New Delhi: The parliamentary permanent standing committee has recommended that a hike in pension commensurate with the age of central government pensioners should be implemented from 65 years instead of 80.
At present, a hike of 20 per cent on the basic pension is given at the age of 80 years.
If the recommendation is accepted then the hike will be as follows; 65 years- 5 per cent, 70 years 10 per cent, 75 years 15 per cent. This is one of the long-pending demands of the pensioners' associations’. The hike is given commensurate with the medical expenses that increase along with age. The 80 years age for implementing hike in pension was implemented as per the recommendation of the Sixth Central Pay Commission in 2006. According to the recommendation, the hike was as follows: 85 years - 30 per cent, 90 years - 40 per cent, 95 years - 50 per cent and 100 years - 100 per cent.
The parliamentary committee report stated that circumstances should be created where pensioners live on their own without becoming a burden on others, especially in a nuclear family. According to estimates, the number of people above 60 years old would increase significantly by 2050. The committee expressed concern over the delay in settling complaints related to central pension distribution.
Even though such complaints have to be settled within 60 days, this norm is not being adhered to even in one-fifth of the complaints.
The parliamentary committee recommended to the central government to constitute social audit panels in sectors where the pension-related complaints are more.
The committee‘s recommendations also include the setting up of a Pension Ombudsman on the lines of Banking Ombudsman to deal with the complaints related to pension distribution.
Portal for registering complaints
OPENGRAMS (pgportal.gov.in/pension/Default.aspx) the central pensioners can register their complaints through this online portal. As many as 39,975 complaints were received in 2020-21 of which 35,409 were disposed of.
Pension amount should be provided at home to people above 70 years
The parliamentary committee has urged the central government to consider providing pension amounts to people above 70 years of age at their homes.
Efforts should be made to put in place a Business Correspondent system and make use of agents especially in areas where the banking chain is not strong.
The pension department should hold consultation with the finance ministry and reserve bank.
The committee reminded the government that a situation should not arise where people had to approach the courts to get their rightful demands.