Private sector employees may get at least Rs. 1,000 in monthly pension from their employee provident fund (EPF) if a new government proposal gets the nod.
Presently, there is no minimum assured pension sum for private sector employees and if the proposal is accepted, around 4 crore workers will be benefited. According to trade union leaders, there are cases wherein pensioners get amounts as low as Rs. 100 a month.
Discussions between labour and finance ministries have been underway for some time now and the idea is likely, if at all, to see the light of day now in the run up to the 2014 general elections as the government sets out to woo the electorate.
“I welcome such a move. It is better late than never,” All India Trade Union Congress chief Gurudas Dasgupta told HT.
Trade union leaders claim that underwriting such a payment would cost the government less than Rs 2,000 crore annually. “The finance ministry can easily provide this support to the EPF”, said Centre of Indian Trade Unions general secretary Tapan Sen.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will meet trade union leaders—his first such meeting during the UPA II — on Thursday and further discussions on the pension issue are likely to take place.
Labour union sources claimed that they are also demanding a hike in the national minimum wages from the current Rs. 115 per day.
Defence minister AK Antony, who heads the government’s group of ministers on labour issues, is also slated to meet union leaders soon.