The Shinde-Fadnavis government appears to have no clear strategy to deal with old pension scheme (OPS) demand. In a reply to a question raised in the legislative council, Deputy CM and FM Devendra Fadnavis has rejected the demand saying it is not possible now. He also said that when the state economy will touch Rs 1 trillion mark only then we could think about it positively. But recently CM Shinde has said in a meeting of primary teachers that the state government is positively thinking about it and will find 'middle way'. Meanwhile, the issue has already become a hot topic with the Congress holding rallies across the state on the vexed issue.
𝗧𝗼𝘂𝗴𝗵 𝘁𝗼 𝗰𝗼𝗻𝘀𝗶𝗱𝗲𝗿 𝗢𝗣𝗦 𝗱𝘂𝗲 𝘁𝗼 𝗳𝗶𝗻𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗶𝗮𝗹 𝗰𝗼𝗻𝗱𝗶𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻: 𝗙𝗮𝗱𝗻𝗮𝘃𝗶𝘀
A question was raised by MLCs such as Rajesh Rathod and Kapil Patil in the legislative council on Friday March 3. They had asked whether the state government is thinking to implement old pension scheme in Maharashtra on the lines of Rajasthan, Jharkhand and Chhatisgarh. To which FM Fadnavis has said, "It is tough to think on these line in current financial condition of state. But it should be possible to think of implementing the scheme once the state's economy touches the Rs 1 trillion mark."
𝗖𝗠 𝗦𝗵𝗶𝗻𝗱𝗲 𝗵𝗮𝗱 𝗽𝗿𝗼𝗺𝗶𝘀𝗲𝗱 𝘁𝗼 𝗲𝘅𝗽𝗹𝗼𝗿𝗲 𝘃𝗶𝗮𝗯𝗶𝗹𝗶𝘁𝘆 𝗼𝗳 𝗢𝗣𝗦, 𝗙𝗮𝗱𝗻𝗮𝘃𝗶𝘀 𝗵𝗮𝗱 𝗿𝗲𝗷𝗲𝗰𝘁𝗲𝗱 𝗶𝗱𝗲𝗮
Different meanings are being interpreted from Fadnavis's response. First is that Fadnavis has refused to implement OPS right now. Second is that there is clear contradiction between CM Eknath Shinde's assurance to primary teachers and Fadanvis's reply in the house. CM Shinde, while addressing the primary teachers gathering in Sindhudurg district, had said, "state government is aware about the demand of old pension scheme. We will examine legal, financial and technical details about it and will try to find middle way."
But while rejecting the demand of OPS in December 2022 winter session, FM Fadnavis had said, "OPS can't be implemented as state will have to pay 1 lakh 10 thousand crores. This is not viable."
𝗖𝗼𝗻𝗴𝗿𝗲𝘀𝘀 𝘁𝗿𝘆𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘁𝗼 𝗲𝘅𝗽𝗹𝗼𝗶𝘁 𝗢𝗣𝗦 𝗽𝗼𝗹𝗶𝘁𝗶𝗰𝗮𝗹𝗹𝘆
The flip-flops over OPS could cost Shinde Fadnavis regime dearly. It has already started to show the signs. In recently held teachers and graduate comsituencies council elections, BJP lost in Amravati and Nagpur very badly. There were reports that the teacher wrote down demand of OPS on backside of ballot papers.
Actually, Congress is making this nationwide political issue. A question asked in council had clear mention of Rajasthan, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh states. All three have either Congress government or party is partner in rulling alliance. Party has also implemented the scheme in Himachal Pradesh. Not just in other states, but Congress is also making noise in Maharashtra also over demand of implementation of OPS. Recently party held a long march and rally in Kolhapur city for the demand. Congress is planning similar rallies across Maharashtra.
𝗢𝗹𝗱 𝗣𝗲𝗻𝘀𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝗦𝗰𝗵𝗲𝗺𝗲
The Old Pension Scheme (OPS) is a retirement benefit scheme for government employees. In Maharashtra, the OPS was the primary pension scheme for government employees until it was replaced by the National Pension Scheme (NPS) in 2005.
Under the OPS, government employees are entitled to a defined benefit pension upon retirement. The pension amount is based on the employee's length of service and final salary at the time of retirement. The OPS also provides for other benefits, such as family pension, disability pension, and gratuity.
However, some government employees have opposed the shift to the NPS, arguing that it is less beneficial than the OPS. As a result, there have been ongoing discussions and protests regarding the pension system in Maharashtra, and some employees are advocating for a return to the OPS.
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