CM Himanta Biswa Sarma expresses solidarity with retired employees
Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has expressed his concern and also extended his support to the “Assam High School Retired Teachers’ & Employees’ Association
OLD PENSION SCHEME VERSUS NPS
GUWAHATI: Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has expressed his concern and also extended his support to the "Assam High School Retired Teachers' & Employees' Association (Newly Provincialized) Assam' for their request for implementation of the OPS (Old Pension Scheme) instead of the proposed NPS (National Pension Scheme).
The Chief Minister also suggested that the teachers should discuss the issue with the State Education Minister, Dr Ronuj Pegu at the earliest.
The Chief Minister expressed his concern and offered the suggestion when a delegation of the Association met him over the issue in Dispur on Saturday.
Talking to the media, the Association's general secretary Nripendra Nath Sarma said, "Our schools were provincialized with effect from January 1, 2013. However, before this development, we had worked in our respective high schools and high madrassas for 20 to 35 years.
"After provincialization, the teachers and employees joined their respective schools before January 1, 2004. However, the NPS was started in 2005. We should not be included under the NPS as we joined our duties before 2004.
"The fact, however, remains that in the post-provincialization phase, many of our colleagues could serve in their schools for just a month or a year. There are also instances where the teachers and employees could not serve for even five years as they had to go on superannuation."
He added, "Since they retired within such a short period, no fund was deposited against their names in the NPS. Hence, they were deprived of 'Annuity'.
"Moreover, the teachers and employees of schools that were provincialized in 1985 were receiving pension benefits according to 'The Assam Services (Pension) Rules-1969'.
"According to this service rule, after a school is recognized its employees receive an ad-hoc grant as salaries. Significantly, the pension benefits of the employees are counted since the day they received the ad-hoc grant. In this regard, the teachers and employees of the schools that were recognized in 1985 are receiving their pensions. "We also want that our members should be provided the pension benefits as per the mentioned Service Rule."
"Though our schools were provincialized on January 1, 2013, we have been receiving the ad-hoc grant since our schools were recognized. Thus under no circumstance, we can be included under the NPS," added Sarma. Besides the Association's general secretary Nripendra Nath Sarma, the delegation also included among others the organization's joint secretary Hem Chandra Barman, State member Balen Boro.