In a major setback for the Rajasthan government, the Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has denied the state access to Rs 45,000 crore deposited in the central trust for new pension schemes.
The decision is being seen as a blow to Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, who had abolished the National Pension System (NPS) in favor of the Old Pension Scheme.
In a statement, Sitharaman categorically refused to give NPS funds to state governments. She said, “If any state takes a decision for some reason that the funds of NPS should be collected, then it will not be available.”
This announcement has been met with disappointment and frustration in Rajasthan, where the government had been hoping to use the funds to support its pension schemes.
Gehlot implemented the Old Pension Scheme in the state in 2019, reversing the previous government’s decision to implement the NPS. The move had been widely hailed by state government employees, who had been protesting against the NPS for several years.
The Rajasthan government had been hoping to use the funds deposited in the central trust for new pension schemes to support its decision to implement the Old Pension Scheme. With this latest decision by Sitharaman, the government’s plans have been thrown into disarray.
The move has also been criticized by opposition parties, who have accused the central government of ignoring the needs of state governments. The Congress party, which is in power in Rajasthan, has accused the central government of acting in a partisan manner and of discriminating against states that are not governed by the ruling party.
Overall, the decision by Sitharaman has been met with disappointment and frustration in Rajasthan. The state government will now have to explore other options to support its pension schemes, which are crucial for the welfare of government employees in the state.