Kerala Finance Minister and CPI-M leader Thomas Issac Thursday alleged the farmers' pension scheme announced by the Modi government was 'fake', saying those enrolling under it need to pay contribution from the age of 18 to 40.
"That pension scheme is fake. Because, you have to join it between the age of 18 and 40... you have to join and pay your contribution till you reach the age of 40. Then you get pension from the age of 60," he said.
Issac was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a meeting of All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) here.
"So (it is a), a scheme to collect money from the farmers rather giving the pension," he said when asked about the scheme introduced by the Centre.
He said the Kerala government was spending substantial amount on pensions, including for farmers and senior citizens.
Issac also raised questions over the figures of the 2019 Union Budget.
"It's budget figures are all suspect. One has to see. Central government does not have respect (for) objective data. That is very evident the way they have been treating employment, unemployment data, CSO and so on," he said.
The Union Finance Minister must explain to the people whether the budget figures were right or economic survey figures were right, he said.
Issac claimed that states have been denied performance grant as the Centre "did not get" the expected revenues last year.
On economic growth, he said the 'recession' in the country was more serious than in 2009, adding the Centre, must go for higher spending to stimulate the economy.
In his address at the AIKS, he said the agrarian sector in the country was facing a crisis and pitched for using the cooperatives to improve the living condition of farmers.
Citing the measures taken by the Kerala government, he said in Wayanad district a major programme for branding and selling coffee products had been taken up to ensure higher returns for plantation farmers.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)