SHIMLA: Keeping its election promise, the Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu Government has restored the Old Pension Scheme (OPS) for Himachal Pradesh Government employees with immediate effect.
As was promised by the Congress in its election manifesto, the Government approved the long-standing demand of the employees in its first Cabinet meeting in Shimla on January 13. This will benefit over one lakh Government employees of the state.
The Congress Government has further given an in-principle approval to its two other major poll promises – a monthly allowance of Rs 1,500 for women aged 18-60 and generating one lakh job opportunities in a year – and formed Cabinet sub-committees to work out the modalities for their implementation. These committees will submit their reports to the Cabinet in one month.
“There were several hurdles in the way of restoring OPS, the biggest was the poor financial health of the state and the huge debt of around Rs 75,000 crore. Yet, we went ahead because OPS is not just about monetary benefits but about social security and self-respect of the employees,” said Sukhu while talking to newspersons.
He also accused the previous BJP Government of leaving behind an employee liability of around Rs 11,000 crore. This includes Rs 4,430 crore as salary arrears, Rs 5,226 crore pension liabilities and Rs 1,000 crore as dearness allowance. All this is in addition to the Rs 75,000 crore, informed Sukhu.
“Despite all odds, the state Government has decided to provide old pension scheme to NPS employees to secure their retired life,” he said.