Coal India Employee Association To Have Day-Long Protest On Pension Reforms
A worker carries a bag as he stands near sacks of coal at a coal wholesale market in Mumbai, India. (Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg)

Coal India Employee Association To Have Day-Long Protest On Pension Reforms

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An employee association of state-owned Coal India Ltd. and Singareni Collieries Company Ltd. on Sunday said it will go on a day-long protest in the national capital on Monday, over lack of pension reforms in the coal sector.

“The All India Association of Coal Executives, under the banner of All India Coal Pensioners Association (AICPA), will be organising one-day dharna by coal pensioners at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on Dec. 9 (Monday),” it said in a statement.

The association says that pension of Coal India and SCCL employees has not been reviewed since 1998 despite a provision requiring a review of the Coal Mines Pension Scheme every three years.

The Coal Mines Provident Fund and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1948, paved the way for creation of a statutory body Coal Mines Provident Fund Office to formulate and maintain a comprehensive pension scheme for coal employees for the welfare of retired employees in the coal sector.

"After passage of 50 years, a so-called sustainable pension scheme came into existence and is called CMPS-1998. Coal employers and executives are covered under CMPS-1998 which is effective from April 1, 1994... Despite the provision for review of the scheme every three years, it has not been done and pension once fixed at the time of retirement has never been increased since inception," the statement said.

As a result, even chairman and managing directors of state-owned coal companies, such as CIL, who retired before 1997 are receiving a monthly pension of only Rs 1,000-Rs 3,000 per month.

"Whereas even the lowest-level employees of both the PSUs -- CIL and SCCL -- retiring today get more than Rs 10,000 per month as pension due to increase in salary in 2007 and 2017 pay revision for executives and different NCWA (National Coal Wage Agreement) over the last 20 years," the statement said.

Since inception of the scheme 21 years ago, not even once the pension has been enhanced, the statement said.

Since CMPS 1998 is a government-notified scheme, the Centre must pitch in to bail out the scheme by levying a cess on coal production in the country.

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