Nearly 2,000 employees of the Western Railway and Central Railway working in Mumbai will take part in a rally being organised at Ramlila Maidan in Delhi on August 10 against the National Pension Scheme (NPS).
According to officials, 1,500 employees of Central Railway and 500 from Western Railway that include motormen, guards, ticket checkers, trackmen and clerical staff will join the rally.
A dedicated 18-coaches express train — NPS Se Azaadi Special Train — booked by the Central Railway Mazdoor Sangh (CRMS), with the employees will leave for Delhi from Mumbai on August 8. Praveen Vajpayee, general secretary of CRMS, said the rally is very important as all semi-government and central government employees will be affected due to the enforcement of NPS.
As per officials, Mumbai has over 50,000 railway employees, of which 60 per cent would come under NPS. These employees have been working from 2004, when the NPS replaced the old pension scheme.
JR Bhosale, convenor, Joint Forum for Restoration of Old Pension Scheme (Maharashtra and Gujarat) and general secretary, Western Railway Employees Union, said that two meetings were held in Delhi with the finance minister and also with the committee formed to improvise the NPS. The committee will soon submit its report.
Bhosale said, “In Railways, the Pension Scheme was introduced in the 1950s and it should not be replaced. Giving pension is not a gift to the employees. Pension is a social security to the workers who served almost 35-40 years… Under NPS, the employees will get a meagre pension of Rs 1,000 or so… In the old pension scheme it would have been Rs 9,000 to Rs 10,000.”
Bhosale explained that earlier from an employee’s basic salary 8.33 per cent was recovered for pension, which has now been increased to 10 per cent, while 14 per cent is government share.