Maharashtra protest: Even as Maharashtra Chief minister Eknath Shinde appealed to government employees to resume work, they continued their strike on the second day to demand the restoration of the Old Pension Scheme (OPS) in the state.
According to reports, the agitation has affected the smooth functioning of government hospitals and offices. The Maharashtra State Government Employees Federation has stressed that the strike will continue until the government accepts their demands.
Meanwhile, Vishwas Katkar, the convenor of the committee of nearly 35 state government employees, semi-government employees and teachers, said employees from 36 districts have also joined the ongoing strike. He rejected Shinde’s appeal made in the Assembly on Tuesday and insisted that their demands be met.
CM Shinde forms commission to look into matter
Earlier on March 13, a commission made up of top bureaucrats was also announced by CM Shinde to evaluate the demand of state government employees to restore the Old Pension System.
According to him, the group would submit its report in a timely manner. However, Katkar said the state government employees held similar protests in 2018, following which a panel was formed but there was no movement on its report. The employees also resorted to strike in 2022. However, there was no progress on the fulfilment of the demand.
Over 17 lakh employees join protest
It should be noted here that more than 17 lakh Maharashtra government employees commenced their indefinite strike on March 14, demanding the reintroduction of the OPS. The employees have made several demands including cancelling the New Pension Scheme (NPS) and implementing the OPS.
The government had implemented the NPS, however, the employees' federation has been opposing this scheme since its inception. Ahead of the state budget, lakhs of government employees and pensioners in Maharashtra are demanding the restoration of the OPS, which was scrapped in 2005.
(With inputs from agencies)
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