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Centre proposes to hike pensions

Ahead of the 2019 election, 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 crore, to the Finance Ministry to be considered for inclusion in the interim Budget to be presented on February 1. “The proposal is being scrutinised for the possibility of inclusion in the Budget speech,” said a senior official of the Rural Development Ministry, which administers the National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP). If the proposal is announced, the Ministry will then move the Cabinet to approve the increase in pensions, said the official. Separately, a study has been launched to consider doubling the number of people covered by the scheme, a promise originally made in last year’s Budget. Discussions are also being held with the State governments on a proposal to merge the Central and State pension schemes. The BJP’s defeat in the recent Assembly elections has forced the Centre to consider sops for rural India.

Source : https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/centre-proposes-to-hike-pensions/article26056109.ece

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