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Infighting impedes effort to publicise pension hike

The government’s annual bill of social security pension had doubled to Rs 4,800 crore with the enhancement. There are about 27 lakh beneficiaries of social security pension in the state.

Written by Kanchan Vasdev | Chandigarh |
September 7, 2021 8:10:53 am
CM Amarinder Singh had rolled out the benefit formally on August 31 2021. (File)

After having doubled the social security pension from Rs 750 per month to Rs 1,500 every month, Punjab’s Congress government has not been able to publicise its roll-out due to infighting in the state unit.

It was on August 31 that CM Amarinder Singh had rolled out the benefit formally. Though the Congress had promised five-time increase in the social security pension before 2017 Assembly elections, it has been able to enhance it by three times. It had promised a pension of Rs 2,500 per month in its manifesto.

When the Congress government took over, the social security pension was Rs 500. The government increased it by Rs 250 soon after taking over. Neighbouring Haryana provides Rs 2,250 as social security pension.

The government’s annual bill of social security pension had doubled to Rs 4,800 crore with the enhancement. There are about 27 lakh beneficiaries of social security pension in the state.

Though on the day of the roll out, the government had organised a function at 400 places and people at nearly 4,000 different locations had joined in virtually.

But with CM Amarinder Singh and PPCC chief Navjot Singh Sidhu being at loggerheads, the party has not been able to publicise the event.

“Sidhu has been saying that the government should fulfil all promises. The promise was of Rs 2,500 per month. How would he go and tom-tom it now?” asked a leader.

He added that in any case Sidhu was not lauding the government. “Had the circumstances been normal, the party leaders would have gone to the town by issuing advertisements and installing billboards thanking the CM. But the entire energy and attention is being consumed by infighting.”

Former PPCC chief Sunil Jakhar too Monday admitted that party leaders and workers were lagging behind in publicising unprecedented increases by the Congress government in social security pension.

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