K Sudhakaran promises to abolish contributory pension scheme if UDF comes to power

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Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee president K Sudhakaran on Wednesday said that the UDF would reinstate the statutory pension scheme (old pension scheme) for state government employees if it comes to power in Kerala.

The MP was speaking while inaugurating the 'service protection movement' 'Patahadhvani' organized by the Kerala Secretariat Association.

"KPCC promises the contributory pension scheme (new pension scheme) will be withdrawn when we come to power. This will be included in the next election manifesto," he said.

It may be noted that the UDF government led by Oommen Chandy established the contributory pension scheme in 2013. All employees who joined the service after April 1, 2013 must comply with this system. LDF has promised to revert to the old system in the 2016 and 2021 elections. The state's finances, however, prevent the government from implementing it. In the statutory pension scheme, the government provides pensions up to 50 per cent of the last drawn salary. However, in the contributory scheme, employees pay a certain amount of their salary every month to a certain fund which will invest in the stock market and provide a pension when they retire. This scheme does not ensure a certain amount every month. All employees have demanded the reversal of the scheme.

Congress-ruled states Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh have already implemented the roll back. However, Sudhakaran is the first Congress leader in Kerala to make such a promise. SP and BSP had made the same promise during the previous Uttar Pradesh elections.

In his Facebook post following his speech, Sudhakaran criticised the government for delaying welfare pensions. He claimed the UDF government distributed "hiked welfare pensions on time." The Kerala government recently announced that two-month welfare pensions will be distributed from April 10 onwards.

"Deprived of an additional source of income, the state government has been robbing the people of Kerala by increasing taxes frequently. There was no other period in Kerala's political and economic history where the masses were held back by such a debt burden and denial of benefits," said Sudhakaran.

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