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Implementation of OPS in Assam tough: Himanta Biswa Sarma

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Implementation of OPS in Assam tough: Himanta Biswa Sarma

Guwahati, Feb 27 (Ajit Weekly News) Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Monday said that the state’s economy would be in shambles if the government implements the Old Pension Scheme (OPS) for its employees, adding hence, the implementation of OPS in the state would be very tough.

Speaking in the Assembly on Monday, he insisted that employees who retire under the National Pension System (NPS) after thirty to thirty-five years of service stood to benefit.

However, Opposition members rejected this argument and staged a walkout.

In response to a query from Independent MLA Akhil Gogoi, Sarma stated that 4,34,454 retirees are under the state government’s pension, except those who are in the Sixth Schedule Areas in the state.

He stated that of them, 1,75,998 are under OPS and 2,58,456 are under the NPS.

In addition, the Chief Minister stated that 7,006 retired employees are currently receiving pensions under the NPS, which was put into effect in the state in 2005.

“We adhere to the Central government’s pension plans because we implement their pay scale here. Under the NPS, individuals who enlisted at a younger age — such as 25 — will receive a respectable pension amount,” he said.

Sarma said that the benefit would not be the same for those who served for, say, three years under the NPS and those who served for thirty years.

According to him, the Assam government currently spends over Rs 1,700 crore in pension payments for its employees each month.

“Under OPS, our pension bill will surpass the salary bill in five years if we assume that the current salary bill is Rs 2,800–3,000 crore per month and the pension bill is Rs 1,700 crore. Our economy will then be in ruins,” Sarma said.

He noted that only a small percentage of employees whose NPS retirement is approaching would experience some financial hardship, and the government is aware of this.

“A committee has been established by the Central government to look into the NPS’ potential benefits and drawbacks, as well as other relevant issues. Its proposals must be awaited,” the Chief Minister added.

–Ajit Weekly News

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