Beyond small mercies - The Hindu

Beyond small mercies - The Hindu

Online comments posted on December 25, 2013:

This refers to the article “Beyond small mercies”(December 25). The article throws much more light on the ground level realities of Indian Pension System outside the organised sectors than the 2007 report of the team comprising experts from ING and IIM-B, which studied Indian Pension Systems in the context of the introduction of New Pension Scheme(now rechristened as National Pension System)-Facing the future: Indian Pension Systems.
Jean Dreze has crisply and clearly explained the drawbacks of the pension schemes now being implemented for the benefit of the widows and the elderly. One expects, the powers that be will do some follow up for remedial action on the following observations made by Dreze:
·        Pension schemes for widows and the elderly have five major flaws as things stand: narrow coverage, bureaucratic procedures, low pension amounts, irregular payments, and high collection costs.
·        The Central government’s odd insistence on fast-tracking the transition to “UID-enabled” payments of social security pensions(one of the least appropriate applications of this problematic technology) is likely to be very disruptive-“UID-disabled” may well turn out to be a more accurate term in this case.
The National Pension System is under attack from all stakeholders except perhaps the equity market which is waiting with an unquenchable thirst for funds. PFRDA will do well to put its acts together and overhaul its schemes for its prospective clientele outside the organised sector taking lessons from the observations made by Dreze here after a reasonably extensive field study. The authority may revisit its dole money concept and its need/adequacy and methods to attract savings from the 85 per cent workforce not covered by regular retirement savings schemes.
M G Warrier, Thiruvananthapuram




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