Itanagar: The Confederation of Service Associations of Arunachal Pradesh (CoSAAP) on Sunday demanded the scrapping of the National Pension Scheme (NPS) and restoration of the Old Pension Scheme (OPS) for the state government employees that provides an assured income after retirement.
In this regard, the apex body of the state government employees claimed they have submitted a memorandum to the Chief Minister. The CoSAAP, in favour of its demand, reasoned that the NPS does not guarantee social and economic security to the employees after retirement and that the government should withdraw it and reintroduce the old pension scheme.
CoSAAP secretary general Gonya Riba at a press conference here said the central government through a Parliament Act in 2003 implemented the contributory pension scheme, NPS, for central government employees replacing the defined benefit pension scheme for employees who joined Govt service after January 1, 2004, while the Arunachal Govt implemented it four years later from Jan 1, 2008.
“As a matter of fact, the National Pension Scheme (NPS) does not guarantee social and economic security to the government employees, during or after their retirement. This is completely a share market investment of the employees’ contributions and the fate of the employees and their family depends on the market growth,” he claimed.
While stating that the states of Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and few others have recently decided to scrap NPS and restore OPS, the CoSAAP memorandum said, “We sincerely request your Govt kindly to examine the pros & cons of NPS and restore OPS for your State Govt employees that will guarantee social & economic security to the employees and their family members.”
CoSAAP president Likha Tech reiterated the confederation’s long-pending demand for the grant of revised allowances to the state government employees “as admissible and recommended” by the 7th Central Pay Commission (CPC) such as house rent allowance (HRA), transport allowance (TPTA), children education allowance, non-practicing allowance to doctors, and uniform allowances to the uniformed personnel.
He said the state cabinet had on October 8, 2018 decided to grant tough location allowances (TLA) for all categories of employees with some modifications and HRA to only group ‘C’ employees.
Accordingly, the employees accepted the TLA as per the 7th CPC but opposed the partial implementation of HRA. Then the ‘assurance’ came for implementation of HRA for all categories of employees after the 2019 general elections.
“The rates of private house rents do not have control mechanisms from the Govt authorities and as such, the rates charged by the building owners are too exorbitant, beyond the affordability of low paid Govt employees. Therefore, CoSAAP reiterates its demand for immediate implementation of HRA as entitled in 7th CPC, which would be a great relief for the employees who are facing the brunt of exorbitant rates of house rents in the state capital and district headquarters,” he said.
The CoSAAP while endorsing the state government demand for the creation of a separate IAS cadre for Arunachal Pradesh said, “In the event of materialising separate IAS cadre for AP it should be ensured that the status and responsibilities presently enjoyed and prevailing in the Govt level offices, attached offices and subordinate office are not distorted to the disadvantage of all concerned.”
It also demanded the creation of new posts against the newly-created administrative units and more promotional posts to resolve stagnations in the career progressions of State Govt employees.
The employees’ apex body also demanded budgetary provision for the renovation of Govt quarters, so as to do away with accommodation problems of the employees and encroachment on the quarters.