Opposition contends Odisha government’s pension coverage claims

Bhubaneswar: Notwithstanding the State government’s claims that more than five lakh new beneficiaries have been included under the Madhu Babu Pension Yojana (MBPY) till date, Opposition parties today alleged that actual beneficiaries have been left out from the pension scheme. They further stated that the ruling-party activists are engaged in enrolling beneficiaries and allocating pension only on pen and paper.

According to the Opposition parties, there are many eligible beneficiaries who fulfill the criteria, but have been left out from the pension scheme.

BJP State vice president, Samir Mohanty said, “BJD activists are taking percentage commission and including people under the pension scheme.”

Toeing similar lines, Congress spokesperson, Bibhu Prasad Tarai said, “In different panchayats of Kujang, BJD activists have registered beneficiaries in the name of dead persons.”

Refuting the charges BJD spokesperson, Samir Das said, “Opposition is leveling the charges for the sake of making allegations. Beneficiaries are getting pension under the MBPY scheme and the government is thinking of increasing the pension amount.”

In the beginning of the year, the State government had targeted to include 3,48,484 new beneficiaries under the scheme. Later, on May 18, the district collectors were asked to provide pension to new beneficiaries. But there was not a single new beneficiary from Kandhamal included in the list. As per reports, the number of beneficiaries reached five lakh on December 4.

Meanwhile, many eligible beneficiaries in Subarnapur, Rayagada and other parts of the State are yet to get pension.

“I am 65 years old, but yet to get the old age pension. Despite approaching the Municipality office several times, I return empty-handed,” said Basamati Minz of Baiganabuda village in Sundergarh.

Expressing similar views, Anapurna of Relipani in Subarnapur said despite being 70 years old, her name was missing in the list of beneficiaries.