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Congress-led Opposition UDF members in Kerala today staged a walkout in the assembly over the government proposal to raise the pension age of employees in state-run KSRTC even as Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said no decision in the matter has been taken.
The state government has not taken any decision on increasing the retirement age of Kerala State Road Transport Corporation employees, Vijayan said while replying to a notice for an adjournment motion on the issue.
Vijayan also rejected the Opposition charge that the move to fix pension age limit at 60 years from present 56 years in KSRTC was a 'cover up' to increase superannuation age in all government departments to 60 years.
State Minister for Transport A K Saseendhran pointed out that the proposal on pension age was one of the recommendations suggested by an expert committee to tide over the crisis faced by the public transport corporation.
The committee headed by Sushil Khanna of IIT-Kolkata, had suggested that if the pension age was increased to 60 years, the corporation could save an amount of Rs 450 crore, which the corporation otherwise would have to pay as compensation to retiring workers in the next few years.
"It is only a suggestion. Both the ruling LDF and Opposition parties have to debate on the matter," he said.
Leader of Opposition in the assembly Ramesh Chennithala alleged that LDF, which came to power with the promise of jobs to youngsters was denying employment opportunities by increasing the pension age.
Chennithala also charged the LDF government with "imposing an indirect ban" on new recruitment in government sectors.