Chandigarh: A prolonged fight of nearly 25 years by teachers of government-aided private colleges in Punjab for a pension scheme has come back to square one with the state government repealing its scheme without ever implementing it.

The Punjab government recently moved to repeal its pension scheme of 1996 and got it passed by the assembly at its recent session. Teachers and non-teaching staff of government-aided private colleges in Punjab and Chandigarh, who have been demanding a pension scheme since 1986-87, say that they have been "betrayed" and "greatly hurt" by the move of the Parkash Singh Badal-led government in Punjab.

The Punjab and Chandigarh college teachers union (PCCTU), the apex body of private college teachers in the state, has now urged Punjab Governor Shivraj Patil not to approve the repeal of the pension scheme.

Nearly 10,000 teachers and non-teaching staff are affected by the scheme."The teaching and non-teaching employees of the government-aided colleges in Punjab and Chandigarh have been greatly hurt by the act of the Punjab government," PCCTU co president P S Gill said here.

Gill added: "Punjab has betrayed college teachers. I appeal to Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal not to undo the act passed by his own government in 1999 and grant pension as college employees are the only ones who don't get pension. Failure to implement this will spoil the congenial atmosphere in colleges and the responsibility for this lies solely on the government.

"The government move came even as a contempt case is pending before the Punjab and Haryana High Court regarding the pension scheme not being implemented by the state government."The government is taking the route of the legislature to wriggle out of giving pension to college teachers," Jagwant Singh, vice-president of the All India Federation of University and College Teachers Organisation (AIFUCTO), told reporters.

"It is shameful that the government has kept the pension scheme in limbo on one pretext or the other since 1996. Now, in the face of an interim order of the Punjab and Haryana High Court to implement the pension scheme, it has withdrawn the scheme," Jagwant Singh said.


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