Pensioners offer to work for free to raise a sum of Rs 20,250 crore for nation-building and EPS pension

New Delhi: In a letter written to the Labour Ministry, president of the ‘National Agitation Committee’,(NAC), Commander Ashok Raut, highlighted the plight of EPS95 Pensioners and drawn his attention towards the pitiable condition of the senior pensioners.

In his letter, Shri Raut cited that despite paying Rs 417, Rs 541 and Rs 1250/month during their days of service as contribution for pension, the pensioners receive the paltry sum in the range of Rs 200 to Rs 2500 as a pension. It doesn’t requires rocket science for one to understand how difficult it is these days to run a household with such a meagre sum of money.

Commander Ashok Raut, the national head of NAC committee for EPS 95 holders, has led several nation-wide movements to bring forth their demands.

On December 7, 2017, he led a massive agitation at Delhi’s iconic Ramlila Maidan and a march towards the Parliament. Now, the committee has decided to carry out another nationwide protest outside the offices of every District Magistrate. The nationwide agitation which includes Satyagraha and donation drives (Bhiksha Andolan). The money collected from such drives are being deposited in the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund.

In their meeting, dated 6.12.2017, with the honorable Labour Minister Santosh Gangwar, the committee discussed and tabled their demands. Two of the main demands were, firstly, the monthly pension of workers under EPS 95 scheme must be increased to Rs 7500/month along with dearness allowance and secondly, as per the ruling of the honorable Supreme Court, they are entitled to receive pensions based on higher salary.

In the context of the above-mentioned demands, the Labour Ministry assured them to prepare a draft and promised to forward it to the Finance Ministry and the Prime Minister’s Office for the approval because it would come under Money Bill. But sadly, nothing concrete in this direction has happened as no mention of the same was made in the Finance Minister’s budget speech, this year. Only a high empowered committee had been set up to look after this issue.

Therefore, a committee under the leadership of its national president, Ashok Raut, met with the honorable Labour Minister Shri Santosh Gangwar on March 22, 2018, and handed over a novel proposal.

As per this proposal, around 45 lakh pensioners, falling under the age group of 58 to 65 years, would offer their one month services for free. Based on their experiences and skills they would contribute towards the cause of nation-building. This way, the government will receive a total workforce of 13.50 crore man days per year and the money saved from this would roughly amount to Rs 20,250 crore.

The money generated in this form of free labor could easily be utilized to fulfill all the demands of these pension holders. This bold move from the senior citizens to dedicate their time for nation-building would also inspire the younger workforce in the country. It would also send a strong message that the senior citizens of the country are still committed towards their nation.

The Provident Fund Commissioner Shri VP Joy was also present during the committee’s meeting with the honourable Labour Minister on March 22. In the meeting, that was also attended by the PA of Labour and Employment Minister, Shri Manu Tentiwal , Commander Ashok Raut stressed the pensioners wish to be instrumental in nation-building instead of being a roadblock or a hurdle.

Commander Raut hoped the Government understands the feelings behind the proposal and considers the recommendations/proposal of the pensioners and comes to a positive conclusion in the ongoing Budget Session of the Parliament. This will make the lives of the senior pensioners easy and hassle-free in their retirement days. Commander Raut cautioned that if the government fails to take any decision on their proposals then it must be ready to face the consequences as they will launch a severe nation wide agitation.

Commander Raut was accompanied by the chief coordinator of EPS95 Veerendra Singh Rajavat and chief national advisor PN Patil.