Ajit Pawar Pledges to Restore Old Pension Scheme Before Maharashtra State Polls

Headline: Maharashtra Government Mulls Return to Old Pension Scheme Ahead of 2024 State Elections

Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, holding the finance portfolio, announced the Maharashtra government’s intention to implement the Old Pension Scheme (OPS) before the state elections in 2024. This statement follows ongoing calls from state government officials for protests advocating the reinstatement of OPS.

During the Winter Session, Pawar expressed optimism about OPS, stating, “The state government is very positive about the Old Pension Scheme. Post Lok Sabha elections, we have six months for the state assembly election. Before that, we will decide on the scheme.”

Pawar shared on the microblogging website X that a three-member committee, comprising senior bureaucrats Subodh Kumar, KP Bakshi, and Sudhir Shrivastav, had submitted a report to the state government after studying the issue. He mentioned gathering information from other states that have already implemented the Old Pension Scheme.

In response to the government’s stance, a significant assembly of teachers, non-teaching staff on the state payroll, and state government employee unions convened at Yashvant Stadium in Nagpur, calling for the reinstatement of the old pension scheme.

Shiv Sena UBT chief Uddhav Thackeray, present in Nagpur for two days, visited Yashwant Stadium to express his support for the protesters. Addressing the gathering, he remarked, “If I were the chief minister, this situation would have never arrived.”

However, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), in its December 11 report, cautioned against states returning to the Old Pension Scheme, citing potential financial burdens and impediments to growth-oriented capital expenditures. Despite this caution, states like Rajasthan, Punjab, and Chhattisgarh have already reinstated OPS, and there are reports suggesting Karnataka is also considering its reintroduction.