People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 47

November 20, 2011

CITU Denounces Cabinet Nod to PFRDA Bill


THE Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) has strongly denounced the government’s decision to push through the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority Bill (PFRDA Bill) to allow FDI in pension funds, thereby allowing predatory foreign capital and speculators to access and manage the life long retirement savings of the workers and other citizens of the country.


Through a statement issued on November 17, the CITU also condemned the rejection by the union cabinet of the unanimous recommendations of the parliamentary standing committee to provide statutory guarantee of assured returns on pension funds by incorporating it in the PFRDA Bill. This is despite the demand for assured pension for all by the entire trade union movement which received massive response from the workers as reflected in the  November 8 Jail Bharo programme. The government has also turned down the recommendation to allow greater flexibility to subscribers for premature fund withdrawals. In its stead, it is reported to have decided to tighten withdrawals from the pension funds.


Though the FDI in pension funds approved by the government is at present reportedly 26 per cent, the government has kept its option to raise it whenever it wants, through an executive order, by not incorporating any ceiling in the bill.


The PFRDA, which now makes rules only for the new pension system, would be given statutory powers to formulate rules for all the pension funds through the PFRDA Bill which the government is intent on getting passed in the ensuing winter session of the parliament.


According to the CITU, this bill is nothing but an attempt to place huge amounts of people’s hard earned savings at the disposal of foreign capital and speculators, and enable their use to boost the speculative share markets. The pension will no more remain a secure and assured social security for the employees or those who contribute to pension fund for their old-age security.  


The CITU has expressed wholehearted support to the struggle of the government employees’ organisations against the PFRDA Bill and extended solidarity with their ‘March to Parliament’ programme on November 25 against pension fund privatisation.


The CITU has reiterated its demand to withdraw the decision to allow FDI in pension fund management and privatisation of pension funds. It also reiterated its demand for guarantee of assured pension for all, including unorganised workers.


The CITU has urged upon the working class to unitedly resist the government decision to allow FDI in pension funds and launch a strong, joint struggle to force its reversal.