Fifty-eight million people in India have been found to be living without pension said civil society organization Pension Parishad.
Citing the State of Pensions in India Report 2018, Economist Prabhat Patnaik said the Central government spends as little as 0.04 percent of the GDP for its flagship Indira Gandhi National Social Assistance (IGNOAPS) programme for ensuring income security for the elderly.
‘The most astonishing fact is that It will cost only about 1.6 percent of the present-day GDP to ensure 90 percent of the elderly population
"It will cost only about 1.6 percent of the present-day GDP to ensure 90 percent of the elderly population a pension of Rs 2,500 per person every month," Patnaik said.
According to the National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP), a welfare programme administered by the Ministry of Rural Development, 80 million elderly people in India are entitled to a pension of Rs 200 per month.
This meager amount reaches only about 22.3 million people, Pension Parishad Coordinator, Nikhil Dey said.
The organization also pointed out that countries like Nepal, Bolivia, Lesotho, Botswana, Ecuador -- all much smaller economies as compared to India -- ensure better social pensions for their elderly citizens.