Either it’s a mathematical miracle, or, (and we guess this is more likely), at least 64,473 poor little rich people in the state are petty thieves of the state coffers.

Poor little rich people 65K luxury car owners in Kerala avail welfare pension
news Thursday, July 26, 2018 - 16:29

There’s a mysterious occurrence in Kerala that has left people with basic mathematical skills stunned. May be, we need Avengers-style quantum mumbo-jumbo to figure this one out… Apparently, some BMW and Mercedes-Benz owners in Kerala are so poor, that they are availing government subsidies, welfare schemes and pensions meant for those who have an annual income of less than Rs 1 lakh.

Either it’s a mathematical miracle, or, (and we guess this is more likely), at least 64,473 poor little rich people in the state are petty thieves of the state coffers.

Kerala Finance Minister TM Thomas Isaac on Wednesday revealed that 64,473 people, who avail of the various welfare schemes provided by the Kerala government, which is Rs 1,000 to Rs 1,500, own high-end vehicles.

“It was during a trip to identify the ineligible pension applicants that this blood-boiling mean act caught my attention,” wrote the Finance Minister in a Facebook post, who has identified 64,473 people who own luxury cars and are yet included in the welfare scheme list.

Of this, 61 applicants own Mercedes-Benz, 28 own BMWs, 2,465 own the latest model of Skoda, 296 own Honda and 191 own Mahindra Scorpio, revealed the post.

“There people who own BMW and Benz cars are extending their hands for the meager pension amount meant to eliminate hunger for the poorest of the poor,” he said. 

Taking a dig at these ineligible pension beneficiaries, the minister says, "What is the point in owning these cars? It is not an easy task to get money for petrol."

The Thomas Isaac’s department has also identified another group of pension beneficiaries, whose ration cards also feature their children who own such luxury cars. The department has identified 94,043 such beneficiaries.

“We are not stopping their welfare benefits now,” he said in the post, adding, “However, we will run investigations on their financial background.”

A panchayat-wise list will be handed back to the secretary. After examining their financial status, it has to be notified if the people in the list are eligible for a pension.

“People not eligible for such schemes can voluntarily give up their pension benefits; no action will be taken against them. The government is also planning to levy a fine on finds such ineligible candidates,” he added.

According to the Kerala government’s website, 4,218,306 beneficiaries are availing of the Social Security Pension Schemes.

The various schemes include Agriculture Labour Pension, Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension, Indira Gandhi National Disabled Pension Scheme (Mentally/PhysicallY), Pension to Unmarried women above 50 years and Indira Gandhi National Widow Pension Scheme.

However, the common criterion to be eligible to avail of these scheme is that the annual income of the whole family must be less than Rs 1 lakh.

Show us some love! Support our journalism by becoming a TNM Member - Click here.