Pune (Maharashtra) [India], March 20 (ANI): Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde on Monday welcomed the decision of government employees, who called off their week-long strike over the restoration of the Old Pension Scheme (OPS).
The decision came after a meeting between employees’ representatives and Chief Minister Eknath Shinde.
The State government is completely positive regarding the demand of the employees and the report of the committee, constituted for this, will be received at the earliest and an appropriate decision will be taken,” Maharashtra CM Shinde said in a statement to Legislative Council and Legislative Assembly.
“I welcome this decision taken sensitively by the state government and semi-government employees considering the challenges facing the state,” CM Shinde added.
Last week, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader and deputy chief minister in the previous Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government, Ajit Pawar, raised the issue of the government employees, the Old Pension Scheme (OPS), in the Assembly, saying that the state government should consider the request of the employees.
Speaking to mediapersons, Pawar had said, “the government needs to talk to employees, who are on strike demanding the restoration and implementation of the Old Pension Scheme in the state. If small states can implement the scheme, then why can’t an advanced state like Maharashtra implement the OPS?”
“I raised the issue in the Assembly today and requested the state government to hold discussions with the protesting employees and meet their demand as soon as possible, as these strikes could impede the day-to-day functioning of the government and add to the hardships of the people,” Pawar had added.
Under the OPS, a government employee is entitled to a monthly pension which is half of his last drawn salary.
Under the New Pension Scheme (NPS), employees contribute a portion of their salaries to the pension fund based on which they are entitled to a one-time lump sum amount on superannuation.
The Old Pension Scheme was discontinued in December 2003, and the new scheme came into effect on April 1, 2004. (ANI)