EPS-95 Pensioners hold massive protest rally at Ramlila Ground
New Delhi : Employees' Provident Fund Organization (EPFO) 'EPS 95 National Agitation Committee' on Saturday organized a Mahasammelan rally and 'Rasta Roko Campaign' on demands including the minimum pension of rupees 7,500 monthly at the historic Ramlila Maidan in Delhi. The aggrieved pensioners from 27 states called upon the government to protect their rights.
The committee staged a protest march to the Prime Minister's House. They have been continuously protesting all over the country with their demands. Last evening, the pensioners also met the Minister of State for Government of India, PMO, Mr. Jitendra Singh and submitted a memorandum and pointed out the negligence of the EPFO.
EPS 95 national General Secretary Virendra Singh said, "If our demands are not met by January 25 next year, there will be mass agitation across the country in full swing. This is the final ultimatum to the Modi government. This is a one-on-one battle with the government. Nevertheless, we hope government will listen to our voice and demands will be met."
It is to be noted that recently Union Minister of State for Labor and Employment Affairs Santosh Gangwar had said that the Ministry of Labor and Employment has launched the Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Man-Dhan Yojana for old citizens. It is a voluntary pension scheme. Under this, a pension amount of Rs 3,000 per month has been fixed for the age of sixty years.
Commander Ashok Raut (retd.), chairman of the EPS 95 National Action Committee (NAC), expressed, "Even after depositing a decent chunk of our life's capital into the provident fund, we were paid only rs 2500 a month. While the government is now planning to grant pension of 3000 rupees to citizens above sixty, this is injustice to millions of aggrieved pensioners who put their life fund in EPFO. The pensioner deposited Rs. 541 per month during their service, in the hope of a handsome return, but it is ridiculous that the government does not even give us Rs. 250 and Rs. 1000 pension. Had we been deposited this money in banks, the bank would have paid more interest. The MPs who call themselves servants of the public get their salary and pension increased thrice, however, our rightful money is not given. According to the Supreme Court’s order dated 4th Oct 2016, pensioners are being deprived of the benefits of higher pension on actual salary.
Mrs. Shobha Aras, 65, who has been staging Dharna in Buldana, Maharashtra for 350 days, said that the government shall not consider the demands to be unwarranted. She said, "Hard -earned income of our salary goes to the provident fund. It is our money which provides us social and economic security. Today we are asking for our rights so the government should not consider it to be irrational. Our demands is well within the scope the Koshiyari Committee."
It is noteworthy that the Koshiyari Committee submitted its recommendations to the then government only in 2013. Under this, there is a provision for guaranteeing minimum pension and dearness allowance to retired employees. In the report, this committee has also recommended to give assistance to an employee after the untimely death of spouse and compensation to the widows her family for life.