Assam Government Employees Hold Protest Meet; Seeks Restoration Of Old Pension Scheme

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Posted in Assam, Featured, Northeast
NET Web Desk

Thousands of Assam government employees staged a protest meeting on Tuesday, demanding the re-introduction of Old Pension Scheme (OPS), threatening the authorities to intensify the agitation if their demand remains unfulfilled within this month.

Employees from various districts attended the meeting held under the aegis of the All Assam Government NPS Employees’ Association (AAGNPSEA). Besides, leaders and members of workers’ federations from other states also joined them as a mark of solidarity.

According to the AAGNPSEA President – Achyutananda Hazarika, “Our demand is simple. We want the restoration of the OPS. It was the single proposal adopted at today’s protest meeting, and we have forwarded the demand to the chief minister.”

Assam has around five lakh government employees, and 2.4 lakh citizens come under the New Pension Scheme (NPS).

“We have been assured that the government will look into our demand. But if we do not get any positive response by November 30, we will have to intensify our agitation,” he added.

Hazarika said the protestors had assembled at the Veterinary College Field in the Khanapara area of the city for a nearly five-kilometer-long march towards Dispur, the seat of power, but the authorities did not allow them.

“We did not want to cause any law and order situation as we are government employees. Hence, we decided to abide by the instruction of the authorities this time. But if our demand remains unfulfilled, we will have to resort to more intensified protest,” he said.

The AAGNPSEA president said leaders of the National OPS Restoration United Forum, and from the employees’ association of Telangana, Jammu, and Kashmir, Chattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh, Manipur, Mizoram, and Arunachal Pradesh also participated in the protest.

Representatives from different trade unions of railways, banks, and postal departments were also present, he claimed.

Lakhs of Assam government employees had observed ‘Karma Birati’ (cessation of work) at their workplaces on August 22, also under the aegis of AAGNPSEA, demanding the scrapping of the New Pension Scheme (NPS) and restoration of the old one.

The Association claimed that retired employees under the NPS get a very nominal amount every month as a pension, through which sustenance is impossible.

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