KOZHIKODE: The State Government has decided to increase the age limit, from 55 to 60, of the beneficiaries of the Pravasi Welfare Pension Scheme.
“The State Government has given an in principle approval for the increase in age of the Pravasi welfare pension scheme beneficiaries,” said Chief Minister Oommen Chandy. He was inaugurating the distribution of the pension to the expatriates here, at the Kozhikode Town Hall on Monday.
“Currently those who have crossed the age of 55 can’t avail the benefits of the scheme. The government has decided to introduce essential amendments taking into account the feedback of expatriate communities and continuous demands from the expatriate welfare organisations,” the Chief Minister said.
Chandy said the amount extended through the pension scheme was inadequate to meet the requirements of the expatriate community, adding that the government was thinking about increasing the amount despite its financial limitations.
Coming down heavily on airline operators, the minister said that they were squeezing money from the poor expatriates through steep fare hikes.
“It is unbearable for expatriates to bear hikes up to 200 per cent in the ticket rates to the Gulf countries,” he said.
“The launch of Air Kerala will provide a relief to the expatriates. The State Government has requested the Centre to provide sanction for the same,” Chandy said.
Pension was delivered to 51 beneficiaries in the function. Minister K C Joseph presided. Minister for Social Justice M K Muneer, Abdul Rahman Randathani MLA, P M A Salam, K S Anas and P Sudeep also attended.