The change in government has left the anganwadi workers deserted in Maharashtra. After months of protest, the previous government—Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA) – had assured that it would discuss their demands like increase in honorarium and facility of pension in the state’s assembly. However, the newly formed government, seemingly unaware of the development, didn’t raise the topic in the assembly, bringing the anganwadi workers to square one.For the last one year, anganwadi workers have been in a tussle with the Women and Child Development (WCD) ministry over their long-pending demands. They held several protests across the state, including Mumbai’s Azad Maidan ground.“After days of protests, the former minister of WCD, Yashomati Thakur, held a meeting with us and promised to raise our insignificant honorarium from Rs 8,000 to Rs 12,000. She assured to raise the issue in the monsoon session in the state’s assembly. But now…it wasn’t discussed in the assembly, leaving us feeling dejected,” said Kamal Parulekar, secretary, Anganwadi Sevika Union general.Earlier, this year, after protest, the Delhi government raised the honorarium of anganwadi workers to Rs 12,720 besides increasing conveyance and communication allowance to Rs 1,500. “The size and population density of Maharashtra is more than Delhi but our demands are being ignored. This government will have to enact the promises given by the former minister,” said Parulekar.Anganwadi workers are considered the most integral part of the nutrition programmes in India. Annually around 2,300 anganwadi workers retire in the state. “Firstly, our honorarium is so low that after supporting our families, we fail to save money for our future. So, we asked the previous government to provide half of the last-drawn salary as a pension after retirement,” said Sunita Shelar, anganwadi worker from Palghar. “The new government isn’t even aware of all the development,” she added.They also complained that once an Aganwadi worker retires, rather than filling up her post, the responsibilities are shouldered on another one. This further overburdens the already skeleton manpower capacity.The associations representing over two lakh anganwadi workers have decided to hold rallies at the district-level starting September 12. If the state government doesn’t meet their demands, they will protest near the ministry in Mumbai on September 20.“We aren’t even covered under the state’s health insurance schemes despite an official instruction given in 2018 in the regard. So, when anyone gets sick, we can’t even claim the insurance,” said Parulekar. “Just because a government has changed, we will not bow down. If needed, we will again start from the beginning by holding protest in every district,” she said.
PUNE: The Chatushrungi police are probing a complaint against the wife of a retired officer of a public-sector bank of cheating the financial institution of Rs8.46 lakh by showing her husband alive and taking the full pension benefits. The cheating, according to the police, occurred between June 2018 and December 2021. Inspector Ankush Chintaman of the Chatushrungi police said, "We came to know on Saturday evening that the woman too had died on December 21, 2020, in Mumbai." A senior bank officer (58), a resident of Kasba Peth, lodged a complaint in this regard with the police. "The bank received a phone call few days ago and was informed about the cheating. Following this, the bank officials conducted an internal probe and lodged the complaint with the police," Chintaman said. He said, "The retired bank officer and his family shifted to Wadala in Mumbai after his retirement. The retired bank officer died in June 2018, but his wife submitted his 'life certificate' to the bank to obtain the pension. She also withdrew pension from her husband's account. After her demise, somebody else withdrew the pension. Now, we are searching for the people actually behind this." Chintaman said, "We are also searching for the person using the pension account of the retired bank officer. As of now, we don't know why the wife of the retired bank officer submitted fake and misleading 'life certificate' to the bank to obtain the pension."
Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Monday defended her party leaders who have been arrested after their names cropped up in a series of corruption cases and attacked the Centre and the BJP for what she said was a malicious campaign against her party.TMC leaders Partha Chatterjee and Anubrata Mondal have been arrested by central agencies in connection with corruption cases.On allegations against her cabinet colleagues and party leaders, Banerjee said in Bengali: “Chairey boshe achhi, tai bolte parbo na. Na hole boltam, jara amader namey mithye rotachhe, tader jiv tene chhire din. (I am sitting on the chair [of the chief minister]. Otherwise, I would say rip off the tongue of those who are spreading canards against us).”She was speaking at a mega rally in Kolkata commemorating the foundation day of Trinamool Congress Chhatra Parishad, the TMC’s student wing.She defended her party leaders Partha Chatterjee, Firhad Hakim, and Anubrata Mandal. “Partha chor, Boby (Hakim) chor, Anubrata chor, ami chor, Arup, Chandrima Abhishek sobai chor ar tomra sobai sadhu (Partha is thief, Boby (Hakim) is thief, Anubrata is thief, I am thief, Arup, Chandrima, Abhishek all are thieves and you (the BJP) all are saints),” she said.She also advised her party workers not to believe in media reports and television channels and claimed they are sold out to the BJP. She said, “If you see, tomorrow television is saying Boby (Hakim) has huge property. Don’t believe them. If they arrest Boby tomorrow, then, you should understand that all is arranged.”On PIL against her family membersTalking about the PIL filed by advocate Tarunjyoti Tiwari Monday for details about properties owned by her and her family members, Banerjee said: “We are two sisters and six brothers. All are settled separately. All have their own families and own earnings. We have no connection with each other. We only assemble during the time of Rakshabandhan, Bhaifonta, Durga Puja and other festivals.”“I used to get a pension of Rs 1 lakh per month as I was a member of Parliament. But, I never took that pension. As I am the chief minister and MLA, I am getting at least Rs 3.5 lakh per month but that also, I never took. I wrote many books. I used to earn huge money from my book’s royalty. You can go to book fairs and survey that; my book is the best seller. That is not my fault. Why I am selling books; that is also their (BJP) jealousy,” she said.“I came to politics to serve the society. I did not enter politics to steal. Mamata Banerjee never bows her head in front of anything… Even if I am sent to jail, my message will spread across,” she added.“Across India, if there is one party which is honest, then it is Trinamool Congress. It has its ideology and goals. Cyclone or flood may come but it will go after some time and then you have to come out in the street and fight against that.”‘You will become zero’Since a July 21 rally, Banerjee has maintained that the BJP will not get a majority in the 2024 general election. “You dislodged the Maharashtra government, tried to topple the Jharkhand government but I stopped that by taking custody of three MLA (Congress). You are now trying to topple the Bengal government. But you lost in Bihar. One by one you will lose everything. You will become zero,” she said Monday.She also questioned the BJP over alleged horse-trading. “How much money have you used to topple these governments?” she asked.“Today you are slandering me, tomorrow when you will be removed from power, I will clap. We also know where your money is hidden,” she said. “Rajiv Gandhi also lost. Indira Gandhi was powerful but then she was also defeated. You will also be zero very soon,” she added.On CBI and ED, Bilkis Bano caseMamata Banerjee also warned central agencies like the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED). According to her, “You (ED, CBI) are calling my IPS officers to Delhi. I am aware of your misdeeds. If you call our officers to Delhi then, I will also take legal action against you.”Referring to cash seizure in connection with the school-job scam, in which former education minister Partha Chatterjee was arrested by the ED recently, she said: “You are showing money to the media. When you are taking money, would you show it to the media?”She also announced that her party would start a movement against the remission of the sentence of the convicts in the Bilkis Bano case.“You (the BJP) are always talking about ‘beti’, ‘beti ka pyar’ but you should be ashamed as these culprits are getting bail,” Banerjee said. “I would say to our women wing that you will sit in front of the Mahatma Gandhi statue for 48 hours demanding the arrest of the convicts in the Bilkis Bano case,” she added.
The government had introduced the National Pension Scheme which was applicable to all new entrants joining the state government service on or after November 2005. The state had the responsibility to transfer both the employee's and employer's share with the National Securities Depository Ltd (NSDL). However, a sum of Rs 10,642 crore of earlier years is yet to be transferred to the NSDL as on March 31, 2021, according to the Comptroller and Auditor General's report. "This is fraught with the risk of diversion of funds belonging to the employees, thereby creating uncertainty in respect of benefits due to the employees and avoidable future liability to the government," the CAG report said.
MUMBAI: State government employees and pensioners salaries and pension will get credited to their bank accounts before Ganesh Chaturthi festival that begins on August 31. A circular was issued by the state finance department on Wednesday.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently praised the Bharuch district administration and the Gujarat Government for covering 100 percent beneficiaries in the district under four national schemes. The schemes are for widows and senior citizens and the district’s drive to enrol all beneficiaries was named “Utkarsh Pahel”.Between January and May, Surat enrolled 13,431 beneficiaries (see table) under four schemes — Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Vrudhhavasta Pension Yojana (IGRVPY), Niradhar Vrudh Sahay Yojana (NVSY), Ganga Swaroop Arthik Sahay Yojana (GSASY) and Rashtriya Kutumb Sahay Yojana (RKSY).The campaign saw the coming together of local BJP leaders and their team, the district administration and Ankleshwar Industries Association (AIA), a body of industries manufacturing chemicals, drugs, petroleum products, etc.The AIA played a major role by identifying 305 youths and paying an incentive of Rs 250 to Rs 500 per enrolment.Bharuch District collector Tushar Sumera said: “We started the drive by the name of ‘Utkarsh Pahel’ with WhatsApp helpline numbers to identify beneficiaries. We also shared information about the schemes at Samaj Suraksha office at taluka and district levels. Hoardings were put up at different locations and advertisements issued in the newspapers and local news channels. The response started coming in and we sent our teams to different villages in the talukas, to get the forms ofbeneficiaries filled.”Sumera then reached out to the AIA seeking its help to hire youths who were Class 10 pass to help beneficiaries fill the forms. Such volunteers were called “Utkarsh Sahayaks”.AIA president Ramesh Gabhani said: “We have also supplied 11,000 sarees to the district administration so that the beneficiaries could wear them to the Prime Minister’s event in May in Bharuch.”Ankleshwar Nagarpalika president Vinay Vasava, who is from the BJP, held a camp at the Nagarpalika office premises on February 15, which is also his 34th birthday, and helped add 100 more beneficiaries fill the final forms.“Usually I would celebrate by distributing fruits and clothes at old age homes and slums. This time, I thought of helping the poor not for one time, but a lifetime. So, I organised a camp at the Municipality (Nagarpalika) office and got the beneficiaries enrolled,” he said.Bharuch municipality president Amit Chawda said: “BJP leaders of Bharuch district also joined the movement and played an important role in Utkarsh Pahel. People were under the impression that we were coming for votes or an election campaign, but we went to extend financial help through such schemes so they were happy and they blessed us.”Mohammed Rafik Ismail Gothan (21), a resident of Dahej village in Bharuch district, is one such Utkarsh Sahayak. He holds a diploma in computer applications, and although he earns Rs 10,000 from a private job, he was happy to receive the incentive amount for his work. “I got an incentive amount of Rs 9,750 deposited in my bank account. This amount helped me a lot to celebrate our Eid festival and for the first time, I bought clothes for my parents and sisters and they all wore it on Eid (May 3). I was happy on that day, seeing smiles on the faces of my family members,” he said.According to Deputy Collector Naitika Patel, Lalitaben Vasava (62) and her physically challenged daughter Reena (32) stayed in a hut at Pitha falia (street) in Ankleshwar and were so poor that they “did not have enough clothes to cover themselves”.Newsletter | Click to get the day’s best explainers in your inbox“We have covered both mother and daughter under Niradhar Vrudh Pension Yojana. Since March, they started getting Rs 1,000 each in their bank account,” said Patel.Vasava, who hails from Vagra taluka in Bharuch, said: “The administrative officials have given us an identity… We got Rs 2,000 deposited in both of our bank accounts for two months. I am also growing old and this money will definitely help both of us in surviving… Now, we are happy, as we have started getting additional income through Utkarsh Pahel.”
As the Eknath Shinde-BJP alliance government in Maharashtra recently announced the restoration of a pension scheme for political activists who were imprisoned during the Emergency imposed by the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi during 1975-77, the state Congress criticised the move, asking how could CM Shinde, the leader of the rebel Sena faction, clear the decision, which, the party claimed, was against the ideology of the Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray, who had openly supported the Emergency.The scheme was initially launched by the erstwhile Devendra Fadnavis-led BJP-Shiv Sena government in 2018. It was scrapped in 2020 by the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) coalition government which included the Congress and the NCP as partners besides the Sena. In the new Shinde-led government, Fadnavis is the deputy CM even as the BJP is the senior alliance partner.The Mumbai Congress unit’s spokesperson Sachin Sawant said, “This pension scheme is purely for RSS. What is more unfortunate is that CM Shinde who says that he is taking forward the legacy of the Sena founder late Bal Thackeray was mum over the decision. It is well known that Thackeray supported the Emergency. When you say you are taking forward the legacy of Thackeray then how can you allow this? Isn’t it contradictory?”In 1975, just before Indira Gandhi declared Emergency in the country, there was a meeting between Gandhi, her son Sanjay Gandhi and Thackeray. During the meeting, which discussed various issues, Thackeray extended his support to Gandhi for her proposed Emergency move. The Sena founder had then also said that “If it makes the country more disciplined, then Emergency is needed” and that he will extend his support for the same.The Sena was then reportedly in the list of several political parties and organisations, including the Left and the RSS, which were going to be banned by the Gandhi-led dispensation following the imposition of the Emergency in the country, and Thackeray could also have been arrested. It was then alleged by many that during their meeting Thackeray had struck a deal with Gandhi and had got the Sena’s name removed from the list of parties that would be banned. Many even claimed that Thackeray had extended support to Gandhi’s draconian measure to avoid being arrested like many Opposition leaders and to prevent a government crackdown on his party and its publication “Marmik”.Thackeray and the Sena had subsequently sought to explain that the former had backed the Emergency because there was then a need for “ensuring discipline” in the country and that it was “necessary” when the leaders of the Opposition parties that formed the Janata Party were making statements “inimical” to the country’s interests.The Sena has since maintained that Thackeray’s move was in the “national interest”. “But that did not mean he (Thackeray) was then supporting the clampdown on the Opposition parties and the press,” said a Sena functionary. “He had said it several times while speaking to media and at his rallies that he had told Gandhi during their meeting that if the decision of imposing Emergency is in the national interest then he is supporting it but if it is for saving the government or to remain in power he is condemning it.”The Sena leader also said that despite Thackeray’s backing for the Emergency, his printing press for the publication of Marmik was also sealed by the then dispensation. “So it was not like Thackeray had caved in under any pressure or action. Thackeray would do everything for the country and Maharashtra,” he claimed.Sena MLA Deepak Kesarkar, who is now the spokesperson of the Shinde-led party faction, said, “Congress should not speak about Thackeray. He had supported the Emergency, not Congress or Indira Gandhi. In fact he has said that he will never go with the Congress.”Kesarkar claimed that Thackeray’s support for the Emergency was “based on issues” and was “not specific to any party or personality”.“During that time there was a need for discipline in the country as the Opposition leaders had made several objectionable statements which would have harmed the country’s unity and democracy. It was completely issue-based,” he said.
India’s favourable demographic dividend is at an inflection point of sorts, with the population share of the youth starting to taper off even as the share of the elderly is expected to steadily surge during 2021-2036. The more populous states of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, which experienced a rise in proportion of youth population to total population till 2021, are expected to see a decline from hereon, according to the ‘Youth in India 2022’ report released by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation.States such as Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Himachal Pradesh are projected to see a higher elderly population than the youth by 2036. “Bihar and Uttar Pradesh experienced a rise in proportion of youth population to total population till 2021 and then it is expected to start declining. These two states, along with Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, are projected to have over half (52 per cent) of the country’s youth,” the report said.Citing the findings from the Report of Technical Group on Population Projections, 2020, constituted by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, this report said youth in the age group of 15-29 years comprise 27.2 per cent of the population for 2021, which is expected to decrease to 22.7 by 2036.The proportion of the population aged under 15 years is projected to decline, the elderly in the population is expected to increase, the report said. “The youth population is expected to increase initially but will start to decline in the latter half of 2011-2036 period. The total youth population increased from 222.7 million in 1991 to 333.4 million in 2011 and is projected to reach 371.4 million by 2021 and, thereafter, decrease to 345.5 million by 2036,” the report said.For Kerala, which saw the youth population peak earlier than other states, the elderly population share in total population has been projected at 16.5 per cent compared with 22.1 per cent of youth population in 2021. The share of elderly in total population (22.8 per cent) in Kerala is then projected to cross the share of youth (19.2 per cent) by 2036. Tamil Nadu and Himachal Pradesh are also projected to experience elderly population more than the youth by 2036, the report said.A greater proportion of youth at present will result in a greater proportion of elderly in the population in future. “This will create a demand for better healthcare facilities and development of welfare schemes/programmes for elderly people,” the report said.Experts said the rise in the share of elderly population will put pressure on social security and public welfare systems and the next 4-5 years need to be utilised well to accelerate productive job creation. “We haven’t utilised this period to create more productive employment to enhance savings and growth because that is what demographic dividend is all about. That window is closing. In the case of the southern states, where the share of the dependent population is predicted to increase, then it means how are you going to support the dependent population and what implications it will have on things like providing social security for the aged, pension and healthcare as longevity increases. That’s the conversation that happens in advanced economies. The share of the elderly in the population starts rising as opposed to the young working age group. Given the fact that people are typically in informal employment that don’t provide social security, then who is going to step in to provide social security that adds burden to the state. Those would be the kind of issues,” Radhicka Kapoor, senior visiting fellow, ICRIER, said.Proportion of youth to the total population had increased from 26.6 per cent in 1991 to 27.9 per cent in 2016 and then projected to start a downward trend and to reach 22.7 per cent by year 2036. On the contrary, the proportion of elderly population to the total population has increased from 6.8 per cent in 1991 to 9.2 per cent in 2016 and is projected to reach 14.9 per cent in 2036.“We should have seen expansion in manufacturing. We have missed it. We are still aspiring to increase our share of employment in manufacturing, which we need to continue doing because even for the people who are currently seeking employment and are in current labour force, when they are going to retire and the share of elderly starts rising in very populous states, then it will be like a ticking time bomb. In the next 4-5 years, if active labour market policies are adopted to accelerate productive job creation, then we can at least try to ensure that the situation doesn’t worsen,” Kapoor added.As per the 2022 edition of the United Nations’ World Population Prospects (WPP), released on Monday, India is projected to surpass China as the world’s most populous country in 2023. The report pointed out that a sustained drop in fertility has led to an increased concentration of the population at working ages (between 25 and 64 years) and this shift in the age distribution provides a time-bound opportunity for accelerated economic growth known as the “demographic dividend”.The UN report, however, also noted that the population of older persons is increasing both in numbers and as a share of the total, with the share of the global population aged 65 years or above projected to rise from 10 per cent in 2022 to 16 per cent in 2050, warning countries with ageing populations to take steps to adapt public programmes to the growing proportion of older persons, including by improving the sustainability of social security and pension systems and by establishing universal health care and long-term care systems.
Union Minister Narendra Singh Tomar on Tuesday made light of party colleague and Lok Sabha MP Varun Gandhi’s routine utterances on various issues, which seem to be against the BJP’s official line, by claiming the latter was “fond of giving personal opinions on a daily basis”.Gandhi had last week asked why elected representatives needed post-retirement benefits when those being selected in the Centre’s Agnipath military recruitment scheme will not be given pension once their four-year tenure gets over.The Pilibhit MP, who has been critical of the scheme since it was unveiled on June 14, had asked in a tweet “can we, the MLAs/MPs, give up our pension to ensure that Agniveers get a pension”.Queried on Gandhi’s statements, Tomar said, “This can be his personal opinion as he is fond of giving personal opinions on a daily basis.” Speaking on the Maharashtra crisis due to the rebellion in the ruling Shiv Sena, Tomar said “BJP has no interference in Maharashtra”.The Union minister of agriculture expressed confidence that the ruling BJP will win the upcoming local body polls in MP due to development works undertaken.
Senior Congress leader Ajoy Kumar on Sunday alleged that the BJP-led Assam government was busy serving ‘cocktail-mocktail’ to dissident Maharashtra MLAs camping in a luxury hotel here but was not able to even provide free drinking water to flood-affected people in the state.He claimed that people were having to pay money to receive their rightful relief materials.“The BJP-led government in Assam is serving cocktail-mocktail to the Shiv Sena legislators, but it doesn’t have money to provide even drinking water to the flood-affected people,” he told reporters here.Kumar claimed there were videos of people having to pay Rs 30 to receive water bottles as part of their due relief in some parts of the state.“This is the condition of politics in Assam…when people elect such representatives, this is bound to happen,” the former Jharkhand Pradesh Congress president said.He also took a dig at the Narendra Modi-led central government over the Agnipath scheme, alleging that it will weaken the security mechanism of the country.Kumar questioned various provisions of the scheme, including job opportunities for the Agniveers after they are discharged from duty following four years of service, and lack of pension benefits.“Never has the country been so weak in 70 years that it is unable to pay pension to our jawans,” he said.The Congress leader claimed that ex-servicemen were presently not getting jobs and thousands of youths will be added to this number of unemployed people if the Agnipath scheme is implemented.“This scheme is not for securing our country or recruiting youths, but to save money,” Kumar added.
GUWAHATI: Senior Congress leader Ajoy Kumar on Sunday alleged that the BJP-led Assam government was busy serving 'cocktail-mocktail' to dissident Maharashtra MLAs camping in a luxury hotel here but was not able to even provide free drinking water to flood-affected people in the state. He claimed that people were having to pay money to receive their rightful relief materials. "The BJP-led government in Assam is serving cocktail-mocktail to the Shiv Sena legislators, but it doesn't have money to provide even drinking water to the flood-affected people," he told reporters here. Kumar claimed there were videos of people having to pay Rs 30 to receive water bottles as part of their due relief in some parts of the state. "This is the condition of politics in Assam...when people elect such representatives, this is bound to happen," the former Jharkhand Pradesh Congress president said. He also took a dig at the Narendra Modi-led central government over the Agnipath scheme, alleging that it will weaken the security mechanism of the country. Kumar questioned various provisions of the scheme, including job opportunities for the Agniveers after they are discharged from duty following four years of service, and lack of pension benefits. "Never has the country been so weak in 70 years that it is unable to pay pension to our jawans," he said. The Congress leader claimed that ex-servicemen were presently not getting jobs and thousands of youths will be added to this number of unemployed people if the Agnipath scheme is implemented. "This scheme is not for securing our country or recruiting youths, but to save money," Kumar added.
Former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh, who fell foul of the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government in Maharashtra and was eventually suspended and had cases registered against him, has challenged his suspension two weeks ahead of his retirement.From the Maharashtra cadre, current Mumbai Police Commissioner Sanjay Pandey and Singh will retire on June 30. Sources said Singh wanted to ensure that he did not retire with the tag of a suspended officer. The move could also make him eligible to claim pension.A source said, “Two weeks ago, Param Bir Singh challenged his suspension before the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).While generally IPS officers approach the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) for grievances related to service, when an officer is suspended for over three months, the MHA is the relevant authority to raise the grievance.”The source said a decision on whether the suspension is to be revoked will be taken within the next few days. If the MHA finds merit in his argument, his suspension could be revoked and he could retire as an on-dutyofficer.Sources said the former city police chief, who fell out with the government post the Antilia terror scare case in which ten policemen, including dismissed officer Sachin Waze, were arrested by the National Investigation Agency (NIA), did not want his retirment to be processedwhile he was under suspension and hence, he approached the MHA. A government official confirmed that the Maharashtra government had also received an intimation of the same nearly two weeks ago.An official said if the suspension is revoked, Singh may also be eligible for a pension payout provided his departmental inquiries have been cleared.Soon after the Antilia bomb scare case, the MVA government had shunted out Singh as commissioner in March 2021.Later he wrote a letter making allegations of corruption against then state home minister and NCP leader Anil Deshmukh which led to the latter’s resignation and eventual arrest.Later, a total of five FIRs were registered against Singh in connection with extortion charges. While a chargesheet was filed by the Mumbai Police in one of the cases, all the cases, including two enquiries being conducted against him by the Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB), were eventually handed over to the CBI by the Supreme Court. The CBI is currently investigating the case.Apart from this, the NIA had also recorded the statement of Singh in connection with the Antilia case as well.
Calling the Agnipath scheme for recruitment in the armed forces a "cruel joke" on the jobless youth in the country, the Congress and NCP in Maharashtra on Friday demanded its rollback. The two parties are constituents of the Maha Vikas Aghadi government in the state along with Shiv Sena. Maharashtra Congress chief Nana Patole said the Union government was "pushing the youth into the darkness of unemployment" after they complete four years of service in the defence forces, as the scheme contemplates. The scheme is a "cruel joke on the youth" as it does not offer any security after four years of service, he said, adding that it should be withdrawn. "There should be no compromise on national security and sovereignty. Our soldiers are more important than a political party," Patole added. The Nationalist Congress Party alleged that the scheme was only meant to "tease" the unemployed youth, and the BJP was not serious about finding a long-term solution to the issue of unemployment. "Under the BJP rule, the country is witnessing the highest unemployment ratio. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had promised two crore jobs during the 2014 elections. His government unfortunately made no concrete efforts in the past eight years to generate sizeable employment," said NCP chief spokesperson Mahesh Tapase in a statement. The Aagnipath scheme lacks direction and fails to safeguard long-term service prospects of the youth, he said. Modi had promised 'One Rank-One Pension' to defence personnel, but the new scheme has "no rank and no pension" and does not even offer gratuity or provident fund, Tapase noted. There is no roadmap for the future of those who would leave the armed forces after four years, he added. "How and where will the youth learn new skills post retirement," the NCP leader asked. The prime minister should bring out a revised scheme which will give long-term, stable and permanent jobs to the unemployed youth, Tapase said.
Kannada organisations took strong exception to pro-Maharashtra slogans raised by a Belagavi Mahanagara Palike employee at his farewell function at the Palike auditorium on Wednesday.Shivaji Kalasekar, who'd retired as second division clerk after serving for 33 years, soon made amends and submitted a written apology in Kannada to the Palike commissioner.Kalasekar had raised Jai Maharashtra slogan at a farewell event, attended by Palike Commissioner Rudresh Gali, Health Officer Dr Sanjay Dummagol and other officials, held at Palike premises on May 31. He soon realised his mistake and apologised for his spur of the moment sloganeering."It was unintentional and a slip of the tongue. It should not have happened," Kalasekar said.Condemning the pro-Maharashtra slogan by the Kalasekar, Kannada organisations have demanded the government to not release Palike staffer's pension.
MUMBAI: “When there is a fight between lion and the lamb, the lamb has to be protected,” said the Bombay high court bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice M S Karnik on Thursday to counsel for employees while concluding the hearing of a petition filed by Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) against its striking employees. The HC also extended the deadline for all employees to rejoin work without any fear of administrative action to April 22, from the earlier date of April 15. Citing legal provisions as an impediment, senior counsel Aspi Chinoy for the MSRTC said it would be difficult to withdraw action initiated against staffers who had resorted to violence. The HC, however, said, “We will reinstate all at the same time. We will substitute it with our order.” Chinoy said it cannot be considered as a precedent then, and the HC agreed saying it was a special situation. “We are extending the date. We will allow them to rejoin but with a warning that their actions cannot be repeated, and then you (MSRTC) would be free to take action.” “Let us apply our mind and pass an order,” said the bench to employees’ advocate Gunratan Sadavarte, who raised concerns about more suicides by staff and said two such incidents last month had taken the number to 124. The HC said it was also keen to ensure there are no further deaths and all employees are employed. When asked by the court about whether employees get pension, Chinoy and counsel Shailesh Naidu said they get provided fund and gratuity benefits. To this, another counsel for a staff union said, “They don’t have pensionary benefit. Only PF and gratuity, just like in private company”. On Tuesday, the state submitted that it had accepted all the recommendations made by a court-appointed panel which said it was not feasible to accept the demand of MSRTC employees to merge their employment with that of state employees who get pension. The HC said staffers’ Union or employees were free to separately challenge it by filing appropriate petition.
Kolhapur: Functioning of the Out Patient Department (OPD) and surgical ward at the Chhatrapati Pramila Raje (CPR) hospital was affected on Monday as doctors have resorted to an indefinite strike in order to get their demands addressed.The Maharashtra State Medical Teachers Association (MSMTA) has been protesting for the last two weeks and now to support the association, the doctors from CPR have also joined the protest.Dr Aparajit Walavalkar, one of the protesters, said, “The protest got good response as most of the doctors participated in the strike today (Monday). Due to the strike, trainee doctors were asked to check OPD patients. All the surgeries have also got postponed and medical officers handled only the accident and trauma department. Sample collection also stood at minimum as samples of only those admitted to the hospital were collected. The hospital administration made alternate arrangement by making resident and senior resident doctors take charge.”He added, “Our demands include compensation as per seventh pay commission, applying older pension scheme once again, inclusion of non-resident doctors as resident doctors and tenure fixed promotions.”Meanwhile Dr. Girish Kamble, medical superintendent at CPR Hospital, said, “Only the OPD section was kept closed, while the other sections worked fine. Our resident doctors, senior doctors and medical officers did not let the work get hampered.”
MUMBAI: Maharashtra’s revenue collection has been badly hit by the Covid pandemic, the state government informed the legislative assembly on Thursday. To offset the additional expenditure, the available resources are insufficient and it will have to implement several austerity measures and resort to loans. “This will inevitably increase the interest burden on the state,” stated the note tabled in the assembly, while presenting the supplementary demands. Amidst sloganeering by Opposition, supplementary demands for Rs 6,250 crore were presented, of which Rs 3,190 crore was for industry, energy and labour department, Rs 2,936 for urban development department, Rs 1,500 crore for finance department, and Rs 1,500 crore for pension and wages. With the current supplementary demands, the finance department said, state’s revenue deficit will increase from Rs 38,961 crore in December 2021 to Rs 43,977 crore, which would be 1.5% of the state gross domestic product. Fiscal deficit, which was Rs 1.1 crore till December, will rise to Rs 1.16 crore. Netas: Stop power supply cut driveStop the drive to disconnect power supply to domestic and agricultural users over non-payment of dues as it’s causing outrage against the government and the Opposition is encashing on public sentiment, ministers said in the state cabinet. “With local body polls nearing, many ministers raised the issue and the chief minister said he will take a decision soon,” a minister said.
The Bombay High Court on Wednesday said that a second wife is not entitled to receive her deceased husband's pension in cases where the second marriage had taken place without legal dissolution of the first one.A division bench of Justices S J Kathawalla and Milind Jadhav dismissed a petition filed by Solapur resident Shamal Tate, challenging the state government's decision denying her pension benefits.As per the High Court order, Tate's husband Mahadeo, a peon in the office of the Solapur district collector, died in 1996. Mahadeo was already married to another woman when he married the petitioner. After his death, Tate and Mahadeo's first wife came to an agreement that the former would receive almost 90 per cent of the deceased's retirement benefits, while the latter would get the monthly pension.Also Read | Child should not be made to suffer due to husband-wife dispute: SCHowever, after Mahadeo's first wife died of cancer, Tate wrote to the state government seeking that she be given Mahadeo's pension dues henceforth. After much deliberation, the state government rejected the four applications made by Tate between 2007 and 2014.Tate then approached the High Court in 2019 claiming that since she was the mother of Mahadeo's three children, and the society knew them as husband and wife, she was eligible to receive the pension, especially since the first wife, who had been receiving the pension, was now dead.The court, however, held that several Supreme Court judgements had established that a second marriage must be held as void under the Hindu Marriage Act if it has been solemnised without legally ending the first marriage.The bench observed that the state government had been correct in holding that only a legally wedded wife was entitled to family pension. The court also said that Tate had not approached it with "clean hands", since as per the agreement between her and Mahadeo's first wife, she had explicitly relinquished her rights to the monthly pension."The marriage of the petitioner (Tate) to the deceased is void as the same took place while the first wife of the deceased was alive, and while the first marriage was subsisting," the bench said. "In view of the findings, this writ petition stands dismissed," it said.Check out latest DH videos here
Aurangabad: Stating that over 2.5 lakh government posts were lying vacant in the state, the Maharashtra Gazetted Officers Federation — apex body of bureaucrats — has demanded recruitment to fill the alleged vacuum.Addressing reporters here on Tuesday, forum founder and chief adviser G D Kulthe said large number of vacant posts was creating additional work pressure on the existing government workforce.“We also demand that the government must not fill the posts on contract basis. Such a makeshift arrangement made in the past is detrimental to the system, including candidates who get appointed on contract-basis as they get lower remuneration,” he said.Among other demands, the forum has also pressed for old pension scheme for government employees who have joined the services after year 2005. “We are also putting up a sustained fight for implementation of the old pension scheme,” Kulthe said. TNN
NEW DELHI: Mizoram gives a mere Rs 100 every month under the state disability pension scheme to the 200 beneficiaries registered with it, the Rajya Sabha was informed by the government on Wednesday. Things are no better in the bigger and populous states like Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh where the pension amount is a meagre Rs 300. The number of beneficiaries is over 12.12 lakh in Maharashtra and over 4.79 lakh in MP. Nagaland too gives its 4,872 beneficiaries only Rs 300. In states like Chhattisgarh, Odisha and Meghalaya the state pension amount is a low Rs 200. A large state like West Bengal gives beneficiaries Rs 700 to the 66,491 beneficiaries and Uttar Pradesh provides Rs 1,000 (11.17 lakh beneficiaries). It is Telangana with over 5.69 lakh beneficiaries which doles out the highest pension amount of Rs 3,016, followed by Andhra Pradesh (6.59 lakh beneficiaries) that provides Rs 3,000. In the Union territory of Puducherry (20,952 beneficiaries), the pension ranges from Rs 2,000 to a maximum of Rs 3,800. This data was shared by the ministry of rural development in Rajya Sabha in response to a question on beneficiaries supported through state pension schemes and the amount they receive each month. The states giving a monthly pension of Rs 2,000 and more include Haryana, Arunachal Pradesh, Delhi and Andaman & Nicobar Islands. While this data pertains to only state pensions, the monthly pension given under the Indira Gandhi National Disability Pension Scheme to beneficiaries across the country too remains very low at a mere Rs 300. This amount in addition to the state government’s aid for beneficiaries who are eligible for both the central and state grant still fails to fulfill the needs disabled where the state pensions are also very low. Reacting to the state pension data, National Platform for the Rights of the Disabled (NPRD) general secretary Muralidharan said, “The numbers shows the apathy towards the disabled and also underlines the fact that wherever movements and advocacy has been stronger the incumbent governments have been forced to enhance pensions.” He added that the central assistance through pension has been static for over a decade now and the Rs 300 needs urgent revision.
MUMBAI: Five men have been arrested by the North Region cyber police for cheating a suburban resident of Rs 19.27 lakh in an insurance scam. Three of the accused are ex-employees of private insurance companies, police said. The fraud took place between June 2020 and March 2021. The complainant would receive phone calls from different men and women, claiming to be executives of two private insurance companies. They offered him higher returns if he bought an insurance policy from them. Subsequently, One gang member posing as an Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) official also conned him into parting with Rs 19 lakh for an interest-free loan and pension up to Rs 94 lakh. On realising that he had been defrauded, the complainant approached the cops. While tracking the call records of the âIRDA officerâ, police figured that the number had forged KYC records. A sales executive of a phone service provider was found to be involved. He was picked up from Ghaziabad in UP. On further investigation, police found that he had links with a SIM card seller. It turned out that the accused used genuine documents belonging to customers, approaching the SIM card seller's shop for activating SIM cards in their names. These SIMs were used to defraud people via insurance scams.