The decision of the Himachal Pradesh government to give post retirement benefits to chairman and members of Himachal Public Service Commission (HPSC) has not gone down well with state government employees demanding restoration of Old Pension System (OPS) and opposition Congress .
The state government has recently decided to give monthly amount of Rs 6000 per month to Chairman and Rs 5000 per month to a member for every year served in the HPSC. As the tenure of chairman and members of the Commission is six years thus a member completing its full term would be getting Rs 30000 per month where as the chairman would be getting Rs 36000 per month.
This decision has drawn the attention of public since majority of members are retired persons from government departments, allied services or ex-servicemen, who already are eligible to get pensions from their parent departments.
The state government has appointed two former journalists as chairman and a member in the HPSC; one during the Congress regime and a member by the present government .
It is notable the state government is giving pension to state government employees under New Pension System (NPS) for the employees appointed after 2003 by ending Old Pension Scheme .
Nearly one and a half lakh state government employees have formed OPS Association for restoration of OPS and have held protest demonstrations during the last few months.
The Central Government has launched Agniveer scheme for recruitment of soldiers in Armed Forces last month under which majority youths would be recruited in the Army for a short tenure of four years and would not be getting pension post retirement.
President of Himachal Pradesh OPS Association Pradeep Thakur said , “ More than one lakh fifty thousand state government employees are demanding restoration of OPS and people are opposed to giving such benefits to other categories unless OPS is restored in the state .”
The leader of opposition in Himachal Pradesh Assembly and CLP leader Mukesh Agnihotri said , “ The demand of restoration of OPS is very pressing one at present and the state government should not extend such benefits to others unless OPS is restored in the state .”
“Moreover, giving such benefits to HPSC members would open a Pandora Box as others from such organizations would start demanding these benefits too ,” the Congress leader added .