Thousands of pensioners on Thursday staged a protest demanding a hike in minimum monthly pension. The pensioners who come under EPF-95 demanded a raise to Rs 7,500. Presently, the pension under the Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) is Rs 1000. “Today pensioners protested from Ramlila Maidan to Jantar Mantar for their honour and right. Thousands of Protesters from 22 states voiced their right to pension…,” said a statement All-India EPS-95 Pensioners Sangharsh Samiti. The Samiti’s National Convener Ashok Raut said,”If they don’t fulfil our demands, we will go and talk to every Minister, MP, and MLA and will make it a national agitation as retired employees get less than Rs 2,500 monthly pension which is not enough to meet their daily needs. So it is the matter of 17 crore people of unorganised sector and their future.”
The statement also said that after long discussions in Parliament, the Labour Minister announced setting up of another committee on the subject but the delay in decision is hampering livelihood of 60 lakh old age families. The pensioners have demanded Rs 7,500 as a basic pension plus DA (dearness allowance) under Employees Pension Scheme 1995 (EPF-95). They said in their statement that until this demand is fulfilled, Rs 5,000 plus DA be granted as an interim relief considering inflation since the Koshiyari Committee recommendations (Rs 3,000 or more plus DA) were made, and provide Free Medical facilities to all EPS-95 pensioners and their spouses.