Nagpur: Amid the chorus for the reinstatement of the old pension scheme (OPS) in various states and demands by several political parties, Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Mr Devendra Fadnavis on Wednesday in the state assembly announced that the state government will not revive the OPS in the state.
‘’The reinstatement of OPS will put an additional burden of Rs 1.10 lakh crore on the state exchequer. This estimate was made by the previous Maha Vikas Aghadi government and we have taken a note of it,’’ he noted.
Fadnavis told the state assembly the government will have to keep fiscal prudence in mind in the larger interest of the state. He hailed the stand taken by the leader of opposition Ajit Pawar during his tenure as the finance minister in the previous Maha Vikas Aghadi government.
Fadnavis’s announcement is crucial especially when the Congress has been aggressively raising this demand. The Congress-ruled Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan have already reverted to OPS and the party won the recently held Himachal Pradesh elections as it had promised reinstatement of OPS there.
Pawar in March 2020 had told the state council that a sum of Rs 1.51 lakh crore out of Maharashtra's total annual income of Rs 4 lakh crore is spent on salaries of staff and pensions. He also said there was no reason for the state to revert to the old pension scheme.
"The Central and state governments in 2005 took a considerate decision to shift to the National Pension Scheme and there is no reason to go back to the old pension scheme. We will continue with the new pension scheme," he said.
"Maharashtra already has an annual burden of paying Rs 1.51 lakh in salaries and pensions to 24 lakh people. The total income, including borrowings, is Rs 4 lakh crore. If we revert to the old pension scheme, in the future, we will end up only paying salaries and will have no funds for any other work," he added.
Giving a break-up of the 24-lakh people in the salary and pension fold, Pawar said there are 5.50 lakh state employees, nine lakh semi-state government employees, 7.50 lakh people under the old pension scheme and two lakhs under the new pension scheme.
(If you have a story in and around Mumbai, you have our ears, be a citizen journalist and send us your story here. )