Pension plan for seamen from Dec

 Retired seafarers and widows can now look forward to a monthly government pension of Rs 2,500, beginning December.

If Director of NRI Affairs, U D Kamat, is to be believed, the Goa Welfare / Pension scheme for Seafarers, 2012, will be implemented from December 1.

'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; text-align: justify;">He said the office of NRI Affairs got the application forms printed and they will be made available with the district Collectors of North and South Goa from November 19. “Application forms in both English, Konkani in Devnagiri and Marathi have been printed and the same will be dispatched to the district Collector. The form will then be scrutinized by a three member panel, including two representatives of seafarers Associations”, Kamat told Herald.

Replying to a question, he said the government has made a budgetary provision of Rs one crore for implementation of the scheme, which will take care of the seafarers’ pension for the next three months. “Retired seafarers and widows who do not avail benefits under the DSS and other schemes are eligible to apply for the pension scheme”, Kamat said.

The scheme will come into force with its publication in the official gazette and will remain for an initial period of five years. Kamat said it is for the government to take a call on the continuation of this scheme after five years.

The eligibility conditions state that the beneficiary should be a citizen of India and have rendered a total of 120 months of actual service on board a ship. However a break in service up to six months will be condoned while computing the total period of service. The beneficiary should be a bonafide resident of Goa by birth. In the case of seamen’s widows, the widow should be a resident of Goa with 15 years of domicile. [H]