Pension liability between J’khand-Bihar to be resolved in Eastern Zonal Council meet

Ranchi (IANS) The pension liability dispute between Jharkhand and Bihar will be discussed in the meeting of the Eastern Regional Inter-State Council in the presence of Union Home Minister Amit Shah.

The meeting will be held in Nabanna auditorium, Kolkata, on December 17.

Jharkhand is preparing to raise several other issues of its interest and inter-state cooperation and differences, including Maoism and water distribution, it is learnt.

The Eastern Zonal Interstate Council comprises of Bengal, Bihar, Odisha, Jharkhand and Sikkim.

The meeting will be chaired by West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee.

Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren or a minister as his representative will likely participate in the meeting.

The state government hopes to settle its years old pension dispute with Bihar.

Bihar alleges that Jharkhand is a debtor of more than Rs 4,000 crore while the latter says that Bihar is responsible for the undue and illogical burden on it.

The Jharkhand government filed a case in the Supreme Court regarding the same which may take time to reach a decision, which is why they have resorted to the council.

The formula of sharing liabilities and obligations between the two states was decided when Jharkhand was carved out of Bihar in November, 2000.

According to the State Reorganization Act, the government from where the employee retires would give its share in the pension.

For those who retired earlier, it was decided that both the states would give their respective share according to the number of personnel.

Along with Jharkhand, Uttarakhand was carved out of Uttar Pradesh and Chhattisgarh was carved out of Madhya Pradesh in 2000.

The pension liabilities were apportioned among these states in accordance with their population, while Jharkhand-Bihar apportioned the number of employees.

The Jharkhand government demanded that its pension liability should also be fixed on the basis of population since it has been facing a huge financial burden, like Uttarakhand and Chhattisgarh.

In its arguments in the Supreme Court, the state said that it had to pay the amount till 2020 and it is unfair to extend the duration.

Significantly, this dispute has been raised twice in the meetings of the Eastern Regional Inter-State Council, and is yet to be resolved.

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