Ranchi/Jamshedpur, Sept. 30.2014
Union minister of state for rural development Upendra Kushwahaand his Jharkhand counterpart K.N. Tripathy today jointly launched the Centre’s Minimum Guarantee Pension Scheme under the Employees Pension Scheme (EPS), 1995, in Ranchi — a move that will benefit lakhs of employees working in the organised sector comprising both public and private firms.
Union minister of state for social justice and empowerment Sudarshan Bhagat did the honours in Sakchi, Jamshedpur, dedicating to the common people the scheme that was rolled out across the country simultaneously.
Speaking on the occasion at Thakur Vishwanath Shahdeo Indoor Stadium at the mega sports complex, Ranchi, Kushwaha termed the new guaranteed pension scheme — envisaged by the previous UPA government — a game-changer.“From now on, every pensioner will receive a minimum of Rs 1,000 per month. The previous minimum pension of Rs 250 was like humiliating a pensioner,” he noted.
“This apart, mandatory wage ceiling for contribution to the EPS has been upped from Rs 6,500 to Rs 15,000 per month and roughly 50 lakh people will be covered under the scheme. In coming days, we will work out many such social security schemes,” he added.
Nationally, about 19 lakh pensioners used to get anywhere between Rs 500 and Rs 1,000. This apart, around 13 lakh people used to get less than Rs 500.
In Jharkhand, it will benefit about 63,690 out of total 1.15 lakh pensioners who used to get Rs 500 or below.
Jharkhand minister Tripathy also hailed the scheme and promised all possible support from the state its success.
Tripathy also used the stage to spew venom on the Centre for slashing Jharkhand’s labour budget by almost 50 per cent, a move that, according to the minister, will undermine several welfare schemes.
The minister accused the Narendra Modi government of keeping the state in the dark about the decision to reduce the budgetary allocation from Rs 1,600 crore to about Rs 750 crore.
“It’s true that a large amount of central funds lapsed unused in the past but the present state government is determined to make use of every single penny meant for welfare and development of the poor,” Tripathy claimed.
Kushwaha, however, chose not to counter the allegations “on-stage”, but off it, he dismissed the charges as “petty politics” and “baseless”.
“Manch pe aarop lagane se kuch nai hota. Agar dikkat ya koi shikayat hai toh baton se suljhaya ja sakta hai. (Only levelling allegations on such platforms will do no good. If he (state government) has any grievances, it can be solved through talks. The central government has made it very clear from Day 1 that every state is important for overall development of the country,” said Kushwaha.