17 lakh government workers in Maharashtra walk out in protest demanding return of old pension scheme

Every employee of the government, including sanitation workers, teachers, paramedics working in hospitals, and other employees, has joined the walkout on Tuesday calling for the adoption of the previous pension plan.

Lakhs of government workers in Maharashtra went on strike on Tuesday in support of the Old Pension Plan (OPS).

Everyone has joined the walkout for the implementation of the old pension scheme on Tuesday, including sanitation workers, teachers, hospital paramedics, and other government employees. The strike occurs right before the Class 10 and 12 board exams.


Workers in Maharashtra’s government agencies shouted phrases like, “Only one mission, restore old pension”.

In India, there is a growing call to reinstate the previous pension system. It is the first time that such a sizable protest is apparent while the BJP and Shiv Sena are in power, despite the fact that numerous non-BJP-ruled states have decided to reinstate the Old Pension System for their employees.

Unlike the NPS, which has a contributory system from both the employee and the government, the Old Pension Plan (OPS) requires the government to supply the pension amount, which increases its liabilities.

The Central government gave some employees the option to choose OPS earlier this month. According to the Central Civil Services (Pension) Rules, 1972, employees who joined the central government services in response to positions advertised or announced before December 22, 2003, the day the National Pension System (NPS) was notified, are entitled to join the previous pension system (now 2021). By August 31, 2023, a select set of government employees will be able to choose this choice.

Once the state government of Karnataka offered a 17% increase in the basic salary this month, the state’s employees called off their indefinite strike.

The employees had requested temporary relief in the form of a 40% boost in basic pay as well as compensation revisions in accordance with the 7th Pay Commission.

As its (Bhagwant Mann) administration has done in Punjab, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has expanded its support for the restoration of OPS. The previous pension programme has already been reinstated by the Himachal Pradesh government. The governments of Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh have already followed a similar path.

Former RBI Governors and other experts have advised against implementing the old pension plan.

“That will be a decidedly regressive move both for our commitment to fiscal responsibility and more broadly for the credibility of our reforms,” according to former RBI Governor D Subbarao.

Raghuram Rajan, another former governor of the RBI, urged that states look for less expensive solutions to meet the needs of government pensioners.

The state government believes that by going the old pension way, it will improve employee welfare and social security. Though states won’t be able to accumulate any corpus by doing this, economists regard this tendency as one that could lead to disaster in the future.

The NDA government ended the OPS on April 1, 2004, with effect from that date.