Pensioners from various parts of Rajasthan gathered under the banner of the Pension Parishad at Udyog Maidan here on Monday to demand a universal non-contributory old age pension system.
They said the pension should amount to 50% of the minimum wage earned by men aged 55 and more and women aged 50 or more or a fixed amount of Rs. 2,000 per month — whichever is higher. Besides, the amount should be reviewed every two to three years, they demanded.
Addressing the gathering, Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot said, “The government will address the issue to the best of its ability.”
Political leaders from the Congress and BJP extended their support to the demand.
State women and child development minister Bina Kak said, “The state must contribute 25% of the total pension amount of Rs. 2,000 to be given by the Union government. I am confident the chief minister will respond favourably.”
Aruna Roy, member of the UPA government’s National Advisory Council, said, “We are here to tell the government that they must address this issue and commit to contribute 25% of the central pension scheme of Rs. 2,000.”
Expressing solidarity with the pensioners, BJP MLA Ghanshyam Tiwari said, “We will get the universal pension issue incorporated in the party’s manifesto for the state polls in 2013.”
VS Vyas, economic advisor to the PM and CM, urged the Union and state governments to meet the “just” demand.