January 4, 2018
Ratna De Nag speaks on widow pension scheme
Thank you, Madam. I would like to bring to your kind notice an important issue concerning the old widows of our country. We have many different pension schemes but I would like to focus on the Indira Gandhi National Widow Pension Scheme under which widows aged 40 or above get Rs 600 per month.
It is to be noted Madam, that prior to 2005, beneficiaries of the same scheme were selected by the municipalities, by the gram panchayats as per allotted quota. In case of three-tier panchayat system, recommendation used to come from different meetings held in different tiers of panchayat system – like gram sansad sabha, gram sabha, general body meetings etc.
Since 2005, beneficiaries were selected from the rural household survey (data-based). The families having a score of Rs 30 or below in the rural household survey (data-based) were eligible for the above mentioned pension scheme. Unfortunately Madam, from October 1, 2017, the pension of many beneficiaries were abruptly stopped stating that as per ACCC, the socio-economic survey 2011, they may be treated as people having any of the 14 parameters of the automatic exclusion criteria.
It is evidently made that survey reports of ACCC 2011 are not correct. When it is so Madam, how can the government exclude deserving beneficiaries from the said list, which deprives them from receiving the pension. Madam, I would like to mention here that our Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee, is providing pension for these widows without stoppage.
Under the circumstances, through you Madam, I would like to urge and plead the government to remove the order and restore the pension of these poor widows, keeping in view the evergrowing price of the essential commodities.