GUWAHATI: Numerous Government employees staged statewide protests on Monday under the aegis of the All Assam Government NPS Employees' Association (AAGNPSEA) to demand scrapping of the National Pension Scheme (NPS) and restoration of the Old Pension Scheme (OPS).
AAGNPSEA president Achyutananda Hazarika said that it is high time for the State Government to show whether it is concerned about the welfare of its employees or not.
"Employees, including teachers, officers and police personnel are dedicated for welfare of the society and they spent their most productive and energetic years for the people of the State. But the retired employees under NPS get only a consolation amount per month (Rs 500, Rs 600, Rs 1,000 etc.,) after retirement, which cannot be termed as monthly pension," Hazarika said in a statement.
Demanding restoration of the OPS, Hazarika said that today's protest is the beginning of a major agitational programme and the Government should take it seriously in the greater interest of the employees and State as a whole. He said that if the Government does heed their demand, then they will resort to a day-long 'Pada Yatra' in September, wherein more than 50,000 employees will participate.
Hazarika said, "The State Governments of Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Punjab have already taken positive steps and decided to give benefits to their employees as per the Old Pension System and we expect that Assam should be the fifth State of India and the first BJP-led State Government to do so. It is also a fact that we have a visionary Chief Minister in the State who is well-versed about the issue and who is competent to take any decision for the welfare of the employees... It is crystal clear that NPS has been implemented for Government employees without giving heed to its impact on the retired life of the employees and the society at large, and its adverse impact has been already proved. Now it is the right time to roll back the NPS and restore OPS."
More than 60 associations of teachers and other employees supported today's non-cooperation programme. These include Assam College Teachers Association, All Assam Heads of Department Ministerial Association, All Assam District Administration Employees Union, Sadou Asom Karmachari Parishad, All Assam Universities Employees' Federation, All Assam Judicial Employees Association, Sadou Asom Sanmilita Shikshak Mancha and its associates (Assam State Primary Teachers Association, All Assam Higher Secondary Teachers and Employees Association, All Assam ME Teachers Association, All Assam Buniyadi Teachers Association, All Assam Junior College Teachers Employees Association, All Bodo Primary Teachers Association, Assam, Assam High School Teachers Association, Assam Primary TET Qualified Teachers Forum, All Assam State Pool Teachers Association), Dibrugarh University Employees Association, All Assam Govt. District Transport Employees Association, Joint Council of Trade Unions (J CITU), North East Employees Federation, Assam State Employees Federation, Assam Secretariat Service Association, AAU Employees' Association, All Medical College & Hospital Employees' Association, All Assam Section Assistant & Subordinate Engineers' Service Association, Assam State Teachers- Employees (2013 new provincialized) Association, All Assam Ministerial Association, All Assam ME Teachers Association- North Lakhimpur District Committee, Assam High School Retired Teachers Employees Association, In Service TET Qualified Primary Teachers Association, Assam State Electricity Supply Workers Union, Sadou Asom Kor Bibhagiya Amola Santha, Assam State Employees Federation, All Assam ITI Training Association, All Assam Judicial Employees Association, Newly Provincialized Primary (LP, UP) Teachers Association, All Assam Government District Transport Employees Union, All Assam Fourth Grade Employees Sanmilon, All Assam MPW Health Workers (Male) Association, Sadou Asom Amola Santha, All Assam Irrigation Fourth Grade Employees Association, All Assam Secondary Graduate Teachers Association, Assam Secondary Teachers and Employees Association , All Assam University Employees Mahasangha, Assam Agricultural University Finance Service Association, Assam Agricultural University Drivers Association, Assam Agricultural University Fourth Grade Employees Association etc .