Former Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam on Sunday opposed reported attempts to reduce the number of beneficiaries under the Old Age Pension (OAP) schemes and urged the DMK government to ensure all those getting the pension now continued to do so.
In a statement, Mr. Panneerselvam cited reports, according to which the government has cancelled the pension for over 1.82 lakh beneficiaries after databases were compared between the list of beneficiaries and the list of those with cooking cylinders and those, who availed gold jewel loans.
"It is against natural justice to impose fresh restrictions to reduce the number of beneficiaries with an intention to reduce the cost on the exchequer," he contended.
Pointing out that the OAP was being granted only after field-level verification by officials, Mr. Panneerselvam said it was not acceptable to undertake another survey to contend they are above above poverty line to cancel the pension.
"Moreover, only because they are being paid the old age pension, their children are maintaining them. If their pension is stopped, there would be a situation when they would have to look for orphanages," he claimed.