There was no proposal under consideration of the central government for restoration of the old pension scheme, Minister of State for Finance Bhagwat Karad informed Parliament on Monday. Under the old pension scheme, employees get a defined pension. Under this, an employee is entitled to a 50 per cent amount of the last drawn salary as pension. However, the pension amount is contributory under the National Pension System, which is in effect from 2004.
In a written reply, Mr Karad said, the state governments of Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, and Jharkhand have informed the central government/Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) about their decision to restart Old Pension Scheme (OPS) for their employees.
The government of Punjab on November 18, 2022 has issued a notification regarding implementation of the OPS for the state government employees who are presently being covered under the NPS.
“The state governments of Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, and Jharkhand, have sent proposals to the central government/PFRDA to return the accumulated corpus of subscribers under NPS to respective state governments. No such proposal has been received from the state government of Punjab,” he said in a written reply to Lok Sabha.
In response to the proposals of these state governments, PFRDA has informed the respective states that “there is no provision under Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority Act, 2013 read along with PFRDA (Exits and Withdrawals under the National Pension System) Regulations, 2015, and other relevant Regulations,” which are already deposited both in the form of government contribution and employees’ contribution towards NPS, along with accruals, can be refunded and deposited back to the state government.”
Replying to another question, Mr Karad said, the Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS), launched in May, 2020 as part of Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan, has benefited 1.19 crore borrowers with guarantee amounting to ₹ 3.58 lakh crore as on November 30, 2022.
The percentage of Non-Performing Assets (NPAs) of loan accounts under the ECLGS scheme stood at ₹ 13,964.58 crore or 3.89 per cent of the loan guaranteed.
Under the scheme, 100 per cent credit guarantee is extended to the lending institutions for loans extended by them under the scheme to eligible borrowers. The admissible guarantee limit under the scheme has been increased from ₹ 4.5 lakh crore to ₹ 5 lakh crore, with the additional guarantee cover of ₹ 50,000 crore earmarked exclusively for the hospitality and related enterprises including the civil aviation sector.
Most of the MSME (Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise) borrowers have loans outstanding up to ₹ 50 crore, he said.
“For this category of borrowers, the ECLGS scheme was an ‘opt out’ scheme, ie eligible support was to be provided by the lenders to such category of eligible borrowers, unless the MSME borrowers decided not to avail the support or were ineligible,” he said.