Pension scheme for private sector also: FM

The government has asked Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) to work out schemes for the entire working population, including private sector employees and individuals.

Inaugurating the Central Recordkeeping Agency for NPS, established by the National Securities Depository Ltd (NSDL) in Mumbai on Friday, finance minister P Chidambaram said, "We have already asked the PFRDA to design pension schemes for individuals. We want the entire working population to get a chance to save while working."'

The PFRDA has already taken legal opinion, according to which, it can offer pension schemes for all private citizens without having to necessarily wait for the passing of the PFRDA Bill. It has sought the government's opinion if it can go ahead and throw open the scheme for all instead of restricting it to Central and state government employees.

Chidambaram said private sector employees would also be able to join the NPS as and when the PFRDA brings out the guidelines. "In the time to come, we will have a social security system to provide pension," he said.

"Every working citizen should welcome this step. NPS was an excellent step for those who joined government services after 01-01-2004. It's a boon for them," he said. "Unfunded pension liabilities are ticking time bombs. It amounts to 50 per cent of the GDP," he said. He urged all state governments to join the new pension scheme.

FIIs get FM's ear

Chidambaram held an informal meeting with leading domestic and foreign institutional investors (FIIs) in Mumbai. He also met the senior officials of Sebi and took stock of the progress of capital market reforms and the road ahead. He also met the Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) board later in the day, and urged the insurance behemoth to increase market share in the wake of competition. The agenda for the institutional investors' meeting, as disclosed by a leading overseas investor, was to get feedback from the institutions regarding the market scenario and the fundamentals. He also revealed that discussions on the stock lending and borrowing mechanism was one of the important topics to be discussed.

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