5.8 cr In­di­ans get no pen­sion

Coun­try far be­hind less de­vel­oped coun­tries in pro­vid­ing so­cial se­cu­rity to el­derly pop­u­la­tion

DNA Sunday (Mumbai) - - INDI - DNA Cor­re­spon­dent —PTI

New Delhi: In­dia, the Asian tiger, is far be­hind com­pared to less de­vel­oped coun­tries like Nepal, Bo­livia, Botswana and other poor economies when it comes to pro­vid­ing so­cial se­cu­rity to the el­derly pop­u­la­tion. While Nepal spends 0.7% of their GDP on the se­cu­rity of el­derly peo­ple, Bo­livia 1.3% of GDP, Le­sotho 1.3%, spends a mea­gre 0.04% of to­tal GDP, as per a re­port pre­pared by HelpAge In­dia, a non-gov­ern­ment or­gan­i­sa­tion.

In­dia’s GDP is at the very least 10 times that of coun­tries like Bo­livia, Le­sotho, Nepal and Ecuador, but the pen­sion does not match up.

The re­port said in In­dia, the pro­por­tion of cap­i­tal out­lay to the coun­try’s GDP has re­mained un­changed for over a decade. “We have tran­si­tioned from be­ing a lower in­come coun­try to a lower mid­dle-in­come coun­try. We threaten to take over the GDP of some of the su­per­pow­ers and yet re­main pow­er­less when it comes to ad­e­quate pro­vi­sion­ing for so­cial se­cu­rity,”

the re­port, re­leased on Se­nior Cit­i­zens’ Day, stated.

The re­port, fur­ther cit­ing Na­tional So­cial As­sis­tance Pro­gramme, claimed in In­dia, of the 80 mil­lion el­derly en­ti­tled to a pen­sion of Rs 200 per month, this mea­gre

amount, by the Cen­tral gov­ern­ment, reaches just 22.3 mil­lion peo­ple leav­ing out nearly 58 mil­lion peo­ple. It fur­ther states 93% of the work­force comes un­der un­or­gan­ised sec­tor em­ploy­ees and they have con­trib­uted a

large part of GDP but the ma­jor­ity of them are not cov­ered un­der any pen­sion schemes.

The Cen­tral en­ti­tle­ment of Rs 200 and Rs 500 per month per per­son for those be­tween 60 years and 79 years and for those above 80 years re­spec­tively, de­clared in 2007 has re­duced in pur­chas­ing power value to a mea­gre Rs 93. Speak­ing about this in the re­port, Econ­o­mist Prab­hat Pat­naik says, “this is truly a scan­dalous state of af­fairs not just be­cause the sum is laugh­able pal­try, the ben­e­fi­ciary list ab­surdly trun­cated and even ele­men­tary pro­tec­tion against in­fla­tion miss­ing.”

It is pointed out that if the sce­nario in 2018 is so bad what will hap­pen when the coun­try will have 173 mil­lion peo­ple above 60 years in 2026.

The re­port also high­lights how lakhs of el­derly peo­ple name have been re­moved from the pen­sioner list. The re­port said in Bi­har, 10 lakh ben­e­fi­cia­ries were dropped from pen­sion list with­out cit­ing any rea­son.

Fur­ther, digi­ti­sa­tion and re­quire­ments of Aad­haar seed­ing have led to ex­clu­sion. “En­forced dis­bur­sal through bank­ing had only added to peo­ple’s woes first at the level of open­ing bank ac­counts and then for ac­cess­ing pen­sion,” the re­port states.

PM Modi at a meet in Vi­gyan Bhawan, New Delhi on Satur­day

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