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Sunday, Oct 20, 2019

Interim budget has let down elderly and widows, say Pune social activists

The budget was silent about the National Social Assistance Programme under which it provides income security to the country’s most vulnerable group, says activist

pune Updated: Feb 02, 2019 16:56 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Pune
Activists like Aruna Roy and Baba Adhav reiterated their demands through a statement seeking assistance for the elders, widows and PWD from the government.
Activists like Aruna Roy and Baba Adhav reiterated their demands through a statement seeking assistance for the elders, widows and PWD from the government.(HT PHOTO)
         

Pension Parishad in a statement issued on Friday has slammed the government for its interim budget presented on Friday stating that without the state assured social pension for the elderly, widows and persons with disability (PWD), the budget has once again let down the most vulnerable in the society.

Activists like Aruna Roy, Baba Adhav along with other members of the Pension Parishad reiterated their demands through a statement seeking assistance for the elders, widows and PWD from the government. 

Baba Adhav, prominent social activist and co-convener of Pension Parishad said, “The budget was silent about the most important social protection schemes which is the National Social Assistance Programme under which it provides income security to the country’s most vulnerable group.” 

“This means that the elderly living below the poverty line will continue to receive paltry sum of roughly Rs 7 per day income security and the widows and disabled Rs 10 respectively,” he added. 

Activist Aruna Roy said, “The central government only covers 3.55 crore beneficiaries, so more than 70 per cent of the vulnerable population comprised of elderly, widows and disabled will not be able to avail these benefits as the scheme continues to remain narrowly targeted, including only those who find themselves on the BPL list.”

“We are distraught to learn that the elderly of the country don’t find even a mention in the road map for the country’s progress,” she said. 

The Pension Parishad is an initiative to ensure universal pension to all workers in India. It has been demanding that the Government of India establish a "non-contributory and universal old age pension system with a minimum amount of monthly pension. 

The Parishad also demands that any individual 55 years or older should be eligible for old age pension; for women, eligibility to be 50 years or older.

First Published: Feb 02, 2019 16:52 IST

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