Govt to con­trib­ute 14 pc to Na­tional Pen­sion Scheme

The Hitavada - - FRONT PAGE -

IN A bo­nanza for Gov­ern­ment em­ploy­ees, the Cab­i­net on Thurs­day raised the Gov­ern­ment’s con­tri­bu­tion to Na­tional Pen­sion Scheme (NPS) to 14 per cent of ba­sic salary from the cur­rent 10 per cent, sources said.

Min­i­mum em­ployee con­tri­bu­tion will, how­ever, re­main at 10 per cent.

The Cab­i­net also ap­proved tax in­cen­tives un­der 80C of the In­come Tax Act for em­ploy­ees’ con­tri­bu­tion to the ex­tent of 10 per cent, they added.

Presently, the Gov­ern­ment and em­ploy­ees con­trib­ute 10 per cent of ba­sic salary each to NPS.

While the min­i­mum em­ployee con­tri­bu­tion re­mains at 10 per cent, the Gov­ern­ment con­tri­bu­tion has been in­creased from 10 per cent to 14 per cent.

The Cab­i­net, headed by Prime Minister Naren­dra Modi, also al­lowed

Gov­ern­ment em­ploy­ees to com­mute 60 per cent of the fund ac­cu­mu­lated at the time of re­tire­ment, up from 40 per cent at present.

Also, em­ploy­ees will have the op­tion to in­vest in ei­ther fixed in­come in­stru­ments or eq­ui­ties, sources said.

As per the Cab­i­net de­ci­sion, if the em­ployee de­cides not to com­mute any por­tion of the ac­cu­mu­lated fund in NPS at the time of re­tire­ment and trans­fers 100 per cent to an­nu­ity scheme, then his pen­sion would be more than 50 per cent of his last drawn pay, sources said.

The Gov­ern­ment did not an­nounce the de­ci­sion in view of the en­su­ing polls in Ra­jasthan Fri­day. While the Gov­ern­ment is yet to de­cide on the date of no­ti­fi­ca­tion of the new scheme, sources said such changes usu­ally come into ef­fect from the begin­ning of a fi­nanc­ing year, mean­ing April 1, 2019. This for­mula for changes in the NPS was worked out by the Fi­nance Min­istry based on the rec­om­men­da­tion of a Govern­men­tap­pointed com­mit­tee. CAB­I­NET APPROVES SHAHPURKANDI DAM PRO­JECT: The Cab­i­net on Thurs­day ap­proved the Shahpurkandi dam pro­ject on the Ravi river in Pun­jab, a move that will help ar­rest In­dia’s share of wa­ter flow­ing into Pak­istan, a state­ment said.

For this, a Cen­tral as­sis­tance of Rs 485.38 crore -- for ir­ri­ga­tion com­po­nent -- would be pro­vided over five years from 2018-19 to 2022-23.

The In­dus Wa­ters Treaty was signed be­tween In­dia and Pak­istan in 1960 for shar­ing of In­dus wa­ters. Ac­cord­ing to the Treaty, In­dia got the full rights for util­i­sa­tion of wa­ters of the three east­ern rivers -- Ravi, Beas and Satluj. “Some of the wa­ter of the Ravi river at present is go­ing waste through the Mad­hopur Head­works down­stream to Pak­istan. Im­ple­men­ta­tion of the pro­ject would min­imise such wastage of wa­ter,” the state­ment said. In Septem­ber, the Pun­jab and the Jammu and Kash­mir Gov­ern­ments signed an agree­ment to re­sume works on the Rs 2,793-crore Shahpurkandi pro­ject. Though the work on the pro­ject be­gan in 2013, it was halted due to cer­tain is­sues raised by J&K.

The Pun­jab Gov­ern­ment also sub­mit­ted a re­vised cost es­ti­mate of Rs 2,793.54 crore and re­quested the Cen­tre to in­clude the pro­ject in the pri­ori­tised list of the Prad­han Mantri Kr­ishi Sin­chai Yo­jana.

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