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CM Baghel writes letter to PM Modi, urges to refund amount collected under New Pension Scheme

Raipur: Chhattisgarh chief minister Bhupesh Baghel has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi requesting him to direct the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) to refund the amount of Rs 17 thousand 240 crore rupees–deposited with NSDL under the New Pension Scheme–to the Government of Chhattisgarh. The move aims to ensure implementation of the decision taken by the state government to restore the old pension scheme to support the retirement security of government employees.

“There is no such specific provision in the agreement made by the state government with NPS Trust and NSDL, which stops the state government from restoring the Old Pension Scheme. In the federal structure, it is the sovereign decision of the state government. It will be inappropriate to stop implementation of a decision which was announced in the state budget and later approved in the cabinet aiming to secure the future of employees and their families”, Baghel said.

He added that according to the data available with the state government, a total of Rs 11,850 crore (employer and employee contribution) has been transferred to NSDL from November 1, 2004 to March 31, 2022. According to the information received from NSDL, at present the market value of this deposit is about Rs.17, 240 crore. The State Government had already requested PFRDA to return this deposit amount to the State Government through a letter dated 20 May 2022. PFRDA, through a letter dated 26 May 2022 replied that there is no such provision in the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority Act, 2013, read with the PFRDA (Exits and Withdrawal under National Pension Scheme) Regulation, 2015 and other relevant rules in which this deposited amount can be returned to the state government.

Baghel stated in the letter that it was announced in the state budget 2022-23 speech to restore the old pension scheme in place of the new pension scheme for all state government employees appointed on or after November 1, 2004. The same has been approved in the cabinet meeting dated May 1, 2022 and necessary notification for implementation of this decision has been issued in Chhattisgarh Gazette (Extraordinary) on May 11, 2022.

“The officials and employees of the state government play an important role in the implementation of welfare schemes of the government. The state government has decided to restore the old pension scheme on the long pending demand of officers and employees of the state government. With effect from April 1, 2022, the monthly deduction and contribution from the salary of state government employees to the NSDL as a part of New Pension Scheme has been abolished. However, a minimum of 12 per cent salary will be deducted as per the General Provident Fund Rules”, he said.

He added that it has also been decided by the State Government that the total amount deposited by the employees and the state government with NSDL till March 31, 2022, should be refunded back to the state government. The total amount deposited as contribution of the state government employees should be transferred to their respective General Provident Fund accounts and the total amount of contribution of the State Government should be kept in a separate pension fund under the Public Account.

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