Thiruvananthapuram: Coinciding with the Onam, Kerala's harvest festival, the state government handed out various social security benefits like pensions, unemployment doles and ex-gratia payments to the tune of Rs.100 crore to people.

State Labour Minister Shibu Baby John in a statement issued here on Tuesday said the pensions include Rs 69.75 crore being given to former farmers."Rs 11.76 crore was given as pension to former cashew employees.

Rs.3.25 crore was given to the newly set up Tree Climbers Pensioners, and Rs 3.28 crore to the pensioners in the unorganised sector," said John.

All such employees are registered with the state government. Onam falls in the month of "Chingam" which is the first month according to the Malayalam calendar and Thiruvonam the most important day in the Onam calendar falls on Aug 29.The Onam week began this season on Aug 26 and ends on Aug 31.

According to a legend, the state had its golden period during the reign of King Mahabali. His subjects were happy with the king. Onam was marked when the king made an annual visit to see his subjects.

Normally during the Onam season, successive governments cleared the backlog in various pensions and this time for a change all the pensions have now become current.

"Rs 2,250 was given to every worker in the factories that were closed down and Rs 1,200 to every worker who worked in the labour category in the closed down plantations, both totalling Rs 2.80 crore," added John.

He said Rs 22.97 crore was also given as outstanding unemployment dole to the nearly four million educated unemployed.

(Agencies)

Latest News from India News Desk