Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Tuesday said the state government will consider paying the gap amount between old and new pension schemes to the employees under the newer mode of monthly retirement emoluments.
During a discussion in a Private Members' Resolution, Mr Sarma said the exact pension structure will be known only after 2035 when the first lot of service holders retire after completing the full tenure since 2005.
"Whatever discussion we are having now is on the basis of those whose services got regularised after 2005 and they have already retired due to the age factor. This cannot be taken as a true picture of the National Pension System (NPS)," he added.
Raising the matter, Independent MLA Akhil Gogoi said the senior citizens who have left their jobs in recent times and who are part of the NPS are getting very nominal pensions with the highest being Rs 2,600 a month.
Accepting his examples, Mr Sarma said: "NPS was started in Assam in 2005 along with the Centre. I have told the Finance Department to analyse the gap between NPS and Old Pension Scheme (OPS) pensions after availing full services of a minimum of 30 years." "
If the government pays the difference, then justice will be done to the employee. But this is an evolving subject and we cannot say it now what will be the structure in 2035 when the first batch will retire their full service." Mr Sarma, who also holds the Personnel portfolio, said the state government spends Rs 1,100 crore every month in paying pensions at this moment and the amount is rising gradually with higher life expectancy and increasing Dearness Allowance.
"If we give pensions under the OPS, our loan amount will rise. We are a small state. We follow the central government's salary structure. We pay the exact amount of DA as the central government pays to their staff," he added.
When Mr Gogoi named some states that have returned to the OPS, Mr Sarma claimed all these states made election announcements but none have implemented it yet.
With the Independent MLA not withdrawing his resolution, it was put under voice vote and rejected eventually.
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