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It’s official now. More than two lakh pensioners including senior citizens, physically challenged people and widows, living in all the 272 wards in the national Capital will not get pension from the Municipal Corporations as the agencies have announced to hand over the scheme to the Delhi government.
The agencies, showing their helplessness in paying the dues pending since nearly 30 months, have informed that after paying pensions for the next three months, they will stop disbursing the money in this regard.
Mayor of North MCD Ravinder Gupta said: “As per our discussion with Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, it has been decided that the agencies will give pension of one quarter while the remaining will be given by the state government. Additionally, the government will be liable to pay in future as cash-trapped bodies are not in a position to carry on the programme. We have decided to release the fund before mid-December and submit details of the number of pensioners and their type, due period and total amount due so that they (the government departments) can proceed further.”
Earlier, the Corporations had claimed that they were under severe financial crunch and had requested the court to discontinue the old-age pension scheme.
The Corporations had told the court that they had written to the Delhi government to consider merger of the Old Age Pension scheme with a similar one run by its Social Welfare Department following which formal announcement was made on Friday. Nearly 82,000 pensioners of North MCD have not received their pensions since June last year while almost the same number of people of South MCD have met a similar fate since December last year. The worst affected is EDMC which has not given pension for the past 30 months and more to nearly 35,000 pension holders.
The Corporations’ documents have revealed that there is a severe financial crunch with budget deficit amounting to Rs 500 to 700 crore every year and the agencies have not been able to disburse pensions worth nearly Rs 700 crore since the trifurcation. “Finance department is of the view that the civic bodies are mulling to discontinue the disbursement, requesting the Delhi government to merge pensions with its already existing schemes,” said the document.
Mukesh Goel, Leader of Opposition, North MCD, opined that by announcing this move, the BJP-ruled Corporations are doing injustice to the poor people who are unable to meet their daily needs without their pension.
“The BJP is putting all efforts to stop the releasing of pension which is not acceptable in any manner. Elderly people are getting their pensions for the past 50 years from the civic agency and the Opposition will not only oppose this move but will agitate on the streets to expose their insensitivity,” Goel added.