The state unit of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) extended its support to the indefinite strike called by the Karnataka State Government NPS Employees Association at Freedom Park in Bengaluru on Tuesday. The protesters are demanding the withdrawal of the New Pension Scheme (NPS) and the re-introduction of the Old Pension Scheme (OPS).
Karnataka AAP vice-president Bhaskar Rao, who is protesting along with party leaders at Freedom Park, announced that if AAP comes to power in the state, NPS will be scrapped and OPS will be implemented.
होस् पिन्चानी योजूೕज काईबीब मागमागे अधितत आंदमदा राजज्य सार्कार उॉकूकरूर. AAP leaders supported it.
Restore old pension scheme, State Govt employees asked. AAP leaders express solidarity with their cause.@Nimmabhaskar22 @brijeshkalappa pic.twitter.com/SmCMXCId6k
– AAP Bengaluru (@AAPBangalore) December 20, 2022
Speaking at the protest, Rao said, “During the Punjab elections, the Aam Aadmi Party had promised to implement OPS if it came to power. Accordingly, the cabinet there approved the implementation of OPS in November and the government issued a gazette notification. In Gujarat too, AAP had promised to implement OPS, but the party he did not come to power. If we come to power in Karnataka, we will implement OPS. We will clearly mention this in the election manifesto and citizens will be given a guarantee card. AAP is always committed to protect the interests of government employees.”
Aam Aadmi Party leader and senior Supreme Court advocate Brijesh Kalappa said, “For the BJP’s Center and state governments, only the capitalist businessmen are important. The needs of the common man, including workers, laborers, farmers, small businessmen, do not matter. People of different ways are so much he has been protesting for some time and now government employees have come out. BJP leaders have even the slightest concern for government employees, let them abolish NPS and implement OPS at the earliest.”
Aam Aadmi Party state worker president Ravi Shankar said, “Employees who joined government service after 2006 feel secure because of NPS. They are worried about their post-retirement life. Abolition of NPS and introduction of OPS will not put a huge financial burden on the government. NPS trust’s contribution is more than 16,000 crore and if OPS is implemented, the contribution will be avoided. When NPS is removed, the money received along with interest can be used for government development work,” he said.
Under OPS, retired employees used to get 50 percent of their last drawn salary as monthly pension. NPS is a contributory pension scheme under which employees contribute 10 percent of their salary (Basic + Dearness Allowance). The Government contributes 14 percent towards the NPS accounts of employees.
In short, opponents of OPS argue that it is fiscally unsustainable—that is, Indian governments don’t have the money to fund it—while NPS opponents call NPS politically unsustainable, that is, they don’t deal with what they feel. people’s needs