Himachal Pradesh Government Approves Restoration Of Old Pension Scheme, Over 1.3 Lakh Employees To Benefit

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Himachal Pradesh Government Approves Restoration Of Old Pension Scheme, Over 1.3 Lakh Employees To Benefit

Keeping the poll promise, the Himachal Pradesh government approved the restoration of the old pension scheme (OPS) in its first cabinet meeting. It will benefit over 1.36 lakh government employees under the New Pension Scheme.

The Himachal Pradesh government led by Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu on Friday (January 13) approved the restoration of the Old Pension Scheme (OPS). The decision was taken in the first cabinet meeting, mentioning it as a 'Lohri Gift' for more than 1.36 lakh government employees currently under the New Pension Scheme.

The Congress-led government in the state promised the restoration of OPS in its pre-poll campaigns, and it stood by the promise. The cabinet chaired by CM Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu also decided to adopt the Congress party's election manifesto as a policy document of the state government. According to state government officials, the benefit of OPS will be given to government employees from January 13 onwards, and official notification will be released soon.

While speaking about the first cabinet meeting and approval of OPS, the CM said, "During her election tour, AICC general secretary Priyanka Gandhi had told us to promise the restoration of OPS, and we included it in the Pratigya Patra," The Print reported.

Government Initiatives To Empower Himachal

The CM also highlighted that ₹1,500 per month would also be given to women aged 18 to 60. A committee headed by state Agriculture minister Chander Kumar and Dhani Ram Shandil has been constituted to look after the disbursement of the fund in the next 30 days.

Coming back to OPS, the CM mentioned that the scheme has been restored in the state, not for votes but to provide social security and self-respect to the government employees who have contributed to the development of Himachal Pradesh.

Is OPS Better Than NPS?

According to the government, the employees who have joined the state services after January 1, 2004, are covered under the benefits of NPS. Under the New Pension Scheme, employees and government contribute 14 and 10 per cent of their salary to fill the pension fund.

Whereas, in the OPS, government employees with 20 years of service get 50 per cent of the last drawn salary as a pension. Soon after the announcement of OPS restoration, the government employees were seen dancing and taking out appreciation rallies on the streets.

However, the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has accused the CM Sukhu-led Himachal government of misleading the employees over the OPS issue. Himachal BJP chief Suresh Kashyap mentioned that the state government has failed to implement the guarantees promised in ten days and has even missed the payment of arrears.

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