NSGEWA returns: vets demand for review of Superannuation Act
DIMAPUR, SEPTEMBER 5
MORE than four years since the issue of superannuation and its arbitrary Act drilled the state, the Nagaland Senior Government Employees’ Welfare Association (NSGEWA) on Friday resurfaced to issue a statement bringing to fore the matter again.
Unlike 2009, however, the welfare association – comprising of senior government officials forcibly retired by the state in 2009 through the superannuation Act – now has advised the state against reviewing the act. The association fought the state in the court after the State government waylaid senior government officials during 2009-2010 demanding review of the act.
On Friday however, the association was responding to a previously unknown group called the ‘Nagaland Government Senior Employees Forum.’ The NGSEF is now urging the government to review the act.
“NSGEWA regrets that the latter has woken up too late from its deep slumber. The so called Nagaland Government Senior Employees were sleeping soundly and keeping very quiet and not even extended moral support while NSGEWA was fighting hard in the courts to protect all government employees from forced retirement and harassment and as well fighting in the interest of the public,” the association said.
The association appreciated the forum “for observing the Retirement from Public Employment Act, 2009” and urging the government to review the Act. The NSGEWA issued a press release on Friday in response to the forum’s demand for a review.
The reasons could either be that they were short-sighted or wanted immediate promotion, the association stated. “What might be the reasons, the individual benefit and interest had overshadowed the common interest. In course of time, many of them have been promoted to higher grades some were given triple promotion in a year’s time,” the association said, referring to the grimy fight several years ago.
“Now, so comfortable with their positions that many are not willing to retire and thereby, urging the government to review the Act by removing 35 years length of service or increasing the length of service to 38 years keeping 60 years of age superannuation,” the press release stated.
The association also queried the claims of the forum that the superannuation Act might have been introduced “with a view to do away with those employees who had tempered their date of birth/joining of service since the government was unable to check those cases individually.” To this, NSGEWA asked whether or not the NGSEF would be able to support their view with documentary proof.
The association also ridiculed the Naga Students Federation which in 2009 was responsible for spearheading the demand for “fixation” of length of service.
“This highest student body was also keeping quite when the retirement age was enhanced from 57 years to 60 years in November, 2007 but in dead earnest persuaded to fix the length of service at 35 years just 10(ten) months after the enhancement of age to solve the unemployment problem. As such, NSF should stand firm not to review the Act till unemployment problem is solved,” the association stated.
Taking pot-shots at the NSF, the welfare association quipped: “Hope your memory would not be short-lived as the Act is still at the initial stage and fresh not even completed 5(five) years.”
The NSGEWA has asked the NSF to clarify how many educated youths have been employed through fair means and open interviews against the retirement vacancies till date.
Likewise, the NSF is asked to reply to “how many such unemployed educated youths have joined underground and how many have been prevented from joining the underground movement before and after implementation of the Act?”
The NSGEWA has urged the government not to review the Retirement Act 2009 until and unless these two problems are solved. “If reviewed immediately, it might open another Pandora box,” the association cautioned.