Andhra employees plan massive march over demand to scrap CPS

Massive show of strength by Andhra employees.

Vijayawada, May 15 (IANS) Government employees in Andhra Pradesh plan to organise a massive protest march to press their demand for scrapping the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS).

Leaders of Andhra Pradesh Contributory Pension Scheme Employees Association (APCPSEA) on Sunday said four lakh employees will participate in the march to be organised in Vijayawada on September 1.

As part of its continuing protest over the issue, it on Sunday staged a sit-in at dharna chowk in Vijayawada.

The leaders slammed the state government for going back on its promise to scrap the CPS and protesters displayed banners criticising the government.

APCPSEA leaders said they have decided to intensify the protest, and will join hands with the APCPSUS to now jointly organise the protest programmes.

They alleged that the YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) government betrayed them by going back on its promise to scrap the CPS.

The employees’ unions have also refused to accept the Guaranteed Pension Scheme (GPS) being contemplated by the state government to replace the CPS. Rejecting the reported offer, they are demanding the government restore the old pension scheme.

During his padyatra before 2019 elections, Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy had promised to abolish the CPS and to restore the old pension scheme after coming to power. However, after coming to power, the government led by Jagan Mohan Reddy found it not feasible.

During his state-wide walkathon, he met numerous leaders, unions and associations who complained of severe injustice to employees due to CPS and sought implementation of the old pension scheme. Though Jagan Mohan Reddy made the promise, he could not deliver on it due to financial crisis in the state.

As the YSRCP has embarked on evolving a roadmap for victory in 2024 elections, it has mooted the idea of Guaranteed Pension Scheme (GPS) in place of the CPS.

Under the proposed scheme, the employee receives a guaranteed pension of 33 per cent of the last drawn basic pay and the GPS enables an employee to assess the amount of pension in advance, so that he can plan his future financially. Market conditions will have no influence on the pension under the GPS, leaving no chance for reduction of pension in future. According to the government, the GPS is nearly 70 per cent higher than the present pension under the CPS received in line with present interest rates.

However, the government employees have ruled out any compromise on their demand to abolish the CPS and restore the old pension scheme.

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