Saturday, December 16, 2017

Serious concern of Bank Pensioners and Retirees over the provisions of FRDI Bill 2017

We reproduce below the circular issued by AIBPARC on the above subject
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Ref. No. AIBPARC/FRDI/2017                           11.12.2017.
 To,
The Director, (CB-I & JCS),
Lok Sabha Secretariat,
Room No. 339, 3rd Floor,
Parliament House Annexe,
New Delhi-110001.
Dear Sir,
Sub : Serious concern of Bank Pensioners and Retirees over the provisions of FRDI Bill 2017
Our attention has been drawn to the notification forming Joint Parliamentary Committee with Sri Bhupender Yadav, Member of the Parliament, as its head. In the said notification, views and suggestions of various stake holders and public at large have been sought for. In pursuance of the same, we are submitting our views in duplicate (as desired) to you for handing over the same to the Head of the Committee. Our
views on the subject are noted hereunder :
1) In banks, the pension which is fixed on the date of retirement remains frozen and the same is not revised with signing of Bipartite settlement which makes revision of wages/salary of the serving people. The pensioners and retirees are raising the voice in different forum to impress upon the need to update pension periodically. It may appear to you that how the subject is relevant to the provisions of FRDI Bill, 2017 and we request you to read the undernoted paragraph which will make it relevant to the context.
2) As pension is not upwardly revised, the retirees have to depend on the interest income of deposits kept by them mostly in those banks from where they have retired. This deposited amount is mostly his savings and superannuation benefits which he managed to save through a lot of difficulty to take care of his needs in the advanced years of life. The most pathetic part of the whole story is that the rate of interest on bank’s term deposits is dwindling day by day and the real income of a pensioner is reduced by every  ownward
revision of interest. When a pensioner expires, he leaves an insignificant amount for his spouse or his successors.
3) In the context of the above 2 positions, the FRDI Bill, 2017 came as a rude shock. The pensioners and retirees are suffering from terrific anxiety and anguish to think that his hard earned money which is kept as a bank deposit may evaporate by certain decisions of the government and he might stand penniless on the street. It is an established fact that the serving employees and the retired personnel are in no way responsible for the huge burden of NPA and resultant provision to take care of such NPAs. If a look is given to the topmost defaulters of loan of any bank, it would be evident who exactly are these persons and by whom they are actually favoured. The burden of so called bad-health of the bank can never be shifted on the shoulder of present and former employees. The real cause of worry lies in the “Bail-in” Clause of the failing financial institutions. It provides the use of depositors fund to shore up the financial condition of a failing institution. This clause also includes a provision of cancelling the liability owed by a specified service provider and also modifying or changing the form of liability owed by a specific service provider. Bank deposits are a form of liability on which bank has to pay interest. This change of form of liability might adversely affect the safety and security of funds kept by a pensioner or a retiree in the form of bank deposit. The bail in clause matters us because it formalizes the risk associated with depositing of money with the banks. It will completely shake the confidence of the common man on the entire banking and very adversely affect the interest of pensioners and retirees.
For us, it is a question of life and death.
We call upon all the members of JPC to please see that the proposed bill is not passed in the Parliament.
JPC will please consider the terrific latent danger which lies in the provision of bail-in. We thoroughly oppose the bill in general and the bail-in clause in particular. Our demand is that the balance lying in the S/B Account should continue to be payable on demand and the amount lying in term deposit should be made payable as per terms and conditions of the account and under no circumstances, a portion of it or full of it should be converted into share, debenture etc.
This is for kind consideration.
Yours faithfully,
( SUPRITA SARKAR )
ACTING GENERAL SECRETARY
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Monday, December 4, 2017

Awaiting Supreme Court Judgement on 100 per cent DA


Circular by AIBRF on the above subject is reproduced below
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 Ref:2017/127                                              Date:02.12.2017


    The Office Bearers/ Central Committee Members/ State Body Chiefs
    A.I.B.R.F.

    Dear Comrades,

                     Re: AIBRF INTERVENTION APPLICATION IN SUPREME
                       COURT IN THE MATTER OF 100 DEARNESS ALLOWANCE
                    Re: Awaiting Supreme Court judgement.

We request you to refer our last  circular no 2017/93 dated 31.08.2017 issued  on the above subject.

3.We may inform the membership that Supreme Court judgement in the above intervention application of AIBRF and SLP of United Bank is still awaited. More than 3 months have passed since the matter was last argued on 01-08-2017, 02-08-2017 and 23-08-2017 and submission of written by AIBRF on 31.08.2017. In view of the delay of 3 months in delivering the judgement and time being taken is more than expected, members’ anxiety is on increase on passing of each day. We appreciate the anxiety and eagerness of the membership in this important matter.

4. We wish to inform that we are in regular touch with our advocates and are monitoring the matter closely. We have been advised by our advocates  that some time because of work pressure and the complicated issues involved in the case, time taken in delivering the judgement is  longer than expected. In our this case, as you know, many unusual developments liking recalling earlier dismissed SLPs, two contradictory judgments of high courts have taken place. Therefore time being taken for delivering the judgement is more than normal.

5. We request the membership to keep pertinence and pray for favourable decision. We shall advise the date of the judgement as soon announced by Supreme Court Registry and informed to our advocates.       
                                        
                        With Warm Regards,      
                                                                         Yours Sincerely,
                                                     
                                                                   
                                                                       ( S.C.JAIN)
                                                                GENERAL SECRETARY
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Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Discrepancies in the ( Amendment ) Regulations, 2017 notified on 6th November, 2017 in the Gazette of India

We reproduce below the letter on the above subject.
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C N VENUGOPALAN
 Former Director (GOI Nominee) State Bank of Travancore & Ex Manager Union Bank of India
 “Nandanam”  Kesari Junction, North Paravur, Kerala -683 513   Mob: 9447747994
 E – Mail: ceeyenvee@gmail.com
 No. MOF :171113                                                                 13th November, 2017

The Secretary (Banking),
Government of India, Ministry of Finance,
Department of Financial Services,
Jeevan Deep Building, New Delhi – 110 001

Sir,

Notification No. 428 in the gazette dated 6th November, 2017 –
Union Bank of India (Employees’) Pension (Amendment) Regulations, 2017

I write to bring to your attention the discrepancies in the above Pension ( Amendment ) Regulations, 2017 notified on 6th November, 2017 in the Gazette of India for doing appropriate corrigendum notification as the contents are unlawful besides being disastrous and detrimental to the subjects of the regulations and infringes their fundamental rights on the following grounds:
1.    The notification is issued in the name of the Ministry of Finance, Department of Financial Services and it bears the authorization of Shri. R R Mohanty, General Manager (HR).  Whereas there is no such designation in the Department of Financial Services, the matter is to be regularized.

2.    Regulation 3.4 originally stood as :
3.  Application: These regulations shall apply to employees who:
    (4) join the services of the Bank on or after the notified date
          This was substituted vide clause 3 of the notification as:
    (4) join the services of the Bank on or after the notified date and on or before the 31st day of March, 2010.
All employees who joined after the notified date were entitled to the benefit of pension vide sub-regulation 3 (4).  This statutory benefit was cut away with retrospective effect in respect of employees who joined after 31st March 2010 through the amendment without the approval of the Legislature.  This is in gross derogation of section.19.1. and 19.4 of the Act,  pursuant to which the Pension Regulations were made, which are cited under clause 5 below.
THE SUBSTITUTION VIDE CLAUSE 3 OF THE NOTIFICATION HAS THE EFFECT OF MAKING THE EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM CONTAINED IN THE NOTIFICATION THAT “INTEREST OF NO PERSON SHALL BE ADVERSELY AFFECTED BY SUCH RETROSPECTIVE EFFECT” FALSE AS THE INTEREST OF EMPLOYEES WHO JOINED AFTER 31.03.2010 IS DETRIMENTALLY AFFECTED BY CUTTING AWAY THE RIGHT TO PENSION.

3.    Sub-regulation 10 of regulation 3 reads as :
Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-regulations (2), (5), (6) and (8), in cases where an employee had retired /died after retirement on or after the 1st day November, 1993, but on or before the 1st day of April,1995, or where an employee had died while in service of the bank on or after the 1st day of November,1993, but on or before 1st day of April, 1995, such an employee or the family of the deceased employee, as the case may be, shall refund within the period specified in aforesaid sub-regulation the entire amount of the bank contribution to the Provident Fund including interest accrued thereon with a further simple interest at the rate of six percent per annum on the said amount from the date of settlement of the provident fund account till the date of refund of the aforesaid amount to the bank or till the 1st day of April, 1995, whichever is earlier.
The notification states that after sub-regulation 10, the following sub-regulations shall be inserted namely:
(11) were in the service of the Bank prior to the 29th September, 1995 and continue in the services of the Bank as on the 27th April, 2010 provided such employee meets the requirements and comply with the conditions laid down in the settlement;
(12) were in the service of the Bank prior to the 29th September, 1995 and retired after that date and prior to 27th April, 2010 provided such employee meets the requirements and comply with the conditions laid down in the settlement;
(13) were in the service of the Bank prior to the 29th September, 1995 and retired after that date and had died in which case their family shall be entitled to the pension or the family pension as the case may be under these regulations, if the family of the deceased meets the requirements and complies with the conditions laid down in the settlement;
(14) were in the service of the Bank prior to the 29th September, 1995 and died while in service of the Bank after that date in which case their family shall be entitled to the pension or the family pension as the case may be under these regulations, if the family of the deceased meet the requirement and comply with the conditions laid down in the settlement.
In the first place, the newly notified sub-regulations 11 to 14 are not co-related to regulation 3 or to sub-regulation 10 and fail to convey any sense.  This apart, there is no mention of any settlement  in the preamble, definitions or in any regulations, linking the “settlement” to any regulation. 
Secondly, if regulations 11 to 14 are linked to regulation 10, and the Joint Note dated 27.04.2010 is presumed as the settlement, it has the following effects:
a)    In terms of sub regulation 10, retired employee had to pay back CPF along with simple interest at six percent till its refund or till 01.04.1995, whoever was earlier to opt for pension.
b)    In terms of sub-regulations 11 to 14, they have to pay back the CPF paid on retirement along with 56 percent of it to opt for pension.

The new sub-regulations 11 to 14 prejudice the Principle Regulations thus and render them unwarranted in terms of section 19.1.and 19.4 of the Act pursuant to which the Pension Regulations were put in place.
THIS TOO HAS THE EFFECT OF MAKING THE EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM CONTAINED IN THE NOTIFICATION FALSE AS THE INTEREST OF THE RETIRED EMPLOYEES IS DETRIMENTALLY AFFECTED.
Thirdly, the last date of option for pension in terms of regulation 3 for any category of employee / family of employee was 120 days from the notification of the principle regulations on 29.09.1995 which ended on 26.01.1996.  In other words no one can be given an option in terms of the settlement, after the last date of option viz. 26.01.1996 without amending regulation 3 suitably. The options given under the settlement and pension paid on their basis from 27.11.2009 continues to be unlawful, thus affecting the interest of the members of the Pension Fund who opted before 26.01.1996.
4.    Per clause 4 of the notification, after the proviso of the regulation 28 of the said regulations, the following proviso is inserted,  namely:
“Provided further that employees who ceased to be in service on or after 29th September, 1995 on account of voluntary retirement before attaining the age of superannuation but after rendering service for a minimum period of 15 years in accordance with the Scheme framed in this regard by the Board with the approval of the Government, shall be entitled to join the Pension Fund, subject to the compliance of the terms and conditions mentioned in the Scheme”.
In terms of gazette notification dated 13th July, 2002, conveyed by Staff Circular No.4904 dated 8th October, 2002 of the Bank, the following clause was inserted below regulation 28 earlier, namely:
“Provided that, with effect from 1st day of September, 2000, pension shall also be granted to an employee who opts to retire before attaining the age of superannuation but after rendering service for a minimum period of 15 years in terms of any scheme that may be framed for such purpose by the Board with the approval of the Government.”.
It is not known as to whether the insertion in terms of clause 4 of the notification is meant to be inserted before the insertion of 13th July, 2002 or after it.  Whereas pension also became payable with effect from 1st September, 2000 through insertion dated 13th July, 2002 to employees retired through voluntary retirement without complying with the “terms and conditions mentioned in the scheme”, compliance with the terms and conditions of the scheme sought through the new insertion is prejudicial to the regulation in force.  THOUGH EMPLOYEES WHO OPTED AND RETIRED THROUGH VOLUNTARY RETIREMENT BECAME ELIGIBLE TO PENSION FROM 01.09.2002, PENSION WAS NOT PAID TO THEM IN DEROGATION OF THE AMENDMENT OF 13.07.2002.
5.    In terms of regulation 7 of the regulations notified on 29.09.1995, the Pension Fund can receive only the components specified in it which excludes a contribution from the employee other than the initial transfer of his CPF balance. Regulations 5.3 mandates that the Bank shall ensure that sufficient sums are placed in it to enable the trustees to make due payments to the beneficiaries under the regulations besides regulation 11 stipulating additional annual contributions to the Fund by the Bank on the basis of an Actuarial valuation.  Evidently, the terms and conditions of the settlement referred to in the notification dated 6th November, 2017 prejudice all the regulations viz. 7, 5.3 and 11 and prescribes contributions to Pension Fund to the tune of 2.8 times salary for November, 2007 in the case of employees in service and 56 percent of CPF paid on retirement in the case of retired employees their detriment. THIS IS YET ANOTHER ILLUSTRATION MAKING THE EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM CONTAINED IN THE NOTIFICATION FALSE AS THE INTEREST OF THE RETIRED EMPLOYEES IS DETRIMENTALLY AFFECTED.  The settlement prejudice the extant regulations and make it unfit to be laid in the Houses of the Parliament vide section 19.1 and 19.4 of the Banking Companies (Acquisition & Transfer of Undertakings) Act, 1970/1980 pursuant to which the Pension Regulations were stamped by the Parliament.  The relative sections of the Act violated are reproduced in clause 5 infra.

6.    Per clause 8 (a) of the notification,  sub-regulation 52 (1) was substituted with the following:

“Except in the case of an employee to whom provisions of regulation 34 or regulation 46 apply, a pension other than family pension shall become payable from the date following the date on which an employee retires”  

Per clause 8 (b) in the notification in relation to regulation 52, it is stated that in sub-regulation (3), the following proviso shall be inserted, namely:-
“Provided that pension including family pension to those who opted to join the Bank Employees’ Pension Scheme on or after the 27th April, 2010 shall be payable with effect from the 27th November, 2009”.
Sub-regulation 3 of regulation 52 reads as:
“Pension including family pension shall be payable for the day on which its recipient dies”.
The new insertion in terms of the notification has no relevance to the sub-regulation 3 which pertains to and delineates the day till which pension is payable.
Even after carrying out the clause 8 (a) substitution, a pension other than family pension shall become payable from the date following the date on which an employee retires and this has not been paid to employee to whom provisions of regulation 34 or regulation 46 apply.  This apart, the clause 8 (b) insertion in sub-regulation 3 serves no useful purpose as it relates to the last day for which pension is payable. 
7.    Relative sections of Banking Companies (Acquisition & Transfer of Undertakings) Act, 1970/1980 referred to earlier lays down as follows:
Section 19.1
The Board of Directors of a corresponding new bank may, after consultation with the Reserve Bank and with the previous sanction of the Central Government by notification in the Official Gazette make regulations, not inconsistent with the provisions of this Act or any scheme made thereunder, to provide for all matters for which provision is expedient for the purpose of giving effect to the provisions of this Act.
Section 19.4
Every regulation shall, as soon as may be after it is made under this Act by the Board of Directors of a corresponding new bank, be forwarded to the Central Government and that government shall cause a copy of the same to be laid before each House of Parliament, while it is in session, for a total period of thirty days which may be comprised in one session or in two or more successive sessions, and if, before the expiry of the session immediately following the session or the successive sessions aforesaid, both Houses agree in making any modification in the regulation or both Houses agree that the regulation should. not be made, the regulation shall thereafter have effect only in such modified form or be of no effect, as the case may be; so, however, that any such modification or annulment shall be without prejudice to the validity of anything previously done under that regulation.

8.    As the Board of Directors of the Bank has no powers to make amendments inconsistent with the Act and any modification or amendment to a regulation shall only be without prejudice to the validity of anything previously done under the regulation in terms of sections 19.1.and 19.4 of the Act, the terms of the settlement with special reference to clause 3 and 4 supra are unsustainable.  Hence the notification dated 6th November, 2017 which constitutes an affront to the Legislature and to the Constitution of India is to be repealed.


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Click here to view Notification in Gazette of India
Click here to view letter to Secretary (Banking),MOF, GOI






Tuesday, November 21, 2017

IBA is covered under RTI Act

According to decision of double bench of Central Information commission IBA qualifies to be public authority under RTI Act 2005. The commission directed IBA to designate an official of the IBA as CPIO at the earliest as per provisions of Section 5 of RTI Act 2005 and also to comply with the Section 4 of RTI Act 2005, within 4 weeks of the receipt of the order of commission.


Click here to view full order




Friday, November 10, 2017

Group Insurance Policy for Retirees Changes in list of TPAs - Letter to IBA by GS AIBRF


We reproduce below the letter written to IBA by GS AIBRF
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Ref:2017/120                                                         Date:06.11.2017
 
    The Chief Executive
    Indian Banks’ Association
    Mumbai

    Dear Sir
                            Re: Group Insurance Policy for Retirees
                                   Changes in list of TPAs
     
    We find that United India Insurance Company Limited, lead insurer under iba group policy for bank retirees has recently made many changes in the list of TPAs. We have yet to see official communication from IBA/ UIICL.

2. Because of the changes in TPAs panel done  by the insurance company , our members are facing many practical  problems  in availing cashless facility under hospitalisation as well as settlement of claims under reimbursement putting the members under severe hardship in getting timely treatment and financial pressure because of undue delay in settlement of claims. Insurance company may have their own reasons and logic for effecting the changes , but ultimately problems are being faced by the retirees. As you are aware the retirees who have taken this group policy include family pensioners super senior citizens getting ex-gratia payments, non-pensioners with very limited income and have with lot of constraints  shelled out heavy  insurance premium form Rs.  13000 to 36000 are put to very difficult and unimaginable situation when they face refusals from approved hospitals on approaching for treatment because of change of TPAs and existing TPAs refuse approvals. This situation is turning in to serious human problem for senior citizen and beyond tolerance.

3. Otherwise also, services of UIICL/TPAs are not satisfactory and of late  dissatisfaction level among retirees have gone up very high. There is general complaint that claims are kept pending for approval for 3 months and beyond. Even after getting approvals from TPAs, actual credit takes  another 60 to 90 days. There is need for urgent steps to take corrective action for improving the situation. IBA being sponsor of the scheme as welfare measure for retirees need to take immediate action in this area instead leaving it on the mercy of the insurance company/ insurance broker completely.

4. We wish to meet you and appraise with the  situation with various data and documents. We shall be glad if you will kindly give us appointment on priority basis.

 
                             
              With Warm Regards.
                                                                      Yours Sincerely,
                                                           
                                                                 
                                                                       ( S.C.JAIN)
                                                                GENERAL SECRETARY

c.c to UFBU Convenor & Constituents.

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