The National Bank for Agricultural & Rural Development (Nabard) has moved the Supreme Court for transferring the petitions filed by various Regional Rural Bank Officers Associations seeking parity in their pension scheme with that of nationalised banks.
It has sought the transfer of petitions pending before various High Courts of Delhi, Rajasthan, Allahabad and Kerala either to the apex court or the Delhi High Court so as to avoid further multiple litigation.
Various Regional Rural Banks Officers Associations had moved High Courts seeking a direction to Nabard to maintain parity in pension payable to their staff with that of other sponsored banks, which are nationalised banks.
Opposing parity in the pension scheme, Nabard said that it would not be appropriate to load Regional Rural Banks (RRBs) with the same pension benefits as those of the employees of the sponsor banks as the former were unable to sustain additional burden.
Of the total 95 RRBs as on March 31, 2007, Nabard said 16 were loss-making and 27 of them had negative net worth.
If 68,277 RRB employees are given the same pension benefits, the financial implications would be substantial, it added.The total net profit of all the RRBs is Rs 790.3 crore for 2006-07 and any additional burden due to pension would be “be enormous and beyond the sustainable level of RRBs,” Nabard pointed out.
The petition filed through counsel P Narasimhan further said that the Central government is in the process recapitalising the RRBs.
The National Industrial Tribunal in 1990, after the issue was referred to it by the apex court, had recommended that he employees of the RRBs were not entitled to equality in absolute terms with the employees of sponsor banks in all respects.