Where’s our Rs 3,500cr? Nagaland employees question govt on NPS

Kohima: In continuation of their demand for the Old Pension Scheme (OPS) and scrapping of the National Pension Scheme (NPS), government employees under the banner of the Confederation of All Nagaland State Service Employees’ Association (CANSSEA) and National Movement on OPS (NMOPS) – Nagaland chapter, on Thursday questioned the state government over an amount of about Rs 3,500 crore which was not made transparent under the new pension scheme.

“We have come to learn that as of April 15, 2023, only 32,111 employees generated the Permanent Retirement Account Number (PRAN) card, out of which only about Rs 1,300 crore have been uploaded into the portal. Our question to the nodal department-Treasuries and Accounts is: where is the money of the employees?” CANSSEA President Dr Ilang questioned.

Addressing a press conference at the Heritage in Kohima, Dr Ilang said that the government had informed its employees that an amount of around Rs 3,500 crore from the NPS was kept in “safe hands in a dedicated account”. He said this is virtual money and that the government should not let employees suffer.

Pension, he said, is a right of the employees and not a bounty. Referring to the protest and representation submitted to the state government earlier in March this year, Dr Ilang appealed to the state government to roll back the OPS which is guaranteed. He informed that at the national level, efforts are being made to pressure the Centre to scrap the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA). 

President of NMOPS Nagaland chapter, Moa, who subscribes to the NPS, informed that since the time he became a government employee in 2011, about 10% of his salary was automatically deducted for the NPS even before he obtained the PRAN card. This, he said, indicated that the amount was in the state treasury account and that the state government was not giving his 10% share of the money. 

Out of about 40,000 government employees who subscribed to NPS, about 8,000 were still without a PRAN card. 

NMOPS Delhi chapter President Dr Manjeet Singh Patel alleged that the National Pension Scheme is a “scam” and provides no security to employees during retirement. He also urged Nagaland chief minister Neiphiu Rio to intervene.

Convenor NMOPS Sudheer Rupji alleged that the money earned by employees is only being used for covering up for the objectives of corporates, instead of the employees under NPS. The scheme, he said, is not transparent and added that for the upcoming 2024 polls, the government employees would only be supporting the political parties that stand in support of rolling back OPS. 

In September, government employees from all parts of the country are expected to conduct a march to the Parliament to demand the scrapping of NPS.(Courtesy:EastMojo)