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Winter Session: Congress takes on Punjab govt for failing to implement old pension scheme

Stages walkout over session not being extended

Winter Session: Congress takes on Punjab govt for failing to implement old pension scheme

Congress leaders after staging a walkout from the Vidhan Sabha in Chandigarh on Wednesday. Tribune photo: Vicky



Tribune News Service

Sanjeev Singh Bariana

Chandigarh, November 29

Punjab Government has not implemented the Old Pension Scheme (OPS) for its employees despite tall announcements by Finance Minister Harpal Cheema on the floor of the House last November. This was stated by Leader of the Opposition Partap Singh Bajwa during zero hour on the concluding day of the Assembly here today.

Scheme enforced in 3 Cong-ruled states

The old pension scheme, under which the entire pension amount used to be given by the government, was discontinued from April 1, 2004. The Congress governments in three states, including Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, have already implemented the scheme. Partap Singh Bajwa, leader of opposition

Congress MLAs later walked out of the Punjab Assembly after Speaker Kultar Singh Sandhwan refused to extend the current winter session. The Opposition leaders claimed they were not given enough time to discuss the state's burning issues, including the deteriorating law and order situation and drugs.

Earlier, Bajwa said: “Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann also made statements about the implementation of the old pension scheme. The national convener of AAP, Arvind Kejriwal, had said the scheme had been accepted in principle.

Giving examples of people suffering in the border zone, former Congress minister Sukhjnder Singh Randhawa raised the issue of pitiable health services at Kalanaur for a population in a radius of more than 40 km. The hospital, which had seven doctors in 2021-22, today has only one full time and one part-time doctor.

SAD MLA Sukhwinder Kumar Sukhi raised the question regarding the failure of the police in answering how gangster Lawrence Bishnoi was interviewed on a TV channel while he was officially lodged at Bathinda jail.

The PPCC chief, Amrinder Singh Raja Warring, pointed at the problems being faced by farmers, arhtiyas and rice shellers in sending their rice to the central procurement agencies. He also spoke on the need for a clarification on gangster Bishnoi’s interview.

Congress MLA Pargat Singh said, “Despite such a hue and cry over the Sutlej Yamuna Link Canal, we still don’t have White Paper on the issue to give us clarity. The state needs to call an all-party meeting in the presence of subject experts to chalk out a future plan on state waters,” he said.

BJP MLA Ashwani Sharma said, “The state has a balance of Rs 198 crore in the Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojna for 2023-24, which can be utilised in providing houses to the poor if the state worked on the issue at the earliest. At least 1,500 people can get homes.”

Fazilka MLA Narinder Pal Singh Sawna said, “At least 15 villages in Fazilka were facing the problem of clearing the sand accumulated in their fields during the recent floods.”

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