Employees to lay siege to AP CMâ€™s house on September 1
State government fails to solve Contributory Pension Scheme issue
VIJAYAWADA: Despite all its efforts, AP government has failed in clearing fears of its employees with regard to the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS). As a result, lakhs of employees are readying to hold their Millennium March and gherao the residence of Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy on September 1.
A group of ministers including Botsa Satyanaryana and Buggana Rajendranath Reddy held several rounds of talks with leaders of various unions and associations. But the latter have refused to budge from their demand of restoring the Old Pension Scheme (OPS).
State government employees had earlier too called for Chalo Vijayawada Millennium March on February 2 this year over the same issue. It turned out to be a big success, as police did not take any serious measures to restrain the march. It led to the transfer of the then DGP.
Having witnessed success with Chalo Vijayawada, employee leaders have now called for gherao of CM’s residence and the Millennium March.
Jagan Mohan Reddy, as then Leader of Opposition, promised to abolish CPS and restore OPS after coming into power. But it is turning out to be tough and non-feasible due to AP’s financial condition.
Incidentally, the new Contributory Pension Scheme was started by central government from January 1, 2004. Erstwhile Telugu Desam government started implementing it from September 1, 2004. Many protests and agitations had been held during the period for abolition of CPS. But they remained in vain.
Jagan Mohan Reddy government has tried to find a way out by proposing Guaranteed Pension Scheme (GPS) with benefits similar to the Old Pension Scheme. Employees were to get a guaranteed pension of 33 percent of the last drawn basic pay. It enabled an employee to assess the amount of pension in advance, so that s/he could plan his future financially. Market conditions would have no influence on the pension under GPS, leaving no chance for reduction in pension in future. But GPS found no favour with employee unions.
AP United Teachers Federation (AP UTF) president N. Venkateswarlu and secretary K.S.S. Prasad accused police of already imposing restrictions on teachers like never before in history to foil the Millennium March on September 1. Department heads have also denied any leaves during the next 10 days.
UTF leaders maintain that Jagan Mohan Reddy had promised to cancel CPS and implement OPS. He should do so, even though it is more than three-and-a-half years since he has become the Chief Minister.