Rajan regrets he didn't do what he could do for RBI retirees

Expresses hope the government will do the ‘right thing’
Raghuram Rajan may not be RBI Governor any more but he might just have sown fresh hopes in the minds of Reserve Bank retirees that their long-pending demand for pension updation would get a fresh look-in.
The hopes stem from the former Governor’s expression of regret in his book, I do what I do, for his failure to do what he probably could, with respect to pension updation in the RBI.
On page 211 of the book, Rajan states as follows: “...On the internal front, my biggest regret is that I could not solve a long-pending matter that I inherited from my predecessors: securing for retired RBI staff the same pension benefits that government employees enjoy, despite repeated government assurances that the matter would be addressed. I hope the government will do the right thing here...”
Periodically augmented

The RBI had committed to its employees through a circular of March 13,1992, that pension will be revised as and when serving employees’ wages are revised.
The pension fund maintained was periodically augmented taking into account current and future liabilities towards payment of committed pension.
Pension updation was granted on wage revisions effected in 1987, 1992 and 1997 in the RBI. Therefore, pre-1997 retirees continue to draw the benefits of pension revision.
The status quo was disturbed when the Centre later told the RBI that it had no powers to revise pension without seeking its prior approval.
Senior citizens’ group

This put a cloud over the wage revision decisions of 2002 and 2007, which stays unresolved till date. The issue affects a senior citizens’ group comprising a few ex-gratia beneficiaries (aged 90 plus), family pensioners and pensioners numbering a few thousand.
The RBI maintains a pension fund created out of surrendered value of its contribution to provident fund, otherwise payable to employees, and additional contributions from its income every year based on actuarial calculations to meet present and future pension liabilities.
“Among retirees who have died and those who survive are individuals who have contributed to the RBI’s growth and reputation, which, if converted into ‘equity’ would get converted to several crores considering its present value,” says a retiree.
Another wrote to the Governor, saying, “The waiting has been gruelling. It would be graceful on the part of the bank to be kind enough to give the final word, positive or otherwise, without further delay and allow us the luxury of a peaceful exit.”

The book "I do what I do" is a must read for anyone interested in understanding RBI's role or what Rajan has done to refocus India's central bank to perform it's mandated role better.
M G Warrier


S.K.Gupta said…
Respected Sir,

It's ironical that the bank retirees have virtually become an 'orphan' to whom neither the RBI nor the Govt of India is willing to 'adopt' when it comes to their Pension Updation. Significantly, mere passing of buck is going on since long but there seems to be no light at the end of tunnel if one believes in what the Bank management says. While the ball currently lies in the court of the Govt of India which seems to be totally disinterested in listening to the genuine voices of thousands of Ex-RBItes but its incumbent upon the RBI to "convince" the govt about the reasonableness of our long pending demand. When the govt can periodically update the Pension of millions of its own employees one fails to comprehend the rationale behind its not acceding to the similar request from the RBI employees more so when the granting approval to such a demand would not cause any financial burden on the Public exchequer. In any case, the fact remains that the studded silence of the Finance Ministry over this key issue is causing severe heart burning among the bank retirees. Are they NRIs? Moreover, the continued departure of several senior retirees for their heavenly abode at the regular intervals have also failed to 'melt the ice' at the level of the presumably stone hearted officials at MoF.

Kumar Gupt said…
There can't be any justification for his crying over the split milk now. One wishes that he had "honoured" his own words which he so proudly quotes "I do whatever I do" instead of keeping the RBI retirees hopefully waiting till his last day in office as the RBI Governor. Reasonably speaking, he too opted to walk into the shoes of his predecessors like D.subba Rao and others. What an irony?

Kumar Gupt

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