HC seeks Punjab’s reply on old pension for teachers hired under zila parishads

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The Punjab and Haryana high court has sought a response from the Punjab government on a petition challenging imposition of the new pension scheme (NPS) on teachers recruited under the zila parishads.

The response has been sought by December 14.

The court was informed that 268 teachers were appointed by the department of rural development and panchayats in 2006-07 under the zila parishads on a regular basis.

Their services were to be governed by Punjab Panchayati Raj Institutions Primary Teachers (Recruitment & Conditions of Services) Rules, 2006, and the Punjab Panchayat Samitis and Parishads Employees Pension and Provident Fund Rules, 2000, which entitle them for the benefit of contributory provident fund scheme and pension as admissible to the regular employees under the Punjab Civil Services Rules.

It was further argued that due to the state’s policy, the services of these teachers were merged with the education department in 2014 with protection to their pay, pension etc. However, on the merger, the NPS was imposed upon them from January 2015. The NPS was introduced by the Centre in 2004 and subsequently adopted by the states.

It was also argued that on February 23, 2017, instructions were issued that the employees recruited prior to July 9, 2012 would be entitled for old pension scheme under the Punjab Civil Services Rules. Since these teachers were appointed under zila parishads they are entitled for benefit of the old pension scheme and imposition of NPS upon them is illegal and unjust, it was contended.

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