Release funds for old age, widow pension: Bhalla

Cong leader Raman Bhalla addressing workers meeting in Jammu on Friday.
Cong leader Raman Bhalla addressing workers meeting in Jammu on Friday.

Excelsior Correspondent
JAMMU, Dec 23: Observing that responsible Government cannot shirk its responsibility and deny the rights to the citizens merely on the ground of financial constraints, former minister and senior Congress leader, Raman Bhalla today demanded immediate release of monthly pension of widows, old age and handicapped persons held for four months.
Addressing party workers during a programme organized by Chamal Singh Block president here today, Bhalla said that only reason by the Finance Department that there is financial difficulty,  should understand that raising of funds for ensuring basic amenities is a duty of the authorities running the administration to mobilize the funds and the responsible Government cannot shirk its responsibility and deny the rights to the citizens merely on the ground of financial constraints. The callousness of Govt is evident from the fact that the proposal of enhancement of pension was kept pending and was not considered in the budget for the year 2015-16. Even in the budgetary provisions for the year 2016-17 no steps were taken for allocation of funds for enhancing the pension to the really deserving persons, namely widows; old aged persons, handicapped persons with more than 60% disability.  The DB had to intervene to wake up Govt from slumber to realize its responsibilities towards them, he added.
Bhalla strongly maintained that welfare state is bound to consider welfare of the poor and deserving, who are unable to earn their livelihood. Govt should ensure basic amenities like food, shelter, health and other minimum amenities of life. By paying a petty amount of Rs 1000 per month one cannot live a decent life and bearing in mind the guaranteed right to the marginalized section of the society who are unable to sustain themselves and are already identified by the Social Welfare Department are to be given enhanced pension as compared to the price index is the responsibility of Govt.
He sought speedy release of funds from the Centre for pensions of old age, widows and disabled people under National Social Assistance Programme.  Bhalla said that PDP-BJP has failed to come to the expectations of the masses in the State and claimed that people of the State have been experiencing the bad governance and worst days.

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