Karnataka CM Bommai sends team to study Ashok Gehlot’s experiment with Old Pension Scheme

The Karnataka development comes ahead elections of in the state. Later this year, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh will also go to polls.

Published: 10th March 2023 07:37 AM  |   Last Updated: 10th March 2023 07:37 AM   |  A+A-

Basavaraj Bommai

Karnataka CM Basavaraj Bommai. (File photo | Nagaraja Gadekal)

Express News Service

JAIPUR: The issue of restoring the Old Pension Scheme (OPS) to government employees has forced a rethink on the BJP. The BJP-led Karnataka government has formed a committee to study OPS which will visit Rajasthan this month. Rajasthan is the first state to restore the OPS.

The Karnataka development comes ahead elections of in the state. Later this year, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh will also go to polls. Considering the situation, it is expected that the BJP will soon clarify its stand on OPS in these states as well. In case BJP decides to oppose the OPS as a general policy, then it could well become a big issue in the Lok Sabha elections to be held next year.

In Karnataka, government employees have been on a protest demanding the restoration of OPS. Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai has now formed a special committee under the chairmanship of the state’s Additional Chief Secretary to look into the issue. Three IAS officers have been made members along with the ACS. This committee will soon visit Rajasthan. After Rajasthan, this committee will visit Chhattisgarh.

The Congress government in Chhattisgarh has also announced OPS for its government employees. Later, the Karnataka committee will visit Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Jharkhand. According to official sources in Rajasthan, the committee will meet chief secretary Usha Sharma, additional chief secretary, finance department, Akhil Arora, principal secretary to CM, Kuldeep Ranka. 

The committee has to submit its report to the Karnataka government by April 30. It may be noted that the old pension scheme has become a major bone of contention and created a deadlock between the BJP regime at the Centre and the Rajasthan government. 

In March-2022, Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot had implemented the old pension scheme in Rajasthan. Gehlot has been challenging the BJP many times, saying that if not today then tomorrow, PM Narendra Modi will also have to implement OPS in BJP’s state governments and at the Center as well.

However, Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman has termed OPS as fatal for the economy. Sitharaman made it clear in a conversation with journalists in Jaipur last month that no amount will be given to Rajasthan out of the Rs 45,000 crores deposited in the Center’s trust under the New Pension Schemes (NPS). 

Sitharaman’s statement was considered a big setback to Gehlot’s ambitious plan to abolish NPS and implement the OPS. 


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