Signature drive against privatisation

Staff Reporter

The Rs 2.4 lakh crore fund being managed by SBI

‘UPA has brought changes in the pension scheme’

VISAKHAPATNAM: The Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh has started a campaign of collecting one crore signatures against the decision of the Union Government to involve three private financial companies in the management of employees provident fund and pension funds.

The fund comprising Rs.2.4 lakh crores was being managed by the State Bank of India but the EPF Trustee meeting on July 29 found fault with the management of the fund. Besides the SBI, the management was assigned to HSBC, ICICI Prudential Asset Management. In spite of the opposition from the central trade unions, the Union Government not only approved the decision but with a selfish motive included Reliance Capital also in the managing companies.

BMLS State vice-president M. Jagadeeswara Rao and deputy general secretary E. Mutyalau recalled how employees had lost their hard-earned money when private companies managed PF funds abroad. They felt that the fund in the country would be adversely affected by the Central Government’s decision. Employees are apprehensive that the asset managers would invest the fund in the stock market.

The BMS leaders also alleged that the UPA Government had brought certain changes in the pension scheme unilaterally without discussing the issue in the Central Board of Trustees. The facility of commuting pension and return of capital have been withdrawn. For advance pension the cut has been increased from three per cent to four per cent. The PF contribution would not be given to workers if they quit a job within six months. Opposing the moves on PF and pension, the BMS has launched a campaign of collecting one crore signatures and as a part of it obtained 25,000 in the district.

Those who signed the memorandum included employees of Military Engineering Services, the Steel Plant, the shipyard, HPCL, NTPC, RTC, Naval Dockyard, Govada Sugar factory and Coromandel units. The signatures would be submitted to the President through the central BMS.

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