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North MCD may pull plug on pension scheme; 80,000 senior citizens to be hit

North MCD may pull plug on pension scheme; 80,000 senior citizens to be hit
There is bad news for some senior citizens as they might not be able to avail their pensions from now on. After decades of struggle and hard work, around 80,000 pensioners stare at a bleak future. As per a notification issued by North Delhi Municipal Corporation which is likely to be tabled before the Standing Committee on Wednesday, the Corporation might discontinue the disbursement of Old Age Pension Scheme owing to the financial crunch it is facing. The North Corporation, in order to shift its liability, has decided to ask the Delhi government to merge the Old Age Pension Scheme administered by North MCD with the scheme already run by Social Welfare Department of the Delhi government.

As per the report, Corporation’s Standing Committee is gearing up for a resolution for shifting its liability to the state government claiming that pension holders are nominated by MLAs and MPs hence their department should be used for this purpose. The Committee, in order to support their move, has claimed that disbursement of <g data-gr-id="57">old</g> age pension is not specifically mentioned under obligatory and discretionary functions under Sections 42 and 43 of the DMC Act. Earlier too, the Committee has requested the Delhi government to merge the pension scheme with the scheme being administered by it.

The Corporation’s document has revealed that there is a severe financial crunch with budget deficit of Rs 500 to 700 crore every year and the agency has not been able to disburse pensions of nearly Rs 142 crore since June last year. “Finance is of the view that the civic body is mulling to discontinue the disbursement, requesting the city government to merge pensions with its already running schemes,” said the document.

Mukesh Goel, Leader of Opposition, said that by announcing the move the BJP-ruled Corporation is doing injustice to poor people who are unable to meet their daily requirements without the pension. “The BJP is putting all efforts to stop the releasing of pension which is not acceptable in any manner. Elderly people are getting <g data-gr-id="51">pension</g> for the past 50 years from the civic agency and the Opposition will not only oppose this move but will agitate on streets to expose their insensitivity,” Goel said.

Notably, the East Corporation too had earlier told the Delhi high court that it has put before its 
standing committee a proposal to withdraw its pension scheme under which it had been paying a stipend to nearly, 40,000 disabled, widowed and aged persons till March 2013. The submission was made before a Bench of Justices Badar Ahmed and Sanjeev Sachdeva.
Anup Verma

Anup Verma

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