21lakhs of the retired personnel from defence in the country involving an expenditure of 2300 crores of rupees. The benefits so extended are to apply to all of them who retired 2 years before January’2006 or thereafter. Family pension has been raised from 30% to 60% with an otherwise a liberal formula of fitment. Full details are still awaited, but apparently what has been cleared by the Central Government considerably takes care of the demands of the ex defence personnel which were pending for a long time.
Central Government has been generous enough to meet the demands of their workforce and it appears to have been followed in the same measure in the case of retirees from defence forces. It’s nice, but why the type of generosity so extended by the government is miserably lacking when it comes to other organisations, say like banking, in whose case they are behaving as so miser. Pension case in respect of State Bank employees is hanging in the balance for a pretty long time and now it is pending disposal at the level of the Supreme Court of India, where Central Government is directly involved. No organisation in any public undertakings in India has number of anomalies in respect of pension equal to, nay even near it, those obtaining in State Bank of India. Disparities are there at every level, be it the case of routine retirees, or those who retired under Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS). Fitment formula varies from one bi-partite talks level settlement to another. Equitable uniformity is lacking at all stages. The problem with the retirees is that they are a lot surviving at the fag end of their life and obviously they can’t be supposed to be the ones who can wait for suitable decisions in their case for decades. If equality is aimed at meaning really as something, why parity should be denied to banking industry, in particular State Bank of India, the oldest banking organisation in the country which was the first to introduce pension for its employees in the country. Why the policy of updation formula in respect of determining pension, like it is obtaining at Reserve Bank of India, can’t be extended to State Bank of India?