Assam govt employees hold protest meet seeking restoration of old pension scheme

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Assam govt employees hold protest meet seeking restoration of old pension scheme: Guwahati, Nov 8 (PTI) Assam government employees staged a protest here on Tuesday, demanding the resumption of the Old Pension Scheme (OPS) and warning the authorities to intensify the agitation if their demands are not met by this month.

While employees from various districts reached the city for the meeting held under the aegis of the All Assam Government NPS Employees’ Association (AAGNPSEA), leaders and members of workers’ federations from other states of the country also joined them as a show of solidarity.

“Our demand is simple. We want the restoration of the OPS. It was the single proposal adopted at today’s protest meeting and we have forwarded the demand to the chief minister,” AAGNPSEA President Achyutananda Hazarika told PTI.

Assam government employees protest, demand restoration of old pension scheme

Assam govt employees hold protest meet seeking restoration of old pension scheme
Assam govt employees hold protest meet seeking restoration of old pension scheme (IMAGE SOURCE: EASTMOJO.COM)

Assam has about five lakh government employees, of which about 2.4 lakh are under the New Pension Scheme (NPS).

“We have been assured that the government will look into our demands. But if there is no positive response by November 30, we will have to intensify our movement,” he added.

Hazarika said the protesters had gathered at the Veterinary College grounds in the city’s Khanapara area for a nearly five-kilometer march to Dispur, the seat of power, but the authorities did not allow them. We didn’t want to look at the law and order situation of being a government employee. However, if our demands are not met, we will have to resort to more intense protests, he said.

The AAGNPSEA president said leaders of the National OPS Restoration United Forum, and from the employees’ association of Telangana, Jammu, and Kashmir, Chattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh, Manipur, Mizoram, and Arunachal Pradesh also participated in the protest.

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Representatives from different trade unions of railways, banks, and postal departments were also present, he claimed.

Lakhs of Assam government employees observed ‘karma birati’ (work stoppage) at their respective workplaces on August 22 under the auspices of AAGNPSEA to demand the cancellation of the New Pension Scheme (NPS) and restoration of the old one.

The association claimed that the retired workers under NPS get a very nominal amount as a pension every month, which is not possible to maintain.

Its agitational programs proposed in June and July were postponed due to an invitation for a discussion by the Assam finance minister. As no favourable action’ followed the discussion, the association launched the protest meeting.

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