NASHIK: Last year, the cash-strapped Uddhav Thackeray-led state government had scrapped the pension scheme for Maintenance of Internal Security Act (MISA) detainees during the Emergency to mobilize funds for tackling the Covid-19 pandemic. It had decided to discontinue the honorarium scheme for those who fought for democracy and suffered imprisonment during the Emergency.
However, after the petition filed in the High Court, the government is now reviving the scheme. Accordingly, the state government has allocated Rs 15.99 crore for this. The Emergency was declared between June 25, 1975 and March 31, 1977. Activists of the then Jan Sangh and the socialist movement had fought against the Emergency. The honoranium scheme was launched in January 2018 by the then government led by Devendra Fadnavis to give due respect to the prisoners who took part in the fight against the Emergency and were sentenced to imprisonment.
3500 protesters and their families in the state were being given assistance of Rs 2500 to Rs 10,000 through this scheme. The scheme was discontinued due to the fragile financial situation of the state. The Congress had alleged that the scheme was planned for the convenience of old BJP workers.
However, despite their opposition, the then BJP government had implemented the scheme for about 5500 people. Congress had discontinued this scheme as soon as Mahavikas Aghadi came to power. The government had taken effective measures considering the impact of corona and lockout on the state’s economy. The order had said the scheme was being closed due to the pandemic. However, a petition was filed in the High Court against it.
Therefore, the government has issued a separate order on September 16 to resume the honorarium. Under this scheme, those who have been imprisoned for more than a month will get Rs 10,000, while their wives will get Rs 5,000. The government had decided to pay Rs 5,000 a month to those who have been imprisoned for less than a month, and Rs 2,500 a month to their wives.
The District Collectors were empowered to implement the honorarium scheme on the basis of the affidavit filed by those imprisoned under ‘Misa’. At the end of July last year, there were 3452 beneficiaries in the state. It includes 81 people from Nashik. A provision of Rs 15,99,73,634 has been made for the purpose.