The Opposition Congress, on Saturday, staged a walkout in the Himachal Pradesh assembly as they were not allowed to raise adjournment motion demanding discussion on the Old Pension Scheme (OPS).
As soon as the House assembled, a member, Asha Kumari (Congress), put forward the issue and remarked that they should be allowed to raise the issue of OPS, as they had submitted notice under Rule- 67 to the Speaker. The Opposition then staged a protest in the well of the house for immediately not allowing raising adjournment motion on the issue of OPS.
Later, they walked out of the floor of the house during the question hours.
Rejecting the adjournment motion, Speaker asserted that the matter had already been discussed in the house during the no-confidence motion under rule 278 that had been moved by them. However, opposition expressed displeasure and resorted to sloganeering and entered the well of the house. The question hour commenced after the opposition walked out.
Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur criticised the walkout and said that the Opposition Congress was not serious on the last day of the monsoon session, which also is the last day of the 13th Legislative Assembly.
“It was the then Congress government in 2003 implemented the New Pension Scheme (NPS) under the leadership of former CM Virbhadra Singh,” he mentioned, alleging that it was Congress who cheated the employees and now they are playing politics on the issue.
The Congress should have protested and demanded OPS, when their party had been in power, he asserted.Favouring the decision of NPS, Thakur said that had Virbhadra Singh been alive he would not have supported the protest.
The state government was spending about Rs 911 Crore to benefit New Pension Scheme (NPS) employees to deposit state share in the provident fund. Five thousand employees are being benefited from the salaries and allowances of NPS employees by the government. The state government also started Rs 250 Crore Invalid Pension and Family Pensions to NPS employees,” he announced.
Meanwhile, Himachal Pradesh is not the only state to implement the NPS, he said, adding that as many as 96 lakh employees in the country are covered under the NPS.
Thakur concluded by saying that despite the Covid pandemic his government had not delayed the salaries and pensions of the pensioners even for a single day.