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After Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh to restore old pension scheme for government employees

The chief minister, who reached the Assembly with a bag made of cow dung, said that this budget was a strong attempt to realise Mahatma Gandhi’s dream of taking the benefits of welfare schemes of the government to the last person of the society

March 09, 2022 / 03:13 PM IST

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel, while presenting the state budget for 2022-23 on March 9, proposed to restore the old pension scheme for government employees.

He also proposed to waive of the examination fees to youth preparing for competitive examinations, increase the amount of Rajiv Gandhi Bhoomiheen Krishi Mazdoor Nyay Yojana, and offer free electricity to farmers.

READ | Chhattisgarh model of development has left Gujarat model behind: CM Bhupesh Baghel

Baghel, who looks after the state’s finance portfolio as well, said the state's gross fiscal deficit for the year 2022-23 had narrowed down to Rs 14,600 crore from Rs 17,461 crore a year back.

The state recorded a rise in income from Rs 97,145 crore to Rs 1,04,000 crore in the last one year, despite a similar rise in expenditure from Rs 97,106 crore to Rs 1,04,000 crore. Capital Expenditure has increased to Rs 15,241 crore from Rs 13,839 core last year, said the finance bill.

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The budget for 2022-23 focussed on rural, employment, farmers and service sectors, said a state government spokesperson.

The chief minister reached the Chhattisgarh Assembly with a bag made of cow dung to present the budget. Baghel said that this budget was a strong attempt to realise Mahatma Gandhi’s dream of taking the benefits of welfare schemes of the government to the last person of the society.

“The CM announced that the old pension scheme for employees will be restored in place of NPS in Chhattisgarh. The move will increase the pressure on the BJP government at the Centre and the state governments to restore the old scheme. The government employees of Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and other central and northern states had long demanded to implement the old pension scheme,” the spokesperson said.

Chhattisgarh has become the second state, after Rajasthan, to reintroduce the old pension scheme for government employees that provides an assured pension after retirement. The scheme was scrapped by the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led NDA government from April 1, 2004, and was replaced with a market-driven pension scheme.

The rural economy-based 'Chhattisgarh model' has once again been reflected in the budget, the spokesperson said. “The initiative of Rahul Gandhi to put money in the pockets of the poor has been carried forward in this budget. The provision amount of Rajiv Gandhi Bhumiless Krishi Mazdoor Nyay Yojana has been increased from 6,000 to 7,000,” the statement said.

The state has also decided that no fee will be charged from the candidates in the competitive examinations conducted by the Chhattisgarh Professional Board and the State Public Service Commission.
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