Kerala govt announces pension for local body members

Representational image
Representational image.

Thiruvananthapuram: In a significant move, the Kerala Government has announced social security pension for people’s representatives in panchayats and city corporations based on certain conditions.

The conditions include annual income from honorarium should not exceed Rs 1 lakh; family’s annual income should be below Rs 1 lakh and compliance with other requirements for pension.

As per the order, panchayat members who earn a monthly honorarium of Rs 8,000 and Corporation members who are paid Rs 8,200 will be eligible for the pension. However, those holding posts such as Mayor, Chairperson, head of standing committees and municipal councilor who receive a higher amount as honorarium will not be given pension.

Previous LDF and UDF ministries had rejected proposals for pensions to former local body members. During the current Assembly session, the Chief Minister had said in reply to a question that the government was not considering the matter. However, the government has now approved the social security pensions.

Other categories
Under these guidelines, other categories of people receiving honorarium from the government would also be eligible for pension. They include Anganwadi helpers, Asha workers and volunteers engaged in serving patients under palliative care.

The government has also allowed social security pension for priests, saints and other religious figures residing at centres not controlled by religious organisations, if their total annual income is below Rs 1 lakh. However, if these people reside in homes run by religious organisations, they will not be granted pension, even if their income is less than Rs 1 lakh.

Income certificate
Meanwhile, the government has instructed the Local Self-Government Department to accept income certificate from beneficiaries of social security pension even though the deadline announced for the purpose – February 28 – is over.

But, as an official order in this regard has not been issued, pension will be restored for beneficiaries who submit the certificate at a later date but they will not be paid arrears.

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