Mumbai, Apr 18 (UNI) The Maharashtra Legislature Members' Pension (Amendment) Bill, which was introduced in the Legislative Assembly today, seeks to bring in gender equality.
The new amendment seeks to cover ''widow or widowers'' with pension of Rs 3000 as against the existing act of widows being given pension of Rs 1000.
Introducing the bill, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Dr Sunil Deshmukh said the amendment has been brought as there is constant demand for the widows of members who have died before completion of their full tenure or who for some reasons other than disqualification, have not been able to complete their tenure and consequently were not entitled to pension under the act.
Earlier the act provided for payment of pension to widows of certain members of the state legislature generally at the rate of 50 per cent of the amount of pension payable to such member on the date of his death or Rs 1000 which ever is more.
The Government after considering the demand has decided that pension shall be paid to widow or widower of the member of the legislature who was not entitled to pension under the Act with effect from September 1, 2000 till December 31, 2005 at the rate of Rs 1000 per month and with effect from January 1, 2006 at the rate of Rs 3000 per month.
Similarly, pension shall be paid to widow or widower of the member of the legislature who was entitled to pension with effect from January 1, 2006 at the rate of 50 per cent of the amount of pension payable to such a member on the date of his death or Rs 3000 which ever is more.
If the widow or widower is survived by a minor child of the deceased member, the same rate at which at which the pension was payable to the widow or widower of the member subject to rules as may be prescribed.
Dr Deshmukh said total number of widows entitled to pension is 324 and the additional recurring expenditure on this count is estimated at Rs 1.17 crore every year and the non recurring expenditure for payment of arrears is Rs 2.47 crore.
The total number of widowers is 30 and the additional recurring expenditure is Rs 10.8 lakh and non recurring expenditure for payment of arrears is Rs 2.2 lakh.
It has also been proposed to sanction pension to the minor children of a deceased member on the death of the widow or widower of the member of the legislature. As the exact number of minor children who would be eligible for pension cannot be ascertained, the additional recurring expenditure and non-recurring expenditure on this count cannot be estimated.
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