Social Security Schemes Starved of Central Funds since March 2022
The central government has not released its share under various Centrally Sponsored Social Security Schemes since March 2023. These schemes include the Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme, the Indira Gandhi National Widow Pension Scheme and the Indira Gandhi National Handicapped Pension Scheme. The matter came to the fore when some old people who are beneficiaries of the scheme complained to Shramik Elgar that instead of Rs.1000 per month they have been receiving Rs. 800 since the last several months. On enquiring at Tehsil offices the organisation learned that the Central Government has not released its share since March 2022 and the beneficiaries have received Rs.800 which is the share of the Maharashtra state government.
Similarly the Central Government has not released its share of Rs.300 under the Social security schemes meant for destitute widows and handicapped persons under poverty line. The beneficiaries under these schemes are receiving Rs.700 instead of Rs.1000.
The Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme is meant for destitute people above 65 years of age, living below the poverty line. According to the website of the Social Justice and Special Assistance Department, Government Of Maharashtra, the state had more than 12 lakh beneficiaries in 2015. (https://sjsa.maharashtra.gov.in/en/scheme-category/special-assistance) The website has not been updated since then but the number must have grown phenomenally in the last decade.
The beneficiaries of all these centrally sponsored social security schemes last received their pensions in October 2022 and the pensions for November and December 2022 are still pending. This means that the meagre amounts they get have not been deposited in their bank accounts since last two months.
Shramik Elgar has demanded that the central government should immediately release its share of the pensions and the pending amounts should be paid immediately.
It is a shame that the central government is unable to pay its share of pension to the old persons, widows and divyang. Before claiming Vishwaguru status, the Modi sarkar should give full priority to the needs of poor and needy.
– Praveen Chichghare, President, Shramik Elgar