Single women’s forum has demanded an increase in social security pension for women for their upliftment in equity to their unpaid contribution in Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP).

In a press statement, Ekal Nari Shakti Sanghatan (ENSS) State coordinator Nirmal Chandel said, “The unpaid contribution of women in the state’s economy has been tremendous, however, they are not being suitably rewarded accordingly.”

The government is showing adequate sensitivity to the concerns of women’s upliftment in the wake of their contributions, she claimed.

Chandel said that according to the State Economic and Statistics Department, Women’s Unpaid Economic Contribution in Himachal Pradesh, the percentage of the estimated value of women’s unpaid work for various economic activities was estimated to the tune of Rs 15,939 crore and the contribution of women for all type of unpaid work which is estimated at Rs 9,459 per month per woman.

The unpaid work includes household work, agricultural activities, knitting, teaching own children, and other works which are estimated to be 12.80 per cent of the Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) of Himachal, she added.

She said that state government although has acknowledged their contribution in state’s economy, however, their contribution is yet to be rewarded, for which government needs to be serious about their social security as well.

Pointing at the social security being disbursed by the government, currently there are 4,90,020 pension holders that include both males and females, she disclosed.

The beneficiaries are getting social security pension under various schemes that include Indira Gandhi Old Age (97434), old age pension (2,22,894), Indira Gandhi National Widow Pension Scheme (23016), Widow pension scheme (87732), Indira Gandhi Disabled pension scheme (1024), Disabled rehabilitation allowance (56290), Lepers (1482), and transgender pension (150).

The state government has made a budget provision of Rs 600 crore as social security pension for these categories for the year 2018-2019 she said adding that this is less than 4 percent of the 12.80 percent of women’s unpaid contribution in GSDP.

She said that of all the women beneficiaries availing pension, many of the single women are solely dependent on the social security pension and are struggling hard to sustain themselves and their families in the wake of rising inflation.

The ENSS has urged the state government to be considerate to the demands of the forum to increase the budget provision at least to an equitable share up to 10 per cent of the unpaid contribution of women in GSDP towards their social security pension.