Political consensus emerges on Jharkhand`s pension liability

All political parties in Jharkhand decided to jointly urge President and PM for an amendment to the Bihar State Reorganisation Act (BROA), 2000.

Ranchi: All political parties in Jharkhand on Saturday decided to jointly urge President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for an amendment to the Bihar State Reorganisation Act (BROA), 2000, to enable sharing of pension liabilities on the basis of population instead of government employees.

The decision was taken unanimously at an all-party meet chaired by Chief Minister Arjun Munda following the Centre`s September 25 direction to pay Rs 2,584.09 crore to Bihar as pension dues under BROA, which was based on the division of government employees.

The Supreme Court had on October 18 declined to stay Jharkhand`s plea against the Centre`s decision.

Munda said that if all the states carved out under the 1956 State Reorganisation Act got their liabilities fixed on the basis of population, Jharkhand too deserved the same treatment.

Addressing the all-party meeting, Munda said division of liabilities had been done on the basis of population for Uttarakhand and Chhatisgarh when the two states were carved out from Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh respectively at about the same time when Jharkhand was separated from Bihar.

"Jharkhand is the only state the pension liabilities of which was decided on the basis of employees and not the population. It is unjust ... If the state had to pay the money to Bihar towards pension head, then the state could reel under financial crisis," an official release said quoting Munda.

Stating that his request letter dated October 5, 2010 to the home ministry regarding the matter was rejected, Munda appreciated that all parties unanimously agreed to send a joint delegation to Delhi and submit a memorandum to the president and the prime minister.

Deputy Chief Minister and JMM leader Hemant Soren said if the Constitution could be amended, the BROA could also be suitably amended, the release said quoting him.