Finance Minister Announces Appointment Of High Level Committee To Review NPS, Government Employees Not Happy

We want only the Old Pension Scheme and who asked for improvement in NPS, asks C. Srikumar, General Secretary of AIDEF


As already reported, the Central Government Employees and the State Government Employees are on agitation demanding for scrapping of the No Guarantee Pension Scheme (NPS) and for restoration of the Defined and Guaranteed Old Pension Scheme.

Many State Governments have already withdrawn NPS and the centre has warned those states that the money deposited with PFRDA will not be refunded. After watching the intensity of the agitation by the Central Government Employees including Railways and Defence the Government on the 20th of March 2023, issued a warning to the agitating Central Government Employees that if they participate in any agitation against NPS appropriate action would be taken against those employees.

The Major Trade Unions have condemned the Government’s decision for banning the protest by the Government Employees. Today as a surprise to everyone, the Finance Minister Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman made an announcement in the Parliament setting up of a committee under the chairmanship of the Finance Secretary. She stated the following in the Lok Sabha.

“Representations have been received that the National Pension System for Government Employees needs to be improved. I propose to setup a committee under the finance secretary to look into the issue of pensions and evolve an approach which addresses the needs of the employees while maintaining fiscal prudence”.

With the above announcement of the Finance Minister, to find out whether the employees are happy, discussed with a cross section of the Central Government Employees. None of them seem to be happy with this announcement. They are of the unanimous opinion is that the NPS should be withdrawn and OPS should be restored back. spoke to C. Srikumar, a member of the Steering Committee of JFROPS (NJCA), who questioned as to who has represented to the Government to improve the No Guarantee NPS. More than 400 Affiliated Unions of AIDEF have submitted representations to the Finance Minister and DOPT Minister to Scrap the NPS and to restore the Old Pension Scheme. More than a Crore Signature of the Employees and their family members was submitted to the President of India to Scrap NPS and Restore Old Pension Scheme. No organizations of Central Government Employees and State Government Employees have ever demanded for improvement in the NPS.

Any amount of improvement in the NPS is not going to be helpful to the employees since it is now proved beyond doubt that even after the Government’s Contribution of 14% to the NPS the Pension from NPS is not more than Rs.4000/- for the employees who are retiring from the NPS. In the past also based on the 7 th Pay Commission recommendations Government appointed a committee under the Chairmanship of the Secretary of Pension Department. The Staff side of the National Council JCM for Central Government Employees, the IAS & IPS Associations made presentation before the committee and demanded for scrapping the NPS and restoring the Old Pension Scheme. Even today nobody other than Government knows what is there in that report, he said.

Our demand for a copy of the Report has been turned down by the Government. Why the Government should subject the employees into unnecessary mental torture, since the day they join service after so much of competitive examinations / Interviews / Medical Tests / Physical Test, etc, they are worried about their old age protection. Therefore, the employees and their organizations are not happy with constituting so many numbers of committees when the fact is available in front of the Government that despite 10% Contribution every month from their wages the pension is nowhere nearing the pension under OPS i.e.50% of the last Pay drawn with two guaranteed Dearness Relief to compensate price rise, added Srikumar.

The Employees will continue their struggle and agitation till the NPS is scrapped and OPS is restored. The
Government instead of threatening its own employees should come forward for making an announcement to withdraw NPS and Restore OPS which will ultimately motivate the Government employees for improved Productivity and Performance. Pension of the Government Employees cannot be treated as a burden on the Exchequer, since Pension is a deferred wage of the employees for their old age security. Government can easily find out resources especially by taxing the Rich and the Corporates and through other modes. After all Government Machinery is run by the employees only and Government is duty bound to pay for their labour and for their old age protection concluded an agitated C Srikumar.

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