Centre Proposes to Hike Pensions
22, Jan 2019
Prelims level : National - Schemes Mains level : Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes
- The Rural Development Ministry has proposed that the monthly pensions of the elderly poor, disabled and widows be increased from the current Rs. 200 to Rs. 800. For those above the age of 80, the proposal is to increase the pension from Rs. 500 to Rs. 1,200 a month.
- The Ministry has submitted the proposal, which would have an additional annual cost implication of Rs. 18,000 crores, to the Finance Ministry to be considered for inclusion in the interim Budget to be presented on February 1. The Rural Development Ministry is the nodal ministry which administers the National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP).
National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP):
- NSAP stands for National Social Assistance Programme. NSAP was launched on 15th August, 1995.
- The National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP) represents a significant step towards the fulfillment of the Directive Principles in Article 41 and 42 of the Constitution recognizing the concurrent responsibility of the Central and the State Governments in the matter.
- In particular, Article 41 of the Constitution of India directs the State to provide public assistance to its citizens in case of unemployment, old age, sickness and disablement and in other cases of undeserved want within the limit of its economic capacity and development.
- For getting benefits under NSAP the applicant must belong to a Below Poverty Line (BPL) family according to the criteria prescribed by the Govt. of India.
- National Social Assistance Programme is a social security and welfare programme to provide support to aged persons, widows, disabled persons and bereaved families on death of primary bread winner, belonging to below poverty line households.
Presently NSAP comprises of five schemes, Namely:
- Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme (IGNOAPS),
- Indira Gandhi National Widow Pension Scheme (IGNWPS),
- Indira Gandhi National Disability Pension Scheme (IGNDPS),
- National Family Benefit Scheme NFBS) and
- Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme (IGNOAPS): The eligible age for IGNOAPS is 60 years. The pension is Rs.200 p.m. for persons between 60 years and 79 years. For persons who are 80 years and above the pension is Rs.500/ – per month. Indira Gandhi National Widow Pension Scheme (IGNWPS): The eligible age is 40 years and the pension is Rs.300 per month. After attaining the age of 80 years, the beneficiary will get Rs.500/ – per month.
- Indira Gandhi National Disability Pension Scheme (IGNDPS): The eligible age for the pension er is 18 years and above and the disability level has to be 80%. The amount is Rs.300 per month and after attaining the age of 80 years, the beneficiary will get Rs 500/ – per month. Dwarfs will also be a n eligible category for this pension.
- National Family Benefit Scheme (NFBS): 20000/ – will be given as a lumpsum assistance to the bereaved household in the event of death of the bread – winner. It is clarified that any event of death (natural or otherwise) would make the family eligible for assistance. A woman in the family, who is a home maker, is also considered as a ‘bread – winner’ for this purpose.
- The family benefit will be paid to such surviving member of the household of the deceased poor, who after local inquiry, is found to be the head of the household. For the purpose of the scheme, the term “household’ would include spouse, minor children, unmarried daughters and dependent parents.
- In case of death of an unmarried adult, the term household would include minor brothers/ sisters and dependent parents. The death of such a bread – winner should have occurred whilst he/ she is more than 18 years of age and less than 60 years of age. The assistance would be given to every case of death of breadwinner in a family.
- Annapurna Scheme: 10 kgs of food grains (wheat or rice) is given per month per beneficiary. The scheme aims at providing food security to meet the requirements of those eligible old aged persons who have remained uncovered under the IGNOAPS.