Four-Member Committee to Improve NPS Pension Benefits
The Indian government has formed a committee to explore ways of enhancing the pension benefits of government employees under the National Pension System (NPS). The committee will be headed by the finance secretary and consists of three other members: the secretaries of the Department of Personnel and Training, the special secretary in the Department of Expenditure, and the Chairman of the Pension Fund Regulatory & Development Authority (PFRDA). The committee will examine whether any changes are necessary to NPS for government employees and suggest measures to enhance the pension benefits of NPS-covered government employees while maintaining fiscal prudence.
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States’ Move to Old Pension Scheme Raises Concerns
Several state governments have announced their intention to return to the old pension scheme, which offers an assured pension based on the last drawn salary. While this is seen as a populist move, it has raised concerns about the financial burden it may place on state exchequers. The Centre’s decision to revisit the pension issue suggests that it may become an important public policy issue ahead of the national polls early next year.
Committee to Consider Fiscal Implications and Budgetary Space
The finance ministry issued an order outlining the committee’s responsibilities. The committee will examine the NPS for government employees and suggest measures to enhance pension benefits for those covered under the scheme. It will also consider the fiscal implications and the impact on the overall budgetary space to ensure that fiscal prudence is maintained to protect the interests of the common citizens.
In her announcement last month, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman informed the Lok Sabha of the government’s decision to set up a committee to examine pensions and develop an approach that addresses the needs of government employees while maintaining fiscal prudence. The order issued by the finance ministry is in line with this announcement and demonstrates the government’s commitment to exploring ways of enhancing pension benefits for government employees under the NPS.
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