The government might place central police personnel at par with the Armed Forces for pensionary benefits.
The Union Cabinet on Thursday referred the home ministry proposal to take central police personnel out of the purview of the New Pension Scheme (NPS) to a Group of Ministers for a final view.
Under the NPS, government employees decide how to invest their pension funds. Unlike the earlier system where employees receive a pre-determined amount as pension, the amount received by pensioners under the NPS would be dependent on the actual returns on their investment.
The scheme is applicable to all recruits who joined central government service after 1 January 2004 except the defence personnel.
The home ministry had earlier asked the finance ministry to treat para-military forces as Armed Forces and take them out of the purview of the pension scheme.
The department that controls the government’s purse strings had, however, turned down this demand in the past.
It is in context of the finance ministry's objection that the Cabinet is understood to have referred the proposal to the GoM.
The home ministry had argued that close to 70 per cent of all paramilitary personnel were deployed on border-guarding duties, were the first point of intervention in case of an external attack and performed a job as difficult as the army.
It is a point that Union home minister Shivraj Patil also has been making, describing the job of the security personnel tougher than that of the army.
The Cabinet meeting is also expected to take a final view on a proposal to upgrade Port Blair airport into an international airport.
The proposal is expected to cost the government Rs 120 crore that will be spent on extending the runway, installation of Instrument Landing System to enable landing and take-off after dark besides creating infrastructure for customs, quarantine and immigration checking
Once cleared, the international airport is expected to give economic development and tourism in the southern tip of the country a major boost.
The move follows recognition within the government that poor connectivity was a primary reason for the lack of development in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.