Govt mulls to extend pension to additional 60 lakh BPL people
New Delhi, Nov 9 (PTI) Aiming to extend the benefit of pension schemes provided to elderly, widows and disabled, the government is planning to include more 60 lakh people from the Below Poverty Line (BPL) category under its existing programs.
The plan is under active consideration of the government and it would be sent to the Finance Ministry for consideration next week, sources in the Rural Development Ministry said.
A committee under Rural Development Ministry, entrusted with the task of looking at the possibility of increasing the coverage of existing pension programs, has finalised the plan for the purpose, they said.
Social security pensions are disbursed by the government under several schemes such as Indira Gandhi National Widow Pension Scheme and Indira Gandhi National Disability Pension Scheme.
Last month, the government also decided to increase the rate of pension under a Central scheme from Rs 200 to Rs 300 per month per beneficiary and to revise the eligibility criteria from 40-59 years to 40-79 years.
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) had also decided to increase the lump sum grant under National Family Benefit Scheme (NFBS) from Rs 10,000 to Rs 20,000 and also to revise its eligibility criteria from 18-64 years to 18-59 years.
The total requirement of funds for the proposal was calculated at Rs 3,861.09 crore per annum.
However, after taking into account the existing rate of assistance and number of beneficiaries, the net additional requirement for implementing the announcement was finalised at Rs 1,325.10 crore per annum.
Amidst tight security, counting began for the 200 member Assembly elections for the Rajasthan Assembly. Counting will be held for 199 seats as one seat was countermanded following the death of a candidate.
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