To implement the old pension in Himachal, the decision to stop the contribution going to the new pension scheme will be taken along with the new budget. Restoration of old pension is also being included in the first budget speech of Chief Minister Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu.
The budget itself will clarify the process of how it will be restored. Therefore, the deduction of NPS contribution from salary will also stop with the new budget. In the first cabinet meeting held on January 13, 2023, the Himachal government had decided to implement old pension and an office memorandum was issued in this regard on January 17.
After this, the Finance Department has sent the file to the Law Department for clarification regarding old pension. In its next process, the Finance Department is drafting new pension rules. Along with this, according to the decision taken in the cabinet, Standard Operating Procedures will also be issued.
But old pension is being linked with the budget because the state government is trying to take advantage of an offer from the central government. In fact, the Government of India had offered to take an additional loan in lieu of the contribution going to NPS.
Now a loan equal to this amount can be taken in the current financial year. The state government is giving 1700 crores as this contribution, in which both the government and the employees have a share. Therefore, loan can be taken in lieu of contribution till March 31, 2023.
This is the reason that only after this the reduction in NPS will stop. Till then new pension rules will also be issued by the government. Actually, the condition of 10 years of regular service for the eligibility of pension is already applicable in the system of old pension.
What to do with this condition will be known from the new pension rules. Not only this, but new rules are also coming to restart the GPF system. Chief Secretary Prabodh Saxena says that new rules are being made for pension and GPF regarding old pension.
For this, consultation with the Law Department is necessary and the Finance Department is still in the same process. As per the decision taken in the first cabinet, the old pension will be restored.
The Himachal government will have to raise a huge amount of loan in the month of February and March. This is also necessary to utilize the sanctioned loan limit for this year.
Regarding the liability of 11000 crores of the government employees of the state, the Chief Minister has already said that in the next budget some big steps can also be seen to increase the revenue of the state.
Himachal will not get the same loan limit for the next year, because the state government itself has reduced the loan limit by 2.50 percent in the amendment made in FRBM. Therefore, only the last two months of the current financial year, February and March, are suitable for taking a big loan.