New Delhi, January 6
Former Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia once again spoke against reintroduction of the old pension scheme (OPS) by some states. He said the move by certain opposition-ruled state governments to regress to the old pension scheme was an “absurd idea” and a “recipe for financial bankruptcy”.
He was speaking at a book release event.
I think the PM rightly called out the system of ‘revdis’… Bringing back the OPS is one of the biggest ‘revdis’ being offered. —Montek Singh Ahluwalia
It is believed that one of the reasons for the BJP’s lose the Himachal Pradesh Assembly elections was the Congress’ promise to revert to the OPS. Punjab too approved the the scheme in November, which the CM’s Office said would benefit over 1.75 lakh government employees, besides the 1.26 lakh who are already covered under the existing OPS. Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh have already reverted to the old pension scheme.
Ahluwalia, who was the Planning Commission chief during the UPA government, had made similar observations in November when he said the OPS was one of the “biggest revdis”.
“I think the Prime Minister rightly called out the system of revdis and there are many more revdis than what we thought. I mean bringing back the OPS is one of the biggest revdis now being invented,” he had observed at an ICRIER event in November last year.
Ahluwalia’s observation found support from NK Singh, who headed the 15 Finance Commission set up by the NDA government. Singh said the issue was debated by the Manmohan Singh government and “my colleague Montek Singh Ahluwalia has commented extensively on the subject that it will be a fiscal disaster for the state to go back from the new pension scheme and adopt the old pension scheme”.
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