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In keeping with its election pledge, the Himachal Pradesh administration headed by Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu on Friday authorised the Old Pension Scheme's cleared in the state.
Over 1.36 lakh people work for the New Pension Scheme, including both staff and pensioners (NPS). In the inaugural cabinet meeting, the Congress party made a commitment to reinstate the Old Pension Scheme (OPS).
Sukhu told the media following the cabinet meeting that the old pension scheme's benefits would start to be paid out today and that a notification would be forthcoming. He assured them that we would keep our pledge to give women Rs. 1,500 per month, and he announced the formation of a subcommittee including cabinet members Chander Kumar, Dhani Ram Shandil, Anirudh Singh, and Jagat Negi to create a road plan for the disbursement of Rs. 1,500 per month in 30 days. A committee has also been set up to investigate the possibilities of creating 100,000 employment. About Rs 800 to Rs 900 crores in obligations under the OPS for this year would be covered by resource mobilisation, such as an increase of Rs 3 in the diesel VAT. Sukhu reaffirmed that the state government had not reinstated OPS in order to secure votes, but rather in order to provide social security and protect the dignity of the workers who had written the history of Himachal's progress.
The issue has been thoroughly examined, and despite some hesitations from finance officers, it has been resolved, he continued. All of the employees covered by the New Pension Scheme will now be under OPS. According to Sukhu, the previous BJP government failed to pay arrears of approximately Rs 11,000 crores, including Rs 4,430 crores to employees, Rs 5,226 crores to pensioners, and Rs 1,000 crores for the sixth pay commission's dearness allowance. Sukhu added that the state's debt of Rs. 75,000 crores is the result of the previous BJP government's financial mismanagement and reckless spending.
Over 900 institutions started by the previous BJP administration without funding were de-notified by the government since they needed Rs 5,000 crores to be operational. Government cannot operate under enormous debt, he added, therefore difficult decisions will need to be made. New Pension Policy covers workers who began working for the government on January 1, 2004. (NPS).
The old pension system paid employees with 20 years of service 50% of their final drew pay as pension, but the current pension system is a contributory system in which the government and employees each contribute 10% and 14% of their salaries to the pension fund.
According to Pradeep Thakur, president of the New Pension Scheme Employees Federation Himachal, "we had informed the government that the liability for 2022–23 under the NPS is Rs 1,632 crores out of which employees and Government would deposit Rs 680 crores and Rs 952 crores respectively while the liability under the OPS would only be Rs 147 crores."
With more opting for the Old Pension Scheme, central government employees will intensify the push for the same.
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