15th Finance Commission Chairman NK Singh on December 9 reacted to the Congress party’s promise of the Old Pension Scheme (OPS) in Himachal Pradesh. He said that the step is injudicious and it will put states' finances under great difficulty
“In my view, giving up the new pension scheme and going back to adopting the old pension scheme is an injudicious step", and added, "It was debated very carefully during the earlier government, and Dr Manmohan Singh was one of the voters”, Singh said while talking to mediapersons on the sidelines of the CII Global Economic Policy summit 2022, ANI quoted.
Singh stressed that state governments who are embarking on OPS are putting their states finances under great difficulty. "My colleague Montek Singh Ahluwalia has commented extensively on the subject that it would be a fiscal disaster for states to go back and adopt the old pension scheme. Some states, which are embarking on this, would really be putting the state's finances under great difficulty and duress,” he said.
"There is sound economic logic in the new pension scheme, it was debated, deliberated and adopted", he further said.
Notably, the Congress Party which has won the Assembly elections in Himachal Pradesh by bagging 40 seats has promised to restore the OPS in the state. The grand-old party mentioned restoring the scheme in its manifesto. The OPS figured as a prominent election promise in the Assembly elections in the two states that recently went to polls, triggering debates that went beyond the political arena.
Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh- states ruled by Congress- have already decided to implement Old Pension Scheme.
Priyanka Gandhi Vadra promised during her election campaigns that if the Congress Party wins the elections and forms a government in Himachal Pradesh, the OPS would be implemented in the first cabinet meeting.
Last month, former Planning Commission Vice Chairman in the UPA era, Montek Singh Ahluwalia termed the OPS as one of the biggest ‘revdis’. “Bringing back the old pension system is one of the biggest 'Revdis' that are now being invented,” he said.