Saturday, July 20, 2013

Inaugural Key note address by S.C. Maheshwari Secy. General Bharat Pensioners Samaj at AIFPA 34th annual Conference at Chennai on 19/07/2013

Dignitaries on the Dias; Brothers & Sisters,
I congratulate AIFPA, Its management, affiliates & members on having completed 34 years in the service of Pensioners I wish the Federation all the success in the coming years.
Ladies  & Gentlemen,
In a  socialistic state the gap between have not’s & haves should go on reducing progressively. But here we are in the reverse gear, the gap between have not & haves is increasing progressively. Speaking about pensioners pay commission after pay commission has shredded this basic fiber of a socialistic State. After every pay commission the gap between poorer & richer pensioners has increased either due to the recommendations of pay commissions or by the Govt. action thereafter.
Take for instance, the case of  pre revised Scale 31 whose last maximum was Rs 26000  but got  revised minimum as Rs75500 i.e. a jump of more than 2.9 times over the pre-revised maximum which resulted in minimum revised pension for pre 2006 retirees going up to Rs 37750 that is more than the maximum of pre revised scale. In other words,  more than 3.37times rise in minimum pension. Whereas, all others in pre revised Scales S4 to S23 got a raise much less than this in their minimum pension.
In- fact, so far every CPC has done partiality between Direct & Departmental cadre creating a deep divide  . More benefits have been bestowed to the persons of Director & above level.
But enough is enough. Let us today take a pledge, not to let it happen anymore.
Ladies & gentlemen, ‘We cannot predict the future but we can definitely build it’
 with 7th CPC around the corner mobilization to build sufficient pressure is very essential to ensure that no injustice is done to exiting pensioners and that all existing pensioners irrespective of pre retirement status get equal % rise in Pension.
Ladies & gentlemen, there is un-bridled inflation in the country’s economy for the past several years.  Prices of essential commodities have been sky-rocketing.  It is becoming increasingly difficult for the pensioners to make their both ends meet within their meager pensions.  Pensions and family pension’s revised w.e.f., 1.1.2006, as per VI CPC’s recommendations have become irrelevant with steep erosion in their real values due to continuous inflationary spiral. Dearness relief paid is not adequate as only 80% as against over 160% of actual inflation is granted as DR.  The government has not taken necessary steps to protect the pensioners by way of granting  50% DR merger or appointing VII CPC announcing suitable interim relief.  The government has also been stonewalling many of our genuine demands such as full parity between pre & post 2006 pensioners, enhancement of fixed medical allowance to Rs 2000/, restoration of commuted pension after 12 years, age related–additional pension from 65 years of age onwards etc.  The rate of pension & family pension remains static since long.  The ex-gratia rates for CPF, SRPF &Pension of EPS 95 retirees and their families remain very low.  There are several other problems which need immediate and urgent attention of the government.  Housing and transport situation in the country is becoming more and more acute and without suitable allowance it will be difficult for pensioners to cope with the situation. 
Ladies & Gentlemen, Next decade is going to be of struggle not only for pensioners but for the entire community of Sr Citizens  and as  the Struggle is not going to be easy, organizations will have to determine whether co-operation is a better model or conflict is. We will need mass support, favorable public opinion and media’s backing. In this age of Globalization going alone does not help. Today inclusiveness & not individualism is required.
When ‘I’ is replaced by we even ‘illness’ becomes wellness
Keeping together is progress but working together is success that is why BPS , AIFPA, NFRP Palghat & AICCPA have come together to struggle jointly & severally for our main demand i.e
Full parity between pre 2006 & post2006 Pensioners, equal percentage rise in pension of all pensioners, free, easy & adequate super specialty health care for all, Rs 2000/-pm FMA linked to inflation but w/o distance restriction, restoration of commutation in 12 years, Automatic merger of 50% DR whenever it rises beyond 50%, additional old age pension from the age of 65 years & above, liberal travel facilities to all pensioners with free companion in the same class for 75+ pensioners, full applicability of new benefits to existing pensioners, 60% of last drawn as pension & correspondingly 40% family pension instead of existing 30%, Time bound system of grievance redress with punitive clause & monitoring at every stage , up-gradation of SCOVA to JCM level.
Bharat Pensioners Samaj is holding its 58th Annual Conference on 17.11.2013 at  Keyes High School, Secunderabad .
Friends, this conference will be taking place at a very crucial juncture in the history of pensioners’ movement, in the country.  It acquires added significance as the general elections will be only a few months away. 
This Conference will not only deal with all the above mentioned and other issues but will also endeavor to bring together more & more pensioners’ organizations in the country to launch a joint movement for the achievement of our just demands.
I therefore, appeal to one and all to rise to the occasion and extend full and unstinted co-operation and support to make 58th conference of BPS a great success by way of your physical participation.

Jai Hind.
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