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Indian government urged to revisit seafarer pension scheme

Intercession by seaman association on making this annuity permanent

In August 2021, the Government of Goa launched The Goa Welfare / Pension Scheme for Seafarers to provide financial assistance in the form of gross pension. Unfortunately, not many applicants managed to get the funds.

More thorough approach
This pension scheme was formulated to provide financial assistance of Rs. 2,500 (US$34) per month to retired Goan seafarers on completion of 60 years of age; employed on lowly paid jobs onboard the ship when retired, including those invalidated on medical grounds before retirement, and widows of deceased crew on compassionate grounds, provided the annual income from all sources does not exceed Rs. 1.20 lakhs (US$ 1,617).

3 months later, both Chief Minister Pramod Sawant and Non-Indian Resident (NRI) Commissioner Narendra Sawaikar were nudged (again) by the Goan Seaman Association of India (GSAI) to expand the pension scheme by making it permanent. The association also requested that new applications of those who are eligible should be considered. GSAI said that there are many retired seafarers and widows who had yet to apply and are eagerly waiting for the new forms from the NRI department as the scheme will end on 30 November 2021.

“The Government must also consider the previous applications which were omitted. This pension has been a financial support for the retired seafarers and widows, who have contributed to the growth of our economy and development of the state. If the scheme continues, the retired seamen and widows will be grateful to the Goa government for supporting them in their hard times,” GSAI president Frank Viegas stressed.

GSAI requested the NRI Commissioner to furnish data of the beneficiary seafarers/widows to the association who had yet to submit their life certificates. There were beneficiary seafarers /widows who did not manage to submit their life certificates due to various reasons. “GSAI will reach out to maximum seafarers if the government furnishes the data to the association,” its statement said.


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