Over 10,000 people from across 20 States poured into the Parliament Street waiting all day for the Minister, Jairam Ramesh to come and publicly announce the agreement on pension for the elderly; but he assures that he will come and address the dharna tomorrow
New Delhi, 6 March 2013: The 10,000 protesters from different parts of the country marching from Jantar Mantar to Parliament Street showed clearly that pension has become a major issue for and one and all.
Agreeing with this, Aruna Roy asserted that “Pension is a basic right of all people and more so for the toiling workers, many of whom have come today to Delhi with the expectation that the government will listen to their legitimate demand and announce a pension scheme that will enable them to lead a life of dignity.”
The veteran parliamentarian, D. Raja joined the agitation and said that he had spoken to the Prime Minister, Minister of Rural Development and tried to raise the issue in Parliament today. The Speaker said that the issue of pension could be discussed tomorrow. D. Raja stressed that this is a set of demands that the government has to accept.
Aruna Roy went on to explain that, “as far as the government is concerned there is a broad in –principle agreement on this issue;” agreed to remove APL/BPL division and give universal pension. There is also an agreement that the pension amount should be indexed to inflation adjusted accordingly every year, she added.
Taking this forward Nikhil Dey stated that “many of the important recommendations of the Task Force have also been accepted by the government. This included redefining the widow’s pension, reducing eligibility to 18 years and including women who are divorced, separate, abandoned and single.”
Baba Adhav warned the government that, “since the pension has become an election issue and Pension Parishad State Chapters have been opened across many states no political parities including the ruling party can afford to ignore the elderly and hope to win an election given the clout of the elderly.”