Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy today said the UDF Government’s decision to introduce a Participatory Pension Scheme (PPS) for State service employees is an “imaginative measure” to save the State from future “financial disaster.”

Reeling out statistics, he said in a statement that Kerala now spent 90.34 per cent of its tax and non-tax revenue on salaries, pensions and interest on debts, making it difficult to find adequate resources for capital investment.

The Government’s decision to introduce PPS from 2013 has sparked protests from the Opposition LDF and employees’ unions, who have dubbed it as a move in tandem with liberalisation and globalisation.

Chandy, however, said it was a decision which does not bring any immediate benefit to the present Government. “On the other hand, it will increase its commitment. This is a decision taken with the intention of saving the State from future financial disaster,” he said.

While most States had implemented PPS over the years, West Bengal, Tripura and Kerala have been reluctant to introduce the new scheme, he said.

The State, where the average longevity of people is higher than the national average, has a total of 5.50 lakh service pensioners against a total staff strength of 5.245 lakh.

Every year, an additional 20,000 join the pension rolls, making it a recurring commitment.

The State’s pension commitment had jumped to Rs 8,178 crore a year from Rs 1,838 crore in the last 11 years. This had happened at a time when the State was finding it tough to get resources to meet productive investments, he added.