Thousands of Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Audi owners in Kerala withdraw ‘welfare pension’

The Kerala state government has said that thousands of owners of luxury cars, like Mercedes-Benz, Audi and BMW, have withdrawn welfare pensions. The welfare schemes are meant for the needy, where the government offers subsidies and other welfare programs. Such subsidies and pension are meant for those who have below Rs. 1 lakh income annually.

The news report says that at least 64,473 get benefits from such schemes and welfares in the state. The scheme provides Rs. 1,000 to Rs. 1,500 per month to the people under the welfare scheme. It is meant for the daily meals/needs of the people who do not earn enough every month. The report reveals that as many as 61 applicants of the welfare scheme own a Mercedes-Benz branded car, while 28 of such beneficiaries own BMW vehicles. As many as 2,465 people own the latest model of Skoda. The information also reveals that 296 own a Honda-branded car, while 191 beneficiaries own Mahindra Scorpio SUVs.

Finance Minister, Kerala, TM Thomas Isaac, mentioned on a Facebook post,

“It was during a trip to identify the ineligible pension applicants that this blood-boiling mean act caught my attention. These people who own BMW and Benz cars are extending their hands for the meagre pension amount meant to eliminate hunger for the poorest of the poor. What is the point in owning these cars? It is not an easy task to get money for petrol.

The minister has revealed that the welfare schemes to such people will not be stopped immediately. However, the government will run an investigation to get a clear image of their financial background. The finance department has also identified 94,043 beneficiaries whose children own such cars. Post the completion of the investigation, a panchayat-wise list will be prepared and people will be notified if they are still eligible for such schemes. At present, there are as many as 4,218,306 beneficiaries who avail the Pension Schemes from the government.

It is not the first time that the luxury car owners from the state are in the news. There are a high number of luxury cars that are registered in different states to save the registration tax money and the Motor Vehicle Department (MVD) of the state regularly seize and impose fines on such vehicles.