The Finance Minister, Mr Pranab Mukherjee, has decided to extend pension to regional rural bank (RRB) staff at a par with the existing scheme available in the banking industry.

The decision was arrived based on a bipartite settlement on Wednesday, said Mr Dilip Kumar Mukherjee, Secretary General, All-India Regional Rural Bank Employees’ Association (AIRRBEA). The draft pension scheme will be prepared soon, he said.

“Currently we get a very small amount as pension and that too without any dearness allowance. Once we move at par with the existing scheme provided by commercial banks, we will stand to get 50 per cent of last drawn salary as pension as well as a component of dearness allowance,” Mr Mukherjee told Business Line.

Long-standing demand

AIRRBEA has been demanding parity in pension and the issue was long pending with the Centre. The association had recently observed a one-day strike on June 8 to mark its protest against the delay in granting parity of pension.

“The department of financial services is considering various options to prepare the draft pension scheme for the RRB staff and we are hopeful this will be prepared within a week,” Mr Mukherjee said.

The draft scheme will then be sent to all the sponsor banks, State governments and RRBs to initiate discussions. The final pension scheme will be circulated within two months, he added.

The other demands of the association include formation of a National Rural Bank of India, regularisation and absorption of part-time workers in RRBs, withdrawal of government order on HR policy and representation of workman and officers in the board of management.

shobha@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on June 21, 2012)
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