Govt will not revive old pension scheme, asserts Fadnavis – The Indian Express

Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Wednesday informed the state Legislative Assembly that the government will not revive the old pension scheme.
His remark came amid talks among various state governments about the scheme revival.
“The government will not revive the old pension scheme. Its reinstatement will put an additional burden of Rs 1.10 lakh crore on the state exchequer. The estimate was made by the previous Maha Vikas
Aghadi government and we have taken a note of it,” he said, replying to a query raised by BJP MLA Ram Satpute.
Fadnavis, who is also the state Finance Minister, told the state Assembly that the Maharashtra government will have to keep fiscal health in mind in the larger interest of the state.
He also congratulated the leader of Opposition, Ajit Pawar, for a similar stand when the latter was the state finance minister during the previous MVA government. In March 2020, Pawar 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 was spent on the salaries of staff and their pensions. There was no reason for the state to revert to the old pension scheme, he had added.
Employees receive defined pension benefits under the old pension scheme. According to this, an employee has been legally entitled to a pension that is equivalent to 50 per cent of their last wage. The new pension scheme — also known as the National Pension Scheme — is, meanwhile, market linked, which is a defined contribution product, and the contributions are accumulated over a period of time till the retirement grows with market-linked returns. Government employees make a monthly contribution at the rate of 10 per cent of their salary, and a matching contribution is paid by the government. For central government employees, the employer’s contribution rate is enhanced to 14 per cent.
The Congress has been aggressively raising demands for the same in poll-bound states and the Congress-ruled Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan have already reverted to the old pension scheme. The political party has also won the recently held Himachal Pradesh elections, where it had promised the reinstatement of the old pension scheme.
‘Won’t give more schools govt aid’
Education Minister Deepak Kesarkar, meanwhile, informed the Maharashtra Assembly that the state government decided to “not grant financial aid to additional schools”.
When MLAs asked about granting financial support to non-aided schools, Fadnavis said that when the decision to grant aid to schools was taken in 2019, only 350 schools were beneficiaries, which has now increased to 3,900 schools in two years.
“Even if we are spending Rs 1,100 crore today, we will end up spending Rs 5,000 crore in the next three years,” said Fadnavis, adding that no more schools will be included from now onwards.
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Alok DeshpandeAlok is a Special Correspondent with the The Indian Express' Mumbai bu… read more


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