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Kerala's Pinarayi government signals course correction, announces time-bound settlement of welfare pension arrears

Vijayan said of the five months dues pending in social welfare pensions, two months dues will be given during this fiscal itself and the remaining three months dues will be paid in the next fiscal.
Last Updated : 10 July 2024, 14:33 IST

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Thiruvananthapuram: Having felt the heat in the Lok Sabha polls, the CPI(M)-led government in Kerala has announced time-bound settlement of the dues, especially five months welfare pension to 62 lakh people from weaker sections as well as salary and pension revision and dearness allowance dues to government employees and pensioners.

The initiatives could be considered as a course correction in view of the humiliating defeat it faced in the Lok Sabha polls by winning only one out of the 20 seats. Evaluations by the party had concluded that the party was losing its mass base due to default in welfare measures to the grassroot levels and stressed the need to regain it as the local body polls and Assembly polls are due in 2025 and 2026, respectively.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan announced the timely settlement of dues in the Assembly on Wednesday. He also accused that the BJP government at the Centre was responsible for the financial crunches of the state by cutting central allocations.

Vijayan said that of the five months pending dues in social welfare pensions, two months dues will be given during this fiscal itself and the remaining three months dues will be given in the next fiscal. A total of Rs 4,250 crore was required for settling the dues. At present, social welfare pensions are being paid on time, he said.

He said that when the CPI(M) came to power in 2016 the number of social welfare pension beneficiaries were 34.4 lakh and the pension was only Rs 600. There was also 18 months dues pending from the previous Congress government. The LDF government enhanced the pension to Rs 1600 and also plans to increase it further.

The chief minister also said that dues in salary and pension revisions as well as dearness allowance dues to government employees and pensioners would be settled in a time-bound manner.

Vijayan said funds were already allotted for construction of 2.87 lakh houses to the homeless under the LIFE mission project and his government aims at achieving the target of constructing five lakh houses. The dues of around Rs 2,500 crore to contractors and various other development programmes would be also paid.

He said the government would be taking steps to enhance revenue and also to regulate spending in view of the financial crunches caused by the Centre. All department heads were asked to take steps to enhance non-tax revenue of the state, he added.

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Published 10 July 2024, 14:33 IST

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