Punjab cabinet gives in-principle nod to old pension plan | India News


CHANDIGARH: In a move that is likely to benefit about 1.6 lakh Punjab government employees who joined service after 2004, the state cabinet on Friday decided in principle to restore the old pension scheme (OPS).
Terming it a Diwali gift for government employees, chief minister Bhagwant Mann said in a video message: “I am giving good news. The cabinet has taken an in-principle decision. The details will be announced soon. It will benefit lakhs of employees who were not sure about their pension under the new scheme. We are going to bring Punjab under OPS. Arvind Kejriwal ji has told us to make only those promises that are possible for us to implement.”
After the cabinet meeting, an official spokesperson said employees will be given the option of choosing between the two schemes.
Last month, the CM had said that the state government was considering reverting to the old system and had asked the chief secretary to study the feasibility and modalities of its implementation.
The decision to do away with the OPS was taken when the Congress government led by Capt Amarinder Singh attempted to get rid of mounting debt. However, government employees have been agitating for bringing back the OPS.
Addressing a press conference after the meeting, cabinet minister Aman Arora called it a “historic decision”.
Punjab would be the fourth state to restore OPS. Chhattisgarh was the first to do so, followed by Jharkhand and Rajasthan. In the old pension regime, pension was 50% of the last-drawn salary of the employee and the entire amount was paid by the government. In the case of the NPS, a government-run investment scheme, the subscriber gives the option to set the preferred allocation to different asset classes.
“In the interest of lakhs of employees, the cabinet has decided to restore the old system in the state, and its implementation is likely to give a major relief to the employees of the state,” the spokesperson added.
Welcoming the decision, Sukhchain Singh Khaira, convener of the Punjab UT Employees and Pensioners’ Joint Front, said that the pending 4% DA of the employees should also be released soon. “As for the pension scheme, the details are yet to come, but we expect that it will be as per the Rules of 1972,” he said.
BOX: Punjab to give 6% DA from Oct 1
The cabinet also decided to give 6% Dearness Allowance (DA) to government employees and pensioners with effect from October 1, 2022. The decision will benefit lakhs of employees and pensioners.


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