Maharashtra govt considers returning to Old Pension Scheme

The Maharashtra government is considering reinstatement of Old Pension Scheme (OPS) for teachers and government employees ahead of the legislative council election.

Addressing a rally on Saturday, Maharashtra chief minister Eknath Shinde said on Saturday that the state education department is studying the scheme. “The government is positive about the old pension scheme for teachers and government employees, non-aided schools, and also for 25 per cent reservation in English medium schools. The education department is studying the old pension scheme,” Shinde was quotes as saying by news agency PTI.

Many are of the view that the Shinde government came under pressure after Himachal Pradesh government recently reinstated Old Pension Scheme.

Interestingly, a month ago the state’s deputy chief minister and BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis said that the state government would not go back to OPS as it would put a burden of around ₹1.10 lakh crore on the exchequer, leading to state’s bankruptcy. He had told reporters: “The government will not give pensions as per the old scheme. If the old pension scheme is to be implemented, then it will add a burden of ₹1,10,000 crore and this will lead to bankruptcy of the state. The old pension scheme will not be implemented.”

The opposition has targeted the state administration over projects moving to neighbouring states, and Shinde questioned the status of MoUs signed by the previous Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government, according to DNA report. Shinde stated his government will respond to the opposition with action. Shinde led a state government delegation to the just finished Davos meeting, where the state government received numerous investment ideas, stated the news outlet.

Under the former pension plan, government employees were entitled to a defined pension that was equal to 50 per cent of their final drawn salary. As per the rule, government employees must, however, contribute a percentage of their present income to their pensions under the new pension plan.

Most of the states ruled by the Congress or supported by the party have reinstated the OPS. Recently, Himachal Pradesh approved restoring of OPS in the first cabinet meeting.

The BJP has come under severe criticism by the Congress for scrapping the OPS. The scheme was scrapped by the NDA government led by Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

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