Beneficiaries protest against pension delay

Beneficiaries of the social welfare pension scheme held a protest in West Delhi’s Tilak Nagar on Friday, accusing the Delhi government of not giving them their pensions.

The protest by senior citizens, widows and differently-abled beneficiaries of the pension scheme was organised by local BJP leaders, who took the opportunity to hit out against the AAP-led government.

Some senior citizens claimed to be beneficiaries of the Delhi government’s Social Welfare Department’s scheme, while others were getting their pensions from the local civic bodies. However, the common complaint was that the pensions were not being disbursed on time.

BJP leader Rajiv Babbar said the AAP government had set aside Rs.526 crore for its advertisement budget, but had not given any new pensions in the year it has been in power. “No new application forms have been distributed to beneficiaries in the past year. When Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced 40,000 pensions in 2014, that was the last time Delhiites got the payments,” said Mr. Babbar.

One of the beneficiaries, 87-year-old Ram Rakhi, said though she had been living in the same Tilak Nagar residence for years, her pension was abruptly stopped.

A BJP councillor from the South Delhi Municipal Corporation, Yashpal Arya, joined the protest against the government.

Though the SDMC has been late in paying pensions, the North and East Delhi civic bodies have been unable to disburse pensions for years.

Senior citizens, widows and the differently-abled protested in Tilak Nagar on Friday