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New Delhi, Sept 25 In order to remove uncertainty over the payment of minimum Rs 1,000 monthly pension under the Employees’ Pension Scheme 1995 (EPS-95) beyond March 31, the government will amend the scheme to make it a permanent feature.
“When we have planned that (Rs 1,000 minimum monthly) pension will be given, then it would not be for one year. That would be done,” Labour Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said when asked if there is a move to amend EPS-95 to make the entitlement perpetual.
The government order currently provides that the pension under the EPS-95 scheme, run by the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO), will be implemented from September 1, 2014 to March 31, 2015.
In the present scenario, for paying minimum pension of Rs 1,000 under EPS-95, either the government would re-notify the decision again and again for a specified period or bring an order to make it a permanent feature of the EPS-95.
Tomar said: “We still have time to do that. The minimum pension will be an entitlement for a time-frame. You can ask about it if we don’t do it within the set time-frame (till March 31).”
The minister said that under the scheme around 32 lakh pensioner under the scheme who get less than Rs 1000 every month as pension would be immediately benefited. There are 49 lakh pensioners under the scheme at present.
According to him there are about 13 lakh pensioners under the scheme who get even less than Rs 500 every month as pension.
Marking the launch of a guaranteed minimum pension of Rs 1,000 per month, the central government has decided to organise functions in every office of the EPFO across the country on September. EPFO has over 120 offices in India.
The minister said: “It has also been decided that in 37 locations, the Union Ministers will preside over the functions and felicitate the pensioners whose pension is getting increased.”
Among the union ministers who would be present at 37 different locations include Home Minister Rajnath Singh (Lucknow), Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad (Kolkata), Railway Minister D V Sadananda Gowda (Manglore), Water Resource Minister Uma Bharti (Allahabad).
Labour Minister will attend the similar function at Gwalior. The list provides names of two union ministers, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Health Minister Harsh Vardhan to preside over the function at Delhi in view of medical treatment of the former.
During this simultaneous launch of the entitlement, the EPFO’s field offices would have a separate time slot for redressing grievances of pensioners and pension claim applicants during the event.(PTI)