New Delhi, Apr 10 The Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) today registered a protest against Employees Provident Fund Organisation’s (EPFO) move to suspend the minimum pension of Rs 1000 and asked the NDA government to continue with the scheme proposed during the previous dispensation.

The UPA government had taken the decision to increase the minimum pension to Rs 1,000 for pensioners and widow pensioners under the Employees Pension Scheme 1995.

But, the retirement fund body’s has decided to suspended the minimum monthly pension scheme from this month, which will hit about 32 lakh pensioners.

“EPFO has issued circulars putting on hold the minimum pension. The CITU registers its strongest protest against this action of EPFO and Government of India,” CITU President A K Padmanabhan said in a statement.

Padmanabhan said the NDA government had in September 2014 decided to go ahead with implementation of the UPA dispensation’s scheme, but only uptil March 2015. The scheme sought to hike the pension amount to a flat Rs 1,000 per month for those who were getting lower amount earlier.

“Trade unions had at that time itself objected to this, pointing out that this limited order will be used against workers by stopping it at the will of the government. But, Government had assured it will not be stopped.

“The circular issued now by EPFO has raised serious concern among workers and pensioners on the intentions of the government, as it comes in the background of various retrograde changes proposed in EPF Schemes by it,” Padmanabhan alleged.

He asked the Centre to immediately issue orders for continuing with the minimum pension scheme.

The CITU also urged trade unions, workers and pensioners organisations to raise their voice of protest against this “unwanted” delay in the issuance of orders for continuation of the minimum pension.