76 lakh widows, 11 lakh poor to get pension hike

New Delhi: As many as 76 lakh below poverty line (BPL) widows and 11 lakh BPL persons with severe or multiple disability will get a pension hike from Rs.200 to Rs.300 per month, official sources said here Thursday.

The Union Cabinet, at a meeting here chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, approved a proposal to enhance the rates of pension for widows, under the Indira Gandhi National Disability Pension Scheme, from Rs.200 to Rs.300 per month and revised the eligibility criteria from 18-59 years to 18-79 years.

The cabinet also hiked the pension for BPL people with disabilities from Rs.200 to Rs.300 per month and revised the eligibility criteria from 40-59 to 40-79 years.

This would be in addition to the contribution by the states, said officials.

Further, around 3.56 lakh BPL families will receive hiked one-time lump sum grant, under the National Family Benefit Scheme, from Rs.10,000 to Rs.20,000 in case the main breadwinner in the family dies. The cabinet revised the eligibility criteria for the scheme from 18-64 years to 18-59 years.

The announcements were made in the Union Budget 2012-13 in parliament March 16. The revised norms were implemented from Oct 1.

The hiked pensions would cost the government 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 comes to Rs.1,325.10 crore per annum, officials said.


Source: IANS