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The government has threatened to take action if employees join Old Pension Scheme protests.

Government employees stage a demonstration in Mumbai seeking implementation of Old Pension Plan in the state. (File photo)

THE CENTRAL GOVERNMENT has advised its employees against striking or protesting over the reintroduction of the Old Pension Plan (OPS).

The Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) informed all ministries on Monday, “The undersigned is directed to inform that the National Joint Council of Action, under the banner of ‘Joint Forum for Restoration of Old Pension Scheme,’ has planned to organise district-level rallies across the country on March 21, exclusively over OPS.”

“The orders provided by the Department of Personnel & Training ban Government servants from participating in any type of strike, including mass casual leave, go-slow, sit-down etc. or any action that abet any form of strike in contravention of Rule 7 of the CCS (Conduct) Rules, 1964. Furthermore, salary and allowances are not receivable to an employee for his absence from duty without authorisation, according to the proviso to Rule 17 (1) of the Basic Rules,” the notification stated.

“Central Government Employees under your Ministry/Department may therefore be adequately informed of the aforementioned instructions under the conduct Guidelines established by this Department and other rules supported by the Hon’ble Supreme Court.” “They may be discouraged from engaging in any form of strike, including protest,” it stated.

“Instructions may be issued not to authorise casual leave or another type of leave to employees if applied for during the scheduled protest/strike period, and to ensure that willing staff are granted free admission into the office premises.”

“To that end, the Joint Secretary (Admn) may be tasked with coordinating with security personnel,” it read. “If the employees go on dharma/protest/strike, a report detailing the number of employees who participated in the proposed dharna/protest strike may be transmitted to this Department on the day’s evening.”

In response to the instruction, the Animal Husbandry and Dairying department warned its employees that they would face disciplinary punishment if they protested in OPS demand. According to a circular, any official who engages in the strike/protest will be brought to the attention of the responsible authority for necessary disciplinary/penal action.

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