Assam government staff demonstrate, protest against NPS scheme

Functioning of schools, colleges and government offices was disrupted, and essential services staff who were working wore black badges to show their support

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The state government employees in Assam demonstrated in protest against the New Pension Scheme (NPS) via a non-cooperation movement, which affected the administration of many departments in the Government of Assam.

More than two lakh employees who are members of the Assam Govt. NPS Employees’ Association (AAGNPSEA) supported the protest. Naturally, the functioning of schools, colleges and government offices was hampered due to the protest on 22 August.

Employees from all backgrounds showed their support, including teachers, officials, employees, police personnel, doctors and nurses. Essential services employees such as healthcare staff and police personnel were working, but they showed their support by wearing black badges.

The NPS scheme was implemented in 2005 and came into effect by 2009, in Assam. So far, 7500 employees have retired under this scheme and are finding it difficult to make ends meet. As per AAGNPSEA, under the NPS scheme, after retirement, an employee receives maximum of up to Rs 2,800 a month. This amount is not enough to run their households. On the contrary, under the Old Pension Scheme (OPS), on an average, the employees earned Rs 12,000 a month. For those who have completed 25 years in service, pension included 50 per cent of basic plus other allowances.

Next month, AAGNPSEA is also planning to organise a padyatra in Guwahati against the NPS scheme, as the union wants the government to take their demands seriously.

Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, and Punjab have already reverted to the old pension scheme and Assam employees are expecting their government to do the same.

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