The delay in the implementation of the National Pension Scheme (NPS) in Punjabi University has started to take political colours as after Congress, AAP has also decided to make it a political issue. The Aam Aadmi Party has raked-up the issue with the Punjab governor, who is also the chancellor of the university, and demanded a probe into it.
AAP has written to the chancellor demanding a probe into the matter and to fix responsibility of an official, apart from asking for the immediate implementation of NPS Scheme.
It is pertinent to mention here that the Congress party has already announced to rake up this issue in coming Vidhan Sabha session.
Congres s MLA Brahm Mohindra had issued statement demanding a probe into the NPS controversy apart from asking Punjab Government to dole Rs 150 crore special grant to University to come out from this crisis.
As this is alleged laxity or irregularity is threatening to affect nearly 2,000 teaching and non-teaching employees, who were recruited after new pension regulations came into effect on January 1, 2004, both AAP and Congress are working to gain vote bank of university employees.
In a letter to the governor, AAP Patiala convener and spokesperson Balbir Singh said that the Government of India had adopted the New Pension Scheme with effect from January 1, 2004, by an Act of Parliament. This scheme is called the new pension scheme as it is a market-linked scheme based on monthly contributions of both the employer and the employee in contrast to the previous scheme (those in service up to December 31, 2003) in which, the employer is solely responsible for paying pension to superannuated employees. However, the university, despite several reminders of the government, delayed the implementation on one or other pretext. But at the same time, the university deducted money from the employee’s salary.
“There is need to probe where the money deducted from salaries of employees went. It’s a Rs 100-crore fraud with the employees, as the university is not giving details about money deductions from the employees’ salary,” said Dr Balbir. He questioned how the university can deduct the money without issuing permanent registration numbers, a mandatory step to implement the NPS.
“How and under what circumstances Punjabi University fails to implement the NPS despite clear-cut and repeated orders from the state government which has been very faithfully implemented by Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar; an institution governed precisely by the same rules and regulations as that of Punjabi University?”, he questioned. At same time, he raised the issue of inaction of the state government employee over the issue. “Why has the university syndicate and senate, though well represented by state officials (education secretary, DPI), failed to take notice of such a crucial financial matter?” he questioned.