Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu said that state government has taken a historic decision to provide Old Pension Scheme (OPS) to all its National Pension System (NPS) employees to ensure that they live a respectable life after retirement.
He said this was one of the ten Guarantees given by the Congress Party during the recently concluded Vidhan Sabha elections.
Addressing media persons on Friday on after the first cabinet meeting of the state government, he said that this decision of the state government will benefit over 1.36 lakh NPS employees of the state.
“The aim of the government is to provide social security to all. Affordability of OPS expenditure will be achieved through financial discipline and cutting down on expenses. The government firmly believes that there is no such thing that cannot be done,” he said.
Sukhu informed a cabinet sub-committee has been constituted for finalising the roadmap for implementation of the promises made by the Congress Party during the elections for creating one lakh employment opportunities in the state. He said that this committee will comprise Industries Minister Harshwardhan Chauhan, Revenue Minister Jagat Singh Negi and Education Minister Rohit Thakur.
“Another cabinet sub-committee has also been constituted for finalising the roadmap for implementation of the promises made by the Congress Party during the elections for granting Rs 1,500 to the women in the age group of 18 to 60 years,” he added.
This committee will comprise of Health Minister Dr. (Col.) Dhani Ram Shandil Agriculture Minister Chander Kumar and Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Minister Anirudh Singh, he added.
He said both these sub committees will submit their reports within a month.
While accusing the previous BJP government of plunging the state into a heavy debt trap of over Rs 75,000 crore, the chief minister said due to the financial mismanagement and wasteful expenditure by the previous BJP government the state has inherited financial liabilities of Rs 4,430 crore as salary arrears to its employees and Rs 5,226 crore has liabilities of pensioners as pension arrears on the present state government.
In addition to this, liabilities of about Rs 1,000 crore as DA of employees and pensioners on the present state government have been left by the previous state government, he said, adding that in this way the previous state government has left total financial burden of about Rs 11,000 crore on the state exchequer.
Sukhu informed that the Central government has over Rs 8,000 crore as share of NPS employees.
Despite all these odds, the state government has decided to provide old pension scheme to NPS employees so as to secure their retired life, he added.