Andhra Pradesh: Government rules out restoration of Old Pension Scheme

It makes vain bid to convince employees’ associations to accept Guaranteed Pension Scheme

September 07, 2022 09:21 pm | Updated 09:21 pm IST - VIJAYAWADA

Representatives of employees’ associations at the talks convened by the government in Vijayawada on Wednesday.

Representatives of employees’ associations at the talks convened by the government in Vijayawada on Wednesday.

The Group of Ministers, comprising Buggana Rajendranath Reddy, Botcha Satyanarayana and A. Suresh, made another vain attempt on Wednesday to break the deadlock over the contentious issue of the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) by holding talks with the representatives of a few employees’ associations.

Most of the leaders owing their allegiance to the AP JAC Amaravati member- associations boycotted the talks saying that they were not ready to discuss anything other than restoration of the Old Pension Scheme (OPS) as was promised to them by Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy at the time of the elections.

There was no breakthrough as the Ministers’ attempt to convince the employees’ representatives to accept the Guaranteed Pension Scheme (GPS) designed by the government as a middle ground did not cut any ice with them.

After a PowerPoint presentation on the GPS, Mr. Rajendranath Reddy (Finance Minister) said dialogue was a solution to all challenges.

The government had been inviting the employees’ representatives for talks in the hope that the CPS issue could be resolved. He said the government was ready to offer guaranteed pension, guaranteed family security and guaranteed minimum pension, among other benefits, under the GPS. The employee leaders could give their approval after discussing these aspects with other employees, he said.

Addressing the media after the meeting, Mr. Satyanarayana (Education Minister) admitted that the government was forced to go back on its word on CPS due to serious financial constraints.

He agreed that the Chief Minister had promised to implement the OPS after coming to power. “But after discussing the nitty-gritty of the issue and taking into consideration the larger picture of the State, we realised that restoration of the OPS is not possible,” he said.

He also said the government had fulfilled 95% of the promises it had made to various sections of people. “We did not implement only 5% of them, and CPS is one of them,” he added, advising the employees to accept the GPS, which was designed keeping their overall welfare in mind.

He said staying away from the talks was not a solution as the government would then go ahead and officially announce implementation of the GPS.

Special Chief Secretary, Finance, S.S. Rawat, Chief Secretary (HR) Chiranjeevi Chowdary, Secretary, Finance, N. Gulzar, and other officials were present.

Among the employees’ representatives were AP NGOs Association president B. Srinivasa Rao, AP Secretariat Employees’ Association president Venkatrami Reddy, and AP Government Employees’ Association president K. R. Suryanarayana.

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