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Sonia assures help to pension activists


New Delhi : United Progressive Alliance chairperson Sonia Gandhi Monday assured activists demanding review of the old age pension scheme that she will refer it to the government.

A delegation led by National Advisory Council member Aruna Roy, Baba Adhav and Nikhil Dey under the banner of Pension Parishad met Gandhi at her residence and briefed her about their demands.

“Sonia Gandhi gave us a patient hearing and said she will refer it to the government,” said Nikhil Dey.

The activists are demanding that the Rs.200 monthly pension given to around three crore people aged over 60 years under the Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme be revised to Rs.2,000 per month.

They are also demanding that the government do away with the criteria of the below poverty line and above poverty line used to identify beneficiaries under the pension scheme and reduce the eligibility from 60 years to over 55 years for a male and over 50 years for a female.

Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh has also written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to review of the scheme.