A section of officers, led by the Confederation of Central Government Employees and Workers and the All India State Government Employees Federation, has approached Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba demanding that the old pension scheme (OPS) be restored and the National Pension Scheme (NPS) revoked.
The officers, at a protest gathering, also warned of united struggles, including a strike, to protect their “hard-earned rights”.
They said in a letter to Mr. Gauba that the “neo-liberal policies” of the Centre had put the country’s civil service in a deep crisis. They said the new economic policy dictated withdrawal of the government from all sectors, causing the downsizing of civil service. “Outsourcing, contractorisation, and privatisation are increasing. Lakhs of posts remain vacant, causing unbearable workload for the existing employees,” they said.
The organisations said the Defined Benefit Pension Scheme, or the OPS, for government employees was a well-built and best-of-all social security scheme without any pecuniary contribution from the beneficiaries.
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“Privatised Pension Scheme is now the most prominent economic offensive of neo-liberal globalisation, which has engulfed the workers and employees worldwide,” they said and cited the decisions by the respective governments in Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Punjab and Himachal Pradesh to restore the OPS.
“But the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority Act subsists as the sword of Damocles,” they said and urged the Centre to repeal the PFRDA Act, and enrol all NPS subscribers under the Defined Benefit Pension Scheme.
“More than ten lakh posts in the Central Civil Service are currently lying vacant. Nearly half of the sanctioned posts in many States are filled up with contractual/outsourced/daily waged employees. Last-grade posts completely vanished, and contract appointments are made even to higher positions. The general attitude of the Union Government and most State Governments towards the recruitment policy is one and the same,” they said in the letter.