On Monday, Union Minister of State for Finance Bhagwat Karad informed the Lok Sabha that the government of India is not considering plans to restore the old pension scheme (OPS).
According to Karad, in a written response to a question submitted by AIMIM’s Asaduddin Owaisi, the Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, and Jharkhand state governments have informed the Central Government/Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) about their decisions to resume the old pension scheme (OPS).
It was announced by the state government of Punjab on November 18, 2022, that the OPS would be implemented for government employees currently covered under the National Pension System (NPS).
Karad’s report stated, “The state governments of Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, and Jharkhand have submitted proposals to the Central government for the return of the subscriber corpus under the NPS to the respective state governments. I know that no such proposal has been received from the Punjab state government.”
“In response to the proposals of Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, and Jharkhand, PFRDA has informed the respective state governments that there is no provision under Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority Act-2013 read along with PFRDA (Exits and Withdrawals under the National Pension System) Regulations- 2015, and other relevant regulations, as amended from time to time, vide which the funds, which are already deposited both in the form of the government contribution and employees’ contribution towards NPS, along with accruals, can be refunded and deposited back to the state government,” he said.
Furthermore, the Minister stated, “There is no proposal under consideration by the government of India regarding the restoration of old pension schemes.”
A separate written response from Union Minister of State for Finance Pankaj Choudhary stated, “There have been several requests to include images of freedom fighters, eminent personalities, Gods and Goddesses, animals, etc., on Indian banknotes.”
As a member of Congress, Anto Antony has asked whether the government has received any requests/representations regarding the inclusion of more images (including the pictures of Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Ganesha) on Indian currency notes. In response, Choudhary responded, “Yes, sir”.
There have been several requests and suggestions regarding images on currency notes. In this regard, the Reserve Bank of India issued a press release on June 6, 2022, clarifying that no changes are proposed to the existing currency and banknotes.” Choudhary said.