Pension Parishad meets Sonia, wants uniform scheme

Pension Parishad meets Sonia, wants uniform scheme

A delegation of the Pension Parishad approached United Progressive Alliance chairperson Sonia Gandhi to demand a universal pension scheme and a hike.

The delegation, led by Aruna Roy and Baba Adgav, comprised leaders from Delhi, Maharashtra and Rajasthan.

Nazma Bai, 75, a ragpicker from Pune, laid out some demands of the parishad and the need to either peg the pension amount at Rs 2,000 or half of minimum wages earned.

Ram Kumar, 70, a migrant from Bihar who is now living in Trilokpuri, said he sells fruit to support his ailing wife. He had applied for his pension twice but has not got it yet.

According to delegation members, Sonia refrained from commenting on particular issues but supported their demand for a universal pension scheme. The Parishad claimed that she “strongly supports” the need for hiking the pension amount for the elderly.

“She said she was not sure about allowing Rs 2,000 per month as pension, but agreed that Rs 200 per month was extremely low,” said Ravi Srivastav, a delegation member.

The Parishad’s main demands include pension as a “right to all working groups” and universal pension scheme for unorganised sector workers.

The Below Poverty Line category should not be considered as a criterion for selecting pension beneficiaries, the Parishad said in a statement.

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