Govt Staffers Stage Protest At Delhi’s Ramlila Maidan Over Restoration Of Old Pension Scheme

New Delhi: Thousands of central and state government employees from across the country staged a protest in Delhi’s Ramlila Maidan over their demand that the Old Pension Scheme be restored, news agency PTI reported. Several opposition parties extended their support.

According to the PTI report, AAP leader Sanjay Singh, former Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda and his Congress colleagues Arvinder Singh Lovely, Sandeep Dikshit and Udit Raj, and Bahujan Samaj Party MP Shyam Singh Yadav, farmer leader Rakesh Tikait, joined the protest rally on Sunday.

The protesters raised slogans ‘Inquilab Zindabad’ and ‘Karamchari Ekta Zindabad’ as they gathered under the banner of Joint Forum for Restoration of Old Pension Scheme (JFROPS) and National Joint Council of Action (NJCA).

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal voiced his support for the Old Pension Scheme and said he has urged the Central government to implement it for Delhi government employees.

“We strongly support the demand of govt employees to bring back OPS. NPS is an injustice against employees. We have implemented OPS in Punjab and have written to the Centre for implementing it for Del govt employees. Some other non-BJP govts have also implemented OPS,” he wrote on X.

“The employees who joined government service after January 1, 2004 are strongly opposing the New Pension Scheme. They are worried about their future after retirement because they have been deprived of the Old Pension Scheme and forced into the New Pension Scheme,” PTI quoted Shiv Gopal Mishra, National Convener and General Secretary of All India Railway Men’s Federation, as saying.

“Our team believed that if the central government ratifies this (OPS), then the onus won’t be on the state government. This is why we had come to Delhi’s Ramlila Maidan (to protest),” National Movement For Old Pension Scheme (NMOPS) leader Vijay Kumar Bandhu told the news agency.

Taking part in the agitation, farmer leader Tikait assured that the farmers were with the protesters, while AAP leader Sanjay Singh reiterated that he has always raised the issue in the Parliament.

Taking to X, Congress leader KC Venugopal wrote, “These OPS protests show the anger of our steel frame, the government officers, against the ruling regime. We implemented OPS in Congress-ruled states because it is their right. This crowd of 20 lakh people tells a story – the BJP’s days are numbered.”

It is to be noted that under the old scheme, a government employee was entitled to a monthly pension equivalent to 50 per cent of the last drawn salary and there was no need for contribution by employees.

Under the new scheme, an employee contributes 10 per cent of the basic salary plus dearness allowance with the state making a matching contribution.