Pensioners celebrate"29th PENSIONERS' DAY On 17TH DECEMBER 2011
Er.S.C. Maheshwari, Secy (Rly.).BPS
It was on the 17th December 1982, that the Supreme Court of India in a landmark judgment in the case of D.S. Nakara and others vs. Union of India, held that : Pension is neither a bounty nor a matter of grace depending upon the sweet will of the employer. It is not an ex gratia payment, but a payment for past services rendered.
Pensioners in India, therefore, celebrate this day as ‘Pensioners Day’ to salute and remember, with gratefulness, the late D.S. Nakra who fought for years to bring dignity and grace to the community, through this judgment.
On this day it is important to counter the contention: 1. That the pension of Government employee is a burden on the exchequer. 2. That the rapid growth observed in the pension payments is likely to pose a serious threat to fiscal sustainability & 3. That providing subsidy based pension program to a few people cannot be sustained in the long run.
Let the World Bank, the Government of India and the Indian Politicians understand that Indian Pension System is not subsidy based! It is a deferred wage!
“ In the context of civil servant pension payments, the principle guiding the fixation of pay package is one of intentionally spreading out the compensation over a long period of time, whereby the wages paid out during the course of work tenure is kept low by design, and the pension payments made during the retirement phase, compensate for the low working wages” ( Dr. K. Gayathri in a study sponsored by the Govt. of India). The Fifth Pay Commission argued : “it needs to be averred emphatically that pension is not in the nature of alms being doled out to beggars. The senior citizens need to be treated with dignity and courtesy befitting their age. Pension is their statutory, inalienable, legally enforceable right and the sweat of their brow has earned it. As such it should be fixed, revised, modified and changed in ways not entirely dissimilar to the salaries granted to serving employees."
As reported by PTI (Press Trust of India) on 27.02.2008, Dr. Montek Singh Aluwalia, Deputy Chairperson, Planning Commission, speaking with reference to the then impending report of 6th Central Pay Commission said, “Pay commissions were constituted once in ten years, the Government, he said was made to effect a big increase in salaries of its employees at the end of 10 years, as Dearness allowance / Dearness relief does not adequately take care of inflation. So at the end of 10 years, the Government will be benefitting from squeeze in real payout because DA/DR was never enough” While accepting Central Pay Commission recommendations, the Govt. divides the Pensioners on the basis of their date of retirement to further enhance the squeezing benefit in its own favour.Thus, the pension and its revision burden is, in fact, not a burden. Truly speaking, it is the mismanagement and mis-governance which is causing the pinch.