BJP on Wednesday made a strong pitch for increasing the minimum pension to beneficiaries under the Employees Pension Scheme (EPS) to Rs. 3,000 and link it to the price index, against Rs. 1,000 per month proposed by the government.

“The BJP demands that the minimum pension under the EPS 95 (EPF Pension) should be declared at Rs. 3,000 per month and not at Rs. 1,000 as government is proposing as it will be only tokenism and disservice to the working class of the country,” party spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said.

He said BJP has made this demand on reports that government is mulling a move to declare Rs. 1,000 as minimum pension under the scheme, which it termed as “pittance” and a step taken “too late, too little”.

Criticising UPA for its “anti-labour” policies, Mr. Javadekar said he had petitioned the Rajya Sabha Petitions Committee to increase the minimum pension to Rs. 3,000 per month and also made a demand that it should be indexed to inflation, which has already accepted the demands and recommended them to government.

“Instead of accepting this unanimous report the government is considering an old proposal of the Labour Ministry,” he said, adding it was injustice with the labour class and a “fraud” with them.

The BJP leader said over 50 million workers contribute 8.33 per cent of their wages for provident fund and employers contribute the same amount to pension scheme, but government contributes only 1.16 per cent for the pension scheme.

He said the result of this meagre contribution is that of the 41 lakh pensioners under the scheme, 30 lakh pensioners get less than Rs. 1,000 per month as pension with more than 20 lakh pensioners getting less than Rs. 500 per month.

While the government, Mr. Javadekar said, is now mulling an increase in its contribution from 1.16 per cent to 1.79 per cent only, BJP has asked it to contribute 8.33 per cent so that the minimum pension of Rs. 3,000 along with indexation can be given to workers who retire from the private sector.

“The UPA government has proved to be the most anti-labour government. It continued with the practice of exploitation of workers under contractual system and allowed rapid casualisation of labour,” he said, adding his party will keep fighting to provide a new deal to labour class in the form of job-wage-social security.

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