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Clamour for Old Pension Scheme confronts cash-strapped Maha govt

Clamour for Old Pension Scheme confronts cash-strapped Maha govt

Mumbai, March 6 (SocialNews.XYZ) Ahead of the state budget, over two million government employees and pensioners in Maharashtra are demanding a revival of the Old Pension Scheme (OPS), posing a tough challenge to the ruling Shiv Sena-Bharatiya Janata Party combine.

Various employees' organisations are building pressure on the government in the form of marches and protests across the state to compel a return to the OPS that was discontinued here in 2005.


The move gained momentum after at least five states - Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Punjab - announced their plans to revert to the OPS last month.

Over five dozen unions of various state employees under the banner of Rajya Sarkari Karmachari Madhyavarti Sanghatana (RSKMS) has warned of a state-wide indefinite strike from March 14 if the ruling alliance fails to concede the demand and does not makes the announcement in the upcoming Budget 2023-2024 this week.

The Maharashtra Rajya Castribe Karmachari Kalyan Mahasangh has launched a Nagpur-Mumbai long march traversing through 20 districts which will reach the Maharashtra Legislature and join a protest on March 14.

The demand for OPS has secured the support of several opposition parties like the Congress which is also organising or participating in protests in different cities securing huge support.

On its part, Chief Minister Eknath Shinde in February announced setting up a high-powered panel to study the feasibility of bringing back the OPS, and Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis has also given positive indicators in this regard, though earlier he was reluctant as it would entail a massive burden of Rs 1.10 lakh crore on the cash-strapped government, with problems likely to compound after five years.

Incidentally, in January, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had cautioned states on reverting to the DA-linked OPS which existed till 2004 as it would add to the states' financial burden in the coming years.

The OPS entitled retired government employees to get 50 percent of their last drawn salary as monthly pension which keeps increasing with hike in DA, thereby considered unviable since the burden on the exchequer keeps increasing.

Source: IANS

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Clamour for Old Pension Scheme confronts cash-strapped Maha govt

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