Thiruvananthapuram, June 30 : The Kerala government plans to raise from 55 to 60 years the age for expatriates to register their names in the diaspora pension scheme, a minister said Monday. The pension scheme, launched in 2009 by the previous Left government, was meant for the age group 18 to 55 years. The scheme is devised in such a manner that a minimum monthly payment of Rs.300 has to be paid by the individual and the state government will contribute two percent.
For the scheme to be active, the minimum period any person should contribute is five years. Excise Minister K. Babu told the assembly that steps were being worked out to see if the age of entry to the scheme can be increased from 55 to 60 years. ”The scheme was launched in 2009. We are now in 2014. Now that the five-year payment period is over, from next month onwards all those who wish to get the monthly pension will be paid out,” he said.
So far, 127,639 people have registered for the scheme. Over 90 percent of Kerala’s nearly three million strong diaspora lives in the Middle East. Under diaspora welfare schemes, loans up to Rs.2 million for specific projects are given.