Government and aided staffers, who say new scheme is not a good deal as it is dependent on the market, to protest.
At least one lakh government and aided employees from across the State, under the banner Karnataka State Government NPS employees Association, will organise a unique protest by donating blood on October 3. They are protesting against the new pension scheme that was implemented from April 2006. The protest has been named “Rakta Kottevu, Pinchani Bidevu” meaning we will give blood, but not give up our pension.
Shantaram, president, Karnataka State Government NPS employees Association, told BM, “We are also taking up a social cause along with opposing the New Pension Scheme. We are confident that our protest will be a successful one and will redefine protests that have so far been restricted to burning of tyres and shouting of slogans.
Though the government launched the New Pension Scheme with a lot of promise in April 2006 for state government employees, it was only after people retired and there were sudden deaths that the pensioners realised that it was actually a raw deal. “We were told the pension amount would run into crores. As people started getting their pension, we realised it was not as promised. We now want the government to reintroduce the old pension system,” said a teacher from Puttur.
He said, “From our salaries and daily allowance, 10 per cent is cut towards pension and an equal amount is given by the government. This amount is invested into the share markets under the new scheme. Under the present situation only if the markets are doing well, the employees will get a good pension. Under the old system, employees would get a fixed amount as pension, that was 15 per cent of their basic salary. When the salary was hiked, the pension amount too would be revised. Under the present system, there is no security as pensions depend on market conditions. We request the government to reintroduce the old system.”
There are about 3 lakh government and aided employees in the State. They have tried to organise blood donation camps in taluks and districts and wherever possible have attached this drive to government hospitals. Only where there are no facilities, have they tied up with private organisations. “We are confident that the government will hear our demands. On January 20 this year, the Bengaluru Chalo programme was organised that saw the participation of nearly 75,000 government employees,” Shantaram said.
During the protest to be organised on the occasion of Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary celebrations, if about one lakh employees participate in blood donation, a record will also be created.