Minister for Panchayats and Social Welfare M.K. Muneer told the Assembly on Monday that the government was considering a pension scheme for members of local self-government institutions (LSGI).

Replying to the debate on demands for grants for Panchayat and Social Security and Welfare, the Minister said the file was now before the Chief Minister. The Finance Department had not raised any objections. Payment of insurance premium for the members through the Kerala Social Security Mission was also under consideration. The Minister said the government proposed to bring an ordinance to bestow statutory position to Jagratha Samithis formed at the local level. Members of local self-governments would attract disqualification if they failed to convene the Jagratha Samithis and grama sabhas. A Bill was being drafted to check begging.

Gender varsity

Mr. Muneer announced that the government proposed to set up a gender university in Kozhikode.

The National Institute of Speech and Hearing (NISH) would be converted into a university. Five panchayats in each district were proposed to be developed as model panchayats.

A home for assisted living would be set up for endosulfan victims on 25 acres given by Plantation Corporation of Kerala in Kasaragod. An action plan would be drawn up for implementation of the policy on older persons.

He said the government had decided to use electronic voting machines (EVMs) in the coming elections to the local self-governments. A proposal had been mooted to use the same voters’ list and electoral photo identity cards used by the Election Commission of India in the Lok Sabha polls.