To be similar to National Pension Scheme

The government was contemplating a medical benefits scheme for retired government employees along the lines of the National Pension Scheme and a decision would be taken soon, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy informed the Assembly on Monday.

He was replying to a submission by A.T. George, MLA, on the need for a medical benefit scheme for the retired government employees.

The Chief Minister said a pensioners’ medical benefit scheme had been introduced in 1996, wherein all pensioners were being allowed Rs.300 a month.

The government had a current annual commitment of Rs.180 crore under this head, he said.

Monetary assistance

Replying to another submission by K. Raju, MLA, on providing relief to the family of Suseelan from Punalur, who had committed suicide allegedly in desperation after he was unable to meet the Chief Minister during his mass contact programme in Kollam in December, Mr. Chandy said the government had already referred to this in the motion thanking the Governor’s address.

The government had issued two GOs that it would bear the full treatment expenses of the two children of Suseelan, who are affected by dystrophy, and that the family would be given continued financial assistance, Mr.Chandy, said.

Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala said a new police complex, including a Community Police Resource Centre, would be constructed at Neyyattinkara.

The Kerala Police Housing Construction Corporation had been entrusted with this project.

Tenders had already been invited by the corporation for awarding the work and the project was expected to take off soon, Mr.Chennithala said, replying to a submission by R. Selvaraj, MLA.

Deputy Leader of the Opposition Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, in his submission, said the network of libraries across the State under the State Library Council would soon become defunct as the government had not released the annual grant for the council in 2013-14.

Education Minister P.K. Abdu Rabb, in his reply, pointed out that despite several requests the council had refused to give any clear explanation regarding the serious financial irregularities detected by the Local Fund Audit Department in 2010-11.

Despite this, the government had released the annual grant for the council in 2011-12 and 2012-13.

This year, the government had attached certain conditions for releasing the grant. As an institution functioning with government grant, the council was bound to give a satisfactory explanation for the financial irregularities and till then, the grant had been temporarily stopped by the Government.

Replying to a submission by K.V. Vijayadas on the need for special incentives for the sports team from the Parali government school, which had brought laurels to the State in the National School Athletics Meet, Sports Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan said a decision on giving special rewards to the winners at the meet would be taken in the next Cabinet.