The Union Rural Development Ministry has proposed to increase the pension provided for elderly poor, widows and disabled people under National Social Assistance Programmed (NSAP) from the current Rs. 200 to Rs. 800.
- The Programme came into existence in 1995 to provide social assistance to poor in addition to what the state governments are already providing.
- It fulfills the Article 41 of the Constitution under Directive Principles of State Policy.
- The Central Sector Scheme currently comprises of Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme, Indira Gandhi National Disability Pension Scheme, Indira Gandhi National Widow Pension Scheme, National Family Benefit Scheme and Annapurna scheme.
The total annual budget outlay of the scheme is Rs. 9975 crore.
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Implications of the New Proposal
- The proposed hike will cause and additional financial burden of Rs. 18,000 Crore annually.
- Currently the scheme is supporting 3 Crore people from below poverty line. But a real assessment might increase the number of people in requirement of social assistance as the numbers are last assessed in the year 2007.
Other Pension or Social Assistance Schemes of the Central Govt.
1. Atal Pension Yojana
It is a social security scheme essentially for the unorganised work force of the country. It provides a monthly pension of Rs. 1000 to Rs. 5000 from that age of 60 depending on the contribution made by the person. It scheme can be availed by citizens aged between 18-40.
2. Pradhan Mantri Vaya Vandana Yojana
It is a pension scheme for senior citizens aged 60 and above who can avail a high interest of 8% on their investment for upto 10 years. The scheme is administered by the LIC. Under the scheme, the minus investment is Rs. 1,50,000 and the maximum is 7,50,000. The pension can be availed monthly, quarterly, half-yearly, or at the end of 10 year period. It is exempted form GST.
3. Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana
It is a life insurance programme where the subscriber needs to pay Rs. 300 per year. In case of death of the subscriber, the nominated member will receive Rs. 2 lakh.
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