December 31 deadline to identifying Uttarakhand statehood agitationists to remaindehradun Updated: Dec 14, 2017 20:37 IST
The December 31 deadline for identifying people who took part in the statehood agitation is too short a time , say statehood activists.(HT File Photo.)
The December 31 deadline to identify people, who had taken part in the agitation for statehood in Uttarakhand, is too short a time to complete the process and it should be further extended, say agitationists.
Until now, the Uttarakhand government has extended the last date to identify agitationists five times over the years since 2009.
Pradeep Kukreti, district president of the Uttarakhand Rajya Andolankari Manch—a front that looks after the welfare of those who fought for statehood of Uttarakhand--said the chief minister on November 9 extended the deadline to December 31, but the government order has been issued only a couple of days back so there is very little time left to complete the process.
“We think that the process will have be extended once again as a large number of people have not been identified,” he said.
Ram Lal Khanduri, another prominent statehood agitationist said already 10,550 agitationists have been identified by the government and given ID cards.
Out of these, more than 9,000 people are not receiving pensions as some are in government jobs and some have died, he said.
The state government gives a pension of ₹3,100 every month to identified statehood agitationists from a welfare fun of ₹ 2 crore every month.
The cash-strapped state with an annual budget of more than Rs 40,000 crore is doling out the money from its own revenue.
Khanduri said identifying more statehood agitationists in the future will lead to an increase in the government’s expenditure due to which it should set up a separate corpus fund to take care of the expenses incurred as suggested by former chief ministers, including ND Tiwari and Harish Rawat.
State finance minister Prakash Pant said there will be no problem with funds for the statehood agitationist.
“We are allocating fund on time and there will be no delay in payments,” he said.
He, however, added that the December 31 deadline for identifying people who participated in the statehood agitation will not be extended further and people should try to complete the identification process on time.