The demand for restoration of the old pension scheme (OPS) has emerged as a major poll plank in Gujarat with both the Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party promising to implement it if voted to power in the state where the Assembly elections are scheduled next month.
With this promise, the opposition parties aim to garner the support of lakhs of government employees who are up in arms against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government over the new pension scheme.
The Gujarat government had introduced the new contributory pension scheme for employees joining the service on or after April 1, 2005. As per its notification, it will make a matching contribution of 10 per cent of the basic pay plus dearness allowance (DA) contributed by the employees in the NPS fund.
Under the Centre’s scheme, the government will contribute 14 per cent against an employee’s contribution of 10 per cent of his/her salary and DA with effect from April 1, 2019.
After protests by employees in Gujarat, the state government had said the new pension will not be applicable to those employees who had joined duty before April 2005. It also promised to increase its contribution in the fund to 14 per cent from the 10 per cent earlier.
The employees have staged massive agitations against the government in Gujarat while demanding restoration of the OPS because they believe the New Pension Scheme is not in the interest of the retiring employees.
With the BJP government not acceding to the demands of the employees, the Congress and the Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP have assured to bring back the OPS, in one of their most emphatic poll promises.
With inputs from News18