Himachal govt restores Old Pension Scheme to its NPS employees

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Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu | Photo: ANI

Shimla: The Himachal Pradesh government on Friday decided to restore the Old Pension Scheme (OPS) for government employees, covered under National Pension System (NPS).

The decision was taken in the first Cabinet meeting presided over by Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu in Shimla.

"The State Government has decided to provide OPS to all its NPS Employees to ensure that they live a respectable life after retirement," Sukhu said and added that this decision will benefit over 1.36 lakh NPS employees of the state.

The restoration of the scheme was one of the key 'guarantees' extended by the Congress party during the recently concluded Vidhan Sabha elections.

"The aim of the Government is to provide social security to all. He said that the state government has decided to implement OPS from the point of view of social security and humanity. Affordability of OPS expenditure will be achieved through financial discipline and cutting down on expenses and the Government believes that there is no such thing that cannot be done," Sukhu said addressing a Press Conference at Peterhoff in Shimla.

He also stated that a Cabinet Sub Committee, comprising Industries Minister Harshwardhan Chauhan, Revenue Minister Jagat Singh Negi and Education Minister Rohit Thakur has been constituted for finalizing the roadmap for implementation of the promises made by the Congress Party during the elections for creating one lakh employment opportunities in the state.

He said that another Cabinet Sub Committee has been constituted for the implementation of granting Rs 1,500 to the women in the age group of 18 to 60 years.

"This Cabinet Sub Committee will comprise Health Minister Dr. (Col.) Dhani Ram Shandil Agriculture Minister Chander Kumar and Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Minister Anirudh Singh," he added.

He said that both these sub-committees will submit their reports within a month.

Hitting out at the previous government in the State, led by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Sukhu said that it pushed Himachal Pradesh into a heavy debt trap of over Rs 75,000 crore.

"Due to the financial mismanagement and wasteful expenditure by the previous BJP government, we have inherited financial liabilities of Rs 4,430 crore as salary arrears to its employees and Rs 5,226 crore as liabilities of pensioners as pension arrears on the present government. In addition to this, liabilities of about Rs1,000 crore as DA of employees and pensioners on the present government has been left by the previous government," he alleged.

He said that both these sub-committees will submit their reports within a month.

Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu claimed that the Centre Government has over Rs 8000 crore as a share of NPS employees.

"Despite all these odds, the State Government has decided to provide old pension scheme to NPS employees so as to secure their retired life," he further added.


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