One India One Pension (OIOP), a unique campaign launched in Kerala seeking universal pension of Rs 10,000 each to all those above the age of 60 in the country, is getting more support both from the common and influential people through the social media.
The organisers say that the government would not have any further financial burden, if this universal pension would be introduced and would make sure that there would be direct financial assistance to the people.
“Nearly 10 percent of the population of India are senior citizens as per govt records. They are around 104 million people (104000000 ). If every senior citizen ( age 60 yr plus ) has to get a pension of Rs 10,000 per month, the total payout would be around 100 ( rounded value ) million multiplied by 10, 000 again multiplied by 12 months ie 12 lakh crores of rupees per annum. As of this year the central govt pensions have surpassed the total salary bill by more than 10 thousand crores reaching beyond 1.75 lakh crores,” says an online mass petition driven by the organisation.
The campaign was launched by Vinod K Jose, Bibin Chacko and Biju M Joseph. They have already created committees in all 140 assembly constituencies of Kerala and are planning appoint grass-root level panels in all the 22000 wards of the local bodies. Besides, the social media handles by the movement have also secured support from lakhs of common people.
According to them, the States pay around Rs 9.6 lakh crores as pensions alone apart from Rs 1.8 lakh crores by central govt. “This shows that amount required to pay all senior citizens of our country 10000 per month is already being distributed as pensions. This is where reducing the current exorbitant pensions and bring in universal pension scheme gains importance. 10, 000 pension for all is easily achievable,” it says.
“OIOP movement is aimed at achieving the aims of socialism in the constitution as laid out in Article 37 Part IV directive principles of State policy which specifies The State shall, in particular, strive to minimise the inequalities in income, and endeavour to eliminate inequalities in status, facilities and opportunities, not only amongst individuals but also amongst groups of people residing in different areas or engaged in different vocations, that there is equal pay for equal work for both men and women,” it says.
When a government driver gets a salary of Rs 80, 000 plus at the time of retirement with all lifelong benefits and retirement amount of nearly half a crore, a private driver earns just one tenth as salary and benefits.
Paying pension to all senior citizens will in turn boost up the economy. The exorbitant pension payments as of now to govt employees, wherein average pension payment when cacluted has reached upto Rs 50, 000 plus for each pensioner,! Indeed a huge drain on the country, and at the same time most of the pension thus earned does not reach the market, rather it becomes dead money as investment mostly in land, gold etc, according to Binu J P, the Central Committee Member OIOP
The online petition, seeking the mass support, is here.
According to the existing norms, only the government employees, service personnel and select categories like teacher enjoy the pension, depending on their salaries during the service. Not only they are a privileged lot during the service with job protection, DA and leave benefits, they also draw a good amount as pensions. Some senior officials are getting huge amounts as pension.
On the other hand, the poor people, the private employees and those in the unorganised sector have no such benefit during or after the service, making the current pension scheme is a gross injustice.
The supporters also point out that the large amount of the current pension goes into banks as deposit as dead money. Instead, if everybody gets same pension, the entire amount will go into circulation.