Government approves Rs 1,000 minimum monthly pension

New Delhi, July 7: The government has approved a minimum monthly pension of Rs 1,000 under the Employees Pension Scheme, 1995 (EPS-95) run by the Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO), Parliament was informed on Monday.

The decision would immediately benefit 2.8 million pensioners, including 500,000 widows getting less than Rs 1000 as pension every month. In all, there are 4.4 million pensioners under the EPS-95 scheme.

"Yes, government has approved minimum pension of Rs.1000 per month to the pensioners under the EPS-95," minister of state for steel, mines, labour and employment Vishnu Deo Sai said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.

According to the minister, several representations have been received for the enhancement of pensions under EPS-95. Labour minister Narendra Singh Tomar had discussed the proposal with trade unions on 24 June and assured them that the government will take a decision within two weeks.

As per the proposal, pensioners are to get the benefit with effect from 1 April this year. The government would have to provide an additional amount of around Rs 1,217 crore to ensure a minimum pension of Rs.1,000 for 2014-15.

A senior official said the new government reviewed the proposal since it wanted the entitlement to be provided on a permanent basis, rather than for only one fiscal year.

The proposal had already been approved by the previous government for the current fiscal year but could not be implemented as it was not notified.

However, a senior EPFO official, when contacted, said that the body has not yet received any notification or official order in this regard from the labour ministry. According to him, the government could formally announce this entitlement in the forthcoming budget on Thursday.


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