VIJAYAWADA: Andhra Pradesh government on Tuesday held talks with representatives of its employees over the pension scheme. However, both the parties remained firm on their respective stands.
From the government’s side, the meeting was attended by education minister Botsa Satyanarayana, municipal administration minister Adimulapu Suresh, government advisers Sajjala Ramakrishna Reddy and P. Chandrasekhar Reddy, chief secretary (Finance) Shashi Bhushan Kumar, finance secretary N. Gulzar and secretary (GAD) H. Arun Kumar.
Ministers Satyanarayana and Suresh, apart from government adviser Sajjala Ramakrishna Reddy, made it clear to unions that they are ready to discuss the entire pension issue in depth taking all aspects into consideration without harming the interests of both government and employees.
The government side as a whole took the stand that it is impossible to implement the Old Pension Scheme (OPS). In its place, the government is offering the newly proposed Guaranteed Pension Scheme (GPS), which is along the lines of OPS. However, they told union leaders that they are willing to meet once again and discuss the whole issue in detail.
Reacting to the stand taken by ministers and officials, UTF president Venkateswarlu said they are strongly opposing the GPS proposal of the government. He reiterated that employee leaders are demanding implementation of the Old Pension Scheme immediately.
Venkateswarlu disclosed that union leaders reminded the government side about Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy’s promise to implement OPS when the latter was leader of opposition. The leaders cited implementation of OPS by the Rajasthan government. They sought that AP government reconsider and implement the Old Pension Scheme.
Employees were represented at the meeting by AP NGO Association president Bandi Srinivasa Rao, AP Revenue Services Association president Bopparaju Venkateswarlu, AP Government Employees Union president K.R. Suryanarayana, State Secretariat Employees Union general secretary N. Prasad, STU president Sai Prasad and AP UTF president N. Venkateswarlu, apart from representatives of PRTU, RTC and drivers’ unions, fourth class employees' union and other unions....