The All-India Gramin Bank Employees Congress (AIGBEC) and the Kerala Gramin Bank Retirees Forum have hailed the Supreme Court verdict allowing pension for employees of regional rural banks (RRBs) on a par with other public sector banks.
AIGBEC general secretary C. Rajeevan told The Hindu that Wednesday’s verdict was a historic one and that it would benefit some 80,000 current employees of the 56 RRBs across the country as well as around 20,000 retired employees.
Kerala Gramin Bank Retirees Forum functionaries T. Raman Nambisan and E. Premakumar pointed out that the judgement, which had rejected the Central government’s stand on pension for RRB staff, had come after a long legal battle.
The judgment would benefit around 3,600 current employees and more than 500 retired staff of the Kerala Gramin Bank, the only RRB in Kerala.
The KGB had come into being after the merger of the South Malabar Gramin Bank and the North Malabar Gramin Bank.It is sponsored by Canara Bank.
Mr. Rajeevan pointed out that following the award by the Justice S. Obul Reddy Tribunal, employees of the RRBs had been granted pay scales on a par with nationalised commercial banks.
However, later on, when the employees of the nationalised banks were granted pension, the staff of the RRBs were not granted pension parity.
When the Rajasthan and Karnataka high courts, on petitions by the staff unions, directed the Centre to consider pension parity, the Centre filed a special leave petition against this direction in the Supreme Court in 2012.
A Division Bench on Wednesday rejected the special leave petition and asked the government to allow pension to the staff of the RRBs within three months, with retrospective effect and without any conditions.
Mr. Rajeevan noted that with this order the Union government now had no loophole not to allow pension parity (with nationalised bank staff) to the RRB staff.
The verdict will benefit some 80,000 current employees of the 56 RRBs across the country as well as around 20,000 retired employees