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Maharashtra: Strike for Old Pension Scheme called off

Updated on: 21 March,2023 06:16 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Dharmendra Jore |

Government agrees ‘in principle’ to implement it with retrospective effect; committee to be formed to work on scheme

Maharashtra: Strike for Old Pension Scheme called off

Eknath Shinde thanked the employees for withdrawing the strike when the workforce was needed to tackle the impact of unseasonal rains across the state. File pic/Ashish Raje

State employees called off their indefinite strike on Monday after the government agreed in principle to implement the Old Pension Scheme (OPS) with retrospective effect. The strike had begun on March 14, and in the interim, some employee unions had decided to quit the agitation, but a large section of about 20 lakh workforce remained off duty, causing great concern in the sectors where they are needed 24x7. 

Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and convenor of employee unions Vishwas Katkar made an announcement to this effect. Katkar said the OPS with retrospective effect (from 2005) was accepted by the government which needed time to study its financial implications.

“We have agreed to let a panel (of three former bureaucrats) work on the scheme. We had rejected the panel before, but today’s talks (with CM and others) were successful. The government has given us in writing that all could get the same pension,” said Katkar, adding that the unions were also of the opinion that the state’s financial health should be taken care of.

Also read: Maharashtra: Strike for Old Pension Scheme may delay evaluation of state board exams

In the legislature, Shinde welcomed the employees’ ‘sensitive’ decision and thanked them for withdrawing the strike when the workforce was needed to tackle the impact of unseasonal rains that have damaged crops across the state. “The committee will submit its report as early as possible and the government will make an appropriate decision. The government has always been positive about the demands,” said Shinde.

Finance Minister and Dy CM Devendra Fadnavis thanked employees and said a dialogue was the only way to find a solution. “We entered talks without an ego and tried to understand the employees. We had already taken a position to ensure social security for the employees. Now the government panel has been made aware of the issue we discussed with the employee unions. The panel will decide in a time-bound manner because it has been given a three month window,” he stated further from Nagpur where he is attending the G-20 conference.

On Monday, the gazetted officers union held a meeting with the CM to discuss their call to join the strike on March 28. The meeting ended on a positive note. It followed the umbrella organisation’s statement calling the strike off.

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