On the lines of adjoining Rajasthan, Punjab and Himachal Pradesh, the issue for introduction of the Old Pension Scheme (OPS) for State Government Employees is also gaining momentum in Haryana as the commoners along with opposition continue to demand the implementation of OPS in the state. However, the legal and technical modalities for smooth implementation of OPS are yet to be worked out by the above States.
This continues to remain in discussions in political spheres since a long time in the state. The Leader of Opposition (LoP) and former Chief Minister of Haryana Bhupinder Singh Hooda has reportedly promised to introduce OPS for State Government employees if Cong party is voted to power in next State Assembly General Elections be held in 2024. However, on the other hand, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar has categorically deprecated the demand saying that for restoration of OPS is economically not feasible and is most likely to put extra burden on the exchequer of the concerned states. In continuation to aforesaid, Hemant Kumar, an expert and advocate at Punjab & Haryana High Court, on the basis of information received under RTI Act, 2005 from Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA), informed that as far as State of Haryana is concerned, the Congress and Hooda’s regime then issued Notification for NPS on 18 August 2008 i.e. three and half years after he became CM from 5 March, 2005.
However, the significant point is that it was adopted with retrospective effect from 1 Jan 2006. Hence, in Haryana all State Government Employees who have joined on or after 1 Jan 2006 are covered under NPS. It must be recalled that at that time Congress led UPA-1 dispensation was in power at the Centre. Amidst the ongoing scenario, it is worth stating that NPS is also applicable for All India Service (AIS) officers namely IAS, IPS and IFS (Indian Forest Service) who are born on various State Cadres including the State of Haryana with effect from 1 Jan 2004 itself notwithstanding the fact that Haryana Government adopted NPS with effect from 1 Jan 2006. However, those persons who have been promoted to IAS/IPS/IFS from State Civil/Police/Forest Service and who were being governed by OPS before being promoted or selected as such in the concerned State Cadre would continue to be governed by OPS and thus NPS is not applicable to them.
Thus a Haryana Civil Service (HCS) officer who is recruited as such before 1 Jan 2006 would continue to be governed by OPS even after his promotion to IAS in Haryana Cadre. However, as far as Central Government is concerned, NPS has been implemented for new recruits in Central Government including in Union Territories (UTs) who have been appointed in Service on or after 1 Jan 2004. Be that as it may, as far as the State of Punjab is concerned, it was the Parkash Singh Badad led then SAD-BJP Government which issued Notification for NPS on 2 March 2004 and it was adopted with retrospective effect from 1 Jan 2004. In the case of Himachal Pradesh, it was Virbhadra Singh Cong Govt which issued Notification for NPS on 17 August 2006 and it was adopted with retrospective effect from 15 May 2003.