New Delhi. Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel on Friday requested the Central government to refund over Rs 17,000 crore to state government employees who were covered under the New Pension Scheme (NPS). Baghel said that the state government has restored the old pension scheme in Chhattisgarh to secure the future of government employees and their families. He said that Rs 17,240 crore deposited with the National Securities Depository Limited (NSDL) till March 31 should be returned so that it can be added to the General Provident Fund of the employees.
According to a statement issued by the Chhattisgarh government, the chief minister has also sought transfer of the amount collected as GST compensation to the state and additional charges from coal block companies. Baghel placed these demands in the pre-budget meeting chaired by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman at Manekshaw Centre. During this, the Finance Ministers of many states also gave their proposals and suggestions regarding the general budget of 2023-24.
Baghel also told Sitharaman that the state government’s share would be deposited in a separate pension fund. This amount will be used to meet future pension obligations. Along with this, the state has invested in Government of India and state securities. It may be noted that Sitharaman had told reporters during the Himachal Pradesh elections that the money deposited in NPS belongs to the individuals contributing to it and cannot be taken by the state governments under the law.
In response to questions related to the restoration of the old pension system, Sitharaman said that the governments of Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh are asking the Center to return the money, which cannot be done under the law. During the meeting, Baghel also said that Chhattisgarh had requested to continue the GST compensation arrangement for another five years after June 2022. But it was not extended. He demanded an amount of Rs 1,875 crore as GST compensation. Baghel also requested to transfer the coal royalty amount of Rs 4,140 crore to the state at the earliest.