Pensioners must get first right in IL&FS bailout: Brinda Karat

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New Delhi, Feb 19 (IANS) Calling investment of employees’ retirement money in IL&FS bonds a criminal act, Communist Paty of India (Marxist) leader Brinda Karat on Tuesday said the government must bail out the pensioners on a priority.

“It’s a shame and a scam. When the government is doing a bailout for IL&FS, these are not the people who are on the first priority list of those who have to be paid back. They (pensioners and provident fund holders) should get the first right over it,” Karat told IANS.

IL&FS, facing a debt crisis of Rs 91,000 crore, has put at peril the hard-earned savings of lakhs of employees of the PSUs as well as private sector companies by way of uncertainty over provident and pension funds invested in the IL&FS bonds by their employers.

“The government itself has put the money there. First, they wanted to put as much as 15 per cent. They couldn’t do that, but 4-5 per cent of the provident fund has been given to the IL&FS bonds. It’s totally criminal what the government is doing,” she said.

Karat said all the pension funds are invested in private stocks, putting employees’ hard earned savings at risk. The employees want the National Pension Scheme (NPS) scrapped and want the old non-contributory and guaranteed pension scheme back.

“You can’t take the employees’ money and play with it in the stock market and then use the money for your own gains. Why are the employees not getting the first preference when it is their money?,” Karat said.

–IANS

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