As local level party meetings of the Communist Party of India (CPI(M) stepped on to give boost to the left in the upcoming general elections,many local cadres are dissatisfied with some of the policy,taken by the government.
Local party men believe that many of the government’s popular polices and programs are being faced by sever criticism from different corners.One of the most discussed topics is the difference of opinion between Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and finance minister Dr.Thomas Isaac.
Some party sources have revealed that there are some policy matters opened to discussion in many party local meetings.
Social security pensions:
In a local committee meeting held in Kozhikode ,some of the senior party workers raised the issue of the pension scheme.
The left government had a poll promise to distribute all welfare pensions,mainly the pension for senior citizens , directly to the beneficiaries’ houses.
This promise was delivered and the move was widely acclaimed.This idea was a plus point to the left government led by Pinarayi Vijayan.
However,in later days,the government tried to regulate by issuing some terms such as the size of beneficiaries’ houses.
One of the senior member raised that government had to ensure the increase of Rs.100 in every year of the social security pensions.
The government hiked the pension only once.
Many party workers believe that mere measurement of houses and rejection of pension on the basis of houses,exceeding 2000 square feet is unscientific. Even , some ineligible members have enrolled in the pension scheme,the size of houses and such technical issues are creating problems in rural as well as urban area. Old age pensions are meant to support the senior citizen who don’t have any other retirement pension facilities.
It is believed that the state finance minister had taken tough stand on expenditure and expressed concern over the misusing of pension scheme.
There were reports that some people misused the pension benefits by withdrawing the amount through ATMs even after the demise of the real pensioners.
The government move to appoint an agency to study the real picture of the pension scope also invited ire from party circles.
The move is quite expensive.
In such matters,it is heard that Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan took some liberal stands ,But,the FM took things more theoretically and the result is the entire program might be reaching to a less-popular one.
Pinarayi Vijayan is having the opinion that rather than simply following hardcore economic theories,common sense is to be applied to make such schemes more popular and people-friendly. But,he is very much concerned about some rich people,having luxurious cars are exploiting the pension scheme,Otherwise,his pension view points are liberal-said a top source in the party.
Party cadres say the size of houses or owning small vehicles need not be a measuring system to decide old age pensions. Local body can measure the income of senior citizens by collecting data,locally than handing over to an economic study group like Gulati Institute.
Finally, the chief secretary Tom Jose had to issue a circular to stop the controversial circulars by various government departments that the government employees should contribute two months’ salary to flood-relief fund,
The fund challenge was in the tone of imposing it compulsory, indirectly giving a warning to those employees who oppose the move to give two month’s salary.
Some left employee organization had allegedly used the opportunity to tarnish opposing union leaders for their criticism.
Contribution to relief fund is a voluntary activity and its individual freedom and n need to make it mandatory.
There are social media campaigns from various teachers and government employees organisations for and against the government direction to contribute one months’ salary.