Upset with the sudden sine die adjournment of Parliament "without paying heed" to the 25-day dharna by the elderly and destitute here, social activists Baba Adhav and Aruna Roy have written to the Prime Minister expressing their disappointment with his Government.

"Nothing could have been more insensitive, uncaring, and callous," says the letter, adding that after seeking umpteen meetings, "You either passed a message that we should meet someone else authorised by you to meet them, or simply not responded at all."

Under the aegis of the Pension Parishad, the activists flayed the UPA Government for slashing social sector budgets. "When we are told that there is no money, we cannot understand why 'unspent balances' in the rural development and social justice ministries cannot be used for saving lives through pensions", says the letter, copies of which have also been sent to the Finance Minister P Chidambaram and Planning Commission Deputy Chairman, Montek Singh Ahluwalia.

The letter points out the "unjust system" that allows 5 per cent of the elderly i.e. Government officials to take Rs 1,60,000 crore in pensions annually while giving the rest i.e. 95 per cent of the elderly, less than a tenth of the amount.

The Pension Parishad said it would now make pensions an election issue, as almost 8 per cent of the voting population was elderly and destitute.

aditi.n@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on December 21, 2013)
XThese are links to The Hindu Business Line suggested by Outbrain, which may or may not be relevant to the other content on this page. You can read Outbrain's privacy and cookie policy here.