58 million Indians living without pension: Centre spends 0.04% of GDP on income security for elderly, reveals survey
According to the National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP), 80 million elderly people in India are entitled to a pension of Rs 200 per month.
New Delhi: Fifty-eight million people in India are living without pension or any other form of assistance, civil society organisation Pension Parishad has said.
Citing the State of Pensions in India Report 2018, Economist Prabhat Patnaik said the Central government spends as little as 0.04 per cent of the GDP for its flagship Indira Gandhi National Social Assistance (IGNOAPS) programme for ensuring income security for the elderly.
"It will cost only about 1.6 percent of the present-day GDP to ensure 90 percent of the elderly population a pension of Rs 2,500 per person every month," Patnaik said.
According to the National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP), a welfare programme administered by the Ministry of Rural Development, 80 million elderly people in India are entitled to a pension of Rs 200 per month.
This meagre amount reaches only about 22.3 million people, Pension Parishad Coordinator, Nikhil Dey said.
The organisation also pointed out that countries like Nepal, Bolivia, Lesotho, Botswana, Ecuador — all much smaller economies as compared to India — ensure better social pensions for their elderly citizens.
Central Bank Vice President Luis de Guindos said that even a recession over the winter is not enough to reduce inflation without further rate hikes
He assured that the Congress, if elected to power in Gujarat, will restore the old pension scheme, saying it is the right of government employees who strengthen the nation.
Punjab’s Bhagwant Mann announced that his government was looking into the possibility of reverting to the old pension regime, which was discontinued in 2004. In recent times, states such as Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Jharkhand have reverted to the old scheme, much to the concern of financial experts