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Decision On Old Pension Scheme Before Budget Session: Ajit Pawar

  Notably, several government and semi-government employees in Maharashtra have been demanding restoration of the OPS, which was discontinued in the state in 2005.

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Ajit Pawar-led NCP meeting in Mumbai
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Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar on Thursday said CM Eknath Shinde has assured government employees demanding restoration of the old pension scheme (OPS) that a decision on it will be taken before the upcoming budget session.

The state legislature's budget session is generally held in February-March every year. Speaking to reporters in the Vidhan Bhavan premises in Nagpur, where the winter session of the state legislature is currently underway, Pawar informed about discussions held with the representatives of government employees demanding the OPS.

He said the government has received the report of a committee, set up to look into the demand. Notably, several government and semi-government employees in Maharashtra have been demanding restoration of the OPS, which was discontinued in the state in 2005.

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Under the OPS, a government employee gets a monthly pension equivalent to 50 per cent his/her last drawn salary. There was no need for contribution by employees. Under the New Pension Scheme, a state government employee contributes 10 per cent of his/her basic salary plus dearness allowance with the state making a matching contribution. The money is then invested in one of the several pension funds approved by the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) and the returns are market-linked.

Pawar said senior government officials will hold discussions with the leaders of workers. "The central government has also formed a committee, though we will not link this with them, but we would examine their report as well," he said. The government will take an appropriate decision on the pension of its employees, the minister said. 

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"We told them (representatives of those demanding OPS) yesterday that the Mahayuti (alliance) government will take a positive decision before the Vidhan Sabha elections. But, they wanted it to be done as soon as possible," he said. The state assembly elections are due next year.

Pawar said the OPS is expected to be implemented from 2031-32, but they said to find a way out. The chief minister assured them of resolving four to five of their other queries, he said.

"However, they took a stand and were adamant that the government should give them a word when the decision will be announced. Finally, the chief minister assured them that the government will take a decision on this 100 per cent before the forthcoming budget session," he said.

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