RAIPUR: In pursuance to the decision taken by the Congress-ruled Chhattisgarh government, the state finance department has issued notification on the old pension scheme (OPS). Around 3 lakh government employees as beneficiaries are now given an alternative to opt between the OPS and the new pension scheme (NPS). For this they will have to submit an affidavit and once the choice being given by an employee will not be changed later.
Chief minister Bhupesh Baghel has announced to revive the OPS for the state government employees in his previous budget speech and later in May last year sent a proposal to the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority for the withdrawal of Rs 17,000 crore accrued under the National Pension Scheme since November 2004.
owever the Centre refused the state’s demand to give back the amount deposited in the NPS following which the Congress government decided to give an option to its employees to choose between the OPS and the NPS.
During the last winter session of the Lok Sabha, the Centre has conveyed that there was neither any proposal under consideration to restore OPS nor any plan or arrangement on refunding the amount contributed in the NPS.
The Bhupesh Baghel cabinet decided that instead of November 1, 2004, the state employees will become members of the Chhattisgarh General Provident Fund (GPF) on April 1, 2022 and presented an option to those appointed before April 1, 2022, to either remain in the NPS or to join the OPS.
C’garh a non BJP-ruled state to opt for OPS
Chhattisgarh is among the non BJP-ruled states like Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab and Jharkhand to have decided to revert to OPS. Experts cited that the OPS has a guaranteed payout feature with the pay commission dividend without endowment from government staff.