GUWAHATI: The All Assam Government NPS Employees Association (AAGNPSEA) has declared a state-wide mass agitation from Sadiya to Dhubri from January 20 to 31, demanding the cancellation of the National Pension System (NPS) and the restoration of the Old Pension Scheme (OPS).
The move follows concerns expressed by employees over the insecurity of their lives after retirement under the current NPS.
Achyutananda Hazarika, the president of AAGNPSEA, emphasized the need for a more secure retirement scheme, saying, "The employees have decided to intensify their democratic agitation to secure an insecure retirement life. NPS has become a social problem, so the employees of the state will take the issue of OPS restoration to the people. As part of the effort, the association will stage agitations from Sadiya to Dhubri from January 20 to 31, 2024, for the restoration of the OPS."
"On January 20, employees will be staging a one-day strike in all districts across the state. On that day, the district committees of the associations will organize a protest rallies in the district and sub-divisional headquarters from 11 a.m. onwards, take signatures from the participants, and submit a memorandum to the Chief Minister through the district commissioner or sub-divisional officers. Along with that, a demand letter will be sent to all Members of Legislative Assembly (MLAs) and Members of Parliament (MPs) for restoring OPS," Hazarika stated.
Hazarika outlined the schedule of events, stating, "A mass agitation or rally will be held in Guwahati on January 31, which will be attended by national-level leaders supporting the cause."
The agitation has gained widespread support from various Assam government employee associations. The Assam College Teachers' Association, in a statement, condemned the NPS and extended its support to the state-wide agitation initiated by AAGNPSEA. Dr. Jayanta Baruah, the ACTA General Secretary, urged all employees to actively participate in the protests across different parts of the state.
The All Assam University Employees' Federation (AAUEF) has also thrown its weight behind the cause. The federation has pledged full support and wholehearted cooperation to the Gana Aloran programme, a movement led by AAGNPSEA demanding the repeal of the NPS and the reinstatement of the OPS.
The Sadou Asom Karmachari Parishad (SAKP) also extended its support to the state-wide agitation initiated by the AAGNPSEA. The organization vowed to continue its support until the demands were met.