New Delhi: The Delhi government on Friday decided to increase the pensions to senior citizens, widows and people with disability by Rs 1,000 per month.
The decision was taken in a cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
“The cabinet today (Friday) approved a Rs 1,000 increment in disability pension, old age pension and widow pension each,” Delhi’s Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia told reporters after the cabinet meeting.
He said that though it was a small amount but would certainly help the beneficiaries upto some extent.
After this revision in the pension scheme, senior citizens in the age group of 60-69 years will get Rs 2,000 as pension now as against Rs 1,000 old age pension, while those above 70 years will now get Rs 2,500 as pension compared to Rs 1,500 earlier.
Disability pension has been raised from Rs 1,500 to Rs 2,500 while pension for widows and destitute women has been raised from Rs 1,500 to Rs 2,500 per month.
Sisodia said that as of November 30, 2016, the number of beneficiaries for old age pension scheme between the age group of 60 and 69 years was 1,78,318 while there as many as 2,04,347 beneficiaries who are senior citizens above 70 years. As many as 69,403 people are taking benefit of disability pension scheme.
The cabinet also decided to enhance the income limit to Rs one lakh per annum, at present, the family income limit for availing the pensions from the existing Rs 60,000 and Rs 75,000 for old age pension and disability pension respectively.
Sisodia said that this was last revised in 2008 for old age pension, whereas the incomes and the cost of living index have been significantly risen since then. This leads to many needy people being left out of availing the scheme on one hand and dealing with rising prices on the other, he noted.
It is expected that approximately one lakh new applications will be received under old age pension scheme within one month, ie. January 2017, for whom pension will be due from February 2017.
Sisodia said that an additional expenditure of Rs 154 crore is expected to be incurred on five lakh old age pension beneficiaries for the remaining four months of 2016-17.
Hence, the revised budget estimate under old age pension would be Rs 765 crore. For the same rate of assistance, budget requirement for 2017-18 will be Rs 1,431 crore for 5.30 lakh beneficiaries, which is the upper limit in number of beneficiaries allowed in the scheme.
Similarly, in Disability Pension Scheme, in accordance to the present rate of new applications received in the department, it is expected that about 1,000 applications per month will be received in the next four months.
Accordingly, an additional expenditure of Rs 48 crore will be incurred in 2016-17. Hence, the revised budget estimate under disability pension would be Rs 153 crore against the present allocation of Rs 105 crore.