Mumbai

Maharashtra may scrap pension for Emergency prisoners

Uddhav Thackeray Emmanual Yogini

Uddhav Thackeray Emmanual Yogini  

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Scheme benefits members of one organisation: Raut

The Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government may decide to scrap the previous government’s decision to award a pension to those who were imprisoned during the Emergency.

The State Cabinet discussed the issue in a meeting held on Wednesday, and Congress minister Nitin Raut on Thursday wrote to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray requesting the scheme be scrapped.

“The scheme is a misuse of government funds and it should be stopped at the earliest. The decision was taken by the previous government to benefit members of a particular organisation. Therefore I have requested the Chief Minister to scrap the decision,” said Mr. Raut, hinting that the scheme was to benefit members of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).

Many socialist leaders who fought against the Emergency have refused to accept the pension, saying the fight against the Emergency cannot be compared with India’s fight for Independence from foreign rulers.

The previous Bharatiya Janata Party-led government had announced in June 2018 that it would provide a monthly pension of ₹10,000 to those who were imprisoned during the Emergency. The government had said it expected more than 2,000 applications from activists and workers who were jailed during the Emergency under the Maintenance of Internal Security Act.

In case the person was dead, the spouse was to get ₹5,000 per month. Nearly ₹25 crore was to be set aside for the scheme. The BJP had said a similar benefit was provided by the Haryana and Madhya Pradesh governments, which were also led by the party.

The then government had not mentioned if there had been a demand for such a pension from any organisation or if it was voluntarily introducing the scheme.

The MVA government has also decided to overturn a stamp duty waiver granted to the RSS-affiliatied Research for Resurgence Foundation. In the last Cabinet meeting, the then chief minister Devendra Fadnavis had exempted the foundation from paying stamp duty and registration charges on a property transaction.

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Printable version | Jan 22, 2020 7:11:52 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/state-may-scrap-pension-for-emergency-prisoners/article30199821.ece

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