22 Jan 2014
Activists push for inclusion of pension in party manifestos
Pension Parishad has resolved to make pension entitlements an election issue. Representatives from the organization on Tuesday submitted a petition to political parties urging them to include issues relating to the universalization of pensions in their manifestoes for the upcoming General Election.
Delegations of 10 people each comprising representatives of Pension Parishad from different states and elderly met a string of political parties including Bahujan Samajavadi Party, CPI(M), Samajavadi Party and the Aam Admi Party.
The most critical thrust of Pension Parishad’s campaign is the demand that pension be universal. The sum should be either Rs. 2,000 or half the price of the minimum wages, whichever is higher. Currently, the Centre provides a pension of Rs.200 a month to those who are in the Below Poverty Line (BPL) category .Another key demand of Pension Parishad is that the pension be indexed to inflation, so that the sum will keep pace with inflation every six months.
“It is extremely important near the elections to recognize the real issues affecting people that are multifarious. Development remains the core issue. For the poor, elections are the only time to centre stage their concerns,” Nikhil Dey told The Hindu.
“Elections are an opportunity to reinforce that the Government’s stands for such people,” he added.
More specifically, National President JD(U) Sharad Yadav assured to take the matter up with Minister for Rural Development Jairam Ramesh.
Mr. Dey added that towards the end of February, Pension Parishad will hold detailed discussions with various leaders in order to ensure that the matters relating to pensions are accurately represented in all political manifestoes.