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Union Budget 2023: Demand to increase pension and maternity benefits, economists wrote a letter to the Finance Minister

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Economists had also written letters to former Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in 2017 and 2018.
The Central Government’s contribution to the pension of the elderly has remained stable at just Rs 200 per month since 2006.
Rs 1,560 crore spent on pension for widows.

New Delhi. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will present the budget for the next financial year (Union Budget 2023) on February 1, 2023. Eminent economists have written a letter to Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman before the budget for the next financial year, demanding to increase pension under social security and make adequate provision for maternity benefits.

The signatories to the letter include Jean Dreze, Professor Emeritus, Delhi School of Economics, Pranab Bardhan, Professor Emeritus, University of California Barclay, R Nagaraj, Professor of Economics, Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research (IIDR), Mumbai, Ritika, Professor of Economics, IIT Delhi Khera, Professor Emeritus of JNU, Sukhdev Thorat, among others.

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A letter was also written to former Finance Minister Arun Jaitley

According to the news agency language, the economists said in the letter that they had earlier written letters to former Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on December 20, 2017 and December 21, 2018. He has written, “Through the letter, we are reminding you again. We have tried to identify 2 priorities for the next Union Budget. Firstly, there is a provision for increase in pension for social security and secondly adequate maternity benefits.

Demand to increase the pension of the elderly to Rs 500 under NOAPS

It has been written in the letter that the central government’s contribution to the pension of the elderly under the National Old Age Pension Scheme (NOAPS) has remained stable at just Rs 200 per month since 2006. This is not right. It has been said in the letter that the contribution of the Central Government should be increased immediately to at least Rs 500 (if possible more).

An additional provision of around Rs 7,560 crore is required.

It states, “Based on the existing 2.1 crore pensioners, an additional provision of around Rs 7,560 crore is needed for this. Similarly, the pension for widows should be increased from Rs.300 per month to Rs.500 per month.

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According to the letter, the pension item for widows will cost Rs 1,560 crore. The economists who signed the letter have also demanded full implementation of maternity rights under NFSA norms in the budget for the financial year 2023-24. For this, at least Rs 8,000 crore will be needed.

Tags: Budget, nirmala sitharaman

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