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Pledge on oil firm pension

Petitioned by politicians of all hues, the Union petroleum ministry has said it is going to “look into” the pleas for retirement benefits for officers commensurate with the financial profile of blue-chip Indian Oil.

Officers of Indian Oil who retired before 1987 received a “pittance” as retirement benefits, Indian Oil Retired Officers’ Association spokespersons based in the city have said. Those who retired between 1987 and 1996 received a little more but all post-1996 retirees have been getting benefits at par with others who retired from other blue-chip companies.

Minister of state for petroleum Santosh Gangwar has assured minister of state for atomic planning, statistics and programme implementation Satyabrata Mookherjee that the petroleum ministry is considering the retired officers’ pleas. Mookherjee, also a BJP parliamentarian from the state, has Forward Bloc MP Debabrata Biswas echoing the request.

Of the officers who retired before 1987, around two dozen are living a life of penury, says the retired officers’ association. “Indian Oil allots crores to voluntary and social welfare organisations,” association spokesperson Prasun Chaudhuri claimed. “Why can’t it look after its own officers, who gave their best years to make Indian Oil what it is today'” he asked.

“Other public-sector units, like Calcutta Port Trust and the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation, which once had such discriminatory post-retirement schemes for their officers, have now ‘rectified’ their packages, announcing benefits for a particular category of officers,” Chaudhuri pointed out.

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